Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fishing Report JUNE 2021
It was all about scallops, grouper and snapper this month as the inshore fishery took its usual summer break. With high temps and lots of floating grass, plus lots of scallop boats, the redfish and trout were around but hiding. On the other hand, offshore fishing was on fire and the scallop season got off to a great start in spite of some pesky rains. And the Doug Johnson Reeling for Kids Tournament brought in some monster fish. Here are some pics of what we saw at the docks and on the water this past month.
CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO SEE IT AT FULL SIZE!
JULY FISHING FORECAST
It’s one of the best times of the year for families at the Sea Hag. The Tiki Bar is open, there’s live music in town, fireworks on the fourth, and lots of time spent cooling off in the water. Inshore, the fishing is always challenging this time of year. Your best bet is early morning for several reasons: the water temp is cooler and there are no scallop boats around. Getting on the water before daylight gives you the best chance for redfish and larger trout near shorelines on higher water. Floating grass means using popping corks with live or artificial shrimp, gold spoons, or jigs with soft tails. If you happen to have some freshwater weedless frog bass baits, you’d be surprised how much redfish like them. Cut bait on the bottom near structure also works well, but expect to deal with catfish and especially some really large stingrays. After the sun comes up, you can try for trout in the deeper water around Nine Mile Bank or directly out from the Bird Rack in five to seven feet of water.
Offshore, bottom fishing with squid or sardines over hard bottom has been producing some great gag grouper in 20 to 50 feet; red snapper are plentiful from 60 feet out when you can find structure. With kingfish around, always put out a floating live bait under a cork. You may pick up a cobia as well. Red snapper season is open until July 28th; permitted charters can take you out until August 2. We’ve got some great offshore captains that will provide you everything you need.
Scalloping has been very good. Recent end-of-the-month rains haven’t darkened the water everywhere, but in general the farther away from the river, the clearer the water. Two of the historically good sites have been producing; the areas between Big Grass Island and the Bird Rack to the north, along with the area known as Doghead just a bit further north. To the south, areas around Rocky Creek have been producing. Expect to find them in 3 to 6 feet of water. Look for areas of mixed grass (especially manatee grass, the slender grass as opposed to the wider Turtle Grass) and patches of sand. Safety during scallop season is very important. Always have a diver flag displayed, and idle within 50 yards of any boat with swimmers in the water to provide a safe day for everyone. Hopefully the water will stay clear and the temps will moderate a little bit.
If you really want to make sure your family has a great day, consider one of our guides. They will do a combination early morning fishing trip and scallop trip as the sun rises. This is a great way to get introduced to the area if you’re not familiar with it and pick up techniques for both fishing and scalloping if you’re a first-timer. And remember that in addition to our accommodations, we have everything you need for scalloping…fins, snorkels, dive flags, scallop bags and gloves. If you’re interested in renting one of our excellent rental boats, you need to call well in advance; most dates are almost fully rented.
There’s a special tournament coming up. The Sea Hag Marina will be hosting a fishing tournament in honor of Logun Nowell. Logun passed away in a four-wheeler accident several years ago. His parents said his favorite thing to do was to go fishing in Steinhatchee so there is an annual fishing tournament to raise money for safety training classes for children using four-wheelers & ATVs. This year’s tournament is July 24th.