Captain's Report: Fishing Conditions & Recent St. Augustine Fishing Charters

june,july 2016

The fishing the last two months has been as good as it gets for summer inshore fishing.The redfish have been schooled up on the flats in groups of 25 to 50 fish in the 24 to 30 inch class eating anything you get in front of them.There has also been plenty of fish in the same size class along the deeper drops along the intracostal.The flounder bite has also been on fire with fish from just legal(10in)up to 6lbs hanging out under bait fish on the flats and close to runuots along the intracoastal.The trout bite has been very slow as expected with the hot water temps.I expect the same pattern to continue thru august with the only thing that could possibly slow it down is some big rains(lots of fresh water).

May 2016

May 2016
This has been as good a month of May as I can remember for redfish. The fish have been running from small 17” up to 33”. Fishing has been good in all the typical places we find redfish. From the shallow water flats to backcountry creeks to deeper water drops along the intra-coastal. These fish have been caught mostly on jig heads with live shrimp, spinner baits, and Gulp jerk bait.

I know the flounder have been doing good out around the inlet, but I think we might have caught one flounder all month, and 1 keeper trout. Most of the charters this month have been half days. With the limited amount of time to fish I have set up all the trips around a good redfish tide. When the redfishing is as good as it has been, it’s hard for me as a guide to go anything else!

April 2015

April 2016
April has always been one of my favorite months of the year to fish the inshore waters of St. Augustine and this year has been no exception. The big speckled trout have started showing up this month with a number of fish being caught over 5 lbs. The go-to baits have been mirrolure, top dog junior and mirrodine sinking hard plastic jerk baits. These large trout are all roe filled females and I persuade my clients to release them due to these fish being the breeding stock. Also these bigger fish just are not that good to eat.

The redfishing has been on fire this month with most days producing 10-15 fish in the keeper slot range with some days as many as 20 on a half day trip. These fish have been pretty consistently in the 24 –25” range. Along with the keeper slot size fish we have also been catching quite a few undersize fish with a few over slot (over 27”).

All these redfish have been caught on ¼ ounce jig heads with shrimp. About half the redfishing this month has been in deeper holes in the back country creeks and the others on shallow flats of the intracoastal. We also had the second leg of the redfish pro tour on the 9th of April out of St. Augustine. We had a 6th place finish. We had plenty of opportunities to finish higher but had a number of quality fish just pull off. After our February 1st place finish we are still 2nd in terms of our our team and the year’s points!

I expect the fishing patterns for April to continue […]

jan. – mar. 2016

Jan – March 2016
The first three months of the year have been some very good inshore fishing.There were some days we had to really work for our fish, but overall it has been very good!
The majority of the redfish we have been catching have been in the slot between 23” and 25”with a few over slot in the 28” – 31” range.

Along with the redfish there have been some great days with a mixed bag of black drum – 3 – 5 lbs, and sheepshead – 3 – 7 lbs. Most of the fish have been coming out of back country creeks or deeper banks up the intercoastal. I have spent a lot more time this year fishing deeper water due to these deeper water fish that have been predictable and a lot easier to get on. The flats fish have tried to do their thing but there has been so much pressure on them they will only stay around and put up with it for so long.

Guides that fish these fish every day pattern these fish and know where they are gong to be on every stage of the tide. Redfish are creatures of habit. When you spend enough time on the water and know this, you can set up on these fish – not spooking them – and catch them. When you first go on a flat looking for fish and start pushing them around its over! They know you are there and they are nervous. They are not going to bite!

April should be a great month for fishing. It will be a great month for redfish and should also […]

June 1 – June12 2015

June 1 – 12 2015
The first two weeks of June have been excellent redfishing! I’ve been having a great redfish bite some days off shellbanks on the intracoastal in 5- 8 feet of water. These fish all have been running from 25” up to 30”. Evidently these fish are moving around a lot. They’ll be on these places for a couple days then gone, then show up right back there again.

The consistent bite has been on shallow water flats with schools of fish ranging from 10 to 75 fish. As the tide falls the fish are in smaller groups scattered on the flats. As the water gets lower and the area for them to live gets smaller they’re all joining together making one giant school. As the area gets bigger, they are breaking into smaller groups again. They are all running in the 25 – 30” range. If the weather stays normal, which I am thinking it will, I expect this same pattern to hold through the month

May 2015

May 2015

This month has been a windy one by May standards.We had a lot of days with an East/Northeast wind. The wind out of that direction keeps the water levels higher than normal and did make the movement hard to pattern. Some of these days were challenging and we worked hard to catch fish.

The days this month with normal winds and normal tides were as you would expect for May. We did well in the backcountry creeks catching nice redfish here and there. But the big numbers and big concentrations of fish came off the flats in the 24 to 33” class. When the wind didn’t blow and the tides were normal, these fish movements were very predictable and easy to set up on every day. Some of the places we fished in the backcountry for redfish usually produce black drum mixed in. That didn’t happen this month, but I expect that to change any day.

I had a few reports from other guides of a few stretches during the month of a good trout bite with a few really big fish in the mix. I caught very few trout due to the way I fish targeting redfish 100% of the time. There just aren’t a lot of trout on these flats where the redfish schools live. As I am writing this the first week of June I have been fishing a school of redfish that is huge for this time of year. I’m guessing about 75 fish in the 25” class!

April1-April12 2015

April 1 through April 12, 2015

The month of April has started off with fantastic redfishing. So far this month I have been fishing the same 3 flats every day. There has been plenty of fish so I have seen no reason to change up and go looking. I’ve been working two different size class schools of fish. Some of the schools are in the 24-25” class and some are in the 28-31” class.

On the spin tackle (bait) charters, we have been staking out and making long casts to these fish and just letting the fish come find the bait. On the shallow water flats – it’s the only way to do it. Constant casting only spooks the fish. On my fly fishing trips I have been fishing the same fish, but we are poling these areas very quietly and spotting and casting to the fish before they figure out we are there.

I have heard good reports that the trout fishing has really picked up in the last couple of weeks. But when the redfish bite is as good as it has been – it’s really hard for me to go trout fishing.

Summer seems to be coming early this year with water temps already in the mid 70’s. The river is as full of bait as it is in mid summer. The tarpon are already showing up in good numbers, along with the Jack Crevalle, sharks and manatee

jan-march 2015

Jan – March 2015

The first three months of the year overall have been great fishing. We have had a few challenging days when the cold fronts have pushed through and the wind blew hard out of the north.

When the weather has been stable the redfish schools have been very predictable and hungry on the flats. These school fish have been running between 25 and 35 inch fish. This is absolutely my favorite way to fish. Schools of fish in shallow water that you can see before you get a bite whether you’re throwing live bait, artificials or flies.

On the higher water – the deeper spots along the Intracoastal, and in the back country, the creeks have been holding quite a few redfish also with a lot of smaller fish in the 17 inch range, but all the way up to 33 inch fish as well. These back country creeks have made the day many times when the wind was really blowing too hard to fish shallow water flats. Usually through the winter months these back country spots also hold a lot of black drum. But this year they haven’t showed up in big numbers like they usually do. We have caught a few but not the normal.

The speckled trout bite has been pretty slow through the latter part of winter, but have started showing up in pretty good numbers the last week. I expect the next month of April to be really good fishing with the redfish continuing to be on fire, the speckled trout and black drum bite also taking off with more stable weather. […]

April-May 2014

April/May 2014

 

The month of April was unseasonably cool, windy. With all the rain the water was very fresh and dirty. With that the trout bite was pretty much non-existent. The black drum that had been around the first three months of the year also took a break for the biggest part of the month of April. Thank goodness for the redfish bite, which is always our main target on every trip.

 

The month had a fairly steady redfish bite with the fish running from small 17” fish up to 32” fish. The days this month when the weather was somewhat stable we had some really awesome days. When we had lots of East/Northeast wind we had to really work hard for the fish we caught. For the inshore fishing, cold water temps don’t affect the fishing. The heavy rains and wind do. The fresh water that gets dumped into the system turns the water to mud. And the winds that blow out of the East/Northeast don’t let the tides get really low, which keep the fish spread out. 

The month of May overall has been a great month for fishing with the water clearing up. The trout bite has started to turn off with the trout running anywhere from 14” to 28”. Drum have been showing up this month in fair numbers, although not what we are used to. The past winter really messed up the timing of the inshore fish. The redfish have stayed steady however. 

The trick to catching these redfish this month has been to keep moving to stay on top of them. The fish have not been spread out in a lot of different places. They’ve been schooled up in small areas and […]

March 2014

April 9, 2014

The last month has given us very erratic weather.  We’ve had cold, wet and windy days, with some very nice days mixed in.  Most of the month the fishing has been very good, with several great days mixed in!  Overall, the fishing has been strong with a lot of fish in the 24 – 27 inch range and averaging around 3 – 4 fish per trip over 27”.  The largest redfish of the month was 14 pounds! 

The black drum and sheepshead have been on the shell banks of the intra coastal spawning.  Black drum have been 3 – 12 lbs, sheepshead 3 – 10 lbs.  I expect the sheepshead bite up the intra coastal to be over until next year.  The only reason we catch them in these locations is the late winter/early spring spawning.  

With the large volume of rain we’ve had this month the water has been very fresh and off-colored.  The trout bite has been slow.  With the month of April here, I expect the redfishing to be really good with a lot of the places we catch them.  I expect the same places to be holding a lot of black drum also.  If we can get out of the rainy weather pattern, and the water cleans up – the trout bite should really go off! 

As busy as I’ve been this month, I haven’t had a chance to do my typical Captain’s reports.  But there are a lot of pics you can check out to tell the story!!