Wow, has it been hot out on the water! Fishing has been pretty good considering some of the rain we have had and of course the heat has been brutal on some days. However, for those that want to fish this is what mother nature has thrown at us.

My clients have been using a combination of artificial lures as well as live bait. This time of year the flats and bayou’s are covered with bait and can provide that extra advantage when the fishing gets tough due to the conditions. Getting on the water early will allow you to find and net as much bait as you will need. Fishing live bait is pretty straight forward. Free lining bait over 

broken bottom (combination of grass and sand) in the 3’ – 6’ range will usually provide you with a good speckled trout bite as well as Blue fish, Lady fish, and Spanish Mackerel. Of course 

always keep an eye out for activity before committing to an area. Birds, especially diving birds, mullet schools, as well as bait pods will be a great indicator of fish in the area. Other ways to fish live bait that works well, is using bait under a popping cork. This will keep the bait from getting in the grass and works well in the wind, where you can allow the breeze to drift your bait across an area maximizing your coverage. 

If you prefer to throw artificial, I’ve had my clients throwing top water early and later in the day along with a combination of suspending twitch baits. We are catching a little of everything! If you find yourself in an area where the Spanish and Bluefish are active try tying on a 30 lb leader or section of small wire. This will save you from loosing your lures and the fish don’t seem to mind. There has been lots of floating grass in the bay making working artificial lures difficult at times. If you would like ideas on how to work around this issue give me a call or shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to make some suggestions. 

Even with the wind, rain, and clouds, sight fishing is still possible but is definitely going to be challenging. The water up on the flats is stained but clear enough to see the bottom in most area’s. A little bit of sun will give you an opportunity to see fish. I have been working mostly over sandy areas in the bays to make it a little easier to spot our targets. 

Flyfishing has been pretty good for those just looking to get hooked up on something to pull on. Lady fish, Blue fish, and Spanish have bee the primary targets. This time of year some really large Spanish can be caught working the drop off’s in the bay. We have also been seeing lots of nice ladyfish right on the beach making for a blast on light tackle and fly! 

Good luck! 

As always, I encourage you to give me a call if you have questions about fishing in the 

Panhandle at (850) 832-4952 or for additional information about Grassy Flats Charters, please visit

In addition, checkout “Grassy Flats Charters” on Facebook for the most recent pictures and video’s along with “Grassy Flats Charters” on Youtube and Instagram

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Captain Daniel Snapp

Grassy Flats Charters

“Sight Fishing the Emerald Coast”

(850) 832-4952