JULY 2019 Fishing Report and AUGUST Forecast
Sea Hag JULY Report
The water has cleared a bit later on in the month, and there are scallop limits coming in to the Sea Hag. The offshore fishing has been spectacular with massive catches of snapper and gag grouper. While the grouper season will continue, red snapper will be closed to for-hire charters on August 1 (the recreational season ended July 12). There have been some giant kingfish brought in this month, and they are still around. Here are some pix from the Sea Hag this month:
Sea Hag AUGUST Forecast
Scallop season is still going great guns (it’s open until September 10th). This year has been a little challenging at times, but you’ve got to remember: scalloping is a family activity, and the idea is to have fun, not get your exact limit. If you’re frustrated, your kids will be too. Instead pull up at the Big Grass sandbar, go for a dip, refresh yourself, and go back to the search. In a few years, your kids will not remember whether you got five gallons or four, but they’ll remember the trip. If you’re totally new to the whole thing, consider getting a guide for a full or half-day charter. They’ve been doing very well recently. In terms of offshore fishing, snapper is closed, but amberjack opens August 1, and there are still plenty of grouper around. When you find hard bottom, always throw out a live bait of some kind with a float for kingfish or cobia. For trout and redfish….get up early. This time of year if I’m targeting redfish I’ll try to be on the water before sunrise, looking for baitfish and mullet, and fishing topwaters or suspending plugs near the shoreline or oyster bars. Last time I went we caught a number of nice fish but by 10AM the bite had died. There are some trout near shore in the early morning, but most of them are cooling their heels in 6 to 10 feet of water over grassy flats that they are sharing with lots of sand trout. In my opinion, sandies fight harder and taste better than spotted seatrout; they’re also smaller and there are no limits. Fish jigs with Gulp baits near the bottom. Drift until you start catching fish and mark your spot (GPS is a whole lot easier than the weighted floats we used to use). While spotted seatrout tend to move around a lot in schools, sand trout will stay in an area longer. The best spots to start are around the nearshore bars…Little Bank, 9 Mile Bank and directly west of the Bird Rack. However, if you can find the right conditions you will find some trout. Popping corks on the flats are not likely to be that productive (the water temperature on the three foot flats is about five degrees warmer than in 10 feet of water).
There’s still plenty of time for you to take advantage of this scallop season for a relaxing family vacation. Remember, we have everything you will need (from accommodations to rental boats, dive gear, flags and licenses) so make plans now.
Capt. Kyle Skipper, www.m1fishing.com (352) 317-1654
This season has tested your scalloping skills a little more than years past but there are still plenty of scallops out there. We are still getting limits and having a blast doing it. I still have a little bit of availability for August and Sept if you would like to give it a try. Much love and tight lines.