Cool Fishing On The 4th

Days are turning firecracker hot by mid-morning and it's time to declare your independence from perspiration, dehydration and the threat of heat stroke.

Indeed, for explosive summertime action, try fishing in the cooler non-daylight hours.

A few key options we enjoy in Florida's exceptionally balmy climate:

Docks: During the day, shade is the main attraction, but at night, dock lights attract baitfish and shrimp – both dietary staples for snook, trout, ladyfish and bluefish. Jigs, artificial shrimp, flies and shallow running lures uptide and bring them slowly through the kill zone. Keep your distance and minimize noise to avoid spooking the fish. (Kayaks are a great way to approach docks at night.)

Piers/Bridges: Good option for the landlubbers, these structures are like emergent reefs that attract and hold fish. Cool breezes on these elevated positions are simply intoxicating. Like the dock scene, it's all about the lights, so target your presentations to these key areas.

Sunrise Wading: This time of year, a lot of snook are on the beaches staging for their spawning activity around the new and full moons. Get out as soon as there's enough light to see and cast live scaled sardines ("pilchards" or "whitebait") at fish that'll often run just a rod length or two off the sand.

Small jigs, artificial shrimp and flies also work. Just be careful not to "line" the school or it's bye-bye time.

From all of us with North American Fisherman and Scout, have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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