So far, so good in the month of August.
Southwest Florida anglers have faired well despite the fact that the number of reports of catches are always fewer during August than previous months.
Capt. Bill Walsh echoed my thoughts during an interview on Anglers Outlook TV show. We are having to move around a little more than we have had to these past months. And we’ve tried to fish the early morning hours. If we can catch a high incoming during the time frame all the better.
We both agreed the water temperature is about as warm as it will get. The warm water can force the bait and larger fish to go deeper during the midday hours.
It is a good bet that if you keep your eye on your fish finder while trolling deep running lures, spoons and heavy jigs, you will find the bait with Spanish mackerel, bonito, bluerunner, jack and ladyfish working them.
Walsh is also finding some pompano and trout at the passes and near the shoreline to take up the slack.
Nearshore fish havens and wrecks are great locations to find the deep running bait. Where there is bait, there should be fish.
Walsh has been a regular phone guest and co-host on the Anglers Outlook TV show for many years and is well known for his working with junior anglers and families. He runs Dawn Patrol out of Marco River Marina. You may call him at (239) 394-0608.
Offshore, anglers fishing the wrecks and towers in deeper water will continue to harvest mangrove, lane and yellowtail snapper, gag and black grouper intermingled with a few keeper-size red grouper using cut squid, cigar minnows and mullet.
Using live bait will increase your catch ratio of keeper-size fish and numbers. There should be some cobia, barracuda and amberjack lurking near the surface — same locations, same bait.
Capt. Chris Keagle writes that when he is not fishing the backwaters, he runs Capt. Roger Percelles’ charter boat, Miss Louise. His dad, Frank Moll of Lakeland, and his family were aboard the other day. They caught some Spanish mackerel, snapper, a lemon shark and a large giant goliath grouper, which was released.
Some snook, redfish and small tarpon should continue to run our beaches, passes and flats for the rest of August. They will be looking for finger mullet, minnows and crabs. Their peak activity will also be early morning or late in the afternoon.
Walking the shoreline using surface lures, tipped jigs or live bait during these times will work best. Of course, ladyfish, jack, bluerunner, snapper and some pompano will be there.
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Wright Taylor reports the August Coastal Conservation Association fishing tournament spawned 16 boats in spite of a brisk winds of 15 miles per hour. This was a catch and release tournament held out of Calusa Yacht Club & Marina.
Redfish remained the target fish and also the mystery fish of the day. They signed up four new adult memberships and three new tide members. While most everyone caught some fish, six teams had two redfish to weigh in.
Andrew Bostick and his son, Kyle, weighed in 9.57 pounds of reds for first place. The team of Mike Friday, Mat McLean and Kevin Cardillo took second with 9.20 pounds. Chris Turner and Tom Simmons weighed in 7.02 pounds for third and Bill Pfaff and Allen Randolph had 6.70 pounds of reds for fourth.
The mystery fish, tipping the scales at 6.16 pounds, was weighed in by Matt McLean and was also the largest redfish caught that day.
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The CCA holds a fishing tournament every month. You may call Wright Taylor at (239) 821-9203 or Terry Metzger at (239) 597-4973 for more information.
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Another report from Goodland angler Alf Fischer about the huge 48½-pound snook he caught several months ago while fishing in Panama, Central America, with Capt. Tony Herdon. Fischer had entered it in the Fly Division of International Game Fish Association and knew going in, it might be turned down due to the pound test of the leader he was using.
He has heard from IGFA and it was turned down, as it did exceed the 20-pound test limit maximum.
Have a great week!
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Red Stier is a weekly contributor to the Marco Eagle. He also produces and hosts the Angler’s Outlook TV show at 7 a.m. Saturday. It is replayed at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Questions or comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 172 Trinidad St., Naples, Fla., 34113.