What's hot: With stifling heat and afternoon thunderstorms occurring almost daily, those early risers among us have had some angling success in the first part of the day. Waking before the roosters is not only more comfortable, but it's usually more successful. Recent morning high tides have made for some quality fishing and also enabled anglers to be back in port before lunchtime.
Tip: Heat and sun abatement are an issue this time of year. Large, big-brimmed hats are a great method of solar protection. Loose cotton clothing and a good pair of sunglasses are also very useful. Taking the sun seriously will not only help keep you cool, but it also might even save your life. By the way, crank-up style outdoor umbrellas in a rod holder can create a highly coveted shade area, in lieu of a proper T-top.
What's hot: Fishing has been a bit tough lately, though those dealing with the dog days of summer have been catching mangrove snapper in good numbers. Snapper are really quick and especially delicious. Serious mangrove snapper anglers bring extra bait and patience; these fish are notorious bait stealers. Regular shrimp and small baitfish will usually trigger strikes from the sneaky rascals that would be comfortable in a Jacuzzi. The strikes from a summer mangrove snapper are often subtle. Therefore, anglers seeking the snapper supper need to be on their "A" game and have a quick reaction time.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa and can be reached at [email protected], snookfish.com or (813) 310-6531.