Offshore fishing has been difficult

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By Brant McMullan, Fishing Correspondent

Folks, there is no way to sugarcoat it—this week has been a difficult week for offshore fishermen. The good news is the constant southwest wind at 10-20 knots gives us some relief from the oppressive heat while on the water; the bad news is this wind stirs up the ocean and makes catching fish tough and the conditions for fishermen even tougher. Nothing stays the same forever, and it appears this week the weather will change with a so-called cool front coming, which will change the wind flow, hopefully, at some point this week.
On the ocean, the water is absolutely full of pogies. It is interesting they are holding in deeper water, in small pods. Normally they have pushed up close to the beach. However either the shore break from the southwest wind is keeping them off the beach, or there is a lack of predators feeding on them, which pushes them to the beach as they attempt to flee.
Fishing around the pogy pods, you can catch all the bluefish you want and also will find Spanish mackerel mixed in. What we should be seeing are king mackerel feeding on the pogies.
It’s been a weird season, and it appears the weirdness is continuing. At some point, the winds will settle down, and the water will clear up, and I am certain the king bite will be on in the normal 65 feet of water. Until that happens, if you are determined to catch a king, you will have to go to the deeper water. If that is your choice, you will also be rewarded with excellent bottom fishing, as in the 100-foot depth, everything bottom is biting: sea bass, grouper, snapper. You also will find stray mahi-mahi and cobia and more amberjacks than you want to do battle with.
Inshore, flounder and redfish are the game and are being caught in the deeper holes in the creeks and waterway. Live shrimp, mullet or peanut pogies seem to be most productive.
Sorry for not providing an action-packed, positive and exciting report, but that’s what Mother Nature is giving us right now. What goes up, must come down, and thus we’ll be waiting when with baited hook.

Brant McMullan, a two-time winner of the SKA national championship, is a charter captain and fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at captbrant@oifishingcenter.com.