July fishing is upon us, but we do have to reflect some of the fishing we had in June. Great times and sad times have been recorded. The great time, were the trips we went fishing and the sad times were the fishing trips we had to cancel due to weather. All in all we did have some extraordinary trips. Reaching from near shore to the middle grounds grouper have been caught with great success. Happy to say that our waters off Hernando County are drinking water clear and you can see the bottom in depths of thirty feet or better. The red tide is not effecting us this far north. From the last report I received the red tide is only up as far as Tampa bay.
So far we are experiencing the best cobia fishing we have had in a long time. The big schools of cobia are moving but some great fish are still lurking the waters off Hernando Beach. Capt. Tim Burke was being a first mate for me on one of his days off and made a sight cast to a big, at least, forty eight inch cobia. Fishing a light thirty pound spinning rig the fight was on. Capt. Tim handed off the fishing rod to one of my clients. Then the fun started, as the fish was in for the fight of its life. Another factor took place while fighting this fine fish, from the depths a gray shadow appeared and made the forty eight inch cobia look like bait. You guessed it. A shark was thinking about making our fish dinner. With great skills our fisherman maneuvered the fish in for gaffing. Ok the first attempt at gaffing the fish failed and even bent the point of the gaff and again the shark came up and scared the cobia even more than having a fish hook in it. Thanks to the cobia the shark missed its meal and allowed us to gaff it and place it in the cooler. That was just one story about cobia fishing we experienced in June. The cobia and grouper live on the same wreaks and reefs in the Nature Coast areas. We were fishing sardines and live pin fish and the cobia inhaled the pin fish fished free lined. July fishing should be about the best time to enjoy the water. After a great day of fishing I sometimes stop and do a little snorkeling for scallops seeing scallop season opens in July. Hopefully this year will be better than last year. From what I understand the rain of last years spring season hurt the scallop spawn.
This year we experienced a lighter and late rainy season. On the near shore waters we have been doing well on sea trout and small sharks. There is not as many shallow water grouper as years past but I have seen a big increase in the shallow water red grouper and a decrease in the shallow water gag grouper. Hopefully this is just a summer thing and thing will be sure to change in the fall. Backwater fishing according to my friends at Double Trouble Charters redfish and trout are being caught like never before. If you like red fishing stop by and chat with Capt Eric & sons from Dixie Lee Bait and Tackle there knowledge is always open for discussion. Hernando Beach Bait and tackle also has reported fishing to be at its best in many years. Capt Tim Burke also boast of great red fishing trips. So I think July is about to explode with great new fish stories.