By Neil Taylor and capmel.com kayak fishing staff contributors
Around the state:
The beginning of hurricane season, the beginning of “summer” and the long stretch of HEAT for anglers all over the state, June will be just fine for great action for the kayak anglers. Fishing during the day? “Stay wet, stay cool” and get in and out of the kayaks more often to stay cooler. Caution: Stingrays are a hazard when exiting the boats. Beat the heat option two: Fish at night. The nighttime bite between now and October will be excellent. Other areas of the state will be better but snook fishing in the Tampa Bay area needs more recovery time after the multiple tough freezes in 2010. The decision to reopen to harvest, a tragedy and source of the loss of what would have been our future generations of “big snook” post freeze. Gone. Killed for food. Stupidity is government.
The Tampa Bay region–
Early risers and the “sundowners” will be the successful anglers in the month of June. Warming waters and the onset of summertime conditions merit low-light fishing for the successful Pinellas County anglers. There will be steady action for redfish, trout, flounder, mackerel, pompano, jacks and ladyfish. The anglers who are fishing before the sun rises will have very good results. “Low Light” conditions also includes the sunset and post-dusk opportunities. The evening low tides near sunset and incoming water has higher oxygen and is slightly cooler water coming in from the Gulf.
Redfish have been in spring patterns lately and will be the most active in low-light periods. They will be caught on artificial lures but whenever the sun is higher in the sky, they will be more likely to eat a natural bait on the bottom. Speckled trout action also remains strong and they will cooperate best at sunrise, around the twilight/sunset but if things get really hot this month, they will be more likely to be caught in the middle of the night. Mackerel, pompano, jacks, ladyfish and flounder will be aggressive just as the sun rises and the first hour and a half after the sun appears. Keep lures down in contact with the bottom for pompano (Silly Willy with a teaser) and flounder (12 Fathom 3-inch Mullet) and for the other species get the lures moving at a faster pace anywhere you see bubbled-up baitfish, hovering or diving birds or surface explosions. Find the bait schools and you will find the fish. The best opportunities are often around the Gulf passes but could be on the deeper flats as well. Flounder have been trickling in but should arrive in greater numbers and be easily caught through the fall season. Pompano action is often best in June and July so if the sun gets up high, go to a Bay bridge and bump your jigs down near pilings and catch pompano.
The middle areas of Tampa Bay will still be favorable for steady action, but if things move into a high heat pattern and bring the water temperatures up to their peak, consider moving to areas where the incoming tides bring in water directly from the Gulf. Proximity to passes will usually keep you in better action when the water is hottest.
Know your safety areas: June starts the onset of regular thunderstorm activity. Go fishing early, late and often but keep an eye to the sky! The squalls with these thunderstorms can be fierce and anglers who pay attention will not be caught in life-threatening situations. Enjoy the action but arrive home safely.
In the Southwest “Suncoast” area of Florida, Steve Gibson with Southern Drawl Kayak Fishing: Look for increased numbers of snook in the surf along
area beaches. I you like to sight-fish with a fly rod, this is for
you. Bay fishing should result in decent numbers of spotted seatrout,
snook, ladyfish and jack crevalle. Redfish numbers have been down, and
I don’t anticipate any change. Night fishing around lighted docks
should produce good numbers of snook. In fresh water, Lake Manatee is
the best bet for bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish.
Photo info: John Weimer of Sarasota admires and colorful oscar he
caught along the Tamiami Trail on a Myakka Minnow.
The East coast of Florida
The water’s getting warmer but so is our fishing. May was good, June should be amazing. Sea breeze collision storms will limit some trips but overall, it will be a great time to connect with big fish around here. Redfish, some trout and near the passes: flounder.
In the Big Bend of Florida’s Panhandle, Robert Baker at TnT Hideaway- One of the best months of the year. We can do offshore and inshore kayak fishing, both with great results. No doubt: Flounder, trout and redfish will be pretty easy. Offshore: Snapper, grouper and king mackerel, no problem! Call Rob or Brad to talk over the opportunities around Wakulla and Panama City. To see Rob’s operation, check out: 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/
In Northeast Florida: Fun, fun, fun. Everyone is going to have fun. We have great populations of fish and fairly light pressure on them. Make a visit and fish our murky waters for some fantastic action and very mature fish. What will you catch? Depends on where you go. We have sheepshead, flounder, redfish and trout which are very reliable. Black drum are also an option if you know where to find them. Honestly, easy opportunities for everything listed in the month of June.
In the greater South Florida area: June may be the best month we have. Offshore and inshore. By kayak, if you know what you are doing, you can safely target big “deep water species”. Inshore, better fishing this month than the next two coming up: Tarpon, redfish, trout, permit and even some snook. Early or late better, we have a lot of fun on the agenda for this month.
The tip of the month:
Lose the “stringer” and buy a fish bag. Sharks will devour a fish that is attached to your boat sometimes placing the kayak angler in a very dangerous situation. Read more on the perils of tying a fish off to your kayak and suggestions on how to properly store your catch: HERE
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!
Get out and into the action but as always: Be careful out there!
Neil Taylor, www.capmel.com site administrator