MAYPORT INLET VARIETY – Trout, Sheepshead, Red Drum, Porgies and Flounder

Well, it's December and the Big Rocks are producing quality fish. The water temperature is holding around 68 degrees and the last of the roe Mullet are pushing out. The Black Tip Sharks are finally out of our hair with the exception of the smaller ones. All that remains now are the pesky Sandbar Sharks and Blennies. The Blennies have thinned out to some degree as well.

The Bull Reds are absolutely thriving in the Inlet as per usual for this time of year. We're averaging a dozen on through 20 or even as many as 40 Bulls per trip. It's exhausting but, for those wanting to cash in on the first time experience or just want to feel a monster pull drag, The action is abundant and the Reds never disappoint.

We're scoring our best numbers on the outgoing tide, in the 70-80 foot north trough, just inside the north submerged row. Essentially, just line up with the Return buoy(Red), make sure your depth is between 70-80 feet and you're good to go.

The Reds are biting both cut Mullet and Blue Crab with the majority of the action coming from the Cut Mullet. Don't rule out the chunked Blue Crab as there are some big, spawner Sheepshead coming through in those deep rocks. We got our first big girl of the season a couple days ago on the chunked Crab. She went just shy of 9 pounds. The big Green Heads are out there as well and you can expect to pull up a few studs through the course of the day. In short, don't skimp on the crab....

The Porgies are thick in the Inlet right now. These aren't the typical offshore Grouper baits either. These are the spawners and they range from a pound on to 2.5 pounds each. These are a scrappy little fish that will give you an absolute fit on lighter tackle. Bring a 1000 - 2500 series spinner and 7 foot, medium, fast tipped rod and you'll get wore slap out. What they may lack in size, they more than make up for in attitude and numbers.

Pick up a box of Sheepshead jigs and some 15 pound mono leader and you're ready to hammer some fine eating fish. I prefer the Sheepshead jigs over at Strike Zone. They're built with the sharpest and strongest hooks out of all the ones sold locally. You also get more jigs per box vs the packages at the bait shops.

Simply tip the jig with a small piece of fresh, dead Shrimp, pitch it up against the rocks anywhere around the North and South tips and you'll know when you've found them. The bite is immediate and there is zero guess work when you're in the right spot. Expect to move around and don't spend too much time in one spot if you're not getting bit. These fish are not shy and will feed aggressively when you find them. The bite is quick and like Sheepshead, they don't run with the bait. You'll have to figure out the timing on the hook set but generally speaking, it takes about 1-2 seconds for you to be baitless. If you're finding that your getting robbed a lot, start setting the hook earlier. These guys are efficient bait stealers. Expect to go through 2 to 3 pounds of Shrimp pretty quickly.

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