Weather is the dominating factor determining whether anglers have been successful during the past week. Sea conditions have not been all that pleasant for those wishing to fish off the beach. Inshore, the anglers are having to battle heat, although not quite as much as past weeks, but more notably another round of scattered storms, which no one wants to be caught in while on the water. Adding to the mix, inshore water temperatures are reading in the mid 80s and higher, and are definitely having an impact on the fishing, although not quite as bad as some might think. Once again, adapting to the conditions will be the anglers’ best bet.
Offshore, infrequent reports came in during the past week of king mackerel found in the 10-mile range. The boats fishing for them were few and far between. Spanish mackerel were being found along the beach in water depths of around 50 feet but the boats that found them had to work hard for them. Further off the beach, a few boats made it toward the Gulf Stream and reported action from wahoo and dolphin, but conditions were not all that favorable and most called it a day in relatively short order.
The upcoming weekend isn’t looking all that great for an offshore excursion. It might just be a fine time to reorganize those tackle boxes so when the environment improves, you’re ready to head out at a moment’s notice.
Inshore fishing is no piece of cake this time of year and with the heat and high water temperatures, adapting to the conditions will assist your success. As always, fishing early and late in the day is the best option to target a variety of species. A lot of fish are impacted by the heat just as you are, while others couldn’t care less about what is happening above the water level. If fishing for flounder, the deeper creeks, creek mouths and docks are always a good bet, but when water temperatures are cooler in the morning and late afternoon, adjust your fishing area to the shallower locations along the banks and you’ll find the fish there, too. This is especially true when the morning or afternoon coincides with high water falling, as the flounder will lie up in the shallows waiting for the baitfish to come out of the grass. The same holds true for red drum, especially around the creeks. Live bait is extremely plentiful right now and finger mullet are a hardy, hard-to-beat bait when fishing in warm water — not to mention both the flounder and red drum love them. Recent reports indicate there is no shortage of flounder or drum in the area waters, and most fish are falling within their respective limits.
Surf fishing is also fairly good, with reports of some decent-sized mullet, black drum and a few small spots being caught on fresh cut shrimp. If you get a little fancy and use minnows on a Carolina Rig, there’s the possibility of a flounder or two along with a chance at some red drum.