JUNE AND JULY weather has been the best that I remember in several years except for a very few days in early June and that goes with some of the finest fishing that we have experienced in several years. The size and amount of fish being produced has been very good. Not only the large red snapper but plenty of grouper, mahi mahi and king mackerel have been showing up. Also, the wahoo seem to be more plentiful this year and I expect them to remain with us into the fall. The only fish I know of that appears to be short this year is the cobia which came in early and went on to the west.
Now that August is here, it is also the hottest month of the year and the fish just seem to be so much slower in biting and/or moving, but, if you are patient and take your time, they are still hungry and ready to eat, it just takes a little more effort to encourage them to take the bait. Even though we cannot bring home any of those large red snapper that are still plentiful or even the amberjack and triggerfish, we can bring to the dock any of the grouper species and all of the black snapper, porgies, and any of the travelling fish that are still around. When we get through with August, the fall fishing should come on strong. At this point I see no reason to believe the government when they say we have caught all of the fish. I still think they should set a limit on each species per person by the day and allow all of us to go fishing when we want to go. It will maintain the natural order of fish population in the gulf as it is supposed to be and not as National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) thinks that it should be.
In shore fishing has been very good and may slow down just a little but those large speckled trout and red fish are still coming on good and the flounder are still plentiful; it just takes the right bait and a little patience to catch a good mess. Crooked Island Sound, both inside and just outside, is showing up good and the head of St Joe Bay is producing good fish. If you just want to catch a shark try the shark hole and a little bit of the deeper water in St Joe Bay near the St Joe Peninsula point. Just be careful in that there are more sharks being caught than I have seen in many years, and some of them are quite large.
Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.