Fish that! fishing report; July 2022

Dakota Beagle acting as the first mate for the cast for children.

By Michael Murphy

It’s hot! The bite was on fire and so was the weather. Bait is plentiful on the flats right now, and the fish know it. Water temperatures are soaring into the mid 80’s causing the fish’s metabolism to go into overdrive so they eat whatever they can.

Trout work great on flats with artificial bait, but hang in pockets and deeper water edges. Snook can be found in deep passes and under mangroves when the sun rises. The offshore bite has been consistent, if you can find it where the winds allow you to escape.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank a few local captains who fished for a performance in early June. The benefit was Casting for Kids. The program supports Hillsborough County’s Heart Gallery and pairs foster children and parents with captains to fish the Apollo Beach flats area. We take them out for a few hours of fishing fun, then head to the sandbar to cool off and find plenty of coastal marine life.

Captains like Jimmy Beagle, Matt Morrison, Wild Bill, Steve Herndon, Chris Prevatt, Phil Pegley and I have been doing this for over five years now. We get many of these homestay groups several times a year, and it’s very rewarding to see the smiles on these kids’ faces the first time they catch a fish on the line. We had a few young first mates helping out this year and they have done a wonderful job helping the other kids with casting, baiting and understanding the waters we fish. Dakota Beagle, Colton Herndon, Skyler Haverfield, and Luke Haverfield were all great helpers in being able to help these kids and made it an epic adventure.

The Casting for Kids charity program was developed by the MIELKE Foundation and receives donations from sponsors every year through a sponsored fishing event. This year, it will be held on Saturday, September 24 at the Vinoy in Saint Petersburg. If you are interested in participating in the “big” fishing tournament, you can contact me or contact the Heart Gallery of Hillsborough County. It’s a big event and will be a lot of fun.

Dinner the night before and during the awards banquet after the tournament is something to behold. This is something that we captains take to heart, and the charity benefit is doing amazing things for these children and families.