Home All Listings The flounder bite around the inlets has been excellent
6 years ago

The flounder bite around the inlets has been excellent


Wildwood inshore tourney Saturday Still time to enter at captain’s meeting tonight

**THE ST. JOHNS RIVER AND AREA LAKES:** First, sorry about the Friday report. We had some irksome technical problems Wednesday that made it impossible to get the fishing column in by deadline. The good news is that it allowed time to make a few calls to find out what was going on Wednesday — when folks were able to get out of the inlet again following Tropical Storm Colin.

The panfish bite is slowing down everywhere but Lake George. There may be one more spawn on the full moon in two weeks, but the best bet is that it’s over for the summer. Most of the hardcore bluegill fishermen will hang it up until October or so, because the fish are what old-timers call “poor.” That means generally on the small and skinny side.

The catfish bite has been off the charts since the storm. It coincided with a spawn. What happens, especially in the creeks, is the big rains from the storm wash all kinds of bugs and critters out of the swamps and into the edges of the creeks. Catfish know this and are stacking up. If you can find some kind of ditch or pinch point where water flows out of the swamps, set up camp there. You should catch all you want.

Bass fishing is a little messed up because of the fresh water runoff in the river and the high water in the lakes. But tossing weedless swimbaits up in the pads or dollar bonnets is producing where the water is high.

The croaker bite from Doctors Inlet south to Green Cove Springs turned on this week. Stay in the channels. There are still lots of small fish, but anglers are putting decent numbers of the 12- to 14-inch fish on ice, too.

**THE INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY:** It’s very odd, but the redfish bite was excellent when it should have been awful. That same runoff from the storm clouds up the brackish water and generally messes things up. But the charter guides were killing them.

The flounder bite around the inlets has been excellent, especially on the south jetties at St. Augustine Inlet. Problem is, the mud minnows around now are so small you need to put a couple on the hook, and the finger mullet are tough to find.

Captain Scott Shank caught a limit of 20 flatties averaging 2 to 3 pounds and released about that many more off the jetties Wednesday. He also released a 30-inch snook there.

Black drum fishing would be a good bet in the deeper holes and channels this weekend. The jacks, blues and ladyfish may be a little slower; run out of the river by the fresh water.

**THE ATLANTIC:** The water just off the beach is ugly, again due to runoff. Surf fishing has been terrible because of that. About the only thing biting is saltwater catfish, which thrive in the low-salt surf and muddy water.

Outside the mud line, the pogies are gathering back up in big schools, especially south of the inlet.

Most everybody going out of the jetties is heading for the Nine-Mile bottom. Kingfish are thick, but still averaging 8 to 10 pounds. But Captain Guy Spear weighed a 28-and a 36-pounder prior to the storm — very much exceptinons to the current rule.

Three sailfish were reported released on Wednesday out there. Some cobia were caught on trolled pogies Thursday, again around the Nine-Mile area. The bigger charter boats did ice down some cobia out in 100 feet of water. We heard of no boats trolling out on the ledge.

But the bottom bite in deep water was good, led by good numbers of mangrove snapper averaging 8 pounds. Grouper fishing remains slow. Vermillion snapper, porgies and triggerfish are out there. Sea bass are scattered and small if you can find them.

**CALENDAR:** The 17th annual Wildwood Inshore Fishing Tournament is Saturday, first light. Registration is $30 per angler and there’s a mandatory captain’s meeting tonight from 5-8 p.m. at the St. Augustine Boating Club on Boating Club Road at Vilano Beach. All proceeds benefit St. Augustine Youth Services, a residential group home for boys who have suffered trauma or abuse.

**Jim Sutton** provides a weekly fishing report for The Record.

Reach him at jim.sutton@staugustine.com.

**CONTRIBUTED PHOTO:** Tom Bengston from Marietta, Georgia, booked a local charter recently and took home some nice cobia filets. The fish was caught on a trolled pogy, on the Nine-Mile bottom.

Listing ID: 21408

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