August is a great month to look for big shook swimming along the beaches, holding around structure in and along Redfish, Captive and Coca Grande Passes. Use sufficient tackle (medium heavy) rods 3500-4000 series reels to prevent prolonging a fight in this hot summer month producing 90 plus degree water temperatures, which may injure or kill the fish.
Compared to June, the red- fishing improved in July in the back areas of Pine Island Sound, Malacca Pass, as well as Bull and Turtle Bays on the northwest utmost end of Charlotte Harbor. August is the month that the ‘Bull’ redfish begin to come into the shallows, offering anglers great fun.
The good news is that thousands of fingerlings were recently introduced to our waters to help replenish their population after a devastating Red Tide and Algae Bloom of last year. Lady fish, Jack Crevasse, Spanish mackerel and a few pompanos are around and considered by-catches while fishing grass flats and passes.
Avid SWL anglers should keep in mind that we are strategically located with quick and easy accessibility to other areas on the east coast, such as Jensen Beach, Stuart, Miami Bay and the Keys. More adventurous anglers may choose to navigate the Caloosahatchee via Lake Okeechobee and out the St. Lucie lock, through the Everglades or around the horn.
I stay in touch and ‘in tune’ with current Florida fishing shows, guides and print publications to plan our travel dates. We are looking forward to a trip over to the east coast soon for reef, tuna, dolphin and sailfish aboard Fish Face II, our Pathfinder HPS Bay Boat.
I am also available as ‘Captain for Hire’ on your vessel (by the hour) for safety, navigational training, fishing techniques and locations here in SW Florida waters. An exciting place to explore for anglers, here you’ll find a colorful variety of fish in the area, including bone fish, tarpon, and shook.
Sitting south of Cedar Key is Seahorse Reef, a popular area for experienced Gulf Shore fishermen. Covered with long and lush seagrass, Cedar Creek is considered one of the best launching points in the Big Bend area.
Boasting an abundance of guides and ship captains for hire and a variety of other land and water-based attractions, Key West is an ideal destination to visit with the entire family. A large fountain with a jumping sailfish sits in its town square, marking the centerpiece of the area’s 15 marinas ready to take out fishing and charter boat fleets.
The fishing potential of this coastal village is abundant, as its untouched natural beauty is appealing to those looking for a peaceful on the water. Spring is the most popular season for catching underwater treasures, as the seagrass grows wild in these months making it an ideal time to spot Redfish, speckled trout, and sleepyhead.
With over 140 vessels that cater to anglers, you have the chance to catch grouper, amber jack, snapper, mackerel, sailfish, Yahoo, tuna and even a blue marlin in this emerald Gulf of Mexico waters. Those looking for a more leisurely experience can cast a line off the pier, as this city pairs laid-back vibes with crystal clear beach areas.
It’s also a great place to go fly and kayak fishing, and if you’re with the kids, you might want to check out the chance to hand-feed tarpon at nearby Robbie’s Marina only a few miles from the park. Fly and spin angling might win you saltwater game fish, while reef fishing is ideal for reeling in snapper and grouper.
With both resorts and campsites peppered around the lake, visitors can stay overnight, as the area has plenty of guides and charters to direct you to the best spots. Here you’ll discover a city listed on the National Register of Historic Places and old fish houses that date back to the original families, where both shrimp and grouper are sold to local restaurants.
For those who rather go stargazing and appreciate the outdoors, head to Anastasia State Park to find 139 full-facility campsites that sit alongside the Atlantic Ocean. Less touristy than its South Florida counterparts, here visitors will find an underrated gem with crystal clear waters stemming from the Gulf of Mexico.
The area is famous for spotting an array of colorful redfish, flounder, tarpon and sea trout, and if you venture further offshore, it’s not uncommon to see fishermen reeling in king mackerel, blue marlin, tuna, and cobra. Located on the southwest coast of Florida facing the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota even has a handful of hotels that provide guides for hire.
Catching shook, redfish, trout, grouper and Dorado is common, while the area’s offshore activities, from its vibrant arts scene to the stunning Siesta Key beach, are sure to keep the entire family entertained. Often referred to as “The Fishing Capital of the World,” here you will discover an abundance of freshwater and saltwater hotspots to keep your vacation itinerary full, from the emerald waters in the Panhandle all the way down to the Florida Keys.
Pick a target species to have the proper surf fishing gear required for the task at hand. Typically, during this time of the year, we at Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters will run a multi-rod setup to acquire the smattering of species available.
Shook fishing on the beach from the Sebastian Inlet north to Patrick Air Force Base has been red-hot. Mullet and craters, which can be caught in the surf and hooked onto a live bait rig, have been the ticket to success.
With Brevard’s extremely calm summer surf conditions in August, a variety of rods can be easily maintained due to the lack of wind and current. Cast live bait rigs into the deepest part nearest to the shoreline, referred to as the trough.
These giants nook are out of season currently, so make sure to have a healthy landing and clean release. Also, be careful of the gill plate on the side of the head, which can act as a serrated blade causing deep lacerations if improperly handled.
Prepare surf fishing equipment at home prior to the planned day so everything will be in order for success. Anglers catch hundreds of brawny, beautiful and delicious species in teeming estuaries, off gorgeous beaches and in the deep blue oceans surrounding the Florida peninsula.
So close that you giggle as a pod of dolphins plays in your bow wave in the Indian River Lagoon, near Stuart, Sebastian or Titusville. Or, catch bass species that thrive only in North Florida rivers such as the magnificent Suwanee, where class III rapids add serious excitement to a fishing trip on the river between White Springs and the Town of Suwanee, where the river passes through the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge, pouring out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether it’s a red snapper caught off Destiny, speckled trout from Tampa Bay, or a mess of crappie from Tallahassee ’s Lake Alcuin, there’s not much more satisfying or delicious than eating fish you caught yourself. Most places you can find a restaurant that will cook your catch to order.
Florida ’s the place to fire up a young angler’s inner fishing fanatic. Spring break or summer vacation are both great times for feisty, delicious easy-to-catch fish.
The biggest sea trout on record came from Fort Pierce. Like Christmas morning to some anglers, the chance to take home a shook for dinner still draws the crowds.
Be ready for those exciting trips to the beach or lagoon when all heck is breaking loose on Mother Nature's moveable feast. The northern lagoon has been the best place to find big redfish feeding near the oyster bars.
Black drum have been in the channels and cuts taking natural baits like crabs. Trout fishing is better in 2-4 feet of water on the flats wherever grass can be found.
Go time for shook is 12:01 a.m. Tuesday so be ready to fish in a crowd at the state park's north jetty. Most anglers will be using craters, pinkish, Morris, mullet or sand perch as shrimp, especially selects, have been non-existent the last couple of weeks.
Redfish, flounder, sleepyhead and snapper are also being caught along the rocks and around the catwalk of the A1A bridge. The juvenile tarpon are in the creeks and canals leading into the lagoon as well as behind waterfront homes with seawalls.
Anglers are finding good bass fishing, most of them have been in deeper water since it has been hot. The surf is barely there, just a gentle washing of the sand, enough to turn up the sand fleas that the sander lings race to capture, always an inch ahead of the foam.
Crabs track sideways, their feet making crosshatched trails to their holes. And down the trough, between the sand and the bar, comes a silver-gray shadow longer than a man’s leg.
It is a “beach bomber,” a giants nook, in water barely deep enough to float its bulk. Flip a plastic shrimp down the beach, to the place where water meets land, and wait until the fish swims close enough to see it.
If you’re lucky, in 10 minutes or so, you’ll wade out, cradle the big old gal in your arms for a few minutes, maybe ask a beach hiker to snap a photo of your pocket camera, and then let her swim off while you head back to the sand to do it again. One of the places the big fish show up most consistently is along the beaches within a mile or so on either side of the spawning passes.
And the east coast gets lots of bonus fish during the annual mullet migrations, as well, typically in October and in April. For those concerned about impacting spawning fish, remember that most of the beach bombers have already done their thing inside the passes at least once, usually on the new or full moon, before they begin making feeding excursions along the beaches.
John Roil and son Chris of Tampa have become expert at finding big fish along the beaches. Their preferred tactic is to swim a large sardine or thread fin in front of the giants.
Captain John Griffith of Tampa is also a fan of chasing shorelines nook. The Best gear is probably the same spinning tackle you’d use for all-around applications on the flats; a 6- to 7-foot medium-action rod, 2500 size or slightly larger reel, and microfiber line testing 15 pounds.
A leader is a must for big shook; 30-pound fluorocarbon is the best bet because it’s both less visible than mono, and also harder. If the water is extremely clear and calm, a 20-pound leader may be necessary to get bit, but you can expect a huge fish to cut this off.
If the water is a little oily, they will also occasionally wallop top waters like the venerable Spook, Spitting’ Image, She Dog and others. Eight-weight gear with plenty of backing on the reel will do the job nicely, and the typical inshore flies including Closer and Deceivers in lighter colors are a good bet.
On extreme low water, some fish likely will be outside the first bar, but otherwise they’re usually inside the trough. Because prowling fish swim down the trough for considerable distances, it’s often possible to make several presentations to those that don’t take the first time.
Simply get back up on the sand a few yards, so they won’t see you, run ahead of them, and let them swim into range again. Small stingrays are a common part of the fauna along the beach, and these little guys often take on the color of the sand, or cover themselves lightly with it, so you have to watch your step anytime you go in the water.
Pick a calm day and you can park your boat just off the sand, hop out and start walking. The usual precautions for anchoring off an exposed beach are always wise, of course, no matter how flat the surf; run a long line off the bow to your heaviest anchor placed well offshore, and another from the stern cleat to the beach.
Anecdote Key, pretty much the whole length of it, holds big fish in May and June. Honeymoon Island, within a quarter mile of both the north and south ends.
On the north end, (a long walk) the inside beach facing St. Joseph Sound sometimes holds large fish, as well. Walk the surf at south end, or access the remote northern beaches by boat out of St. Lucie Inlet.
Blowing Rocks Preserve (and pretty much any of the rocky stretches on Jupiter and Singer Islands) 8. Between the Dania Pier and Port Everglades is a nice stretch of public beach with goods nook action for Broward County anglers.
Catching spawner sized fish during the closed season remains a bit controversial for some anglers, but biologists report that most shook are caught and released, without injury, many times during their life span, so it’s likely a bit of exercise won’t cause any harm. They also hook up very well, so long as you simply reel them into the fish rather than using a hard rod set.
If you do a “grip and grin” shot, make sure to support the fish at the base of the tail as well as at the jaw. Hold them up horizontally rather than vertically, and don’t put a lot of pressure on the jaw.