The summer heat is in full swing. Unfortunately, the afternoon storms have been more inland. We could use the rain over the water in the afternoon. That could help bring down the water temperature overnight. It is sitting around 88 degrees. With water that warm, you will be able to spend only the first few hours of the day on the flats. After that, you will need to follow the fish to deeper water, where it is cooler. The snook bite has been the best on the outgoing tide. Look for snook to be in deeper holes in the passes and beaches. Scaled sardines are the bait of choice and can found throughout the bay. Redfish have been a little harder to target. The fish that are being caught are mixed in with the snook. Surprisingly, big speckled trout are being caught in 6 feet of water on the outgoing tide. We caught quite a few 26-inch fish this past week. Freeline a scaled sardine and in no time you could have your limit. Mangrove snapper can save a day when it's too hot on the flats. The shipping channels and bridges are holding nice fish. Scaled sardines fished with a knocker rig will do the job. Just use enough weight to get them to the bottom.
Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit tampacharters.com.