**If you love fall, raise your hand**
**JIM SUTTON FISHING REPORT**
I was sitting on my porch looking at the creek Wednesday morning around 6 a.m. A cool Northeast wind was ringing the wind chime just like it ringing the dinner bell for so many fish. It just makes you want to get out there and find them.
**THE ST. JOHNS RIVER AND AREA LAKES**
The shrimping is puzzling. Ground zero through the weekend was Welaka: Big shrimp and lots of them. At the same time, Green Cove Springs was pretty much a wasteland. The best shrimping remains around Welaka, but it slowing way down according to the guides on Lake George. The hordes of shrimpers on the Palatka city docks are thinned way out. We hear that the boats shrimping the deep water by the mile marker east of the marina are doing well, so there no rhyme or reason I can figure why theyre where they are and where theyre not.
The best fishing this week has been for black bass and redfish for those anglers catching and using live river shrimp (you will catch enough for bait).
The catfish bite is good. The bream bite is slow, with a lot of small fish being taken when theyre found. The river and lakes are so overly full right now that panfish have acres of new feeding territory to explore ? and where you cant get to without hip boots and a quart of mosquito repellant.
With the water so high, it should be an amazing time to throw topwater plugs up against seawalls and bulkheads for largemouth bass.
**THE INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY**
The northeast winds should be no problem this weekend, and should fire the fish off even better than they are not ? and that not easy.
There are some nice reds moving into the backs of creeks with the high water ? getting higher as we get to the full moon Sunday. FYI, this is called the blood moon or the harvest moon. It the nearest the moon and Earth come this year, thus the biggest moon of the year. And also Sunday well have a total eclipse of the moon, starting around 8 p.m. and finishing its show around 1:30 a.m.
The big moon and the northeast winds will mean bedlam at the Guana Dam, as hordes of redfish and flounder follow some genetic signal to try to breach the dam from the lake and into the Guana River.
It will be ugly, with anglers shoulder to shoulder, hooking one another lines and cussing up a storm. Here some friendly advice. The event is not lost on the marine enforcement folks, and neither is the felonious tendencies of many of you who fish it. Expect to be caught if you try to sneak out some extra fillets, and I very much hope you do. Fish biology can use the added ticket revenue from your kind. Just remember, pigs get eaten, hogs get slaughtered.
The flounder fishing is OK, but the fish remain on the small side. The flounder fishing in the Mayport Inlet is on fire this week. That probably the case in the St. Augustine inlet as well, but the flounder arent getting the chance to bite because scads of big redfish are beating them to the punch. The inlet is loaded with reds right now and the north winds and high tide will do nothing but jack that up another notch.
The bridge pilings at Vilano and the Bridge of Lions have also been giving up lots of big reds. Finger mullet are fine, dead or alive. But most all the guides are reporting that theyre biting almost exclusively on shrimp. And Im certain that true for cut blue crabs as well.
The sheepshead bite has also done a 180 and has been very good. Lots of jacks and bluefish keep things interesting between bites.
Very few boats got outside this week. Trolling was awful, with tons of big barracuda and pesky bonito ravaging rigs. I did not hear of a single kingfish being caught on the local reefs and wrecks or out at 21 bottom. The bottom fishing has been predictably good. If you can get on top of them, the mangrove snapper are hot. Otherwise, most everyone is limiting on vermillion snapper, pink porgie, and triggerfish. Amberjack are there to surprise.
There has not been a single report of kings off the beaches either. The surf fishing is way off. But the northerly winds should clean up the water a little and push some fish toward the beaches.
THE WEATHER Northerly winds will blow at 10 knots Saturday with seas forecast at 2 to 3 feet. Same thing Sunday, but seas are supposed to be 2 feet or less. Dont count on it.
Jim Sutton provides a weekly fishing report for The Record. Reach him at jim.sutton@stau ° gustine.com °