Summer surf fishing patterns take hold, reigning in what looks to be a great season for catching big snook, pompano, whiting, and sharks. The snook bite has already elevated itself to a degree that gives anglers the confidence to target these trophy sport fish. Wrapping up the last week of the snook season had many fishermen hit the beaches to find amazing success. Live baits such as croakers, mullet, and threadfins accounted for the majority of these slot-size fish and oversize fish that hit the shoreline over the past week.
Look for this trend to continue in the months ahead and remember with warmer water temps, fish being out of season, and larger fish being present to handle with care. Never hold the fish from the lip vertically, or touch the gills or eyes, and to always support fish in a horizontal manner with two hands, get a quick release, and don’t take excessive time with fish being out of the water. Another tip is to use circle hooks when live baiting to avoid gut hooked fish that increases the chance of injury or death. Wetting one’s hands before handling a fish is another measure to ensure you don’t wipe away the fish’s protective slime which protects them from fungus and bacteria. Practicing these measures promotes a healthy fishery during the snooks spawning season which in turn will lead to increased numbers of fish for the future. It’s an incredible time to catch a memory and to practice these guidelines while also sharing with others.
Pompano fishing may not be the talk of the town compared to the winter months but let me assure you there are banner days to be had over the summer months. Many pompano reside in the area year-round so these fish are referred to as residential pompano. While the majority of larger schools travel north following their ideal water temps these residential fish can be found along Brevard County beaches for the entirety of the summer surf fishing season. Similar tactics can be implemented as the winter seasons with pompano rigs using chartreuse, orange, and white floats producing best. Match these pompano rigs with Fishbites, sandfleas, shrimp, or clams for the ideal combination to target pompano in the surf. Don’t be surprised if you catch a trophy snook while targeting pompano and whiting, as numerous times these fish key in on crustaceans before the arrival of the mullet in the latter summer months.
In summary, it’s an exciting time to hit the beach knowing the diversity and opportunities on hand. Everything from catching dinner fish like pompano, whiting, and croaker up to the trophy class fish including snook, tarpon, and sharks. Water clarity will continue to drive success for the target species who feed primarily by sight, so put in the work to find areas depicting shades of blue and green. With that being said the diminishing seaweed problem accompanied by calmer winds will be beneficial as the days pass. Enjoy the weeks ahead with family fishing trips to the beach accompanied by calm conditions and the exhilarating sensations all our coast has to provide.