It is hot. Not the fishing so much, just the temperature. If you were to pick the best season for fishing the North Suncoast, late August would not be in the running. Extremely high afternoon water temperatures make most shallow-water fishing very slow. There are still a few viable options for the persistent angler. A few tarpon are hanging around beaches and sandbars. Find a clear spot with sandy bottom that is in the regular flow of the fish and you can still get shots at big fish. Expect to see occasional single fish or small strings of three or four at a time. This is a patience game and not for the easily bored. Sometimes you will only get a few casts at fish in an entire morning. The payoff, however, can be spectacular as full grown tarpon take to the air. Another viable gamefish target is big snook around the passes. For the last few hours of daylight, when there is a strong outgoing tide, huge snook will feed along deep channel edges. The fish sit on the bottom so use baits that dive, such as pinfish. Adding a small amount of weight is okay but not enough to stop it from drifting at the same speed as the tide. Normally the fish will be in a school, so once you hook one, you have an idea where there are gathered. Concentrate your casting up-current of that specific zone and let your bait drift by repeatedly.
Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at [email protected]