July is one of those transition months in saltwater. For fly anglers looking to enter a speckled trout in the CCA STAR Tournament Fly Division, history suggests that the first two weeks of the month offer the last, best hope for catching large trout on the fly. Try topwaters at first light in the surf or over reefs, switching to Seaducers and large Clousers on sink-tip or intermediate lines later in the morning.
Pelagics move inshore later this month. Hooking Spanish mackerel on 7-weight tackle is a blast! Make sure to use a bite tippet! Best flies for these hard-hitting toothy beasts are Clousers made from synthetic materials because they last longer.
While there are reds still in the ponds, the summer heat has forced the bigger slot fish to more open water. Try the edges of inland lakes using crab patterns and spoon flies.
Want to avoid the heat? Nighttime fishing for trout — specks and whites — can be fantastic this month around lighted docks and piers. Use small shrimp patterns and white Clousers.
In freshwater, the major rivers should be down allowing for some great bream action on live oxbows like Old River Morganza. Try around the houseboats, rafts and cypress trees using jitterbees about 3 to 4 feet under a tiny cork. Best colors are black/chartreuse.
Bluegill will be bedding on lakes, but typically these are smaller fish than those of spring. Using an ultralight setup — such as a 3-weight — will make the fight seem just as hard.
After a very wet spring, the sandy rivers and creeks should be low and clear by now. Ideal for casting poppers and woolybuggers to spotted bass. Fishing is best done from canoe or kayak, as bank access is limited. And to avoid encounters with Mr. No Shoulders!