Today is the first day of the 2020 Federal Red Snapper season and the first trip out for the Wharf Cat from the newly rebuilt Fisherman’s Wharf location. The complaint that most have had is that there are almost too many snapper in federal waters as it is hard to get anything else on the structure you are fishing to eat your bait before the snapper get it. Well, today we started to even up the score.
The opening of federal red snapper season an hour past 9 miles on June 1 as unleashed a lot of anglers onto the Gulf of Mexico. What they are finding is almost an over abundance of red snapper everywhere they stop and fish. We have seen for limits on our boats on the morning and afternoon trips along with king fish and some very large sharks. It is difficult to say what is the best bait is currently for the snapper because there are so many of them and they are so voracious dad they are literally eating anything that gets in the water. We expect this red hot by to continue the entire 60 days season. The only potential interaction that we currently see is Christobol which is for going down in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The system is expected to slowly Craid north word making landfall sometime around Sunday the eighth in Louisiana. We will be on the clean side of the storm and are only expecting nice rolling swells which are not interrupt any of our snapper fishing.
Elsewhere offshore the season is in full swing. The blue water line is out about 35 miles right now but there is not much of a rip formed up on the surface on the color change. While there have been plenty of billfish at the deeper rigs, those fish are finally starting to show up in their normal summer haunts. From the Dumping Grounds down to David’s Spot there were reports over the weekend of good water with some blue and white marlin mixed in. There was one rip that was trying to make up due east of Port A in about 120’ of water but the water was not too good on it and it was not holding any fish. The water from the beach out is sort of a transitional “kingfish” green right now as we need a push of good blue water in to move the marlin and other pelagic bite in a bit further. Speaking of kingfish, there have been a lot caught already near the end of the jetties out to the ships. It seems that all of the inshore rigs now have their summer resident fish which are ready to eat. There have even been a couple caught from the South Jetty, along with a smattering of Spanish mackerel and jackfish, so make sure to bring some bigger gear to hop the rocks with. The only thing we see turning this bite off is going to be the lightning storms that we are currently getting every morning. Lightning and thunder seem to turn the kingfish bite off so have a backup snapper plan if you hear some rumbles.
Inshore the trout bite has been surprisingly good for the past 2 weeks. Good water has pushed into the bays with the higher tides and the earlier and earlier kick off to croaker fishing season has allowed many to go out and get easy limits. Over the past weekend the surf dropped and the surf had a few moments of greatness for both trout and redfish. There is a report that on Saturday the 30th someone fishing off of the jetties at Packery Channel landed a 28” and a 31” trout from the surf side. The other ½ of the report is that he was not entered into the STAR which if true you know he is kicking himself because trout that come out of the surf are usually much thicker than any trout out of the bay and it would have surely been way up on the leader board.
The redfish bite has been very consistent both in the potholes on the flats and at both the North and South Jetty. While there are a few of the resident larger fish coming off both jetties there have been plenty of slot fish to fill a limit for those who catch the tide and moon driven bite just right. Drum are starting to go into their summer pattern of bigger schools but don’t seem like they want to fully commit yet. Catches have been sporadic so far but should settle into a more consistent pattern as we go another week or 2 into June.
For the upcoming week the rain that we are having is expected to taper off but all eyes are going to be on the Bay of Campeche for the potential development of Christobal. Most of the NHC forecasting right now shows a high chance of development as the potential system will slowly creep north over all of this week affecting somewhere in the US over the weekend. A great place to keep up on all things tropical is https://spaghettimodels.com/ , also known as Mike’s Weather Page. Mike is out of Florida and does a great job aggregating all of the pertinent information, models, radars and other general information all on one site.