Tomlinson: Summer catch includes trout, scallops and thunderstorms

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As we move through the next month, anglers can rely on a few inshore patterns when planning a fishing, scalloping, or boating trip. The trout bite will be great in 8-10 feet of water, the scallops are thick north of Hernando Beach, and there is a good chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon.
Valerie and Jack Sheridan found a load of scallops while searching with Capt. Keith Tomlinson off Hernando Beach. KEITH TOMLINSON

Trout fishing off Hernando has been much more productive and should stay consistent throughout summer. We are getting good numbers of quality trout in 8-10 feet of water on our trips. Anglers will catch lots of shorties with the keeper slot size, but be ready for the occasional big gator trout to join in the fun. White 3-inch GULP shrimp or a white Lil Jon jerk bait on a 1/4 oz. jig are my go to trout artificials.

The redfish bite is good as long as you are on the water and fishing before day break. The redfish are here and feeding early in the skinny water, but as soon as the day starts to heat up the bite really slows. Cut mullet or live pin fish are great baits to use.

The scallop numbers continue to improve with every passing week. Look for the best numbers to be north of Hernando in 5-7 feet of water. Target grassy bottom and be ready to bounce around to different spots until you locate these tasty bivalves. I try to plan my trips around a low tide because it makes for easier scalloping. Remember to deploy your diver down flags. We are finding our limit quickly, so be sure to not bring home more than your limit because there is a good chance “the man” will be waiting at the dock to check your catch.

Good luck out there and tight lines.

Capt. Keith Tomlinson runs Bulldog Fishin Charters out of Hernando Beach. Contact him at or (352) 238-3581.