While it may be considered to be the dog days of summer right now, there is still plenty of fishing opportunity to help you shake the dog-day-blues. A wide open bite around the jetties and grillage area on Bull Reds is going on and typically will last well into September. Use live menhaden, cut mullet, or a broken blue crab as “no fail” baits for big reds and some sharks…with a little bit of luck you are likely to also hook into the elusive tarpon in the same areas! Sheepshead have also been producing some strong reports anywhere from the jetties to bridge pilings in 8-20ft of water using live fiddler crabs or live shrimp. For the early risers, be sure you have an arsenal of top water baits for that daybreak topwater trout. Baits such as a Super Spook jr or an IMA Skimmer have always been a couple of my favorites to “walk the dog” at daybreak for a few quality trout.
Last week the JIYC held their annual King Mackerel tournament, and what a tournament it ended up being with a king over 53lbs taking the top prize! After the whopping 53 pounder, numerous 30-33 pound fish were weighed in during our first real big king tournament of the season. The common theme was the fish were a little “deep” and most caught in 70-90ft of water. Other than kings, the bottom fishing in 80-140ft has been excellent for some huge vermillion snapper, triggers, sea bass, and few good grouper. Cut squid and cigar minnows are always a go to for offshore bottom bouncing, however do not make the voyage offshore to bottom fish without some Savage Gear Squish jigs! Trolling from 140-400ft of water is still producing a few nice wahoo scattered about, as well as a strong sailfish bite starting to take off.