Matt Badolato is The Fishing Guru

Hello people of the sea! Isn’t summer freaking great? The water is clear, there are waves every so often, and  when there are no waves, the fishing is unreal!  August is important for one reason: my birthday on the 1st.

Okay, there are more important things going on. For starters lobster season starts this month—on the 6th. A week after—yep, you guessed it, my birthday! Wooo!

Last week’s mini-season already saw some insanely good numbers of lobster caught off our coast. A serious coldwater upwelling really screwed the fishing out deep, but that’s good news for beach divers. The frigid bottom temps out on the 80-90ft reefs really pissed off the lobsters, so they packed their bags and headed inshore. I’ve never seen so many lobster from Wabasso down to Fort Pierce. Anywhere from 20-40’ has been holding good numbers of bugs and they are all wearing brightly colored party hats because they’re celebrating MY BIRTHDAY---YEAHH!!!

     Anyways, the cobia fishing has been pretty amazing too, thanks to the icy thermocline on the bottom. Cobia have adapted to life on the surface (ie the “photic zone” to my fellow sea-geeks) and on the bottom (the “benthic zone”) so they tend to move up and down the water column depending on the temps and where the food is.

     Since the bottom has been so cold, the cobia have been saying “screw this” and heading for the warmer surface water. So wherever there is live reef underneath a thermocline, it’s a good bet there are a few cobia hanging out on the surface above that reef. The shallow (35-40’) shoals have been holding a bunch of cobia too, especially off Hetzel and Bethel Shoals. Slow trolling with live baits like sardines, mullet, greenies is best, but sight-casting is also pretty good since these fish may be hanging out on top. If you plan on bottom fishing, definitely keep a jig rigged and ready to go because you never know when a cobia might swim up to the surface and start SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME-----WOO HOO!!

     The inshore fishing has been tough. As in tough I mean “I haven’t done too much inshore fishing lately”. I dunno, I kinda feel bad for our Mother Lagoon after the bad-ass winter she had to go through. I mean, while we were all bundled up in heavy jackets and mittens and snow shoes, the fish and other critters in the lagoon suffered through some seriously cold water. We’re in a pretty tropical area (“tropical ZONE” for the sea-nerds) so most of our fishies were accustomed to that warmness (“temperature” for you know-it-alls).

     What I was trying to say is that I feel kinda bad fishing in the lagoon and stabbing fish in the mouth with sharp objects after they nearly all died a few months back. BUT, I’ve heard the snook are definitely making a comeback inshore and the redfish are doing okay. But the trout fishing has suffered. Anyone know where they are? Oh wait, they are probably hiding somewhere and planning A SURPRISE PARTY FOR ME!! YAY!!

     Alright my fellow sea men and sea hags. Hope your summer is going great and you are catching waves, fish, lobster and not catching any infectious diseases. Remember to cover up, shun the sun, and wear some skin protective lotion (also known as “sunscreen” in chemistry lingo). Also, please make sure you remember that IT’S MY BIRTHDAY BABY!!

Till next tide, live slow, surf fast, love well, dive deep, dive safe, and fish every bait like it’s your last...

Matt Badolato
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