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Capt. Skylar Fishing Report – August 2020

BREAKING NEWS…It’s still hot and rainy in August

As the summer months tick on towards a close, we will start to see the vast majority of migrating Tarpon continue on their journey out of Tampa Bay and surrounding waters in August. However, August is a great month for fishing, as we get geared up for fall!

This month the weather and water temperatures will remain constant, allowing for very similar fish and fishing patterns as June and July. August remains hot and rainy in the afternoons, so getting out early will give you a good jump on the day. Start by targeting redfish, snook, and trout on the flats in the morning and then as the sun gets to its peak right about the same time as high tide, you can continue fishing the mangroves and docks or switch gears and target one of the many other species Tampa Bay has to offer that will keep a rod bent.

The sharks are plentiful this time of year and 3-foot bonnet heads make for a great time around the bridges with moving water or deeper cuts and channels around the flats. For these fun fighters, I typically use a split shot big enough to keep bottom and a big shrimp on a long shank hook or 2/0 circle hook. The snapper are still littered inshore around any structure including: docks, bridges, ledges, rock piles, and even mangroves. Even at one of my typical redfish spots near Fort Desoto, the redfish have been pushed out by juvenile gag grouper and mangrove snapper the last few times I’ve stopped by. If sharks aren’t your forte, the Spanish Mackerel have been sky rocketing bait schools around the skyway all month. Follow the bait and tide in or out and you’re going to come across a ton of these toothy critters that make for a great fight and even good table fare when eaten fresh, as they tend to get mushy when frozen.

I was lucky enough to sneak away with some friends to the keys on August 6th for the opening of lobster season and we couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better time. We managed to miss the rain everyday and finished the trip with enough lobsters to bring back and spoil our friends and family that didn’t make the trip. We snorkeled around the grass ledges and bridges picking our way through many “shorts” in order to come up with keepers, but they were still plentiful. “Lobstering” is like “scalloping” but on steroids,where you hold your breath long enough to swim down anywhere from 10-20 feet in our case and then battling with these spiny creatures that require just enough finesse to coax them out of their hideouts and into your net before you run out of breath. Every few lobsters you find yourself pushing your limits when they are being uncooperative leaving their cozy homes or you miss netting them and you’re trying to track them down and wrestle them before running out of breath or risk losing them for good if you need to make a second dive. Although it was tough leaving paradise in the keys, it made it a little easier knowing I was coming back to what I consider paradise right here in St. Petersburg and the incredible fishery we are blessed with in our backyard.

Good luck and good fishing.

Capt Skylar Wilks
Inspired Fishing Charters
Capt. Skylar on Instagram

Hi – I’m Captain Skylar Wilks and I am a full-time Tampa Bay Inshore Guide, residing in Madeira Beach. I grew up spending my weekends and summers fishing with my Grandparents who live across the street from the Madeira Beach Marina. In 2011, I moved a bit further south to Fort Myers and attended Florida Gulf Coast University, with a scholarship to play Division 1 soccer. When I wasn’t playing soccer, I was spending my time learning the waters and fishing in Sanibel, Estero Bay, and the Naples area. In 2015, I graduated with a degree in Business Management and moved back to Madeira Beach to launch my fishing business, Inspired Fishing Charters.Filed Under: Fishing Reports

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