Bull Redfish and Croaker Season
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.
Stereotypically, when the redfish gets that big, especially around here in N.E. Florida. They tend to act almost like a separate species. The smaller slot size fish (18-27 inches) have no problem foraging in a foot or two of water back in a muddy creek. For the most part, when they get real big in the river, they want 20-30 feet of water over their heads.
So where do you find them? Along the channel edges of the St. Johns River. Anchor up along a well-defined edge - where the depth drops. And you'll be fishing their habitat.
Big sinkers 6-12 ounces are needed to stay put on the bottom depending on the current. And baits range from jumbo dead shrimp to cut bait. Or, live bait fish such as mullet, croakers, pogies, ladyfish, bluefish and of course, half of a blue crab.
I'll admit, fishing these channel edges for the big boys and girls can be like watching grass grow, sometimes. Waiting for that rod to double over.
So if you're more into fast action, and especially if there's kids involved. Getting on a good bite of croakers can be fun. Lots of fresh dead shrimp is all that's needed, and a simple bottom fishing rig.
And even then you may also catch a redfish, black drum, speckled trout, weakfish, sheepshead or mangrove snapper.
Common croaker areas are usually around bridge pilings, underwater structure, hard shell bottom and along rocks that have decent current. And, you don’t necessarily have to be all that deep.
Here's a video link to “Mayport Jetties Bull Redfish Action”:
Captain Dave Sipler