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Good Time For A Fishing Trip

Capt. Dave Pinkham
June 28, 2010
Venice - Saltwater Fishing Report

Right now the runaway well continues to pump oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I hope and pray they can stop it. As I write this the sun is just coming up and I can't wait to tear out the door and head to the water; The Gulf just off the Venice Jetties has been clear and there's been lots of fish and wildlife around at least for now.

Following is a brief Gulf fishing forecast for the month of July.

- Spanish mackerel should be in close to the beaches throughout the summer months which allows easy access to this great fishery to just about everyone. One of my favorite ways to catch them is to net up some live shiners for bait and head out on the Gulf for some action. Anchoring the boat and free-lining the live bait on the surface works best. If action is slow or non-existent try chumming with some of the live shiners. If still no mackerel try moving to another area. Just a short move can sometimes make all the difference in the world. Keep an eye peeled for mackerel feeding on small baitfish at the surface. Trolling silver spoons behind planning boards is a great way to search for new fishing grounds. Mackerel love to hang over hard bottom or in tide rips which often will hold the baitfish they feed on.

- Little tunnie are a great sport fish and summer is the time to catch them. Tunnie will often show up just about anywhere and feed readily on live baits and will often hit cut bait as well. Another good way to get a quick hookup with a tunnie is to find them feeding at the surface and drive the boat within casting range. Cast a small spoon or sliver jig into the feeding fish and reel as fast as possible.

-Snappers such as mangrove, lane, yellow tail, mutton, and American red are all real possibilities on the Gulf all summer long. Generally they will be located over hard bottom, ledges, springs, and wrecks. Snapper can be somewhat finicky at times so it can be wise to use as light as gear as possible. For leaders consider using fluorocarbon monofilament as it is less visible to the fish. Night fishing over wrecks in the periods around the full moon when conditions are right can be very productive. I prefer natural baits such as crabs, shrimp, live shiners, and squid.

-Gag Grouper are caught on the Gulf all year long although in the summer months they can be more difficult to locate then their cousin the red grouper. Gags usually hang out closer to structure such as wrecks and ledges. Live baits will often entice gags to turn on especially in the heat of the day. Good stiff stand up tackle works best here.

-Red Grouper are one on the surest ways to put slabs on the table in the hot summer months. Look for the larger reds out past 70-foot deep. One way to locate them is by drift fishing over hard bottom. When you do locate a bite of red grouper throw your marker jug. Now you can re-drift the same area or anchor the boat over the marked spot. Red grouper are known to eat just about any kind of bait. A good method I've found to use when drift fishing is to tip a 4-oz jig with squid and just bounce it up and down on the bottom as you drift along.

-Cobia generally will scatter all over the Gulf in the summer months. In the past I've caught them while sight fishing the weed lines for mahi. Cobia are known for their fighting ability as well as their good eating quality. It's always wise to have a good casting rod set aside in case a cobia shows up swimming under the boat.

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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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