Capt. Rick Davidson, Editor Grassflats2@yahoo.com
JUNE FISHING REPORT
It’s that time of year at the Sea Hag…. scallop season in combination with red snapper season. The newly expanded cleaning tables are packed with scallop and fish cleaning, the renovated Tiki Bar is serving up lots of refreshing beverages, and we’ve added a food truck for hungry boaters.
We’ve avoided major rain events, so the water is providing lots of easy scallop limits and the offshore fishing for gag grouper and red snapper has been on fire. Redfish and trout fishing is excellent as well. It’s the busiest time of the year for families, and they’re having a wonderful time. Here are some pictures from this month.
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July Fishing Forecast
Expect more of the same in July. The scallop season is off to a fantastic start and unless we get a tropical storm to darken the water, the scallops will stay in easily accessible depths for family fun. Recreational red snapper season will be open until the end of July and the offshore charters are going out every day. Inshore fishing will continue to be good, especially early morning and dusk. The water temperature this past week was in the low 70s in the morning, perfect temperature for fish to actively feed. On my last two morning trips we caught an average of 6 redfish in just few hours in the mornings. If you have a choice, pick a day with a morning high tide and fish inshore rocks with topwater plugs or suspending lures. On the flats, there’s more floating grass, but if you can find an area with mixed sand and grass, fish popping cork rigs with live shrimp or Gulp baits. And keep your eyes open for cruising cobia and even tarpon on the flats as they are migrating through. As the temperature rises later in the day, head to deeper water, 5 to 7 feet over grass and fish jigs over sand holes for trout. Scallops have been found both north and south of the river and the fleet is easy to find. Because it’s early in the season, our IFAS experts recommend only keeping larger scallops so the little ones can mature for later in the season. Offshore the bite is on for snapper and grouper, using live pinfish or squid and sardines fished on the bottom. Trolling over live bottom with diving plugs has been working well, and when bottom fishing, float a live bait for kingfish or cobia.
Our one tournament this month is the Live for Logun tournament on July 23, which raises money for 4-wheeler safety training for kids and adults. There are $5000 in payouts. This is a fun time of the year in the Big Bend, and the Fourth is always special in Steinhatchee, with great fireworks, a mullet toss and lots of vendors. The Sea Hag has a huge selection of everything you need for scalloping: masks, snorkels, fins, bags, cleaning knives and lots of ice. Come celebrate with us!