Florida west coast fishing report

From: Capt. Dennis Royston
Date: 28 Jul 1999
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7/28/99 Fishing Report for Tarpon Springs to Crystal River, Fl. By Capt. Dennis Royston


The weather this past week has been hot. 92 degrees for a high on the coast with showers mostly in the afternoon. According to the weather map things are wormier in the north east then they are here. Actually it has not been to bad out on the water with a breeze, it is when you come is shore that it really gets hot.

Fishing as is expected is slower in mid summer. The water temperature is 89 degrees offshore and can be higher or lower inshore depending on the rains.

This does not mean that you can not catch fish under these conditions. You may have to work a little harder and move more often to locate where the fish are today. Under cooler water conditions if you find fish in an area today there is a good chance they will be there tomorrow . In summer conditions, every day is a new hunt to locate the fish. As a general rule look for faster moving water that will have more oxygen. Look around points, creek or river mouths as well as islands. Keep in mind that when we have coastal rains the out going tides will be cooler. When the rains are inland the inshore flats will heat up faster and the incoming tide will be cooler. The inshore flats will be at there coolest at or just before daylight. If you plan to fish in these shallow water areas you should be on the water early.

As the sun gets higher move to deeper water. Deeper water means from 5 or 6 feet out to 10 or 12 feet. From Tarpon Springs north our flats run as much as 12 miles off shore. There are a number of areas of 6 to 8 foot depths 8 to 10 miles offshore. Most of these areas have good grass and can hold large numbers of quality fish. Trout, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Shark, Grunt and even Grouper.

This is a good time to drift over the grass or hard bottom areas casting jigs or small spoons. Rattle Trap type baits are also good to locate fish. Once I find fish I change to single hook baits for the ease of fish removal. Live baits free lined or placed about 18 inches under a float will work. A method I like to use is to drift until I locate quality fish and then set an anchor and start a chum line. A chum line running with the tide in a good area is hard to beat.

As a rule the winds are from the east in the morning making it easier to run offshore. As the day heats the water will go calm and by mid day the wind will shift to a westerly breeze. If you are in a smaller boat this is a good time to start in . Again you will have a following sea and this will make your ride in a lot smother. Starting in when the wind shifts from the west also help you avoid the afternoon thunder and lightning storms.

Good fishin - For additional information call me at (727) 863-3204

Capt. Dennis Royston