Captain Dave Sipler
Between my last report and right now the Blue Marlin have migrated into the St. Johns River and record catches are happening from the Dames Point Bridge area all the way to the Mayport jetties. The best bet is a kite rig, with a dangling leftover St. Patty's Day green sausage on a 1/0 circle hook.
Okay, just had to get that out of the way, but in all reality, things have changed since my last report. I've curbed my trout fishing, with float-rigs and live shrimp and gone to the next best thing… when it comes to catching an easy pile of fish for a big fish fry.
At the Mayport Jetties, on a falling tide, out off the rocks, be it the north or south, the whiting have been insane! Last week I had 4 people on my boat and a few Maxwell House containers full of fresh dead shrimp. We bottom fished and had about 65 whiting, and kept 55 for the fish fryer. Most were very fish box worthy.
Then, with the same group. we ran down the river to a spot where I have always caught black drum. 10 minutes into the rising tide we had a 30 pounder on. No special bait… no crabs, no fiddlers, just fresh dead extreme jumbo shrimp. The heads of the shrimp were packed with the smell of goodness and that was the "ticket".
Since that day I've had the opportunity to do the same thing 2 more times, and we've had another 30 and a 50 pounder. So in case you missed it… it's “BIG Drum Time!"
And these fish have been as clean as they can be. No nastiness, no worms or parasites in them at all.
- Stout rods
- Sinkers to 6-10 ounce
- A conventional level wind, star drag reel
- 30-50 pound braided line
- At least a 5/0 hook
- 50 pound mono leader
And you’re all set!!
Where? Any hard bottom, lime rocks, edges, or rocks along the channel from the Trout River to Ft. Caroline area.
Here's a video link of the charter trip I talked about: https://youtu.be/ErXhvJTSEfM