|An artful depiction of a Mahi Jumping|
INSHORE: Craig Lupton at Buck Bass, 'N Beyond shares that the Redfish bite is still strong with some decent schools still being spotted while sight fishing on the flats around oyster banks. Live Mud Minnows still seem to be what the fish want but many being caught on small 1/4 oz. jigs with a soft plastic grub in Space Guppy and other more natural colors. They are getting better reports from the fishermen going farther up the creeks. Lots of slot Reds filling the limits quickly then spending the rest of the day just having fun catching them. Talked to a few guys catching up to thirty or so a trip, mixed in with some good eating catfish. Live mud minnows and cut shrimp on the bottom have been working for both. Not much on the trout and sheepshead with only a few being reported. The local piers are reporting the usual Summer species you would expect, with lots of sharks, rays and the occasional cobia - plus delicious whiting. Cut mullet works for the sharks and rays but a live Greenback Herring is the ticket for a nice Cobia. Use peeled shrimp on a Carolina rig for the whiting. Surf fishing is also picking up. For more store information visit the Internet at Buck, Bass 'N Beyond.
NEAR SHORE: The near shore wrecks and reefs are producing tons of black sea bass with few keepers mixed in. Flounder and weakfish are out there too, along with the bluefish and Spanish mackerel. The Flounder and weakfish are being caught using buck tail jigs tipped with Gulp swimming minows and live mud minnows but small herring, menhaden and pinfish work great also. For the bluefish and Spanish try trolling 15lb. tackle on planers with small drone spoons. Take assorted colors with you as I have found certain days only one color really turns them on. Remember too that if the Spanish are around there may be a big King mackerel there also. Fish for them on the same 15lb. tackle, and put a couple smaller baits like a menhaden, herring or pinfish close to the boat and put a Spanish close behind on of your shorter baits making it look like the Spanish is chasing the smaller baits. That live Spanish will keep those smaller baits moving and lively because they are sure they are about to be eaten. Craig has won more money kingfishing a live Spanish than any other bait, and promises if there is a King around, your spread looks good and your baits are fresh he will eat and it will be huge.
OFFSHORE: The Mahi bite is still raging with good reports starting in about 160 ft. on out. You know the deal, look for a tight weed line, birds and bait. Mix your colors in the trolling spread till the fish tell you what color they prefer. Start with some naked ballyhoo, then add a couple skirts in blue/white and some green/green and some green/ pink. Catch a few fish see what they want and switch your bait colors to match. Stay diligent watching your spread, looking for lures caught in the weeds, spinning or just not tracking right. Move baits up, drop them back and keep them fresh, don't just settle in on what you have out. Keep a pitch rod ready at all times, plus have a couple of dedicated rods rigged with plugs, jigs or hooks for cut bait.BOTTOM: The bottom bite is red hot with awesome reports of limits of big Vermilion Snapper and triggerfish coming in. Mixed in the bag were some nice grouper and lots of black sea bass. Most guys make their own rigs using a 150lb. swivel on top, 4 to 5-feet of 60-lb. mono two to three hook loops tied in the middle about a foot apart, and a loop at the bottom for a 16oz. bank or pyramid sinker. I like my top two hooks to be 3/0 Octopus circles with a 5/0 circle on the last loop. Bait it up with cleaned and cut squid, ballyhoo chunks, cigar minnows or sardines. Send it down, lift it just off the bottom and get ready. Use your bottom finder to locate good hard bottom with as much relief as you can find. There needs to be fish marking on the finder or else just keep looking. Try some drifts find the sweet spot then anchor up. While anchored or drifting keep a rigged bait on a free line way out with very little or no weight. You will be surprised what you catch. You might get a king, mahi, spanish or even a nice grouper!
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