Capt. Mike Able of Able Minded Charters recommends getting on the water earlier, especially in the creeks, if you want a better bite. Mid-day becomes harder to entice a redfish or trout to take a bait, given the heat. Creek mouths and oyster beds also provide great cover for trout, reds and flounder.
A Carolina rig with a half-ounce egg weight and mud minnows or finger mullet on the bottom seems to be the ticket lately. Able (843-475-7696) also recommends a float rig with about 30 inches of 20-pound test trailing behind the float.
"I tend to put a smaller split shot right above the hook to keep the bait from coming to the surface," Able said. "These float rigs will catch your trout, bluefish, redfish, ladyfish and sometimes even flounder if your bait drags across the bottom. The beauty about the float rigs is that you won't get hung up as much, and it covers more area, versus a bait that is sitting in one spot on the bottom."
If you'd rather fish artificial baits, Able suggests throwing a topwater plug first thing in the morning.
"These plugs will either be a standard popper or a plug that will 'walk-the-dog' with such as a Super Spook Jr.," he said. "Both plugs will be great excitement for anglers because they are artificial lures worked across the surface, providing one of the most amazing visuals anglers will witness inshore. There's nothing like watching a twelve-pound redfish crash on top of your plug early in the morning. It's a great way to start the day."
Able said most of the topwater action takes place before 7:30 a.m., unless it's cloudy. Because you're covering a lot of territory fishing a topwater plug, you can fish your favorite honey hole or find new places, he said.
"Whether bottom fishing, float fishing, or throwing artificial lures, I would recommend using light to medium light tackle," Capt. Able said. "One of my favorite setups is the G-Loomis (WRR8500S GLX) paired up with a Shimano Stradic 3000 with 10-pound camo braid."
For those looking to target huge redfish, tarpon or sharks, Able suggests fishing the jetties, bays and inlets. Of course, you'll need to increase your tackle if you want to catch these monsters.
"I'd use at least 20- to 30-pound test with up to a 125-pound test leader," he said. "The big redfish bite has been crazy lately, with great reports of up to 30 fish in the 20- to 30-pound range. I'd suggest cut mullet, half a blue crab, live menhaden or mullet on the bottom for the reds, sharks and tarpon. For those really looking to hook up with a big tarpon, I would try putting a couple of live baits under a float as well. Most of these fish will be mixed in together, so one minute you may be catching big reds and the next hookup might be a huge tarpon. It's never a boring trip."