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

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

St augustine Fishing Nov-Dec

Jan 1, 2014

Happy New Year!  Well, I haven’t done a fishing report in quite a while.  With the holidays and a lot of fishing, I just haven’t slowed down long enough to take the time.

The month of November was the windiest I can remember.  We averaged one northeaster every week.  There were days that just weren’t fishable, days the we got out but were limited to where we could run to, and days that we could run and fish where we wanted.  Windy days we stayed within a couple miles of town and fished hard.  Every day we did this we actually had pretty good day, catching lots of black drum in the 2 – 3 lb range and a few slot reds and lots of under sized reds.  On the days the weather allowed us to move about, we caught a mixed bag of fish.  Higher tides put us on some trout, running from 14” to 19” inch fish.  This time of year we typically don’t catch the bigger trout – that’s normally a spring catch. 

As the tides got lower we moved into areas that hold the redfish and did really well on them along with the black drum.  The black drum seemed to be in the 2 – 3 lb range with the redfish running from 17” up to 25”. 

The month of December seemed to get a little more back to normal weather and the fishing was about what you would expect.  The trout bite left town but the redfish bite got really hot. We started these trips in the backcountry creeks catching redfish  between 17” – 25”, with a few nice black drum and sheep head mixed in the 2 – […]

By |January 3rd, 2014|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St augustine Fishing Nov-Dec

St. Augustine Fishing Oct.21-Oct27

Fishing started out pretty slow the first of the week.  With the cold front coming in we really had to work hard for the fish we caught.  As the front pushed through and the air temperature dropped the fishing really got hot. From midweek through the weekend we had plenty of action on the trout, redfish, flounder and black drum.  The trout we caught were all on artificial and fly, running from just undersized up to 20”.  Redfish this week were all live bait or fly, with a few flounder also on live bait and fly.  Black drum were caught on bait. 

 Friday I fished a flat I have only been on once since last winter.  As soon as we got up on it and started fishing I realized the redfish were back in their regular spots.  There were quite a few small groups of fish 20” – 22”.  There was one large school of around 50 fish in the 25” – 30” range, and they were feeding hard.  Being a live bait trip, we power poled down and threw quartered up crab to them, getting hook-ups one after the other until the tide stopped running. 

 Saturday I went back to this spot with a fly angler and were on these fish for 2 hours or more, ending up with 2 nice upper slot fish out of the school with a few pull-offs.  By the end of the trip the angler had the “northeast slam” – some nice trout, a flounder and some redfish on the fly.  It was a great trip.  And with the air and water temps dropping, the fishing should do nothing but get better!

By |November 2nd, 2013|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St. Augustine Fishing Oct.21-Oct27

St Augustine Fishing Oct.14-Oct.20

The first of the week started out with rain and hard northeast winds.  I didn’t get back out on the water until Wednesday.  The tides were right this week for afternoon fishing and the redfish bite was really good.  I have started out a little early in the afternoon for the redfish bite, and made a few stops at some normal trout hangouts with no luck.  

As the oyster beds started showing it was game on for the redfish in the 23” to 27” size!  We averaged about six to eight of this size fish per person on the afternoon half-day trips.  As the air and water temperatures start dropping the fishing will get better and better with all the inshore species such as redfish, trout and black drum.  

The main ingredient to a good predictable bite is some stable weather. When that isn’t happening, I adjust my strategy to follow the fish’s behavior.  For example, the last couple of weeks, we have had a lot of northeast winds that have been holding the water in and not letting it fall out like it normally does. When this happens the fish change their normal habits and are hard to find.  During this time, my typical hot spots haven’t been producing, so I’ve hit the areas we don’t typically fish to find them.  Understanding and following these fish and their behaviors is the best way to have a productive trip.   

 

By |October 24th, 2013|Captain's Report|Comments Off on St Augustine Fishing Oct.14-Oct.20