By Michael Murphy
August can typically be the hottest month of the year. With that mind, focus your fishing tactics to deeper water drop-offs. Greenies will still be prevalent on the flats, but they may have difficulty surviving in the live well for any length of time. If you’re fishing in the shallow backwaters, you may want to work with pinfish. They can tolerate anoxic or low-oxygen areas. As the water gets into the 90s, limited oxygen will be your biggest obstacle. Fish for trout in the deeper drops on the grass flats with jigs, pinfish or greenies. Snook and reds will be on the deeper channels between mangrove islands and deep areas on the flats.
Captain Branden McCorkle is a guide in the Apollo Beach area and is superb at locating redfish. These are some of his fishing points for catching great redfish. The redfish will start to gather back up in schools in preparation for their fall runs. To begin with, he pays attention to the water around the flats. Look for birds working bait, mullet schools migrating through the skinny water flats or large balls of baitfish for the transitional redfish that move back and forth between the flats and the back country as the tides move in and out. Specifically, look at the deeper passes.
Chum heavy with greenies or cut threads in the areas and wait about 15 minutes for any blowups on the baits, and if nothing shows, find another location. Pinfish work well under the mangroves in higher tides. Trim the tail and dorsal fin with a pair of scissors and use a 1/0 hook on a 25# test leader.
In the hotter water, it becomes a cost vs. reward situation for these fish. How much energy will they consume trying to chase a greenback, or should they just eat the big chunk of protein flowing in front?
McCorkle has been fishing these areas all his life and was the youngest guide in the area when he started. He really has shown his prowess at locating these redfish and catching them consistently. The name of his charter is True Lies Fishing Charter, and you can contact him on Facebook under the same name or call 813-480-5111. You will not be disappointed.