As you can imagine the dog days of summer are here upon us. However, the good new is that all the kids are back in school and with the recent rains we have been getting from day to day both the water and air temps are finally starting to drop making for more comfortable fishing conditions. This added drop in water temperature has also triggered massive feeding frenzies from Redfish, Macks, Jacks, Bluefish, and Bonita. As usual these species tend to make up the majority of action here along the Nature Coast during this time of year, but there are still plenty of truly exotic experiences to mix up the action.
As exciting as sight fishing for Redfish can be, a truly unique experience for our area is sight fishing for Tripletail. Tripletail are a prehistoric looking fish which resembles most of the floating grass or debris found floating along the Nature Coast this time of year. While this species is often overlooked (or not found) myself and my clients have been having a blast running from weedline to weedline in search of these perfectly camouflaged fighters. The trick when searching for Tripletail is to always make sure you are not running over more weeds than you’re looking at. My Sundance Skiff is perfect for this style of fishing and with the added flats tower we can spot these fish from a good distance away. When spotted as long as they are not spooked all it takes is placing a piece of shrimp, cut bait, lure, or fly on their nose and it’s game on. Their acrobatic jumps and great table fare make these species one of the more exciting fish to target during these dog days.
Another real bonus as of late is major influx of Flounder to many of the sand bars and oyster bars scattered throughout the Nature Coast. Historically August and September are two of the better months to target Flounder in shallow water, but with the recent influx of bait pods up and down the coast more and more flounder are showing up along the Crystal River areas. Fishing for Flounder is as simple as dragging a shrimp behind the boat and bumping the bottom ever so often. However, I like to work jigs tipped with shrimp because this give my clients more opportunities to catch other exotics including Permit, Pompano, Jacks, Trout, and even a Tarpon from time to time. Although most of the Flounder caught are well under 20” as far as an eating fish is concerned Flounder has to be way up on the list.
GROUPER SEASON OPENS SEPTEMBER 1ST
If any of you are like me then I am sure you’re really looking forward to the opening of Grouper season. From the looks of things the closed season has helped this fishery quite a bit over the last few months and it’s nothing to hit a few rocks within a day and see the benefits the closed season has had on the fishery. Although most of the local rocks are now inundated with Snapper, SeaBass, and Mackerel there are still plenty of Grouper that are more than willing to wake you up out of your summer slumber and give you a tug on the end of your line that you will not soon forget. Even better targeting Grouper on Fly is a great way to get you in shape for the upcoming run of Bonita which will occur from the end of this month into November.
SCALLOP SEASON IS STILL IN FULL SWING. GREAT CATCHES OF SCALLOPS ARE OCCURNG EVERYDAY SO IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD YOUR FILL YET GET ON BOARD ONE OF MY VIP SCALLOP TRIPS.