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Are Florida Fishing Northeast

author
James Lee
• Wednesday, 25 November, 2020
• 7 min read

It’s going to be cold this Christmas weekend and the good news is, it won’t be a windy event. Bring some frozen squid along to target trigger, vermilion, and sea bass.

(Source: boatnation.com)

Contents

Trolling at speeds as high as 20 knots covers lots of water and causes a vicious strike and very good eating. Inshore The cold temps should drive most fish into tight schools.

You can’t beat a live shrimp on a jig head dragged or laying on the bottom to get bites. A number of species could fall for this wintertime technique including redfish, trout, black drum, flounder, and sleepyhead.

I like slow suspend hard baits that get maximum depths of six to eight feet. I would also add, if you haven’t tried the Unfair Lures line of plastics, this would be the time.

The plastics stand up any jig and their segmented tail flutters at rest. The link below the map will provide a full screen Google version view.

Increasing coastal development means access can be an issue, but there’s still plenty of great areas where you can enjoy Florida fishing. Some will also offer the opportunity to slide a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle board into the water, but all include plenty of space to fish from shore, or wade into coastal shallows.

fishing northeast florida
(Source: www.fishanywhere.com)

The prominent paved jetty pier on the north side, complete with safety rails offers a safe, spacious platform for reaching the surf zone or the deeper water of the inlet. Incoming tides always bring a push of activity, but when the fall mullet run piles an enormous biomass in and around the inlet, anglers have a field day with bull redfish, giants nook, tarpon and the occasional cuber snapper.

Mangrove snapper, jacks, sleepyhead and black drum add to the mix; while the shallower end, along with the smaller south jetty may yield pompano, whiting and craters. When the fall cold fronts usher hordes of flounder out of the Indian River and toward the Atlantic, anglers line the rip rap for a shot at these tasty flat fish.

Several pull off spots provide casting access to the St. Johns River, or you can take one of the interior roads through the campground to fish the Fort George Inlet on the north side. The mix here includes flounder, redfish, black drum, pompano, whiting, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks.

Deploying live baits off the deep end often yields king mackerel, tarpon, sharks and barracuda. Parking along South Ocean Shore Blvd., restrooms, shaded seating and a bait and tackle shop.

Tarpon often run this area anglers soaking live baits or sight casting big swim baits might put one in the air. From the metered parking area to the pier is a bit of a hike, but it’s a straight shot down the walking promenade running along the cut.

florida fishing central east bass
(Source: bassonline.com)

Both provide spacious access to a wide range of Keys favorites like snapper (mangrove, lane, mutton and yellowtail), tarpon, grouper, yellow jack, shook and porgies. The gem of Pinellas County, this 1,136-acre park comprises Madeleine, St. Jean, St. Christopher, Bone Fortune and Mullet keys and complements an impressive angling menu with campgrounds, picnic shelters, bathroom/shower facilities, concessions, bait shop, dog park and historical significance.

Expect a good mix of shook, trout, redfish and flounder, along with mackerel, cobra, pompano, sharks and mangrove snapper at the piers. Boardwalks over the protected dunes offer access to the redfish, flounder and trout waters on the marsh side, but surf fishing is the big attraction.

On either side of the Dunedin Causeway, cast a bait over the pristine grass flats of St. Joseph Sound, or wade into the usually clear waters where speckled trout, mackerel and redfish roam. The main causeway bridge and the smaller one right before the island offer sleepyhead, black drum, shook and snapper opportunities.

The piers light attract bait fish, so expect everything from shook, to trout and the occasional bluefish to stake out these feeding spots. Spring and fall bring king fish within reach, while a summer tarpon bite can make things interesting.

Summer is prime time for big shook staging for their spawn; while fall sees voluminous bait fish schools exiting the inner bays, with several predators in pursuit. Shook is one of the top targets (especially in the lights), but you’ll also find pompano, Spanish and king mackerel, tarpon, cobra, sharks and sleepyhead.

gulf fishing mexico west mahi key caught crystal coastal magazine angler coastalanglermag fullsizerender
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

Tip: Local businesses rarely budge on the “restrooms are for customers only” thing (many have signs posted), so don’t expect any mercy, no matter how much you grimace and squeeze your knees together. Commercially produced aluminum pier/bridge carts with wide wheels will easily transport your rods, tackle bag, cooler and live bait well over pavement, rocks or sand; but for casual duties, a garden utility cart (some models fold) will suffice.

Waiting until you feel that cool downdraft can leave you and your gear exposed and out of options; so know where the nearest shelter lies and have a bug-out plan just in case. It starts with respectful spacing, so if you approach an area where others are fishing, take note of where their lines are set (short, long) and allow reasonable buffers.

There are many types of Northeast Florida fish species in the inshore and nearshore waters of St. Augustine. We concentrate on the abundant populations found in backwaters of the estuaries and tributaries making up the Inter coastal Waterway and do most of our fishing in St. Augustine and Palm Coast.

Below is a sampling of the most popular Northeast Florida fish species found in St Augustine. During the winter months when the water is clear you can expect to find large schools of redfish up in the shallow flats of St. Augustine and Palm Coast.

During the fall and summer months the redfish are on the feed and will happily take a live bait as well as chase down top-water plugs and other artificial lures. During the fall we get “flood” tides and that allows the redfish to get up into the extreme shallow starting grass flats where they hunt down crabs.

fishing florida central east spots
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

We will once again sight-fish for the reds that time of year as they wave their tails out of the water when on the hunt for crabs in the grass. This method of trout fishing has been around for a very long time and can be very exciting when that cork shoots under the water.

Typically, some of our bigger trout in St. Augustine and Palm Coast are caught in the spring and fall months when the fish are spawning. The “fatties”, as they are known around here, are another fish that are available to catch year round in St. Augustine and Palm Coast.

They make up the third part of the Northeast Florida Slam” or the feat of catching a redfish, trout, and flounder all in the same day. Live bait is the most common way of catching flounder, but they will take a variety of soft plastic lures.

We catch some of our bigger flounder in the spring and fall months but it’s not uncommon to find some fish in the “doormat” size any time of year. The best time to fish for tarpon in Northeast Florida is from June through September or as long as the water stays fairly warm.

It doesn’t matter how or where you catch them the tarpon will put on quite a show for you and give you memories you’ll never forget. Think about being able to toss bait at a huge shark and then watch him engulf that bait… all just feet from the edge of the boat.

river brazos fishing chama mountain redd rebekka lakes
(Source: coastalanglermag.com)

That’s one of the ways we target the “brown bomber”, or cobra, here in St. Augustine and Palm Coast. The peak season for drum in St. Augustine and Palm Coast is usually during the cooler months although we do catch them sporadically during the summer as well.

Average size of the drum range from 3lbs to 10lbs in the backcountry waters of St. Augustine and Palm Coast. The smaller jacks (3-10lbs) will invade the inshore and backcountry waters from March through September and will also give you a run for your money.

They are also great fighters and put on an awesome, jumping, drag screaming display when hooked. Mali or “dolphin” as they are sometimes called, are typically found around floating structures, weed lines, and temperature breaks offshore.

Ranging in size from 10-30lbs this is one hard fighting, drag screaming, missile of a fish! Typically, caught while trolling dead baits or plugs the tuna are found in the offshore water from about 125ft out to the Gulf Stream.

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Sources
1 www.gritsandpinecones.com - https://www.gritsandpinecones.com/easy-crispy-oven-baked-grouper/
2 www.allrecipes.com - https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/132522/key-west-style-baked-grouper/
3 www.yummly.com - https://www.yummly.com/recipes/baked-grouper
4 www.gritsandpinecones.com - https://www.gritsandpinecones.com/easy-baked-parmesan-grouper-fillets/
5 www.kwseafood.com - https://www.kwseafood.com/baked-grouper-fillets-with-lemon-butter-and-rosemary.html
6 www.gogogogourmet.com - https://www.gogogogourmet.com/one-pan-baked-grouper-broccolini-tomatoes/
7 www.saveur.com - https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Baked-Grouper/
8 www.wholefoodsmarket.com - https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/roasted-grouper-ratatouille
9 thekitchendaddy.com - https://thekitchendaddy.com/pan-seared-grouper/