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

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!

By |June 14th, 2015|Captain's Report, Uncategorized|Comments Off on May 2015

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

By |April 15th, 2015|Captain's Report|Comments Off on April1-April12 2015

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. […]

By |April 12th, 2015|Captain's Report|Comments Off on jan-march 2015

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 […]

By |June 11th, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on April-May 2014

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!!

By |April 9th, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on March 2014

St Augustine Fishing Feb.17-Feb23

Feb 17 – 23

This past week the weather was the best we’ve had in quite some time.  With the weather stable all week through Thursday, and fishing the best tides in the afternoon the redfish bite was on fire! All four days produced some nice numbers of fish between 24 – 30 inches.  Moving around and working the tides these fish came out of water between 12 and 20 inches deep.  

Friday was a rainy day and brought a cancellation.  Sunday was a morning trip with the first stop of the morning being the only stop for the day.  It’s very unusual for me to do that but there was no reason to leave.  The redfish were stacked up in this location and we sat and caught fish in the 25 “ class for the entire ½ day trip.  

The black drum and sheepshead that had been mixed in with redfish on the hard bottom drop offs for the last month really didn’t show up this week.  This could have been a problem.  But the redfish bite was so good – nobody cared! With the water and air temps warming and spring right around the corner, the fishing should just keep getting better

By |February 27th, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St Augustine Fishing Feb.17-Feb23

St Augustine Fishing Feb10-Feb 16

Feb 10 – 16

This week the fishing has been great!  Monday brought light winds, bright skies and temps in the 70’s!  The fish were turned on and we had a really good day with redfish between 4 – 6 lbs.  The black drum were 2 – 8 lbs and sheepshead from 2 – 8 lbs. 

Tuesday brought a little cold front on the way.  When we left the dock it looked like it was going to be a really nice day.  By the time we started back it was overcast, foggy and cold with a 20 knot wind.  Evidently the fish knew the cold front was coming in, because the bite was going OFF.  We finished the day with around a dozen redfish, plenty of back drum and sheepshead between 2 – 10 lbs.  

All these fish have come off hard bottom drop-offs in 6 –10 feet of water.  This is the only time of year that we have sheepshead in the back country in these numbers.  The place to find them is on these hard bottom drop-offs, which just so happens to be holding the redfish and black drum as well. When I got back on the water on the weekend I went back to fishing the same pattern as the first of the week with the same results – good numbers of really nice fish.  

Next week the weather forecast is for an extended warm up and I expect a week of some really awesome fishing.  From now through April is my favorite time of year.  The fishing is GREAT, my customers happy and my job easy!  

 

By |February 21st, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St Augustine Fishing Feb10-Feb 16

St Augustine Fishing Jan27-Feb2

January 27 – Feb 2

This week started out with knowing Monday and Tuesday were going to be the last days to fish until the weekend due to the cold and rain on the way. Monday we made a few stops close to town without a bite.  As the tide started to fall we made the move up to the north and had good luck on the redfish in the slot size, fishing a little deeper water – about 4 to 8 feet.  We continued in this pattern, catching one after the other until the water got so low it was time to move.  

We moved out onto the flats to target a couple schools of redfish.  They were there in big numbers, but not too interested in eating anything we threw to them. You know its time to move on when the whole school just camps out on top of a quarter blue crab and won’t eat it! 

Tuesday was fairly good weather early, but as the day progressed it began to get worse with the temperatures dropping and the wind picking up.  The visibility was low with fog setting in.  During the higher tide we were targeting trout with the fly rod.  My “go to” set up for trout is a sinking tip line with a chartreuse and white clouser minnow.  But on this day the trout just didn’t want to play.  The plan was to swap up to a floating line and go pole the flats for redfish.  But with the wind picking up I decided to change up and go with spin tackle.  

With the barometer falling and the cold weather on the way – the fish were feeding up.  In the end, we […]

By |February 7th, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St Augustine Fishing Jan27-Feb2

St Augustine Fishing Jan13-26

January 6 – 12

This week with the cold weather I really didn’t get on the water much.  Monday through Thursday we had a mixed bag of weather.  Monday was windy and rainy, Tuesday and Wednesday were very cold and windy.  Thursday was warm, but with wind and rain. 

 

I did get out on the water Friday, but the bite was a little slow.  I was reading water temps as low as 52°, which is very cold water for this area.  The fish seemed lethargic and slow to eat.  We ended up with a few keeper redfish in the 24” range with quite a few short fish under 18”.  Saturday was a complete blow out with overcast skies and high winds around 25 mph. 

 

Sunday turned out to be a nice day, and with rising water temps the fish were fired up and eating.  We were doing a half day trip and every place we stopped we caught fish.  I didn’t keep count of exactly how many fish we caught but I know we had over a dozen nice slot fish in the 24” – 27” range with lots of small fish 16” – 17”, along with a nice flounder around 4 lbs.  This is my favorite time of year to be on the water, and with some more normal weather days the fishing is going to be on fire. 

 

 

Jan 13 – 26

The week of the 13th gave us some pretty warm weather compared to what we have had.  The redfish bite was good but not what you would expect this time of year.  Out of 20 spots you fish and do really well, there may be 2 of those spots holding fish that will actually eat.  […]

By |February 2nd, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St Augustine Fishing Jan13-26

St Augustine Fishing Jan.6-Jan12

January 6 – 12

This week with the cold weather I really didn’t get on the water much.  Monday through Thursday we had a mixed bag of weather.  Monday was windy and rainy, Tuesday and Wednesday were very cold and windy.  Thursday was warm, but with wind and rain.  

I did get out on the water Friday, but the bite was a little slow.  I was reading water temps as low as 52°, which is very cold water for this area.  The fish seemed lethargic and slow to eat.  We ended up with a few keeper redfish in the 24” range with quite a few short fish under 18”.  Saturday was a complete blow out with overcast skies and high winds around 25 mph.  

Sunday turned out to be a nice day, and with rising water temps the fish were fired up and eating.  We were doing a half day trip and every place we stopped we caught fish.  I didn’t keep count of exactly how many fish we caught but I know we had over a dozen nice slot fish in the 24” – 27” range with lots of small fish 16” – 17”, along with a nice flounder around 4 lbs.  This is my favorite time of year to be on the water, and with some more normal weather days the fishing is going to be on fire.

By |January 16th, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St Augustine Fishing Jan.6-Jan12