July is one of my favorite months of the year to fish the beaches from Melbourne down to Sebastian Inlet. The Snook bite is very good in the inlet as well as along the beaches. Fish live bait along the jetties in the day and fish Rapala Long Cast 14 lures and Hogy 7” jigging eels at night off the jetties for consistent action. If you are fishing the beaches from Melbourne south to Sebastian, use live bait rigged on a VMC circle hook or anglers using artificial baits can use Rapala Long Cast 12 or DOA 4” Cal and Baitbusters fished in the trough to target Snook from shore. Beachgoers targeting Tarpon should be able to find good numbers but it will take a bit of work to find and stay on the fish. Look for bait pods along the beaches from Melbourne down to Sebastian and use the Rapala Long Cast 14 to be able to reach the fish cruising the trough looking for a meal.
If anglers plan on fishing the flats, islands or mangrove shorelines in the Indian River Lagoon from Palm Bay to Sebastian, get out early and the bite will be good, but once the sun comes up, the bite will slow a bit. Topwater baits such as Rapala’s Skitterwalk as the sun comes up and as it sets should be a sure bet for Trout, Snook or Redfish. If the fish wont hit topwater, go subsurface with the new Rapala Twitchin Mullet and Twitchin Minnow. If soft baits are your preference, Storm 360GT Coastal Shrimp or 4” jerkbaits and 3″ Paddle Tails in the mullet pattern or Electric Chicken work well. Look for bait pods in the areas you are fishing and work the bait pods, cast under the mangroves and along the deeper parts of the spoil islands.
I don’t spend a lot of time fishing the creeks in July, but get in the creeks early for action on Snook and tarpon as well as big jacks and sharks. After the rains the action can be great around the dams with live shrimp or artificial baits.