July is the middle of the summer and our usual advice given to anglers is to fish early in the morning and late at night. The middle of the day is just so hot that not only fish but the fishermen are looking for a place to cool off in the middle of the day.
This July the water temperatures rose above 85° and as the temperatures climbed just south of 90° it hurt the fishing; especially in the daytime. The second half of the month was quite wet, which helped lower the water temperatures, but the associated winds and waves that developed from this low-pressure system hampered anyone’s ability to fish successfully. Water clarity always suffers when it rains here, and with two weeks of rainy weather, wind and waves, the water was quite turbid.
That said, fishermen were able to get out and catch quite a variety of great fish here this month.
We saw many undersize Cobia caught and released here in July. Keepers must be above 33 inches in length – the fish that we saw here on Pier 60 were in the 20 to 25 inch range. They do put up a good fight but must be released to grow larger.
The Mangrove Snapper fishing has been pretty good this month. We had keepers caught most days. Mangrove snappers will take a variety of baits. Most of the ones we saw were hooked on squid or chunks of finger Mullet.
Jack Crevalle were seen this month along with Black SeaBass, Skates, Key West Grunt, Atlantic SpadeFish, Whiting, Flounder, Pompano, Black Drum, and Spotted SeaTrout.
We had many days in July where squalls would come through in the morning or afternoon and drop the water temperatures somewhat. Once water temperatures dropped, we saw more Spanish Mackerel come back closer to the Pier from deeper waters.
The Snook bite has been very good this summer. Many days we saw several Snook caught and released. In the evenings the Snook bite was even better, biting various live baits, chunks of fresh fish, and we even had a Snook taken on a gob of Calamari Squid. Snook have been mating and spawning and are hungry to replenish their bodies after the rigours of the spawn.
Other catches of note and include Spanish Mackerel to 18 inches and Bull Red Drum or RedFish up to 40 inches.
Good Luck Fishing!