August fishing will continue with very warm waters and temperatures with both pushing the 90 degree mark. A couple of positive signs are evident. Rain showers will bring down the water temperature a little bit and there are millions of small bait fish (sardines or white bait) everywhere in Clearwater Harbor and Dunedinís St Joseph Sound.
Whatís Hot in the Clearwater fishing area; all inshore fish will be feeding on the herds of small fry baits that seem to be on every flat, along channel edges and under all the bridges. I had several trips in July where the fish were biting the small baits (1 1/2Ē to 2Ē size) and not the larger ones. If that is the bait you see throughout the bay, then thatís what the fish are feeding on. Always keep a variety of baits in your well, because you never know.
Snook will start moving off the beaches to inhabit the mangrove shore lines, barrier islands and the inshore bay waters. Search all of those areas because you never know where they will end up. Still there are some fish on the beaches, so donít pass them up completely.
Use the top of the tide to get up on the shallow water flats and next to the mangrove shore lines to look for redfish. Search along the shallows right next to the mangroves. I will be throwing a Catch 22 in mullet color and a Chug Bug early in the morning. If the tide is later, I will be using shrimp and white bait to find the action. Look for very active waters such as, lots of mullet schools and bait fish in the area.
Trout have been on almost every grass flat throughout the bay waters. Pick a flat that has good moving water, either the incoming or outgoing tide, it doesnít seem to matter and most likely you will get hooked up.
It may be a little warm at times in August, but catching the tide just right and finding your honey hole full of fish is so cool.
Capt. Gary Burch