Capt. Pete Rapps
Here in the Ten Thousand Islands, the weather in late June into July is predictable, as are the fishing patterns. Daily storms are now arriving late in the morning to early afternoon and cool things off a little. The bite is early in the day, and again late in the afternoon/early evening. Expect the bite to drop off to nothing during mid day heat and slack tides.
Day time air temperatures are now hovering around 92 degrees each day, bringing the water temperatures up to 87 degrees. Anglers can get into some nice Snook on the outside islands most every trip. Try the shores of Panther Key and surrounding islands. Top water plugsand suspended soft plastic artificials will produce some nice morning action before the wind starts to blow. Of course nothing beats a live well full of Pilchards and Thread Herring. You can live chum with a handful of these guys, then follow up with a nice one on your hook. Recently, while fishing for Tarpon with a 12” live Ladyfish on an 8/0 circle hook, we hooked up with a huge Snook in the 25-30 lb range! The big Snook are here and they are feeding!
Triple Tail are hanging around markers and structure, and will happily take a live shrimp on a circle hook. Permit and Cobia are hanging around offshore structure. Bring some small silver dollar sized crabs with you for the Permit. Cast net some nice 6” mullet to present to the Cobia.
Mangrove Snapper are larger in size than most of the year and are hungry for a live shrimp around the Mangrove roots. Shark are all over the place and love Ladyfish. Be sure to use a heavy wire leader!