Hook, line and sinker

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The fishing for the middle of June appears to be right on track and exactly where it needs to be. Anglers inshore and offshore are enjoying some decent excitement in their travels and while catching is never a guaranteed thing, it appears that most fishermen are finding exactly what they are looking for when heading out. Water temperatures are in the upper 70s and continue to rise, with the daily air temperatures remaining on the hot side. Fishing should only continue to get better before the summer doldrums arrive and calm things down a bit, but until then get out and enjoy.

Offshore, the blue water action continues to creep toward the mainland, as dolphin are now being reported in good numbers more than 20 miles out. The larger fish are being caught on the other side of 30 miles, but fish in the 10-20 pound range are migrating in. It should only be a week or two before some fish are being reported in the 10-12 mile range. Some wahoo and good numbers of billfish are being found in the Gulf Stream waters, and as conditions continue to warm, some sailfish and one or two wahoo will be found within 20 miles of land.

Near shore, the Spanish mackerel fishing has been good, with lots of fish coming from anglers trolling spoons in depths around 40 feet, one mile or less from shore. Some larger fish are being caught on live baits being trolled for king mackerel as well. Live baits are enticing some cobia in the 40-50 pound range close to the beach.

Inshore, the flounder action is picking up, with anglers finding plenty of keeper fish around the inlets and in the creeks. With live minnows becoming more abundant, this is the bait of choice for many; although artificial baits are also catching their fair share of fish. Red drum are being found in the same areas and will readily devour the same baits intended for flounder.

Black drum and sheepshead are also starting to appear in good numbers around the docks, and can be enticed with fresh sand fiddlers fished around the docks. If keeping black drum, there are some new regulations that anglers need to be aware of: Only 10 fish between 14-25 inches may be kept, with only one of those permitted to exceed 25 inches.

On another note, those lucky enough to find and catch some summertime speckled trout will be happy to hear they are now able to put legal fish in the cooler. As of June 15, anglers can keep four fish per person with a minimum size limit of 14 inches. Most of the specks are in waters to our north and south, but are occasionally reported in our area waters.

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