July was hot and, as with every year, there is no expectation that there will be any signs of cooling down until later in September as days start to shorten and summer's heat begins to let up a bit. Nevertheless, July proved to be a productive month as snook and redfish remained relatively cooperative. Snook did start to disperse at the end of the month and August fishing definitely will be tougher. Having said this, several groups of 25 - 40 fish were spotted in just a few feet of water off the beach on a recent charter so it appears that some fish are still grouped up.  A realistic expectation for August snook fishing should be that there may be shots at big fish but, as a rule, the average fish size will be smaller and fish numbers, compared to mid summer, will be less.

Big Tampa Clearwater Redfish

Strong tides earlier or later in the day would represent the best times to track down redfish. Some Tampa Fishing Guides prefer to target the strong highs and fish the bushes, while other plan early and late day trips on strong lows to pursue fish up on the shallow flats with mullet. Pretty much any fish or crustacean bait will work for these fairly unselective eaters. Redfish are the most impervious to high water temperatures so, if located they still will generally bite well.

August and early September fishing requires some creativity to keep the fishing day entertaining. Many Tampa Fishing Captains will run a few miles of the beach to fish near shore rocks and reefs which, even in the heat of summer, may produce grunt, mangrove snapper, occasional mackerel and maybe even a stray great barracuda or cobia. Other Tampa/Clearwater Fishing trips might target shark on the shallow flats just inside points of local intercoastal islands.  It's anybody's guess as to what type of shark might show up...especially at night, but frequently it's the blacktips during the day.  These sharks may run from 5 - 50 lbs, are fast, will jumped and can take the edge off of an otherwise slow day. Seatrout can also be found in these same areas and although many are small, keepers can be found mixed in. Whitebait is still the best option for catching these. Add a few snook or redfish to the mixed bag above and a productive and satisfying fishing day can be had.

West Central Florda Snook Fishing

Staying cool is a major focus for most Tampa Bay residents in August.  One option would be to go watch a Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Game at Tropicana Stadium in air conditioned comfort. Another would be to get in the water at Egmont Key.  There are ferries leaving from Hubbard's Marina that will take you to this extremely scenic and interesting spot. Activities would include swimming, snorkeling and exploring the Fort. Good luck and good fishing.


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