Well, as of right now everyone is on an even keel as far as fishing goes. The tropical storm has pretty much wiped the fishing slate clean. Before the storm we were enjoying what was probably the best May for fishing I have seen in a long time. It was nothing to head out to the middle of the harbor and catch shark, mackerel, cobia and other various fish without much work. Those days are gone.
The water temperature in the upper harbor (at the 41 bridge) was 90 degrees yesterday late afternoon. We also have a ton of freshwater coming down the Peace and Myaka Rivers. Now, I say freshwater with a grain of salt (or lack thereof) because it was the first major rain to our north which is rinsing down our first big load of river sediment and contaminates. So not only is our water temperature going up, but our water quality is going down. Hotter water will hold less oxygen and those contaminates will also cause algae blooms which will further drop the oxygen levels. All that means that the fish will move.
The baitfish, which don’t like fresh water or water without oxygen will go find better water. Fish that can’t handle that water quality will too. Fish that can handle that water will still move because all their food has left. That means you need to start running further down south to find bait and our larger summer fish like shark and cobia.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that the bait fish will follow the tide so you can still fish the middle of the harbor on an incoming tide. The quality of the fishing won’t be what is was in May but they will be there in smaller numbers. Remember though, those fish will retreat with the outgoing tide so plan your day accordingly.
Cobia are still a hot topic. Because cobia can easily circumnavigate the globe, water quality doesn’t affect them very much. Keep an eye out for cobia following stingrays on the east side. The stingrays are starting to give birth and the cobia will follow them for an easy meal. It’s a swimming Pez dispenser.