Here in the Everglades National Park, the weather in July is fairly predictable, as are the fishing patterns. Day time air temperatures are now hovering around 92 degrees each day, bringing the water temperatures up to 87 degrees.
Storms are beginning to arrive pretty much daily, mostly late in the morning to early afternoon and cool things off a little. The bite is early in the day, and again late in the afternoon/early evening. Expect the bite to drop off to nothing during the mid day heat and slack tides.
The Speckled Sea Trout bite remains steady. The Trout are now generally smaller than the winter Trout, but around in good numbers. They will take anything from a live shrimp, to a buck tail jig, to a topwater plug. Fish early in the day on the incoming tide for your best results. During this same incoming tide, you can count on the Redfish too. Live shrimp under a popping cork works great for Reds. Also try a Gulp shrimp on a ¼ oz jig head, live Pilchards or Thread Herring on a circle hook, or your favorite artificial like a gold spoon, bucktail jig, or a DOA terror Eyz.
We are getting into some nice Snook on the outside islands on most every trip. Try the shores of Panther Key and surrounding islands. Top water plugs and suspended soft plastic artificials will produce some nice morning action before the wind starts to blow. Of course nothing beats a livewell full of Pilchards and Thread Herring. You can live chum with a handful of these guys, then follow up with a nice one on your hook. Recently, while fishing for Tarpon with a 12" live Ladyfish on a 8/0 circle hook, we hooked up with a huge Snook in the 25-30 lb range! The big Snook are here and they are feeding!
Triple Tail are hanging around markers and structure, and will happily take a live shrimp on a circle hook. Permit and Cobia are hanging around offshore structure. Bring some small silver dollar sized crabs with you for the Permit. Cast net some nice 6" mullet to present to the Cobia.
Mangrove Snapper are larger in size than most of the year and are hungry for a live shrimp around the Mangrove roots. Shark are all over the place and love Ladyfish. Be sure to use a heavy wire leader. Tarpon remain solid early in the morning and in the evening and are looking for live Ladyfish and Mullet. Try hooking one up on a 8/0 circle hook and presenting it under a balloon to keep it from going to the bottom.
Hailing out of Chokoloskee Island Park Marina, Chokoloskee, FL
Capt Rapps has been fishing the Chokoloskee area for just over 20 years. He offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Everglades National Park, and is happy to accommodate anyone from men, women, & children of all ages, experienced or not, and those with special needs. Pete is extremely patient and loves to teach. You can book a charter right online 24/7. See his online availability calendar, booking info, videos, recipes, seasonings, and first class web site at www.CaptainRapps.com