July is one of the most productive months of the year for fishing. The combination of traditional targets like redfish and trout and summer seasonal species like shark, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel make for a very active fishery. Anglers can expect lots of different opportunities during all tides!
Don’t leave the dock without your cast net. Menhaden and finger mullet are readily available and choice baits for redfish. Target redfish while fishing these baits around structures like docks and rock walls. You can hook the bait on a size 3/0 circle hook going up through the lower lip and out through the top. Place the bait on the bottom with a Carolina rig using enough weight to hold your bait stationary so it doesn’t snag.
As for trout, popping corks paired with live bait is the way to go. We have been using mud minnows as pervasive little fish will steal live shrimp right off your hook. Choose a popping cork that you can easily throw and see. Oval corks weigh more and cast farther. Orange can be easier to see than green or yellow when there is chop on the water. Throw your cork in an area with current and you will be catching loads of trout.
All species of shark have appeared. Sharpnose and blacktip sharks have been present for over a month and bonnetheads are becoming more present. The same menhaden mentioned above make for great shark bait. We still use circle hooks but go up to size 7/0. Try fishing one line with a live menhaden and a second with a chunk of menhaden. You’ll find out quickly which one is preferred!
This is the strongest season in recent memory for Spanish mackerel. We have been finding them in heavy numbers in places where they have rarely been seen. These fish are great fun for all anglers and easy to catch. Cast reflective jigs through schools of busting fish and reel as fast as possible. Expect dynamic action as these fish knife through the water chasing your lure!
See you on the water!