This week we have seen a weather change, giving us signs that Fall is approaching. With the change of the season upon us we start looking to change channels with our fishing. Although there are still some kingfish around, the numbers are not what they were in previous weeks so we are starting to do more bottom fishing. Inside 25 miles red snapper are still in full force with only a few grouper around.
It is the start of Flounder season, so Flounder will be the target species of the week. Flounder are here all year but September marks the beginning of the off-shore migration back to the shallows of our creeks and waterways. These fish tend to be much bigger and because there are so many, they are usually easier to catch.
August is a tricky month; where I fish in the river, it is pretty much no different than July. It's all about dealing with the heat and very warm water.
First thing in the morning I go get live Pogies behind the surf by tossing a cast net. I’ll head to the south hopefully no further than Hanna Park. Another option is to pick up fresh frozen Pogies or Mullet at B&M bait and tackle. For insurance, I never leave the dock without several pounds of fresh dead shrimp. (Black Drum, Mangrove Snappers, Sheepshead, and Whiting).
With high tide in the mornings, this weekend will be some of your better fishing opportunities on the falling tides. If you are looking to have some fun bending the rods with the kids there are a ton of lady fish and jacks on falling tide around creek mouths in the waterway. Use ¼ ounce jig heads on a 20 Ib. fluorocarbon leader, tip with live shrimp or mud minnows. When casting, throw up current towards the creek mouth slowly retrieving the slack out of your line. While fishing this way you also have a good chance of catching some nice flounder, redfish, and trout.
Before all the rain we received last week, the king mackerel fishing had been great. We were getting our limit within a couple hours of fishing, then going on to catch other things; after the rain, they seem to have scattered out a little so we are in the process of searching again. We are still catching fish but it's not as easy as it was. While trolling for the kingfish, we are also picking up Spanish mackerel, an occasional cobia, amberjack, Bonita, barracuda, sharks, and jumping a sailfish occasionally.
Jacksonville's fishery is unique in that it offers a variety of species found in different parts of the country stretching from Texas to the Carolinas and as far south as the Florida Keys. From fishing the creeks and the back waters to the jetties and the St. Johns river there are plenty of fish to be caught. Although we have plenty of species indigenous to north east Florida, we do have migratory fish passing through as well. Different seasons can offer various species to target.