Opa, Mike and Cindy with a hefty redfish.

The dog days of summer are here again. With that being said, water temps will reach the 90s and wreak havoc on the bait health in the live wells. Greenbacks are plentiful, as are the pinfish on the flats. Try to get your day started early in the morning so you are off the water before the heat really gets up. Pinfish will remain hearty much longer than the greenies in the well. If you head into the backwaters, use those pinfish because you will probably lose most of the greenies with the hot water in the backcountry.

Snapper is the name of the game this time of year, and they readily ingest both live and dead greenies and small pinfish. You may want to downsize your leaders to 12# or 15# test and hooks down to #1 or #2 circle hooks. Snapper sometimes get very leader-shy, but downsizing your rigs will help. Use about 8-10 feet of leader with your setup. Chum heavy on the lighter tides and you’ll find that these voracious predators will rise to the occasion. Drop back a bait with a hook in the chum line and hold on.

Snook are on the prowl, but as the waters heat up, they get more lethargic. Large, cut ladyfish or mullet will produce larger fish. As the water heats up, there will be less oxygen, and stressing out these larger fish will be of concern. Be sure to baby these larger fish and get them in the water as quickly as you can. You may need to hold the fish by the mouth and move it around to get plenty of water and oxygen into their gills.

Redfish are scattered around in the backwaters, but as August moves into September, they will begin to group up for the season. Keep a lookout for larger schools moving through the open passes and pushing water.

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