Late July heat. I think the best news is that the days are getting shorter. Though a lot of hot days are still ahead, more consistent fishing has to be arriving shortly. Schools of juvenile baitfish have grown considerably in the last week. Larger baitfish are attracting larger predators. Mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladyfish-all have been coming in to “dine and dash” through these bait schools that are sometimes several acres in size.
The fish are there: Will they eat? The answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. Reports will actually get better. The amount of baitfish will keep the opportunities sustained. But things will be a bit of a battle until the easier fishing of Fall, when water temperatures level out again. Stay in areas with deeper grass and sand with substantial current. Lures and baits kept down near the bottom will get eaten and with the heat of August, the slower you move it, the better your results.
Hot, hot, hot. This describes the weather more than it describes the fishing. Action is still decent but slowed a great deal compared to what it was all of June and the first half of July. Nevertheless, many trips were taken in the last ten days, concentrating on early morning or sundown trips. Go at these low light times when the water movement is projected to be good and you stand a good chance of getting in on some great fishing right now.
With more moderate feeding activity, patience has been rewarded with larger fish the past few weeks. It’s taken more time between strikes but the fish being caught have been impressive. More and more, the massive weed kills of this time of year have deposited further up shorelines and it has become a little easier to fish the waters without having lures immediately fouled up with weeds.
Dodging both morning and evening thunderstorms, I managed to fit in a lot of trips.
Evening trips varied from amazing to “hard work.” Some days were very slow, other days saw rapid action for a limited period of time. Good days or bad days, I really enjoyed seeing how much everyone enjoyed their experience on the water! Good tides are ahead. Keep an eye to the sky for storms and be careful out there!
Trout, better at night than other time periods, locations with strong current and baitfish schools have steady action the first couple hours after sunrise. The topwater bite has been pretty good. The floating grass has been fairly decent to work around. It is not the ideal time for targeting trout but they are here and they are more cooperative than most species. I still think the best time to find big trout eating is the middle of the night.
Black drum are still available on the bridge pilings of Tampa Bay. They are residents and they are large. We have caught 60 pound fish almost daily on the bridge trips. Pompano action is getting better. Although we are catching a few, last year it was July and August when we were catching pompano easily. The rig: The yellow Silly Willy with a pink teaser (with a small bit of white flash). Pompano are the best eating fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy them!
Flounder are back again. They shifted to offshore locations to end June but followed the baitfish schools back in. Flounder action should remain strong through December. Lures hovered just above the bottom on sandy patches 4 feet deep or more will locate flatties.
Action trips: Mackerel, ladyfish, jacks, snapper and speckled trout will be located around the baitfish schools in the deeper waters. Hovering birds tip off the location of feeding fish. Areas in upper Tampa Bay are flat our “easy” for ladyfish. They are in huge numbers and they are pretty big.
August 21: The Kayak Fishing Academy! A three and a half hour crash course in fishing Tampa Bay. $30 gets you a bag of tackle, lunch and the whole picture on how to fish Tampa Bay.
Kayak Fishing Skool for August 25: Bill Jackson Shop For Adventure, Pinellas Park 6:30-7:45 PM -“ Pompano, flounder and black drum”. These seminars are on the fourth Thursday of every month at my sponsor store and with my format of “what the fishing has been”, “what the fishing will be” plus the information on the topic. Skool is in its ninth year at the store and will continue in 2017.
Enjoy Capmel.com Radio, also known as Outdoor Fishing Adventures and Tampa Fishing Outfitters Radio Show is doing very well. I am hearing a lot of feedback from people who are listening to the show and enjoying it. As co-host, I am in the studio nearly every week and we have a great setup with topics and guests. Listen in on 1040 Sports Talk “The Team” 8 to 9AM on Sundays, live on the web or enjoy listening to the Podcasts at your leisure.
As always: Be careful out there!
Owner and guide: www.strikethreekayakfishing.com
(Cell) 727-692-6345 LivelyBaits@aol.com
Owner and site administrator: www.capmel.com
Co-host: “Capmel.com Radio”, 8 to 9AM Sundays on 1040 “The Team” Radio