June Fishing Report and July Forecast 2017
Welcome to July!! Fish early to beat the heat and afternoon thunderstorms or fish a sundown session. We hit temperatures close to the 100 degree mark many times by mid-afternoon and the storms would come upon us causing us to consider getting off the water before 1pm. This pattern of rain is typical for the summer months. Many days the bite shut off as early as 10 am unless you were fishing deeper water in canals or in areas that have lots of shade like under docks and heavy mangrove cover. Regardless of recent rains we have been having, the Lagoon system’s water level is quite low. Floating grass will cause some minor problems with lure retrieva so weedless rigging is a must! Look for grass areas as they hold food such as small crabs, glass minnows, and finger mullet. Trout and redfish love to hang around them. In less grassy areas, I like to use topwater plugs in bone or mullet in the AM and then switch to a submersible soft plastics rigged weedless when the pressure rises mid-day. 12 Fathom Fat Sam 3 inch mullet or Buzz tail in Arkansas glow, Glow Shrimp, Pearl or New Penny, smothered with Lady Fish Pro-Cure bait scent, rigged on a 1/16 - 1/8 oz 4/0 Edje Joe weedless hook or 1/8 oz Joe jig will work best. As the sun heats up the flats, look for trout and reds in deeper waters. Soon the huge schools of bull reds will be finished spawning and will begin to disperse into smaller schools but you still have time to catch that trophy red. Look for them in 4 - 5 ft waters. Tossing a chunk of crab, mullet or lady fish on a 4/0 circle hook will work best.
Snook have been showing up throughout the lagoon system. Skip cast under each cut of the mangrove that has a pretty deep drop off, under trees that have fallen and under docks and you will get hooked up on the drop of your lure or after the first twitch. Make sure your drag is set properly or you can lose them as they run back under and get cut off. I usually tie a 30lb fluorocarbon leader just in case I might get cut off by barnacles or the sharp gill plate of the snook. Juvenile tarpon can also be found in canals this time of year. I love to target these as they are not going to be here for long. Look for them to roll first thing in the morning while it is calm. As they come up to gulp air, cast 4 - 5 feet in front of them. I have been successful casting a white, new penny or greengo 12 Fathom Fat Sam Mullet rigged on a weightless Edje Joe hook and retrieving a bit erratically like a fleeing shrimp.
For the kids, tie on a #2 J hook and put on a piece of shrimp on. In canals, cast under the mangroves where there is some structure and pull in all the mangrove snapper to their hearts content! They are pretty much everywhere around the Sebastian Inlet area. You might even get surprised with a nice sheepshead, trout or redfish. Some flats in the Sebastian Inlet area going south to Ft. Pierce are beginning to grow some grass. Look for those flats and you will find redfish and trout hanging around the sand holes and the edge of the grass beds.
Remember as the day heats up, long battles will kill the fish, so if you plan on targeting large fish, step up your tackle to shorten the battle. Leave them in the water as much as possible, wet your hands before handling, take that quick photo while holding them horizontally, and revive them completely before releasing.
Below is Joe and his wife, Mary. This is Joe hooked up on a nice trout! He used a Spook Jr. in bone. Joe has fallen in love with topwater after this adventure.
I was thrilled to be able to put Mary on her first two ever redfish!
Alan M. met me at a location that I love to fish this time of year. The photo below explains why. As we paddled along the flat to get to our destination, we cast at rolling tarpon, red and trout. When we go there, I saw the breeding bull redfish tailing happily, not knowing we were approaching. Alan cast his topwater past the school and brought it right over their heads. That 46 inch redfish took Alan on a Florida Sleigh ride! After taking pictures, it was my turn. I found the red fish school again and I was able to hook up on a bull measured at 43.
Nice snook and redfish from a scouting trip near Sebastian Inlet.
Scouting a new spot yielded me this nice 24 inch redfish using my Bull Bay Mini SenZi kayak rod. The bait was a 12 Fathom Buzz Tail t in root beer gold glitter smothered in Mullet flavored Pro-Cure. All the fish were spooky on the flat due to clear water. Once I found some dirty deeper water I had success in this location. This is my first photo using the Railblaza Camera Boom 600. What an awesome way to take your Grip ’N Grin photos!!
Please remember handle all fish gently and return them with as little stress as possible. They are the future of our fishery. Do not hang them from a gripper vertically so their stomachs want to drop. Keep your hands wet if you are handling trout. The slime on their bodies is there defense to diseases and please try not to put your hands up into their gills when you are trying to get that great camera shot. Gills like hearts are easily broken.
I can't stress the damage the Florida sun can do to your skin. Please cover up as much as possible! I found face shields work great and fingerless gloves give the utmost protection by covering your face and the tops of your hands can prevent cancer and using Sunsect Insect repellent + sunscreen to prevent burns in other exposed areas and keep the no-see-ums and mosquitos from biting.
Visit my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/reelkayakfishing to keep up to date on more fish pictures being caught in my area and give me a call when you are ready to "catch the thrill".
As always, thank you to my sponsors: Native Watercraft, Bull Bay Rods, Aqua Bound Paddles, Railblaza, Tactical Anglers, Red Zone Apparel, Edje Joe, 12 Fathom, Astral, Pro-Cure and SmithOptics.