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Happy 4<SUP>th</SUP> of July anglers. Calm seas welcomed Captain Steven on his 5 mile run to the Skyway Bridge from O’Neill’s marina. Running the channel in the dark at 530 is is surreal. My 3D GPS shows the route but not any boats or anything on the water. Large White baits that had been easy to harvest were nowhere to be found. So it was back to the flats to slug it out one toss at a time. The flats are loaded with a new hatch of white baits they make your cast net look like a Christmas tree with all the gilled baits.

Saturday we were looking for steady action and numerous species. First stop was on one of my special trout flats only it wasn’t special at all. We moved 3 times before we got into the action. Then out of nowhere a Tarpon was headed full steam towards the boat the reason become very clear as a large Bull shark was chasing it. The action that was consistent yesterday was not happening. The water temperature was still down from last week’s rains, 82.5 degrees and good water movement should have awesome action.

Not likening what I was seeing it was time to change gears. This same weekend a year ago the bay was thick with Mackerel and Bonita but not now, clearly the pattern is off. I decided to look for cleaner water and that was the ticket. We found trout, bluefish, ladyfish and black tip sharks. We even got grouper and a ray which was plenty of fun and had us thinking we really hooked something special.

Things got ugly as I neared a no motor zone and observed several jet skis making high speed runs right though several boats working a school of redfish. You can imagine how upset the anglers got.

I decided to give the area were we had the great redfish action back in May and early June. Several small snook and a handful of snapper but no redfish. Overall the day was ok at best.

Capt. Steven

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