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August Fishing is Red Hot!

Capt. Dave Pinkham
August 11, 2010
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report

August offers anglers fishing out on the Gulf of Mexico plenty of different species of fish to go after. Following is a list of some of the most sought after fish that will be caught this month.

Spanish mackerel always seem to be scattered around from just off the beaches as well as farther offshore. Chumming with live pilchards is my favorite way to attract them to the boat and get them feeding.

King mackerel are still around although not in the large schools that you find in the spring and fall months. If you do target kings try using ground up sardines to draw them to the boat. As for your terminal tackle; make sure to use several inches of piano wire above the hook to avoid cutoffs as kings have some ferocious teeth. Live white baits such as sardines, threadfin, or pilchards are hard to beat.

Permit are a great game fish and can be caught throughout the summer months. The surest way to locate them is by fishing over bottom structure such as shipwrecks or the artificial reefs. Best baits are live crabs or jumbo shrimp. Fish the live crabs with no weight attached allowing them to swim and sink freely.

Shark action really heats up in the late summer months. There are a lot of different species of shark offshore this time of the year such as hammerhead, lemon, blacktip, nurse, and reef. Usually if you start getting clean cut-offs while bottom fishing it's generally a shark or a king mackerel. When this starts happening just re-rig with wire to avoid any more lost rigs and to be sure to catch them.

Gag grouper are a prize to catch as well as to serve on the dinner table. Anchoring the boat down over hard coral bottom or limestone ledges is the best way to locate and catch them. Stiff standup rods with strong hooks baited and dropped to the bottom is the normal method for gag grouper fishing. A wide variety of natural baits can be used. Some of the preferred baits would be live baitfish such as pinfish, small grunts and threadfin sardines. Other alternatives would be frozen cut bait such as sardines, and of course live jumbo shrimp.

Red grouper fishing usually peaks this time of the year. It really does seem like the hotter the temperatures get the more red grouper want to feed, and when the bite is on they will eat just about anything. Drift fishing with weighted rigs down near the bottom over likely looking fish shows could provide some of the best bites of the summer.

Mangrove snapper fishing can actually be very good in August. Good places to locate them will be from 50-foot and deeper in areas around limestone ledges, ship wrecks, and the artificial reefs. Those spots that produce a few big ones during the day could provide a boxful under the light of a full moon. Best baits will include live bait fish, cut bait such as sardines and squid as well as shrimp.

Dolphin fishing is best in the hottest months so now is the time. Keep an eye out for weed lines and or jumping fish. Live bait fish cast out alongside this floating sea grass will often draw hungry fish out from under the shadows.

Fishing action out on the gulf during the summer months can be very productive. On the deeper trips be sure to watch for blue water species of fish such as tuna, wahoo, sails, and marlin.

Remember, if you're too busy to go fishing you're just too busy. Get out and go fishin, cuz it's good fer ya!

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Having worked as a fishing guide on Florida's west coast for 30 years, Capt. Dave can show you how to rig your boat and fish from Sarasota to Boca Grande

Contact Info:

Capt. Dave Pinkham' Fishing Service
Phone: 941-223-9352
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