Date – April 25, 2018
Title: Amelia Island/July Fishing
Author: Terry D. Lacoss
The month of July harbors a live well full of fishing opportunities and for a variety of both freshwater and saltwater game fish. Without a doubt the most popular specie includes the fast-striking king mackerel that can be found prowling the beaches, inlets and offshore habitats of Amelia Island. A most common fishing tactic includes slow trolling live baits including menhaden, mullet, cigar minnows, goggle eyes and blue runners. However, any live saltwater fish ranging from six to twelve-inches is a likely candidate for a big “Mack” attack.
Dead baits also work well including cigar minnows and the sword like “Ribbonfish”.
Hot July summer days also heats up beach fishing action where large schools of menhaden are a big drawing card for summer tarpon, kingfish, sharks, cobia and tarpon. Typically, the larger concentrations of menhaden are located from just north of the “Amelia By the Sea” fishing pier to the very southern portion of Amelia Island. Simply look for diving pelicans, large cloudy areas of the beach, or keep a close eye on your fish finder for clouds of bait fish down deep. Without saying it is a must that king mackerel fishermen bring along a box of frozen cigar minnows and dead ribbonfish when menhaden are difficult to cast net!
Some of the key areas to slow troll in close to shore for summer king mackerel include the just off from the beaches of Omni Amelia Island Plantation, the channel buoy at Nassau Sound and the St. Mary’s shipping channel. Offshore structures include FA, FC, HH and the “Nassau Live Bottom”.
Tarpon fishing will also heat up during the month of July along the southern beaches and inlets of Amelia Island where chumming from an anchored or drifting boat may well produce a silver king weighing well over the 100-pound mark. One of the very best tarpon summer tarpon hot spots includes the very southern portion of Amelia Island when a in-coming tide finds lots of mullet schooling and tarpon too!
Near shore summer fishermen will also encounter cobia, shark, Spanish Mackerel, pompano, bluefish, whiting, jack crevalle and more.
Offshore fishermen will have a wide variety of both bottom and trolling species to target during the month of July as well. The gag grouper season opened on June 1st with a 24-inch minimum size limit and two fish per day bag limit. Other bottom species include black sea bass, snapper, triggerfish, amberjack and cobia. Bottom fishing with fresh local squid is key!
Backwater fishing remains excellent for spotted sea trout during the month of July where the best action is found during the last portion of the in-coming tide. Drifting live finger mullet, or large live shrimp under a small float is a deadly tactic. However working a “Real Target” “Glass Minnow Baitball” jerk bait with hard jerks just under the surface is a deadly tactic for hooking into “Gator” size sea trout.
Redfish, flounder and sheepshead will also be running during the heat of summer where fishing the deep ends of boat docks, jetties and oysterbars is key.
One of the better areas for catching both sea trout and redfish during the month of July includes the mouth of Tiger Creek where shallow bars, marsh points and oyster bars offer excellent backcountry fishing.
The “38th Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament” will take place July 16-21 will offer prizes and cash for the largest king mackerel.
For more fishing and charter fishing information please visit www.ameliaangler.com, or call 904-261-2870.