Some things the government (NOAA) doesn’t know starts with exceptionally large red snapper in such great numbers that they will turn the water red all the way around your boat when you pull up on a wreck or artificial reef site. We have found so many red snapper now that we can fish for them and bring home two per fisherman, that it is hard to stop anywhere to try and catch a red grouper. The other thing the government apparently does not know is just how many gag grouper there are in the Gulf off of northwest Florida. We are throwing back so many, even though we are trying to stay away from their habitat. And the big question is, how many will survive even though we make every effort to insure their safety. Another large part of our trips is some really fine red grouper and triggerfish. We are blessed with a great supply of nice red grouper. The vermillion snapper (beeliners) just seem to be getting larger and more plentiful. We are having to limit the number of large beeliners that we are bringing home just to be conservative. The weather and the fish availability, so far in June, is making fishing for everybody absolutely fantastic. I have not seen recreational fishermen and charter fishermen in these numbers for several years.
Let’s talk about the great inshore fishing that is going on just as you are reading this. The big redfish will be all over the range markers and deep water holes in St. Joe Bay today and then tomorrow you may not be able to find one, it’s called “fishin’.” The speckled trout are larger than recent years by far and appear to be plentiful. The best place to fish for them during the warm months is on the shallow water flats in the early morning and then move into the deeper water fishing spots as the day warms up. Pompano, whiting and sheepshead are coming on real good, especially the whiting along the beaches between the first reef and the beach. If July turns out to be as wonderful in fishing both offshore and inshore as June has been so far, it is going to be a wonderful month.
Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.