Summer is officially here and now is the time to get on the water and enjoy what this area of Florida has to offer. The inshore fishing has been very productive and has something to offer all anglers. School is out and now is the time to get the kids on the end of a bent rod and let them experience our awesome Gulf waters.
There are a variety of species to target this time of year that will provide some great action. The skinny water bite has been good early in the day when it is cool. Anglers are getting some nice redfish and trout on a good moving high tide, but the bite slows as the day heats up.
The deeper flats have great action in 4-10 feet of water throughout the day. We have been getting quality trout, mackerel, sea bass, lady fish, sharks, and more in the deeper water. I prefer to drift these depths and slowly bounce a 3-inch Gulp or a Lil’ John jerk bait on a 1⁄4 ounce jig head across the grassy bottom. The key is to have a good drift (approximately 1-1.5 mph) and keep your jig on the bottom while slowly twitching your rod. I like to trim my motor out of the water so the boat will drift sideways and make long casts into the wind. Casting into the wind and working the jig as you “drag” it across those deeper flats makes for easy fishing that is very productive. This is a great tactic to use for all anglers.
We will soon be able to beat the heat by jumping into the shallow flats to go scalloping! A couple of weeks to go and July 1 will be here. Getting out on the water for scallops is a great day for the family and scallops make fantastic table fare. Get the boat, snorkel gear, dive flag, and cooler ready because the scalloping will start before you know it. I offer scallop charters out of Hernando Beach and the scallops are already here in good numbers. Give me a call to book a trip, which includes all snorkel gear, fishing license, cooler/ice, great scallop spots, instructions, and help cleaning them at the dock. We limited out quickly every trip last year and I expect another great scallop season out of Hernando Beach.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352)238-3581.