6 years ago

Surf fishing taking turn for the better

*Surf fishing taking turn for the better*



**The St. Johns River and area lakes:** The big spawn that was so anticipated on last week full moon fizzled, though a good number of the female speckled perch caught are filled with roe. And the numbers are definitely up all over the area. Rodman, Black Creek, Julington Creek, Dunn Creek, Deep Creek, Six-Mile Creek and Trout Creek are all giving up specks, but the majority is still deep or on structure.

The bream bite remains very good, as does the catfish bite. Sandbars and lily pads are the ambush points for anglers, though pitching crickets under docks is still a good bet. It just that there are a lot fewer docks since Matthew. Speaking of that, a bass angler told me Wednesday that there is still some nasty flotsam in the river, as pieces of docks continue to get dragged into the river. Keep a sharp eye out. Your lower unit will thank you. Dont, and your outboard mechanic will be doing the thanking.

Bass bedding in our area always begins in Lake George and that began this week, all over the lake  and that a big lake. The spawn will spread northward over the next month, depending upon water temperatures and whatever that supernatural mojo is that tells the big girls it time to go.

They are especially vulnerable during the spawn because theyll attack lizard lures and such with abandon, not because theyre hungry, but because theyre protecting their beds and progeny. Targeting these big females remains a controversial side of bass fishing.

**The Intracoastal Waterway:** The redfish bite picked up this week, probably because water temperatures jumped nearly 10 degrees over the week  from the mid-50s to the mid-60s. Sheepshead fishing took a dive mid-week for whatever reasons, but theyre not very picky about their surroundings, so it should be back on soon.

Flounder were pretty scarce. Captain Rob Bennett, however, found seven in the 2- to 3-pound range, all on oyster drop-offs and all in the creeks of North River.

The trout bite suffered from the rising water temps. Black drum and a few pompano are being caught. Wed expect a great bite of whiting in the river right about now, but it does not seem to be happening.

**The Atlantic:** The whiting bite is a little better in the surf. The fish will be running small or pretty big, but rarely together it seems. Pompano moved south with the colder water but have moved back up this way  which is kind of rare. But one angler with a saltwater products license had nearly two-dozen Tuesday on Crescent Beach. He did say they were showing a decided preference for sand fleas. He also said there were plenty of them (fleas) down around Marineland.

The cobia bite was wide open out in around 100 feet of water. This is the time of year when they migrate down from the north. What happened is that cobia fishing has closed from just north of us up to the Carolinas in the South Atlantic management area. So the fishing is likely so good because the guys north of us arent pounding them mercilessly before they get here  like it sounds like were doing to the anglers down south of us right now.

The limit is a little vacuous, because the state limit is one fish per person or six per boat, whichever is less. That out 3 miles. In federal waters, it two fish per person, period. That one of those rules that could use another look. Five anglers bringing 10 big cobia in is a little much. We all need to figure out what a “recreational angler really is. It cant be one thing when you want a shot at a protected species and another when you want to slaughter another.

The water offshore is getting to be that ugly green that usually spells a slowdown in both bottom fishing and trolling. Well see.

But it ends out around the 21-fathom bottom, and that were those able to get out there are still catching lots of blackfin tuna, along with a few wahoo, dolphin and sailfish. Seems like the bite has been early, so get out there ASAP. Two of the wahoo caught this week went 77 and 78 pounds respectively (and off two boats).

Bottom fishing hasnt been poor on the local reefs and wrecks. It mostly illegal red snapper and undersized redeyes. Youll also likely hook up with a few oversized red-fish on the wrecks. Treat them gently.

**The weather:** The weekend forecast is for light winds from the south  for a change. Seas will be 2-3 feet, but building Sunday to 6 feet later, so watch it.

*Jim Sutton provides a weekly fishing report for The Record. Reach him at [email protected].*

**Contributed PHOTO:**

Mike Cenci with a nice bass caught on a wild shiner in the Tocoi area of the the St. Johns River on Wednesday. The bass are showing row  and currently bedding down south in Lake George. This young lady not far behind.


Listing ID: 19745

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