Redfish and trout have been on fire in the Pensacola area. Most action has been in the bays and around docks, particularly at night. If you can, seek out illuminated docks or those with underwater lights. Free line a live shrimp or finger mullet around the edges of the illuminated areas of these docks to get a bite. There have even been reports of some “gator” trout being caught (those are fish over 21 inches). Fishing soft plastics in lieu of live baits is a viable option as well. The same tactics have been good for redfish as well. Another benefit of this type of fishing is less competition from other fishermen and beating the heat with cooler temperatures after dark. Be sure to book an inshore charter guide to fish the Pensacola area and see if the captains do night trips.
Nearshore and Offshore
As mentioned in the introduction, Red Snapper season is over, and Amberjack is closed for the area until September. However, triggerfish is now open and there have been plenty of mingo (vermillion), and black snapper have been plentiful. Offshore trolling has seen a lot of wahoo and mahi being caught. Always have a diving trolling lure in the water as you move in between spots. Chumming for black snapper has been on fire. Throw out chum and wait until you see these coming up to feed. Then toss two spinning rods with cut bait and allow the line to have some slack and flow with the chum. You will see the fish take you bait, let them run a little bit before reeling as these fish are notoriously finicky eaters. Reportedly, sharks have been a problem taking hooked fish as they are brought up. If you notice this happening a lot, keep on the move to find your spots they might not be at, unless you want to target the sharks themselves.
Beaches and Piers
In the Pensacola are, tarpon along the beaches have been moving out of the area but there are still some stragglers. Grass is still in the area but slightly improving. This will continue to improve throughout the month. When you find clean water, pompano, redfish and whiting have been active short in at the edges of the first sandbars. Again, pompano rigs with fish bites or cut shrimp have been productive. You can even try at night when these fish come in closer to shore. King Mackerel and Spanish mackerel have been good on the piers and there have been plenty of sharks in the area if you want to target those.