The Tampa Bay Times

By Ed Walker

Water temperature is one of the biggest factors in fishing this month. Inshore anglers will do best if they avoid the middle of the day and focus their efforts to early morning or evening hours. If there have been thunderstorms in the evenings stick with fishing in morning. If there have been no storms late in the day, leaving the dock at 4 or 5 PM and fishing until dark can be the best bet. 

Many fish that live on the flats will move into the deepest nearby water then can find when the sun is high and temperatures are soaring. This does not mean a 5 ft deep hole in the grass, it means a depth of 15 to 20 feet or more where a body of cooler water remains all day on the bottom. While it might seem to make sense that you simply fish these deeper areas in the afternoon, that’s not really how it works. When fish like tarpon and snook go deep to find cooler water they pretty much stop feeding. You may see tarpon rolling periodically on top but that’s more for air more than for feeding. If you show up at 6 pm with a livewell full of bait however, you will be in position to capitalize as the fish move out of the hole or channel and start to feed. When looking for deep spots that are holding fish, side-scan sonar is invaluable. When properly calibrated you can count the number of tarpon or snook resting on the bottom 20 feet below and see exactly where they are.