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Jul 1, 2017 Fishing Report Fishing Report Archives

Courtesy of

Coastal Angler Magazine

OFF SHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. Scott Fawcett

Summer is in full swing and it’s not just the fireworks we have to look forward to this month, July offers calm seas and great fishing opportunities. We may not see sailfish and big dolphin in huge numbers in July, but they are here and it is a great month to catch not only them, but quality fish of all sorts. We have an upper station aboard the boat, so sight casting tarpon, permit, snook, jack and cobia along the beaches, is one of my favorite things to do this time a year if the water is clear. A pair of Costa Del Mar 580s and the sun at your back, should have you pitching to fish somewhere between the inlet and the power plant to the north, or Blowing Rocks to the south. Offshore expect a steady kingfish bite along any of the shallow water reefs, as well as good possibilities at catching cobia, snapper and grouper along the bottom. The mutton snapper bite is still very good in July, so it’s definitely worth continuing to target them. Out deeper, you can still expect some scattered sails and dolphin throughout the month and even a good chance of catching some blackfin tuna, or even a wahoo as well. Depth of water varies more this time of year than usual, so anywhere between 75 and 750 feet is a possibility. All the same things still hold true though, look for a color changes, weed lines and pieces of float holding bait.  It’s also not a bad idea to have some chunks of bait cut up, as the possibility of encountering schools of small mahi are good. Last, but not least, the swordfish bite continues south of South Florida throughout July. Whether it’s hand cranking or using an electric reel, these fish can definitely put all anglers and crew to the test. 

INSHORE/NEARSHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. John Young

This month will be hot, so get out early before the heat shuts down the bite. The snook bite has been good at the inlet and bridges.  Live bait at the inlet and on the beach for snook with circle hooks is the preferred method but swim baits or jigs will work at the spillways if the gates are open due to rain. Fast sink and let the lure sweep across the bottom is the way to work the jig at the spillways. Tarpon fishing will be more predictable this month with fish on the beach and in the Crossroads. Patience and live bait is the trick to hooking up. The upper hand on touching the leader and calling it a catch is more favorable for the tarpon as you will hook and jump more than you catch. Be at your spot before the sun comes up for trout on the flats, throw topwater plugs for hook ups. Most of the big trout will be in shallow water at first light so stay focused on the shallows and move out to deeper water as the sun starts rising. Good color is Chrome Spooks this time of year. We have been catching some reds on the beach with live bait and the Indian River near Middle Cove has been productive. Live shrimp on a popping cork has been a good bait along with motor oil colored jigs. For some rod bending action, the bridges are loaded with Goliath grouper and will test your tackle and muscle. Most any live bait will work as these fish are aggressive and always hungry. Keep the water ways clean and wear your Costas.

FROM THE SHORE FISHING

FORECAST BY: Chris Sharp

July is about catch and release snook. Snook season is closed until September and these fish are spawning off our beaches and in the inlets. I use heavy tackle and only circle hooks on my lures to get these fish off really quick. I also use number 6 circle hooks on my LIVETARGET swim baits and Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow. I use 50-pound braid and an 8-foot spinning rod to get them to shore and release them quick. These fish like to fish at first light on the beach and also at dark. Snook will be right at your feet so you don’t have to cast really far, merely a few feet in front of you. Look for an incoming tide and some waves—two to three feet is good. Flat days aren’t so good; you need that milky color water. Best beaches for snook are Bathtub Beach, Walton Rocks, Hobe Sound and Sebastian Inlet.

Tarpon are here and they can be tricky to catch off the beach. If you put in your time you can land one. Before sunrise is a great time to get one to bite. Night time is the best time. Live bait pilchards are tarpon candy. LIVETARGET Lures makes a great looking swim bait that looks like one. add a number 6 circle hook to the bottom of the lure. Walton Rocks north holds a lot of bait so look for some flipping bait in the surf right before sunrise and look for rolling fish. Night time, go to the inlets on an outgoing tide and throw right into the current and bring it back slow. Two days before the full moon is great, as well as a week after.

Redfish can be caught on the flats on live shrimp or any soft rubber bait that looks like a shrimp or mullet. Fish the docks around the power lines in Fort Pierce and walk to each dock slow and pitch your baits close to the dock. Redfish like holes. You will get snook, redfish, trout, flounder and more by just taking your time fishing the docks slow. Incoming tide is the best time.

DEEP SEA FISHING

FORECAST BY: Capt. Rocky Carbia

The anglers of July will wake up early with their game faces on, to take on their “scaley opponents” upon the salty summer playing field of the near coastal waters, offshore of Martin County.  The ocean’s all-star roster of fish adversaries will include bottom species like snapper, grouper and amberjack, along with summertime surface pelagics like mahi, king mackerel, and sailfish, just to name a few. Cobia will also be found throughout the water column this month and are likely to be seen swimming along with large sharks, rays and turtles near the surface. Live baits, as well as four-ounce. green/chartreuse lead head jigs will work best for sight casting to a “trailing” cobia.  Early morning or crack of dawn starts to one’s fishing day will be essential during the hot days of July, as Florida’s rain soaked tropical season and daytime heating will spawn the potential for dangerous afternoon thunderstorms which frequently pack killer lightning and high velocity down draft winds, that can turn a calm ocean into a frightening maelstrom of large, steep waves in a matter of minutes. Knowing this, fishing crews will keep a wary eye to the sky and monitor available radar loops to best make strategy decisions in relation to approaching summertime storms.

With safe fishing strategies in place, anglers will be able to enjoy the versatile fish games of July and attempt to come out on top of their fish rivals.

 
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