Knowing when, where to fish and what tackle to use may put more fish in the boat
Kahlyn Prieto of Apollo Beach eels in a large redfish while fishing with her dad Captain Jason Prieto around Bishops Harbor
BY JASON PRIETO Special Correspondent
Published: August 27, 2013
Updated: August 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM
August is one of my favorite months to be out on the water, when the fish begin shifting to fall spots as we edge closer to the fall. Although water temps remain hot, fish know that weather change is right around the corner and they typically start making their transitions.
This makes for some great early morning fishing – from redfish schooling up on the flats to grouper moving around the ledges inside of Tampa Bay. One thing for sure there are some good fish to be caught.
Redfish have been all along South Shore recently. Finding them takes some patience but there are several different schools ranging from 50 to 100 fish each spread out from Cockroach Bay to Joe Island. Since the water is very dirty this time of year, actually seeing the fish is just about impossible.
But fishing schools of mullet is key as the reds like to run with them. Being able to tell the difference between a school of reds and a school of mullet will also help you catch more fish. Redfish tend make a V-shaped wake and push more water.
Redfish tend to be a bit picky from time to time, so I’ve downsized to 20-pound Ohero Fluorocarbon line and the Daiichi No. 1 wide-gap circle hook. I’ve also used the Ohero 15-pound Adrenaline spooled up on the new Daiwa 2500 Ballistic matched with a eight-foot Daiwa Satiga Rod to give me the longer cast needed when fishing the flats.
The Cajun Thunder Float is great to use on redfish. It makes casting a bit easier for distance, when bait is running smaller this time of year. Remember tackle is just as important as anything else in fishing and having the right set-up will put fish in your boat when you find them.
Fishing around the new and full moons will also increase your chances of finding schools of fish, as they tend to get more active around these times. Planning your trip around the weather and tides is all part of making your trips more successful. I’ve also had the best bite on the start or end of the tides. Oyster bars, creeks and troughs leading to deeper water are all good areas to try. The important thing is to get out on the water and do some fishing.
On a side note, don’t forget to check out the upcoming boat show Sept. 5-7 at the Tampa Convention Center. There will be seminars, boats and all kinds of vendors showing off some of the industry’s best products. Jonathan Hillstrand from the Deadliest Catch will be at the show. It should be another great event.
Jason Prieto is one of three Ruskin-based fishing guides and charter captains who share this column. He can be reached at (813) 727-9890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.