Captain Dave Sipler
SPRING HAS SPRUNG, (doesn't matter what the calendar says)
As an Angler, my seasons are dictated by the weather and what the fish are doing. March 20th may have been the first day of Spring for the landlubber crowd. But for me, spring just arrived last week. Because while on a charter we caught the first Spanish Mackerel of the year. Yep, the Spaniards arriving is the kick-off in my book. And should be in yours also.
Ninety percent of the time, I'll catch my first Spanish Mackerel at the Mayport Jetties. But not this year! We were Trout fishing with float-rigs and live shrimp near Blount Island in the St. Johns river when the Spanish ate our live shrimp.
Another oddity this year came way back on the first week of March, we caught the first Jack Crevalle of the year and the first Pompano. Guess these fish didn't get the Memo. They also were caught a long way inland from the Ocean.
So, now that the Spanish have arrived. What's the big deal you ask?
How about taking the Kids out to the Mayport Jetties on a rising tide and doing the Spring time "Rite of Passage"… trolling?
A lost art locally, these days. Almost no one does it any more. Many new boaters & fisherman have never seen those long lines of boats outside the inlets, years ago, trolling and loading coolers full of the Spanish Macs. That used to happen each year around this time and it was a blast. And everyone was in on it. Years ago, that is.
But this fishing guide doesn't forget the old school ways. If I get a boat load of kids, there's almost nothing more fun to do for a few hours than troll up a mess of Spanish, Bluefish, and Jacks. No one has to be an expert. Just start reeling when one is on.
And the old school way is to troll planers and spoons. At a very fast clip. Making quick turns. Known as "turning and burning" on the hungry schools of fish.
VIDEO LINK: Trolling PLANERS & SPOONS. Very effective!