The water temperatures on the flats are hovering around 90, leaving the shallow flats hot and uncomfortable. The snook bite had dwindled with only short bursts of feeding during the best flow of the tide. On the flats it is too stressful on the fish to even try and target the big girls or chance a long battle. On the beaches, the water is cooler and cleaner, causing less stress on them. The mackerel bite is hot, many are over 25 to the fork with some surpassing 30 inches. Generally a 7-foot, 6-inch medium action rod with a 4000 series reel, 15-pound braid, and a 40-pound leader tied securely to a 2/0 long shank j hook. Lighten up the drag setting a touch, the big macks will snap a knot on the strike. Snapper have moved in over the last few weeks and the recent full moon should send another push of fish. Slower tides over rock piles, around pilings or any marked wreck in the bay should be holding them. Shrimp or bait fry are top choices for bait. Use enough weight to get it down to the bottom. To beat the heat, scalloping has been good around Homosassa and Steinhatchee. On opening weekend, newbie scallopers scored enough for a couple of meals. It's great family fun.
Tim Whitfield can be reached at (813) 714-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.