Fishing Report AUGUST 2018
Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sea Hag AUGUST Report
The more time you spend on the water, the more you learn one of most important tips for better fishing: be flexible. That’s certainly been true this month. The heavy summer rains have resulted in dark water covering the flats from the Pepperfish Keys to Keaton Beach. The usual place to find scallops and trout in the Steinhatchee area is on the flats in 3 feet of water; that pretty much stopped working midway through the month. But that didn’t mean that both weren’t available. In fact, trout fishing was getting better by the day…. it’s just a different way of fishing than popping corks on shallow flats. See the forecast for some hints about what to do next month. Finding scallops was also possible, but it required exploration for clear enough water to find them. Some of our guides were getting limits and near-limits near the end of the month in spite of tough conditions. Offshore the fishing was very good for those that got out through the summer storms, including some of the largest gag grouper I’ve seen in years. Here are some pictures from this month’s catches.
August Fishing Forecast
Looking forward to some cooler temperatures this month and the fishing should improve dramatically by the end of the month. Both trout and scallops are now in deeper and clearer water, which means from five to ten feet. If you’re scalloping (and it’s fun even if you don’t get your limits) move around and keep deep. For trout, this month put away the popping corks; you’ll have to fish deeper. The standard deeper water rig is a quarter- or half-ounce jig (depending on current) fished over deep grass. The grass is important; there is plenty of plain sand bottom, and while you might catch a flounder or two, you won’t find trout there. In addition to spotted seatrout you also stand a great chance of finding lots of sand trout, which share these areas. There is no limit on sand trout; many of us consider them better eating than their spotted cousins, and personally I think they fight harder. As you drift, cast ahead of the boat, let the jig sink to the bottom and retrieve with slow jerks. If you start catching fish, set a GPS point so you can redo your drift over that area. These schools of fish are not stationary; they move around, so if you’re not successful, you should keep moving too. Try different depths and locations. Deeper areas around Little Bank, 9 Mile Bank, and the area about a half mile directly west of the Bird Rack are all areas to try, but any area in that depth with the right bottom can be successful. Redfish are present in stained water near shore, but are pretty lethargic; that will improve with lower temperatures. Fish around the usual places: oyster bars, rocky areas, and be patient. If you can stand the hardheads and stingrays, cut bait works well in this darkly stained water. Offshore, amberjack and gag (and red) grouper are in season. Tournaments this month include the fundraiser for the Santa Fe Lady Raiders Inshore Slam tournament on the 8th, and another Florida Pro Redfish Series tournament on the 22nd (there is an amateur division).
There’s reat fishing ahead….so make plans now.