July 1 – 30, 2004 — King, Ling, Snapper, Trout and Reds

After a nonstop July, I can finally catch up with fishing reports. I do admire the guides who fish everyday and can sit down and write fishing reports on a daily basis. This “OLD GUIDE” just doesn’t have that much energy and stamina.

July was our turning point for summer weather patterns. Calm mornings leading to 10 to 15 MPH winds in the evenings. Our fish have responded and are on a good feed.

Trout have been holding in 3 to 4 foot of water in and on the grass edges. Look for the fish to be 50 yards from the outside edges and as the sun gets up and the boat traffic starts look for them to move a little deeper. Top waters have been great with plenty of action. Bone and chartreuse Super Spook jrs. Skittlewalk jrs, and Spiting Images have accounted for the best catches. Bone and chartreuse soft plastics and fire tiger have been soft baits of choice. Fish the soft plastics on 1/8 oz. heads and swim them just above the top of the grass. DON’T walk thru the fish when you catch one stay in that area and fish it slowly as the trout are tightly schooled. We have stood in one spot and caught 20 to 30 from a small area.

Reds are holding as well in 3 to 4 foot of water. As usually you can sight cast to them in very shallow water early before the boat traffic gets too bad. Our best reds are coming from the sand guts in the middle of large grass beds in 3 to 4 foot of water. As you wade the grass areas if the feel a hard sand bottom, stop and let a soft plastic settle to the bottom. You will be rewarded with upper slot reds. The same bone and fire tigers have been effective on our reds.

With our calm weather has come GREAT offshore fishing. Snapper continue to be a sure thing but our king fishing on light tackle has been unbelievable. Anglers have been catching and releasing in excess of 20 kings a day. All this on trout tackle. With the shrimp boats in the gulf our bags are including snapper, kings (If you want to keep them) ling, dolphin, and numerous black fins.

The high-light of July was our Tackle testing and media event with Shakespeare, Pflueger, All Star , Real Tree and Pradco Companies represented. Shirley and I want to thank the writers who attended and our good friends at Shakespeare.

I must say having been away from All Star the past 5 years it was a real pleasure to use them again and see the improvements to their product lines. With Shakespeare’s acquisition of All Star we are now providing them for our guests’ use. With all the different actions on hand our guests can fish with them and test the different actions before they purchase one if they choose to do so.

As my previous reports I stated the new Pflueger President reel is by far the best value on the market. After field-testing the proto type last year without any problems all our guides are using them on a daily basis with out a hitch, and our guests’ response is WOW!

Big thanks again to Pradco and Real Tree for their attendance as well. If you haven’t used Pradco baits give then a try and I can assure you they will win your following as well. I am currently testing a number of their baits and will follow up with reviews in the near future.