tampabay.com

Captain's corner

By BOB GORTA
Published July 18, 2006


With the summer heat upon us, July is one of the toughest months to find fish. Tarpon are migrating offshore. Aggressive snook are finished spawning, and redfish are very spooky from being targeted all summer. Redfish are the top fish I will begin to look for on a charter in July.

One day last week I started in a sand hole where I had seen fish earlier in the year. Early morning clouds and low sun made it difficult to sight cast, so I anchored up, hoping redfish would be there. The tide was incoming all morning. Within 10 minutes, a redfish was on. Once the tide was higher, a monster school of redfish decided to show up where I was fishing. Keeping a low profile, and doing our best not to spook the school, we were able to stay in the same spot the rest of the charter with nonstop action.

This is the best year for bait that I have seen. It is on every grass flat, bridge, channel marker and beach. Normally this time of year, the "hatch" has taken place and bait can be too small to use. The past few charters I have thrown the cast net one time and had enough to fish all day. Scaled sardines have been the No. 1 bait for redfish and snook.

While emptying out the cast net, Spanish mackerel have been chewing the baits that get out of the net. I take advantage and break the ice for a few drag screamers, then go on the hunt for redfish.

Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or see captainrobgorta.com.