This is Captain Keith Kalbfleisch, Bass Pro Shops-Orlando’s Saltwater ProStaff. Summer is here, and while it is hot, so is the fishing! This is the best time of the year to catch big fish here in Central Florida. On the flats the redfish and trout are active and willing to bite, and on the open ocean there may be chances for tarpon, king mackerel, jack crevalle, and more just off the beaches, while out in the offshore areas you can expand the selection to cobia, dolphin, barracuda and more.
Two areas that are spectacular during the summer are nearshore and inshore on the flats. Nearshore fishing is fishing along the shorelines of the open ocean form right along the beach to about a mile out. This is where many of our big fish migrate as they come up the coast on their yearly pilgrimage to eat and grow huge. The stars of this type of fishing are tarpon, jack crevalle, king mackerel, little tunny, and barracuda, but others will crash the party. This is often fished in a small boat, using live baits, and the fish can be huge, so it is an exciting and radical fishing! Here is a jack crevalle caught on my boat, The MTC, this weekend by Jeff Sutton of California. It is 30 pounds, and one of the meanest fish that swims!
The typical day nearshore is to catch your live bait (sometimes this is difficult, and others ridiculously easy) then slow-troll the baits behind the boat. It is “buffet” fishing, since you don’t know what may attack the live bait, but it is exciting when it disappears in a huge swirl and the reel starts screaming!
But if the open ocean is not your thing, or if the weather does not cooperate, then head inshore to the flats where big redfish are waiting! This is the most popular fishing on our Florida east coast, with calm waters and fun fishing, not to mention a plethora of birds and animals like dolphin and manatees. And you can catch some big fish. Here is another picture from this weekend, it is Gene from South Dakota, who is 11 years old with the biggest fish he has caught in his life—we got three this big that day!
While it is hot during the summer, you will find it is not really that bad. The water and breezes keep you comfortable, and if you start out early you can take advantage of the cooler mornings.
I have some great articles on my website, www.Capt-Keith.com, explaining more about these types of fishing and will help you in your fishing success.
Go catch some big ones!