Summer fishing around St. Petersburg is all about giant acrobatic tarpon, powerful snook, and aggressive gag grouper. It’s a great time of year to focus on inshore and nearshore fishing to target these popular species. All three of these heavy-hitting fish will test your gear, skill, strength, and stamina.
Gag grouper can be found nearshore year-round, but they can only be kept during the season from June 1 through December 31. This season helps to protect their populations by ensuring fewer fish are killed during their winter spawning season. Groupers are aggressive apex predators of underwater structures. They can be found in and around crevices in rock piles, artificial reefs, ledges, and other types of structures.
When they are enticed to eat, they will bolt out and open their giant mouths to suck in their prey, then they will immediately attempt to retreat back to their structure. This results in an incredibly initial fight when you hook them. If anglers don’t pull back with greater might, you will get broken off by the sharp rock edges. Fresh gag grouper is many people’s favorite fish to eat, their firm flaky meat is simply amazing.
Snook are one of the most prized sport fish caught by St. Pete area inshore anglers. The best season to target snook is summertime when they are often feeding aggressively in preparation for their spawning season. During this time of year, snook are commonly located in the crystal clear waters along our area beaches or by nearby structures or channels.
Snook are renowned as one of the most powerful fish pound for pound, they offer drag screaming runs and acrobatic displays jumping and thrashing their heads. They are sometimes difficult to catch as they are well-known for breaking angler’s lines on structure, chafing leaders with their abrasive mouths, and slicing lines with their sharp gill plates.
Unlike the others, massive adult tarpon can only be caught in the St. Pete area in the late spring and summer months during their annual migration. When it’s over they will disappear back to their winter range in the warmer water further south. When the “Silver Kings” arrive each year it is a fisherman’s dream. Imagine fish up to 200 pounds, and 6 feet long, jumping completely out of the water multiple times during a fight. Not surprisingly, many anglers become addicted to catching these giants.
Captain Kevin Walton loves targeting these species in the summer months. Each of these amazing fish has something different to offer clients. Contact him now to book your summer fishing adventure.