Inshore/nearshore report NE Florida waters
We caught two spanish mackerel on my last charter Saturday, so the season is progressing along.. It won't be long before the water temps approach 70 degrees. I imagine you could pick up some spanish trolling 0/0 Clark spoons on a high tide if you tried. Bluefish have saturated all area waters, and can definitely keep the rods bent when other species slow down.
Sheephead are still biting well on the rocks, pilings, day markers, and river ledges. Fiddlers, clams, and live shrimp are the ticket here. Redfish and black drum can be found in similar spots. Boat traffic has been heavy on the good weather days, particularly when they fall on a weekend. Savvy anglers are buying thier fiddlers a day or two before the heavy traffic.
There are also some nice size flounder around, but they have been mainly a by-catch on my charters. Speckled trout and yellowmouth trout (weakfish) are biting fairly well when you can avoid the bluefish. The yellowmouths are usually in the deeper water. It won't be long until the topwater lures start producing with the big specs and redfish. The trout will hit best early and late on the higher tides, however , the reds will hit a topwater all day long if it makes him mad enough. If the topwaters don't work, try a lipped diving lure like the Bite-a-bait, which are made here locally. Also, try the new "Fish-bite" artificials. They seem to work as well or even better than the "Gulp" baits.
Whiting, blues, black drum, and the occasional pompano are likely catches in the surf and from the piers. You might also pick up a spanish from a pier using the knock-offs from the old sea-hawk lures. I think they're called "Gotchas". Silver would be a good choice. Throw it out, let it sink a bit, and use a whippy underhand retrieve.
CAPT Bob Cosby
Captain Bob's Fishing Charters,Inc.
About The Author: Captain Bob Cosby
Company: Captain Bob\'s Fishing Charters, Inc.
Area Reporting: Mayport, Ponte Vedra, St Augustine and nearshore waters
Bio: Captain Bob Cosby is a retired USCGR Captain, and has had a 50-ton Master’s license since 1986. He is a Jacksonville native and has fished the local waters since he was a small child, fishing with his grandparents from bridges, piers and in the surf. Captain Bob has an easygoing personality, and won’t be yelling or getting angry with the customers. When Captain Bob is not fishing with customers, he often spends his free time – fishing! He enjoys fly fishing the spring creeks of Montana, and fly fishing for Atlantic salmon in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He has owned several offshore boats and has caught marlin, sailfish, wahoo, tuna and large sharks. However, he enjoys inshore fishing the local salt waters of Northeast Florida the most!