The Tampa Bay Times

 The best way to beat the heat in the summer time is to fish at night.  This can be the most relaxing time to fish.  The afternoon thunderstorms are over and the air is cool from the rainfall.   Residential docks can attract a variety of species.  Snook is my number one fish to target around dock lights, but trout, redfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish and mangrove snapper all hang around these lighted structures.  Approach is the most important factor, if you pull up to the area with the outboard motor running, the fish will spook away, or simply not bight.  I like to use a trolling motor on the lowest setting to get within casting range, and then quietly drop an anchor. Heavier braided line along with a tighter drag will help if a fish runs for the pilings.  Select sized shrimp is the best bait to throw under the light.  I always see fish chasing shrimp under the lights.  Remember to respect the property owners, I always stay as quiet as possible, so I do not disturb any homeowners.Tarpon fishing at night is another break from the heat.  Start the night by throwing the cast net directly under one of the bridge lights.  A few throws of the net should yield enough threadfins, scaled sardines, and pinfish.  I start by anchoring under the brightest light on the up current side of the bridge.  The anchor has a drop buoy attached so I can throw the anchor line when a fish is hooked.  Heavier tackle is needed to have a chance to land the fish do to all the bridge pilings.  I only use two rods, one with a float, and the other is free lined.  I drop the baits back to the shadow line on the bridge and wait.  I will move up and down the bridge anchoring under different lights trying to draw a strike. When a fish bights, I get the motor started and drop the buoy, and hope the fish doesn’t  run me into the bridge pilings. 

 Capt Rob Gorta


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