May 18 Weekend Fishing Forecast

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Captain Dave Sipler
904.642.9546
captdaves.com

Is it that time of year, ALREADY?

As a dedicated inshore fisherman and a complete "Trout Fishing Snob", I’m about to tell you some things you may not like.  But some of you will be understanding of it.

Over the course of just two weeks.  We went from nice cool springtime.  To just about all out summer like conditions.  No, I'm not talking about breaking a sweat sooner as you push the lawn mower around your yard.

I'm talking about the fishing in the St. Johns River!

The only real way to describe this is what happened on two charters I recently had.  Each trip was almost identical.

  • Falling tide.
  • Same exact spot.
  • Each day, two experienced guys.
  • Float-rig fishing live shrimp.
  • Target species: Speckled Trout, and any other commonly edible, game fish.

On April 25th, they were catching 4 and 5 pound Speckled Trout.  YES, Gators.  Tree shakers!  So easy, it was like falling off a stump! Just Trout and Sheepshead.  NO BAIT STEALERS AT ALL!

 Capt Sipler's trout fishing

Jump ahead exactly 14 days to May 11th, on the same spot.

Same falling tide.  Same exact fishing technique, same live shrimp as bait.  Upon arrival, the bait stealing thieves, ie. tiny Pinfish, Mangrove Snappers, small Bluefish, Jacks and Ladyfish plus whatever else lurked below the surface, jumped on us.  And we’re using live shrimp…  almost a futile exercise!!  The shrimp were eaten by the "undesirables", almost immediately.

The water temp has jumped from 68 degrees to a now warm 74 degrees in the St. Johns River.

 

BRING ON THE HUNGRY BAIT SNATCHERS!

 Capt Sipler's catches

But, my two guys on this trip were experienced Anglers.  And they prevailed.  WHY? Because they didn't simply give up.  As the tide fell further and further, they'd pick Trout off the spot.  First, just a few 15 inchers.  Then, a 5 pounder.  Then a Sheepshead.  Then a 23" Redfish.  As the live shrimp in the baitwell, started to dwindle, less and less, from feeding the bait snatchers.  They'd hook up another 5 pounder! Then another, and another! Till every live Shrimp we had was gone.

So, what am I trying to say here?

In this area, as the water's warm up, the small undesirable fish start to become a nuisance.  Stay with it.  If you get live bait in the morning.  Buy twice as much as you did a month ago.  Don't get impatient.  Summer inshore fishing isn't always going to be an "instantaneous gratification activity”, as it can be in the winter months.

So, what am I trying to say here?

In this area, as the water's warm-up, the small undesirable fish start to become a nuisance.  Stay with it. If you get live bait in the morning buy twice as much as you did a month ago.  Don't get impatient. Summer inshore fishing isn't always going to be an "instantaneous gratification activity”, as it can be in the winter months.

Be patient!

Stick with it!

FISH HARDER AND SMARTER!