We've been dealing with plenty of tough fishing conditions as of late with several inches of rain hitting the area. The full moon follow up certainly
hasn't helped! It's not all bad though. The Flounder and Red Fish bite has been solid.
There have been plenty of good Flounder reports coming out of the Mayport, Nassau Sound, and Intercoastal areas. Most anglers are picking up a few decent fish here and there with most being on the smaller side.
You'll need to cover a lot of area to get them in numbers. Hit docks, rock lines, rip rap, and creek mouths with a live Mud Minnow on a jig head. Fan cast each area, work the jig back towards the boat while keeping the minnow on or close to the bottom. When a Flounder hits, you'll usually notice a small thump. Once this happens, pause your retrieve. Give the Flounder at least 10-15 seconds to eat the bait. Flounder will often grab the Minnow and reposition it into it's mouth before swollowing. After the short wait, set the hook. The smaller fish will feel almost like dead weight coming in. The bigger ones on the other hand can be tough fighters.
When you catch a Flatty, make sure to fish the area thoroughly. Flounder often hang around in groups and it's not unusual to find several in a single tight space. Once you feel that a spot has been fished out, move on to the next bank, rinse and repeat. Flounder fishing can be exhausting, especially when the fish are scattered and difficult to find. With a bit of patience, your effort will pay off.
The Bull Red bite is red hot right now in the river channels from Mayport to downtown Jacksonville. The Bulls are gathering for their anual pre spawn. Every year between June and July, The mature fish push into the river channels in massive schools. The groups will continue gathering in numbers well into August when they will eventually begin spawning. The pre spawn brings the opportunity to target the largest of the Bull Red Fish, the females. The females get larger than the male fish and tend to show up first at the spawning grounds. For the first month or so, Bulls will forage heavily to pack on calories for the spawn. This is a primetime opportunity to catch the largest Reds in our waters.
You'll need plenty of live, medium sized Mullet or Menhaden. You'll also want to fish a few Mullet or Menhaden cut into chunks. Reds will often eat one or the other but not neccessarily both. This is why you want both options on the table. Between the months of May and July, You'll be better off not using Blue Crab. Blue Crab in the main river are mostly on the surface spawning and during this time, Bulls generally won't eat Crab. You can get lucky and find a taker on occasion, but for the most part, Crab as bait will be uneventful. Once Mid to late July comes around, Everything changes. That's when fishing gets expensive and you'll need a full spread of live bait, cut bait and Blue Crab. The Red Fish will continue eating a combination of all these baits well into October when they begin heading offshore for Winter.
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