The weather is in a true summer pattern. It has been cooler and calm in the morning followed by thunderstorms by late afternoon. It is important to plan your trip on the water according to these conditions to prevent getting caught in a potentially dangerous storm.
The deeper flats off Hernando Beach continue to be very productive in 7-10 feet of water. The best bite has been early, but we are still catching good numbers of trout, sea bass, blue fish, ladyfish, grouper, and sharks in these depths in the heat of the day. Drift fishing grassy bottom allows you to cover ground and keep the bite going. A white gulp or Lil John on a 1/4 ounce jig continues to be my preferred tactic, but be ready to move to a 3/8 ounce jig to keep your bait on the bottom if your dealing with a fast drift.
Summer time can be challenging at times when targeting fish. Some days they are on the move and feeding, and others they just will not cooperate. Try to target your trips early or late in the day when conditions are cooler and target the deeper flats in the heat of the day.
The scalloping out of Hernando Beach continues to be very productive as long as you are willing to head a little north. If you are not sure how far to go, just look for the fleet of boats with their dive flags up. Target 5-8 feet of water on a low tide. The better numbers are in a little deeper water, so a low tide makes it much easier to harvest your limit of these tasty bi-valves.
Good luck out there and tight lines!
Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Reach him at www.bulldogfishin.com or (352)238-3581.