The tides to start July have been sluggish and with the water sitting at a steady 90 degrees, the lack of oxygen has made for a tough inshore bite. These lackluster tides have come in in the wakeof June’s full and new moons, which createdstellar bites both inshore, and off the beach for Tarpon, for roughly a 2-week stretch. The Tarpon bite for July should be turning up within the next week or so, as the full moon is set for July 13th this month. The summer months give us our highest high tides and we are currently in a summer hill tide stretch. This gives us a steady incoming morning tide and massive outgoing tide in the afternoon. I prefer to fish the beginning of the outgoing tide this time of year, as the water pulls large numbers of fish like snook and trout into deeper holes, passes, and wave swashes. These fish will typically choosebeach edges where the tide is ripping and wait to ambush bait as it gets swept out with the tide.
These afternoon outgoing tides are also a great time to target tarpon. Although the tides haven’t been strong enough to flush crabs for the last two weeks, it still gives you a good chance of drifting baits like threadfins around structure to these fish.
On these big outgoing tides, look for areas where the water is being pushed over shallow points into deeper areas such as a pass. Egmont key is a great example of this and where a number of our bites have been coming from on recent trips. The water on an outgoing tide rushes over the shallow sandbars and into the deeper water, where these fish have been sitting in large numbers. When the tide isn’t moving very fast, Tarpon don’t need to expend much energy, therefore they will sit at the bottom in the deeper water. This scenario is a prime example where Structure Scan/Side Scan bottom machines can help to identify where the schools are sitting in the deeper water. This allows you to position the boat up current and drift the baits down to the school.
Good luck this month,