The fishing is completely off the wall in the St. Johns right now. If it's inshore, it's biting. Bull Reds, Giant Drum, Puppy Drum, Slot Reds, Trout, Flounder, Sheepshead, you name it....
With the variety of fish species, there's a variety of fishing methods to go along with them. We've been keeping things interesting with an abundance of fishing strategies. As always, there's the tried and true, bottom fishing with natural baits for Black Drum, Bull Reds and Sheepshead. Then there's Sheepshead jigs, tipped with live Shrimp for Slot Reds, Sheepshead and Trout for those days when we want a more hands on approach that will keep us moving. And finally, artificial baits for Slot Reds, Trout, Flounder and Jacks.
The Black Drum bite has slowed down quite a bit. We're still seeing them in the Inlet but the bite is erratic at best. I've been working all the tides at all depth options and there just isn't a consistent pattern at the moment. Not for me anyways. I work 3 different depths when targeting the Slime Balls. 65 feet(the inside North tip, deep trough), 45 feet(shallower trough that runs right up against the inside north, closest to the submerged row itself) and 48 feet(the drop off outside the north tip). You gotta be willing to put in man hours and move, a lot.... Lot's of pulling anchor and no being lazy. These guys don't like current. The end of each tide cycle, just before the switch tends to be the only consistent detail to note right now. The El Nino has the Big Uglies scattered imo.
The Slot Reds are schooled up thick on the river shoulders. Docks and rock lines between the Inlet and Blount Island are producing serious fish. Upper slot Reds as well as many just over slot. I'm catching them on Live Shrimp on a jig head, soft plastics, particularly, Slayer SSB's in Lemon Drop on weighted, weedless 5/0 hooks. Another lure that has grown on me lately are Crank baits. My buddy Jordan turned me on to those cheap, Academy brand hard baits and they actually make a perfect Mullet style, crank bait that runs 8-11 feet. It comes in white or Chrome color options. The hooks that come on them are worthless but at a $4.50 price point, you can change the hooks out and wear the Reds and Trout out with them. Crank baits open up a lot of options for us. The Inlet rocks, Deep drops on river shoulders with heavy currents, you name it. As I get better with them, I'll share additional insight with you.
Catch em up!
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