July – In a wrap: what a CRAZY month! At one point I worked over 25 straight days and I only had 2 or 3 days off the ENTIRE month. The best part? We caught great fish all month – when it was calm and when it was blowing.
A quick synopsis:
Offshore: Weather wise, we didnt have a ton of calm days this past July. The beginning of the month was excellent with fantastic gaffer dolphin and kings within site of the beach…and the same offshore. As we got on into the later half of the month, the AJ fishing continued to be really strong but the dolphin and kings faded. I did, however, hook up 4 sailfish during the month and were unable to land any of them – aka, it can be tough to get sailfish in on small trebles used for king mackerel fishing!
Nearshore: Excellent, hands down. The shark fishing was what I can only describe as EPIC. We caught as many as 25 giant sharks on some half-days and almost all of the fish were between 50 and 100lbs. Bait or fly-rod – we did it all. We even had a few bigguns that went 150lbs+. The best part was that there were tons of jumping blacktips and spinners in the mix and we got to experience many, many incredible jumps. Also, the spanish mackerel fishing was very good for most of the month (the flounder bite was, however, pretty disapointing).
Inshore/backwaters: The redfishing started off very slow during the first half of the month but, as we got into the second half od the month, it started to improve very quickly and pretty soon we were over-welmed by big numbers of 17-22″ reds. Also, in the mix were a few nice trout and a handful of flounder.
Some big sharks for some happy boys – the first one is a 100lb+ spinner that gave us 2 10 foot+ jumps!
…and even big boys like giant sharks. Chris and crew decided to exclusively target them this morning on a half-day…and well, we caught 25+ in 4 hours. We also had at least 4 or 5 blacktips over 100lbs and broke off a few spinners. We were even able to land 3 or 4 on top-water poppers! On top of that, Chris landed a tagged black-tip! I’m still waiting to hear back from NMFS about it – will post details later.
Lila and Pop had a great morning – and lila kicked everyone’s butt, period. 11 years old, tough as nails, and very confidant in her ability to fish – and rightly so. She landed three fish that were just about as big as her – a 50lb+ shark, a 40lb+ 59″ ‘cuda, and a 25lb king that she expertly coaxed in using a light spinning reel with 8lb test braid and #10 treble hooks – the outfit was supposed to be for spanish! The fight took over 30 minutes! Girl – you’re AWESOME. PHil got some great video of the cuda jumping – and i hope to stream it here soon!
Today was a slow day for Doug and crew but we did pretty good finding some decent action – a few small dolphin, a couple kings, a big cuda I hooked on a spro jig and 2 monster AJs.
Captain Scott and I have been doing a bunch of this this summer – kite fishing. This day in particular we put the kite out within 5 miles of the beach for kings….and caught a bunch of dolphin (and 6 or so 26-32″ kings). The kicker was the 18lb bull I caught on a light spinning rod 3 miles from the beach – he took 30 minutes to land and dumped the reel three times. AWESOME!
Rob and son with a big-arse AJ and a nice cuda – we also managed a few bailer dolphin. Slow day but we had some good bites!
I had a great time with Jason and his friend this morning – we just had a bit of bad luck. It was veyr hot and started off slow – a couple of small AJs and a bite-off or two before we found a very hot teen king bite. It was so hot that we literally couldn’t keep the baits in the water – we lost the first two to cudas, then I knocked one off with the gaff :oops:, then we finally got one in the box. We also managed a small dolphin – not bad for fishing with 9 miles of the beach 😮
Merrill and crew with a nice load of spanish mackerel that we caugh casting to huge schools during a nice afternoon half-day! This was a common trend – lots of great spanish fishing during the mornings and evenings!
Bill, Brian and little Paul – it was a very hot, tough morning but we got a few good bites and Paul beat us all landing a nice red and a BIG trout – almost 3.9lbs!!!
Gary and son-in-law from Indiana! We had a good day – picking away at the reds, landing a half-dozen and a flounder!
Mike and his son Jarod had a great half-day of red-fishing – we caught several early on spinnerbaits and found a huge school swiming around with their backs out of the water crushing shrimp in less than 8″ of water! We ended the day with 14 reds in the boat – not bad for a half-day! We even pulled the hooks on a few flounder – at least one of which we very nice.
….the afternoon of the same day wasn’t as hot but Sam and sons did manage a few nice reds.
Bill and his brother and his sister Wendy also had a nice morning – finding 7 or so nice reds before the tide crashed and it got very hot. We landed most on spinnerbaits but Bill had a lot of action tossing a top-dog – lots of follows, wakes, etc. Wendy had never been fishing before, not in at least a decade but was very skilled – in just an hour or so she was as accurate as the boys (both of whom were very experienced). I was extremely impressed, to say the least. She also caught the first red of the day (might I add).
Shane and his friend had a pretty good morning as well – finding 7 or so nice slots and losing a few nice ‘uns. A few thunderstorms blew us away in the evening – but it was a great day. Only wish we ccould have found a few for ya on the fly! (there’s always october! 😆 )
Zach and crew had a very nice morning today, and we found a few nice reds on the flats early.
7/12 PM – I had the absolute pleasure of fishing with James this evening – we plugged away at the reds landing 4 or 5 on spinnerbaits (and a nice little speck) before searching the flooded grass flats for tailers – and we found a whole bunch, getting shots at 8-10 fish and seeing many more. We didnt get any takers on the fly pole – but it was, as always, an incredible experience for a skilled angler.
7/12 AM -Bob and crew had a gorgeous morning in the backwaters today – we found several nice schools of reds on the flats, landing a few…and we even found a half-dozen or so good flounder in a marsh slough…and they even released all the flounder! You have to commend them for that!
This morning I had the pleasure of fishign with Lundin and Valerie for reds – and man, it started off slow. It took us a while to find some, but when we did – it was on. We found a nice concentration of 15-18″ fish and managed to yank out a few including several on the fly!