JIGGIN FOR FLATTIES – Flounder, Sheepshead, Red Fish and Tarpon

The Flounder bite is strong right now. Mostly smaller fish but there are definitely a few Thumpers around. You gotta dig for them and for us that meant throwing back a good 20 or so short fish in the process. It gets painful with the high cost of Berkley Gulp but well worth the cost.

We made two up river trips this week to do a little prospecting for the Flatties. We started off hitting a few shallow flats that had been productive in years prior to no avail. After striking out completely, we changed up our strategy and hit a few deeper spots with heavy rip rap and a steady falling tide. Immediately, we're bailing Flounder over the rail. The first couple of fish were solid, around 18-22 inches. Once we stopped getting bit, we'd move along the bank, repeating the same process until we stopped catching fish. No one spot filled the box, some stops would produce 1 or 2 fish, some would be completely dead. What we did note was that once we found a fish, there was always 1 or more others in the immediate area. Some stops would produce a bit more.

We were pitching Pearl White and smoke Berkley, Swim Tail Mullet in the 4" variant, combined with White, Jaw Jacker Jigs. Any of the lighter colors will produce including Chartreuse, Glow and Pink. There are a number of different ways to work them. My favorite system involves working the bank with the boat tight to the shore line. I do this because most of the Flounder are tight against the shore line and in our case that meant rocks and heavy cover. By being positioned close to the bank we can work the structure at an angle that reduces snagging. Flounder don't spook easily anyway so there is little need to be stealthy, making long casts. Long casts = snags.
Work the rod with the tip at a 45 degree angle facing upward. By working the bait this way you achieve an even higher angle of bait presentation further reducing snags.

The retrieve I go with is simple, "bump, pause, bump, pause." Roll the bait back towards the boat slowly and once you get bit, pause roughly 1 to 2 seconds and sting it! The bite of a Flounder varies from fish to fish but most of the time, if the fish is of half way decent size, you'll feel a single thump followed by a sensation of weight. Pause a second or two and let em have it! The smaller fish tend to be more aggressive. They'll often swipe at it several times before finally inhaling the jig. We're reckless when it comes time to land our fish and mostly flip ours into the boat(unless the fish seems large). Don't be like us, use a landing net. Most come unglued right at the boat and it's painful to watch.

Hopefully, the front that's coming in Monday will be followed by cooler weather. I'm ready for the October Sheepshead push to come through. Some are already in the Inlet but man o man, the Blennies have the joint on lock right now!

The Mullet Run is going strong and the Tarpon are still exploding on them in the Inlet. We caught another one around a 100 pounds last week.

Tight lines everyone and be safe.

Florida inshore charter fishing. Jacksonville fishing charters. Mayport fishing charters

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