Offshore, we’re starting to see some grouper but the numbers just aren't where they should be. Red Snapper season was rescheduled for this weekend Dec 8, 9, and 10 but with the worst cold front of the year rolling through at the same time, hardly anyone was able to get out.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. As the holiday season approaches, the temperatures are still dropping and the water is cooling down. Fishing, this time of year, in the Northeast Florida area, is very good. The Sheepshead bite has turned on in the region. As the colder weather rolls in, the water temps will drop, and the bite will really turn on.
The first weekend of Red snapper Season 2017 started out pretty rough regarding weather, and it ended worse on the second weekend with a nor'easter completely closing off the ocean due to high seas. We were able to run the first 3 days Nov 3, 4, 5 but Sunday (5th) was very rough, causing us to cancel all afternoon trips. Of the trips we did run, both boats limited out each trip with some red snapper nearing 20lbs.
As we roll into the heart of fall, the water temperatures start to dip, and the cleaner water will eventually make its way into the Northeast Florida area. Look for schooling redfish on the mud flats warming. Focus on flats adjacent to tidal creeks or the ICW.
The wind has been blowing all week, and this weekend will be no exception… "at least it's not 90 degrees in the shade." October is bull redfish month. Those way over slot sized breeders in the high teens up to even 40 plus pounds are not uncommon.
This past week we had a couple days we were able to get offshore. The wind laid down and the ocean was no more than a nice swell. The water is still really dirty from all the rain and it will be a while before it clears up. The fish didn't seem to mind, so the rods stayed bent pretty well.
The full moon and northeast winds have the tides unusually high and a bit tough to fish. Checkout what Captain John Eggers has to say about it and how you can fill up your cooler in this weekend's Jacksonville Fishing Forecast!
Thanks to Hurricane Irma's passing, not exactly what "land-lubbers" would call a wonderful thing but to local anglers it was just what we needed! Yes, Tropical storms, Hurricanes the great "re-newer". After a hot summer, all the rain and wind is a giant FLUSH and Something Mother Nature does, with a pretty awesome outcome, for Anglers!
With the mullet run in full swing, this weekend’s bite should be red hot! Flounder will be one of the target species to pursue and there are several different ways to catch them. When fishing the Intracoastal waterway grass line and creek mouths on the high outgoing tide, use live mullet on a fish finder rig or mud minnow on a jig head. Work the outside current edges of creek mouths and fish the grass lines slow and methodically for best results.
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.