August weather was not as hot on the water as July, but you still noticed that we have a little bit of summer left. Water conditions were very good with temperatures in the middle 80ís most of the month. Bait fish were still around the grass flats but measured on the small size. Live shrimp was working very well on redfish and trout in the flats of Clearwater Bay. Most of the snook are scattered out on the beaches due to winds and rain showers we had throughout the month. These conditions change the salinity of the bay waters, leaving them dirty for a few days.
We were catching both redfish and trout on the shallows in Clearwater using the incoming or outgoing tides. All of the grass flats were holding trout, ladyfish and small sharks. We caught our biggest trout, up to 20 inches, moving around to different flats until the larger fish were found.
Redfish were biting at the bottom of the tides and the start of the incoming. As the tides got higher, the fish moved on.
Check out some of the catching going on during August.
John came out for a day of fishing and we moved around Clearwater looking for reds and trout. He caught a couple dozen trout with some being just less than 20 inches. John also added a half dozen 16 to 18 inch redfish and one nice 29 inch fish.
Four college kids from Texas joined me for their summer fishing break. We set up on a very active grass flat in Clearwater and slammed the trout and redfish. All of the guys caught over 30 trout up to 18 inches and at least a dozen redfish. Most of the fish were caught on live shrimp under a float. Cody had the honors catching the biggest red of 28 inches. Chris added a nice 18 inch black drum to the mix as well.
I met up with Irby for a late afternoon fishing trip in Clearwater Bay. He started out boating some trout and then shifted the catching to a 26 inch mackerel and 18 inch blue fish. From there it just got better. He caught a nice 31 inch redfish and had another one on before he boated the first fish. Both fish were the same size and Irby did a great job catching the fish. We also chased several big reds tailing the shallows at dusk but had no pickups.
Sam and family joined me for some inshore fishing. We targeted grass flats as the tide was moving in. They caught a couple dozen trout in the 14 to 16 inch range. Also some small black tip sharks added to the action. We set up near some mangroves and started catching redfish using live shrimp under a float. Chris boated the biggest red at 20 inches. In all, 8 reds were caught around the 16 to 20 inch size.
Late August the water temperature is around 85. A lower consistent water temp reflects the shorter days and the transition of fish from summer to fall patterns. The larger trout will start to move into the bays and redfish schools will get bigger. Snook will make their move to the inside bays and spoil islands that dot the back waters.
Take some time and get on the water and enjoy the fishing.
Capt. Gary Burch