GO FISHING is a daily look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Ray Markham.
Water temperatures are peaking, slowing fishing during these dog days of summer.
Flats temperatures in parts of the bay are reaching the 90s. Most fish will seek cooler water temperatures by going deeper, finding shade or by finding thermoclines or fissures in the sea bottom where tiny springs seep cool spring water upward.
The temperature of the ground water is 72 degrees, and this cool water sometimes can provide stopping places where fish will lay on the bottom to chill out and invigorate themselves.
We've been finding trout after mid-morning in depths ranging from 5 to 12 feet. Throwing sinking lures and jigs has been the way to go. Some of my favorites are the MirrOlure TTR26 and Love's Lures Tandem rigged Jigs.
Recently I've been experimenting with something a little different. I'll take a 1/4-ounce DOA Shrimp tied to an 18-inch length of 25-pound fluorocarbon leader, slip a 3/8-ounce bullet worm weight on a 2-foot length of 25-pound test mono joining the two with a double Uni-knot, then tie my mono to my 10-pound Power Pro main line. The conical shape of the bullet weight points toward the rod tip minimizing hang ups in grassy areas.
The weight slides up and down the mono stopping at the knot at the leader. The rig is nothing new, but a Carolina Rig similar to one bass anglers have used for years.
This rig allows the shrimp to get down to the 12-foot depths more quickly and suspend just off the bottom while still giving it freedom of movement on the line and sensitivity when fish strike the bait.
It has been very effective for spotted sea trout, black sea bass, mangrove snapper, grouper and flounder.