April 19 Weekend Fishing Report

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Captain Dave Sipler


I remember the days when everyone looked forward to 'real spring'.  Not when the calendar said so, but the fish said so.

And spring officially sprung for me on 4.7 because the ''Spanish macs' were thick! 

They are a, “here's your sign', it's now spring,” species.

Over the years, so many techniques and interests have gone by the wayside around here.

Used to be, as soon as the Spanish mackerel hit the inlet, dozens of boats, working together and chatting on the radio, all loaded up with the family and rigged with planers and spoons would spend the morning having fun trolling up a box of Spanish mackerel along the jetties, beach and rip lines.

Today? Don't see much of it. Instead it's every boat pointed into the rock jetties with a $5,000 GPS trolling motor set up pitching jigs into the rocks. (I remember starting the whole pitching jigs at the jetties thing... and can prove it. Never would have guessed that's all anyone would ever do at the inlet.

I always enjoy trolling for Spanish mackerel at the jetties. Especially with families. Because the kids love it!

Young Jacksonville fisherman with his Spanish Mackerel catch

To effectively do it correctly, you need to drag the ''hardware'', as we call it. The hardware is a #1 planer, and a small Clark spoon, or equivalent. 

In my humble opinion, the best tides are always rising tides.  With lots of clean green ocean water pouring between the Mayport jetty rocks.

The reason the planer is so effective is that it digs deep.  Tracks straight behind the boat and “Trips” when a fish hits the spoon behind it letting you know right away...  fish on!

You can keep lines tight to the boat. And ''turn & burn'' around other boats. Do not troll the jetties with a spoon 100 feet behind your boat!

Don't be one of those guys!

Here's an example [last ½ of video starting at 12 minute & 16 seconds in] where we (my customers and I), catch all we need, in just two hours on April 7.   https://youtu.be/8qmq0ff2oue

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