Snook fishing in July is never truly predictable as, in some years, fishing remains strong until the last week. In others, when mid month hits, there is a noticeable slowdown in snook fishing, as happened last year. As the end of this July approached, there were still many fish out on the beach and fishing seemed to be holding up. The big problem this year remains red tide. One of the primary snook baits, grass grunts, seemed to be hardest hit.  Where two to three traps would normally result in a harvest of 20-30 of these baits, the result after red tide came through might be one or two.  Even if these grunts could be secured, it was touch and go as to whether or not they'd survive in a live well.  Additionally, although the white bait seemed to come back to some degree, it too was not nearly as durable as is usually the case.  Where the smaller baits seemed to survive Ok, the larger ones, best for snook, would live some days and die the next. Long story short, fishing from Clearwater Beach to Three Rooker Bar was significantly compromised in the back half of July. That said, things appear to be improving slightly as small bait is getting larger and, on recent trips, bait seems to be holding up better. Snook, interestingly, seem to be less affected than some of the other species, and catching them is still a realistic expectation on any Tampa Fishing Charter.

 

BIG BEACH SNOOK IN CLEARWATER

Since about mid June, redfishing has been compromised as well.  It's almost as if the fish normally found behind Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands smelled it coming and left town.  Areas that had been highly productive in early June became devoid of fish towards the end of the month.  Although fish were still being caught closer to the main shore and on residential docks.... and further north for those willing to make the trip, the net affect was that this fishery was definitely impacted.  On the most recent trip, 7 slot redfish were caught in three different locations supporting the theory that the situation is improving, however. With big tides this coming week, redfishing should be strong if fish have started to move back in.  Time will tell. The good news is that this too will pass and as summer moves towards fall, inshore fishing will strengthen.

So, until fishing prime time returns, stay out of the heat and go watch the Tampa Bay Rays march towards another American League Championship.  Or, if staying outside is of more interest, cool off in local springs...among the most popular, Rainbow River and Homosassa.  Good luck and good fishing.

 

 

 

 

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