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Thread: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

  1. #1
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    Default Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    I'll be in Clearwater, Florida the last week of August. I'm looking for a referral for a good guide in the area and any information about what types of fish are on the bite that time of year.

    I'd like to hire a guide for at least one day, but also do some exploring and surf fishing on my own.

    Any tips on locations and which flies to use would be great.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Cheers,

    -VB

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Fish species: Snook, Ladyfish, Jacks, Spanish Mackerel
    Location: the Beach
    Flies: small EP patterns in chartreuse-white and purple-black
    and the beach flies like the Schminnow, Lightbulb fly and Beach bait.





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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Marcel,

    Thanks for the information, and the great photos. Nothing tells the story like a few images, and those are exceptional.

    I'm bringing a couple of rods and reels, and I'm tying some flies to bring with me. Out here, I usually use small Clousers that imitate baitfish or sand crabs. Most are tan, white, orange, or brown with a little flash in size 6 or 8.

    Thanks again, and job well done on those fish.

    -VB

  5. #4

    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Would be interesting to know if you can get anything to hit those sand crab
    imitations.
    There are mole crabs present on those Gulf beaches and the locals often fish with them for the sheephead, whiting and redfish.

    I prefer to fish the beach with a clear intermediate line and on rare occasions
    I use a full sinking shooting head to dregde inlets where a strong current
    is running.
    I usually scout the beach in the morning when there is little wave action
    and you can spot the snook easy in the shallow water.
    Later in de day the wind picks up and then it is difficult to present a fly
    to patrolling snook in a decent matter.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Marcel,

    That is good to know about the mole crabs. I'll bring some of those patterns and see how they work, along with some deceivers and clousers in different colors like you suggested.

    I'm looking forward to hitting the beach to see what type of action I can get into. I've never been to Florida, so it's all new territory. I would love to hook some snook and redfish while I'm there.

    I appreciate you taking the time to provide the information. It will be nice to check out some new territory.

    -VB

  7. #6

    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    I have a relative living in the area so I have spend quite some time at the
    beach and the local pier so I did learn something about the fishing there

    At the local tackle shops they sell these special sandflea rakes to get those
    little critters out of the sand at the beach.
    The locals fish with sandfleas at the pilings where the sheepshead are hanging out, off course the redfish are also out there.
    I used to fish there with conventional tackle but nowadays I prefer to walk the beach and sight fish when possible for snook and other critters.


    From the past.

    May noteworthy might be the fact that the baitfish are rather small, surprisingly since the predators are quite big.
    Main bait would be I guess the scaled sardine that hangs around the shallow water, inlets and pilings / breakwaters.


    Scaled sardine

    Sometimes the baitfish school inside the inlets and then fishing can
    be especially exiciting as snook, ladyfish and spanish mackerel will
    explode all over the place.

    The beauty about Florida is that there is a myriad of fish species
    available and they have done a good job protecting the coastal
    waters.


    Rich sealife

    There are some things to watch out for though.
    Thunderstorms tend to develop in the afternoon, when it gets dark in the sky
    get out of harms way asap.
    The shallow beach waters are also home to countless stingrays that literally hug the shoreline so watch you step.
    Sharks are also present and allthough most are small I always keep a respectfull distance when I see a big one cruising by, I tend to avoid
    wading at the low light parts of the day.
    Last edited by Marcel; 06-04-2013 at 04:30 AM.

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Marcel,

    Thanks for the advice on the weather and conditions, as well as the photos. That's a huge help. I understand August might be a bit rough in terms of weather during hurricane season. I'll certainly take that into consideration. I figure early morning will be my primary window to surf fish to avoid the afternoon T-storms and the wind.

    Most images I've seen of the Gulf Coast surf, it seems fairly tame compared to the wave action out here on the Pacific Coast. Out here, I use a 300-grain sinking line to get it down quickly in the surf so I can stay in touch with my line despite the wave action.

    I noticed you recommend an intermediate line. That and the images I've seen suggest less extreme conditions in the surf on most days. Is that a fairly accurate assessment?

    -VB

  10. #8

    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Rough weather, really can't say that and that hurricane season is pretty
    flexible with its date and the number of hurricanes and tropcial storms it will dish out.
    I have expirienced a tropical storm and a cat. 3 hurricane in October so
    you can never tell.


    Naples FL a few days before hurricane Wilma made landfall.

    In general .... little surf, having said that I should point out I always travel end of September beginning of October.


    Early morning on a Gulf beach.

    Winds pick up in the afternoon and that makes spotting fish and presenting fish at the shallow beach difficult, better than to seek out pilings, yetties and inlets
    and fish deeper water and structure.


    Afternoon at the beach

    Clouds build later in the morning and in the afternoon they have grown
    enough to produce thunderstorms and rain inland.
    Most of the time a seabreeze will keep showers away from the beach but I
    have witnessed that they eventually might move over the gulf, it is not pretty when you get caught in a thunderstorm on the beach


    Afternoon at the beach during showers


    Wrong timing as all hell is about to break loose

    There are two other things that can mess with your fishing at a Gulf beach.

    1-Winds from the west, usually when a cold front makes it way from
    Canada and stalls in the south iffy weather can be expected.
    Strong winds will churn the coastal water into a brown mess, lots of seaweed
    will turn up floating in the water making flyfishing impossible.
    Only remedy is to find a decent outlet that pushes cleaner water at outgoing tide
    into the Gulf, than you still have a chance of catching fish.
    If you had a personal watercraft like a canoe you might fish the intracoastal
    or inner bays.

    2-Red tide, when these fish killing algae turn up fishing will end soon.
    It varies in severity but I have seen the Gulf dark brown and the beach
    full of dead fish - imagine the smell...

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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Marcel,

    All very good information, especially about the weather and conditions. Thank you for all you've posted. That helps tremendously with my plans in August and having an understanding of what I can expect.

    Cheers,

    -VB

  13. #10

    Default Re: Fishing Clearwater area in late August

    Hope you will do well down there.

    I will probably head to the area at the end of September if
    everything works out.

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