June 2016 Fishing Forecast.
June is here and its about time! So far this year has been a funky thing, the first few months were windy, wet and chilly. The past few months have been a mix of a little bit of everything, more wind, some rain, some cold fronts and then a bit of Spring, what the heck is going? May was for the most part a BUST! Tarpon were here but very hard to feed and the mani bite was almost non existent, now don’t get me wrong, there were fish caught and huge ones at that, but the consistent bite and action was missing. So lets just say that the Summer season is just getting started here in June.
With Summer here we are all holding our breath and waiting for main attractions to get the party started, Tarpon and Mahi are the superstars of Summer and rightly so. They both have a huge fan following around here and they both are incredible fighters. The Tarpon bite will last through the season and into Fall and the first really good cold fronts. Mahi, Dorado or Dolphin as we call the the locally are a huge crowd pleaser as they tend to travel in huge rowdy schools and if you can get one to eat a bait they will all chow down. Dolphin are easy to pile into the cooler this time of the year so remember your limits and check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for limits, sizes and seasons.
The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the Everglades National Park and Florida Bay and the water quality issues stemming from upstream issues with fresh water flow and supply to our North. Florida Bay has only been around for 5000 years and it will be around for many centuries to come. this Summer will show us how much damage was done by last years drought, heat and lack of freshwater flow from the mainland, we lost thousands of acres of sea grass prairies last year and hopefully we will have a wet season this year. There has been good Sea Trout activity in the upper Florida Bay this Spring and good sized schools in many areas. Go look for fresh mullet muds in 3-6 feet of water and drift through them throwing small 3-5 inch soft plastic jerk baits on 1/4 ounce jig heads and stake out to work over the area as you get fish. The Key Largo backcountry has had good Snook, Redfish and Mangrove snapper catches all year to date and that should only improve these next few months. Capt. Chris Hanson of Scales to Tail charters has been on the bite for some time in Key Largo using a mix of artificial lures and live baits like Pilchards and shrimp to put together mixed catches. Tarpon will eat like big dogs this month and and as a matter of fact I took a break while writing this and the evening bite was outstanding tonight! I’ve been waiting for the water temps to hit 82-83 degrees and they have, now with steady air temps and easterly winds we can all get down to the business of Summer fishing.
This time of the year seems to be the time where many of us need to renew important fishing permits and replace safety gear on our boats to prepare for the Summer season. Check pressures on your fire extinguishers, check the expiration dates on your flares and smoke signals and replace any wore, thorn or missing life jackets and throwable flotation devices. I reference the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission often here as they are a great resource for your boating safety issues. You will find up to date regulations, safety info and you can purchase new fishing licenses online through their website.
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