Bamboo Charters in Islamorada Florida, the Sportfishing Capitol of the World, has begun running Bay Boats by the Ranger Boat Company. Bamboo Charters bought their first Ranger Bay Boat in 2001 and now in 2013 they have purchased two 2014 Ranger Bahia Bay boats. The Bahia 220 is powered by a Mercury Marine 150 HP 4 stroke motor and the 240 model is powered by a Mercury Marine Verado 250 HP motor. Both boats are identically outfitted with Garmin GPS, Fusion Marine Stereo, JL Marine Speakers, Icom VHF and Power Pole Shallow Water Anchors.
July is here and its the first full month of Summer! We are well into a good dolphin season around the islands and many captains around town look forward to a push of larger fish this month. Schoolie and gaffer size dolphin have been abundant so far as well as some slammer bulls and cows and there has been a handful of white marlin showing up behind the boats looking to fight too. July holds the increased chance of tangling with a Blue marlin, this is the time of the year where you need to have a plan and the tackle ready if the “Man in the Blue Suit” shows up behind your bait spread. Snappers of all types will be putting on the feed bag this month and getting into spawning aggregations and the grouper action will be good too.
Reef fishing is a crowd pleaser and the calm weather of July will allow everyone to get in on the action. Mangrove and Yellowtail snapper will be thick and they will eat all day and into the night. Look in depths around 40-60 feet of water over broken bottom, ledges and scattered coral heads, once you find bottom you like anchor up current and start chumming! Flat-line fresh Ballyhoo or Bonito strips on your favorite 10-15 lb spin tackle using no more than a good quality leader material in the 20 class. a #1 or 1/0 hook will work well with no weight, flip the bait behind the boat and let the current take it back along with your chum slick. You will know when the strike comes, work the fish hard to avoid sharks and to keep the fish from rocking you up! You can also rig a bottom rod with just enough lead to hold bottom and 5 feet of 30-40 lb leader tied to a 1/0 hook pinned to a Pilchard or fresh Ballyhoo chunk, this should score a big Mangrove snapper or Mutton.
The Gulf of Mexico this time of the year will hold a good number of fish on the deep grass flats in the 4-8 foot depth, Mangrove snapper and Speckled trout will eat the same baits as you drift and cast. I rig a 8-10 pound spin outfit with a Cajun Thunder poppin’ cork with 3 1/2 feet of 20 mono and a chartreuse Hook Up jig, for bait I use a 3-4 inch GULP! Shrimp in New Penny or white. When I find a few big snapper or two I stake up with my Power Pole and work the entire area around the boat for several minutes. If you see a white spot on the bottom, a sand hole, stake up above it in the current and drift baits to it, you will find good action here. The rock piles and wrecks that you fish in the Gulf in the Winter will hold good fish in the Summer as well.
The heart of the Everglades will be good for the usual suspects found back there, Snook, Reds, Trout and Tarpon will be found in good numbers. This is the time of the year where you really need to keep a close eye on the weather in the back. Check your Weather Radar app early and often and keep in mind that these storms pop up fast, move fast and drop a ton of lightning! July is also the time of the year where you may need to renew your fishing licenses, lobster stamp and snook stamps. While you are doing that check all of you boats safety items for expiration dates and check your fire extinguishers too.
The wind has blown more than it hasn’t for the month of May. Plain and simple it has been blowing in the high teens and mid twenties for two weeks. This makes for tough conditions for tarpon catching, don’t get me wrong we are putting big fish in the air and landing a few too! Tarpon tend to sulk in these windy conditions and the guides that soak dead bait on the bottom will score well. The late night brigade has been drifting crabs under the full moon and the bite has been silly good. Capt Tony Melton and Capt Keith Tucker have found the bite just right between 7-8:30 pm close to our marina here at La Siesta Marina.
The banks that are found in the backcountry have deep channels that cut through them and have a huge population of Mangrove snapper living in them. We have been putting together nice catches fantastic fish dinners. Aside from a good snapper bite, the shark action has been intense! Big Bull & Lemon sharks have been working these channels too and a fresh cut bait on a 8/0 circle hook tied to a 20 pound spin outfit will challenge your metal.
Family fun fishing