When the summer heat rolls into Florida’s waterways, many fishermen find themselves catching more sun and less fish.  This is indeed enough to postpone tomorrow’s hopeful trip.  Fishing in Florida waters can make the best of fishermen agitated at times—while the scorching heat only adds to the frustration.   Nevertheless, the water is even too hot for us at times.  As a long time flats fishermen and a huge fan of summer fishing, I love mother natures' tactics.  The immense heat pushes many inexperienced anglers off the water and into their air-conditioned homes.  While it has this effect above the surface—a mirror image goes on below as well.  The mid-day heat drives the fish into nestled coves, holes, deeper water, and swift moving currents—‘almost giving us a heard of cattle!’ 

     On one of the hottest days of the year,  my fishing partner (Byron Kennedy) and I were out running the flats of Tampa Bay in search of concentrated fish.  We began the day around noon, equipped with no more than thermometers, notepads, and a dozen or so markers.   As we searched the majority of the bay, we noticed many sunburned anglers packing up fairly early-‘empty handed and beaten by mother natures' bag of tricks.’ 

     As we continued rooting out the deeper holes on the flats as well as under the mangrove overhangs, we marked the temperature and depth changes on record and with our floating markers.  We recorded only the spots that had the greatest differences from the surrounding area.  One particular spot stood out and received a special notation in our books; a hole under overlying mangrove branches nearly two and a half feet deeper than surrounding water and about seven to eight feet in length.  The temperature dropped nearly 5 degrees.  Assuming our next trip would prove worthy; we continued our quest to find the “air-conditioned hideouts.”  

     The following day we returned to our private ‘air conditioned holes—fully equipped with small white bait and a limitless supply of sun block.  Making our first appearance at the two and a half-foot hole, now known as “heavens hole,” we tossed in a small pinfish and slowly worked it to the edge of the hole.  The water immediately boiled from the wake of a 19-pound snook.    We weren’t surprised to catch a snook here, but to hook this monster snook seeking refuge where we expected to use light tackle; we were very impressed with our tactics.  We tossed another pin in and hooked another snook weighing 9 pounds.  At days end—fishing the remaining marked holes, we managed to catch and release several snook over 10 pounds, and an abundance of snook under 10 pounds.  Other fish included a few keeper reds, one cobia, and a whole mess of trout.


This method works as well in the winter by seeking out the reverse.  One of the hardest things to do is to hit the water without your fishing gear, but the rewards is well worth the anguish. 


As my grandfather once said—“Know your fish, think like a fish, be a fish—and you’ll catch the fish!”


Keep your tip up^


Allen Applegarth






NOTE:  Please keep in mind that most of the articles and information within this website are excerpts from my newest title not yet released.  As so, I am unable to publish the entire article and have pieced together points of interest that hopefully give you enough information to be successful and enjoy the read.