Jerry Reed said it best, “When you’re hot, you’re hot.” Right now, the fishing cannot get any hotter than aboard Afishionado.
The mangrove snapper fishing is outstanding right now. It seems they were a little slow to spawn this year, but the bite started picking up around Independence Day and it has been gangbusters ever since. Every year it seems the mangrove snapper fishing is getting better and better. You can literally catch them just about anywhere.
The snook fishing has been non-stop and will continue to be so the rest of the summer. Snook are stacked up just about everywhere it seems. Many days, my clients are catching snook for hours on end.
Fishing for redfish is always hot in July. The best places to locate schools of redfish are around oyster beds and the optimal time is during a high tide.
Whether I’m after large snook or redfish one of the best baits of choice when the water temperature is in the 90’s, is fresh cut bait. It could be pinfish, large scaled sardines, ladyfish or my favorite, threadfin herring. I like to cut up a pretty sizable chunk, stick it on a 2/0 or 3/0-size hook, cast one off each side of the stern of the boat and place the rod in a rod holder. Meanwhile, as anglers are fishing with live bait up front, I listen for screaming drag in the rear. By the time a client places their rod in a rod holder up front and go to the back of the boat to grab the doubled over rod, they have a solid hookup.
If you own a smoker and like fish dip and crackers, there are plenty of big Spanish mackerel out there to take home. Spanish mackerel are all over the place. I’m catching them in my cast net while catching bait, while on the flats snook fishing, around range markers, on artificial reefs and while anchored at bridges.
When I target mackerel, I always like the start a fresh cut bait chum slick. At the same time, I’m squeezing handfuls and live bait and tossing them overboard. I also use a long shank 1/0 hook to help prevent cutoffs from their razor-sharp teeth. Another thing I do to help prevent cutoffs is loosen the drag on the reels.
I can’t tell you how many people have the misconception that Spanish mackerel are only to be eaten if you are, “Naked and Afraid.” That’s simply not the case. Once mackerel are on board, I ice them down immediately. After they are filleted, just keep them on ice until cooked within a couple of days. I don’t recommend freezing Spanish mackerel fillets, because once they thaw out they turn to mush. However, if you smoke them first, you can freeze all you want. Then once thawed, you’re ready to make fish dip with your favorite recipe.
Stay fishy my friends!
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