July fishing forecast by Captain Van Hubbard

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We’ll be mining silver kings for exciting fishing adventures.<br />
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Tarpon are abundant and remain the top big fish target thru July and even August. We have quite a few options if you want eating fish for dinner; redfish, trout, permit, snapper and Spanish Mackerel are available. Snook are standing by to have fun if you want catch and release action. Our Florida, weather is hot so start early, use sunscreen, and beat the heat. Also be careful in the evenings: it’s the rainy season and we do have occasional treacherous thunderstorms.<br />
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Tarpon will require some time to locate now but the crowds will be gone, and that is a great trade off. Most locals work together; between our “coconut telegraph” and cell phones we manage stay on the action. Since many silver kings showed up late this year I expect good catching for us to enjoy in the weeks to come. We still have new schools of fish migrating in daily as I put this together. Crabs are difficult to even buy this season. Know one really knows why but it should improve as rain runoff increases, but God only knows. The rains usually push both pass and blues downstream to our hungry fish. The Boca Grande Pass will still hold fish but sharks have hurt this fishing in recent years. The sharks are chummed up by the lighter gear out of town fisherman use and become used to eating tarpon during the day in the Pass. Sharks have even run the fish out temporarily when the monofilament crowd goes home. If sharks are eating your tarpon please stop and go shark fishing instead; or move on to other areas. <br />
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The big secret to real tarpon fishing is simply; take your time and make your efforts count. Watch the fish until you recognize their movements, do not charge in and mess em up. Set up with enough room to present your baits or lures naturally, ahead of the schools movement. Happy fish feed much better than nervous fish. We frequently hook up on our first cast to a new school because the fish are calm and we do not push them. It’s harder to pursue fish in close quarters if you lack the properly gear. Electric motors make repositioning possible closer to fish. If you crank up a combustion engine too close it will spook the fish! As you search for fish try to travel in or offshore of the path fish are using. You will not make friends of other anglers by scaring fish for miles as you ride on the fish path. Your lack of understanding still scares the fish! Enjoy this magnificent opportunity. Ask for help before you step on our toes and most of us are glad to help if we can at the time. Also just stay back and watch a real pro work fish and learn to anticipate their movements. You can learn from their experience with out messing up their trip. We all paid our dues gaining experience and do enjoy helping anyone that respects us and the fish. <br />
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Redfish are not thick but can be tracked down. Both reds and trout are rebounding well from the “05 &amp; 06” red tides. Both will benefit from the overflowing hatch of baitfish we are enjoying now. Minnows are tiny but will grow rapidly. You will need your smallest mesh minnow net ¼ inch stretch or less. Some are so small they gill in a glass minnow mesh. Try a cork to help cast these tiny baits. Size down on hooks and gear also. The bait masses attract feeding fish.<br />
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Permit of all sizes have been passing thru. They can make your day if you are prepared to catch them; long leaders can help. They eat shrimp or crabs. Smaller ones have been near the beaches and larger ones are on the wreaks off shore. Try the fake soft plastic crabs; you can carry some all the time.<br />
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Snapper are fattening up fast on those tasty abundant minnows. You’ll need to rig light here. Use long fluorocarbon and small hooks. Circle hooks are required in Federal waters but recommended inshore also. Reel before you pull; they do work. Use the dead minnows for chum.<br />
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Spanish Mackerel are around the passes plus scattered in and out side too. Artificial reefs also hold some big ones now. I like these tiny minnows here. Dead or alive they produce fish; just set out a chum bag and let it go to work for you. Use 30 or 40 pound mono or fluorocarbon here. Light long shank hooks are perfect. You will get cut offs so bring extras. Try to concentrate on tide changes or slow tide days. Current flow can be to fast and it scatters your chum. Carry plenty of ice for your drinks and fish, cuz it’s hot. <br />
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Snook are looking good. We have schools and big fish. They are C&R but fun. Snook can be tricky with so much free food around. It is and excellent time to use flies! They can match the hatch nicely. Handle these fish carefully please.<br />
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Fishing is fine if you cooperate with Mother Nature. Please be careful with those evening thunderstorms; your safety comes first. Let’s Go Fishin’ soon. Captain Van Hubbard. <info@captvan.com><br />

Captain Van Hubbard

P.O. Box 146
Placida, FL 33946

941-468-4017

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