By Neil Taylor and capmel.com kayak fishing staff contributors
Around the state:
There is a lot of fun in the month of August. Challenges exist in “the hottest month of the year.” Tropical, hopefully not but it is the peak of hurricane season the next two months. The biggest challenges are with the heat. The water temperatures will be the hottest of the year. But “fish gotta eat” so be there at the right time and get a hook in them! What will the tropics bring? It is that time of year. We will likely battle some tropical systems in the next six weeks.
The Tampa Bay region–
August will have all kinds of opportunities. The challenges, mentioned above: hot water or tropical weather systems. But, if things are in settled periods even the heat of the water will not prevent you from finding some fantastic action. Redfish: Reds wake up in August anyway but the numbers I predicted for July were light. The number and size of these fish right now is impressive. Toss them a mullet. A 12 Fathom Mullet. Other species are going to be intercepted for enjoyment. Trout, flounder, pompano, black drum and even cobia will be caught.
The combination trips will work great. Morning, start fishing before sunrise and when the action in the shallows dies, paddle out to a channel or bridge and deep jig for other species. Simple and productive, it is not a bad thing to consider. Redfish by sunup, pompano with sweat in your eyes. The pompano situation has been excellent in Tampa Bay. We had one 60 fish day. We have had some 50 fish days. It is a good day when you just get into them decent. We have been into them big. It has been fun. Pompano, among the very best to take home: My feeling is that they are the easiest fish to fillet. The lure: A pompano jig and teaser. The jig yellow, the teaser pink. I make the teasers. Pink with flash. I sell them for $1 each. Don’t live around here? I can put them in the mail with a single stamp so shipping isn’t expensive.
Keep your eyes open: If you are not fishing where there are baitfish, you may be in the wrong spot! The fish are where the food is. Be where the fish are.
In the Southwest “Suncoast” area of Florida, Steve Gibson with Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing:
August forecast: Redfish should take the spotlight as their numbers increase on
the flats along the east and west sides of Sarasota Bay. Also, look for spotted
seatrout, an increase in flounder numbers and snook at night around lighted
docks. Snook action should also improve during the day along the beaches.
The East coast of Florida
Fish early for sea trout, redfish and snook using topwater plugs on the flats of the Lagoon system. The northern portions of the Indian River and south in the Mosquito lagoon, expect floating grass and dirty water so start with soft plastics rigged on a weedless hook. Look for bait pods and cast just past and around bringing your lure through slowly. Trout will be found nearby. Snook can be found early under mangroves and where there is structure along with where there is a nice concentration of bait fish and water movement. Using a lighter colored soft plastic on a weedless jig, cast and jig the lure back slowly and wait for the thump before setting the hook. Larger snook and redfish will be found inside and along the drop offs near the Sebastian Inlet itself as well. After a small break in the day, for the mid-day to sundown bite, target sea trout and redfish in deeper cooler waters, and snook under dock lights at night. If you can, get out of your kayak and wade fish for extra stealthiness. This will also cool you down in the heat. Both the Banana River and Sebastian Inlet area have clear waters and limited grass so be cautions when approaching fish so as not to spook them. Inshore water quality issues continue for the Northern Indian and Mosquito Lagoons. An algae bloom is making the waters dirty and the water levels are still low but slot and above slot sized trout and redfish can still be found. There are still a few schools of breeder reds in some areas but have been finicky. Look for tailing redfish and cast a weightless weedless 12 Fathom Scarface Shrimp or a Buzz Tail and slowly position it just under their mouths. Smaller trout will be found in deeper water with the reds. Jigging a Fat Sam Mullet on a 1/16 to 1/8 oz jig have been producing great strikes.
In the Big Bend of Florida’s Panhandle, Robert Baker at TnT Hideaway on the Wakulla River: http://www.tnthideaway.com/ . If you are going to be in Panama City, stop in and see Brad and his staff at Sunjammers: http://sunjammers.com/ The guys are reporting great action throughout the region for trout, redfish and flounder. Kingfish, cobia and pompano are also options for the kayak anglers. August is a great month in the Panhandle.
In Northeast Florida: August should be a lot of a continuation of last month which is trout and redfish and of course some really big flounder. Most of the fish have been active morning and evening but the midday action around the passes will be pretty decent. Use the right bait: Catch the fish.
In the greater South Florida area:
The Everglades, Flamingo anglers are enjoying some great action but come back a pint low if they do not remember the correct supplies. Get a bug suit and load up on repellent, we’ve got great action down here. Tarpon are a great bet. Around the rest of the region, you can pick your species and go for it. Beware of stormy weather on extreme trips. Kayak anglers have faced some perilous situations, something that is best to avoid. Join up with a friend if you want to do something like this but be ready to weather the storms.
The tip of the month:
Check the weather. Planning of trips can be most effective if you see the forecast for storms. Some times of the day will be more likely to have convection storms than others. That being the case, if you schedule or reschedule your trips accordingly, you may be less likely to have Tripus Interruptis. The squalls are no fun. But the fishing can be trickier before and after storms as well. If you have options on when you go, make it a good choice based on odds. It is better to sit out a storm on an island than it is to drown. Make good decisions.
Need help learning how to kayak fish? Hire one of our guides on staff for your region and take advantage of their knowledge and sharpen your own skills! Steve covers the Sarasota/Bradenton area. Neil fishes all of Tampa Bay and specializes in pompano trips in the dead of summer.
Get out and into the action but as always: Be careful out there!