This past week brought some great action inshore especially at the start of the week before the full moon and front that moved by yesterday. Best fishing weather coming up is going to be today and Saturday before a little system sets in Sunday that will be hanging over our area most of the week.
Snook action was impressive and should only continue to improve around the passes and along the beaches as summer continues to take hold in our area. These guys are loaded around the passes feeding most actively in the super early morning hours and just through sunrise. During the day, on the beaches or on the flats is the best places to find these hungry snook all trying to fatten up before their trek near shore to spawn. They love the soft plastic artificials, hard jerk baits, or the flairhawks work well in the passes. For live bait, snook will eat large live shrimp, white bait, finger mullet, pinfish or grass grunts which are also called pigfish. On the beaches and on the flats lighter tackle and smaller 1-2ot hooks are best. In the passes and around the docks adjacent to the passes heavier leader is key especially around the structures. You can get away with heavier line at night when you are not working the dock lights even up to 40-60lb floro for snook live bait or lure leaders.
Pompano action has picked up quite a bit at the early part of this past week. The water cleared up nicely and with that clear and calm water came lots of pompano feeding around our beaches, sandbars, and sandy edges of the channels. I love to target them in the morning just after sunrise from the beaches near the passes or drifting through sandy passes. Pompano will take those docs goofy jigs, pompano jigs, nekid ball jigz and smaller bucktails that have shortened hairs just behind the apex of the hook shank. You want to work these lures along the sandy bottom just barely popping the lure off the sand around 4-6 inches. Cast long and far up tide and let it hit the bottom, then retrieve any slack and start to just barely moving the rod tip in a popping action. It is best to try it in a pool or the shallows first to ensure you are not popping the jig too high off the bottom. Often, I will do 3-4 small pops followed by a double while slow retrieving any slack between working the lure along the bottom.
Redfish action around the area is still going steady, lots of these guys out on and around the flats, mangrove shorelines and oyster bars and still many up on the residential docks. We are starting to see those large congregations of redfish moving around the bay area. If you are lucky enough to encounter one, work carefully not to spook the school and set up ahead of where they are heading and get stealthy before they are in range if you want a chance to catch a few. Often schooling redfish can scatter or stop eating if one boat gets too close being loud or running its engine. The worst possible noise is an outboard engine’s lower unit going in and out of gear, that gear shift is incredibly loud under water and will shut down a bite in an instant. Using a trolling motor and power pole makes things easy, but if you don’t have the fancy stuff you can ‘coast’ into range and just shut down your motor while still clutch ahead to avoid shifting to neutral. Soft plastics are king for redfish artificials especially the white paddletails. These guys love live white bait, shrimp, and even small pinfish as well.
Trout action is going really well around the passes and on the flats of our area still as well. We are seeing some really big trout caught this past week especially around the bridges of our local passes. Nighttime around the bridge lights or dock lights near the passes have been producing lots of the speckeled trout as well. During the day on edges of the flats is best to find the trout feeding.
Black drum action has picked up this past week around our local bridges and larger dock areas. These big guys love to hang around the structure looking for crabs on the bottom. They will also eat big live shrimp too. However, crabs are best in my opinion for the black drum and even a dead crab will get them to chew. You can even get away with cutting larger crabs in half if you want to get more baits out. Right around the fender systems of the bridges or main pilings are the best places to find em right on the bottom.
Flounder action is going well too if you can find some sandy areas near the grass flats, docks, or other structure where flounder can cover up on the bottom and ambush passing prey items. Soft plastics worked slowly just on or above the bottom is best. I like the artificial shrimp lures like the DOA shrimp for the flounder, but you can use a soft plastic paddletail or fluke tail with good results too. Also, the pompano jigs have been known to catch flounder too and while drifting sandy bottomed areas of the passes you can sometimes catch flounder and pompano!
Triple tail are getting really thick around the mouth of the bays and passes and along our beaches. They hang right on the floating debris or structures and can occasionally be found in dock lights near the passes. Lately the triple tail along the beaches have been lower in the water column instead of easily spotted right below the buoys of our crab and pinfish traps scattered along our beaches. A live shrimp and light tackle and hardly any weight or no weight is best when targeting these triple tails. These guys are tricky to target but they are incredibly good eating!