What's hot: Late summer flats fishing can be tough on steamy afternoons when the water temperature climbs above 87 degrees. But there are several options to keep the inshore rods bent. The simplest plan is to fish early and late, when the sun is less direct and not heating the dark bottom of the grass flats as much. Head out before daybreak. By 11 a.m. you likely will notice a sharp decline in the action. Shallow-water fish will begin to liven up again at about 5 or 6 p.m.
Tips: If you are on the water at midday, head to the deepest part and fish toward the bottom. Canals and channels can produce good action on snook and redfish when the shallows go quiet. The deeper the water, the better your chances. Target canals with a sand or a hard rock bottom. Many deep residential canals have a sludgy muck bottom that has few shrimp, crabs or baitfish for game fish to eat.
Another option: Many rivers and creeks have small tarpon all summer. Though morning is the best to fish them, tarpon can be caught even when it's really hot.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at (727) 944-3474.