Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (email@example.com)
Fishing Report JULY 2021
Scallop season is still going strong, despite massive amounts of rain. As always, this has caused darkened brackish water to flood the near flats between Fisherman’s Rest to the north and Bull Cove to the south. However, slightly farther offshore, scallops are being taken several miles offshore, in areas like Little Bank and Nine Mile Bank. Best bets are in water from 4 to 7 feet. Outside of those boundaries, things clear up nicely. Just north of Big Grass Island, boats have been doing their best to get into Hagens Cove, where the water is relatively clear, and further west and north at the area known as Doghead. Scallops will go where the water is relatively clear and the salinity is reasonable. Inshore, much of the same situation is in effect. Even mullet, who are used to brackish water, tend to move away from shore when the water is heavily stained. The water clears up nicely near Pepperfish and some redfish have been taken behind the keys there, and some trout outside in 5-7 feet of water with Gulp baits fished slowly on the bottom. Offshore, things are absolutely exploding while snapper season runs its course, ending at the end of the month. Huge snapper and gag grouper graced the board this month.
HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS FROM THIS MONTH. CLICK ON YOUR FAVORITE TO VIEW IT FULL SIZE!
Forecast for August
Everything in the summer is weather-dependent. Hopefully we’ll endure the afternoon thunderstorms and not get any larger weather events so the water can continue to clear up. Additionally, the water clarity can change from day to day depending on tides and wind direction, so the only way to find your spots is to run and run some more until you find good water. Even partially cleared water will give you a shot at inshore fish and scallops. I found reasonable water near Sink Creek to the south and just north of Fisherman’s Rest to the north. Given the challenging conditions, many people are using live shrimp under corks near structure if they don’t want to run out to deeper water. There is also floating grass this time of year, so I use Texas-rigged soft baits a lot in areas where I can’t use topwaters or other lures. Gold spoons and even freshwater bass frogs can be fished in grassy water. If you’re fishing inshore, try to find areas with mullet near shore. As far as scalloping, unless you have some good spots in mind, it may be worthwhile to hire a guide for a day or half-day trip to familiarize yourself with the water situation. Otherwise, head north or south until you find good scallop water; look for patches of sand among both eel grass (wide leaves) and manatee grass (thin tendrils for leaves). Check the edges of cuts in the flats (if there are prop scars, take a look around them….don’t cause any yourself. And if you have some offshore numbers and an appropriate boat, the gag grouper are hungry and will be taking squid, pinfish and even large jigs drifted over hard bottom.
And remember: accommodations are scarce, so when you plan your trip, make sure you contact us for lodging and for boat rentals. We also have everything you will need to go scalloping: dive equipment including flags, bags, cleaning equipment (if you don’t want our own scallop cleaners to take care them), snorkels, fins and masks.
It’s summertime and your family will have a great time scalloping or fishing at the Sea Hag Marina.