Fernandina – September Fishing Report

Author: Terry D. Lacoss
               111 Centre St.
                Fernandina Bch., Fl. 32034
Title: “September Fernandina Report”

The month of September offers premiere surf fishing where key areas of Amelia Island beaches are key to your surf fishing success.  A good start is acquiring the right baits and fishing gear too.

Sand fleas will be plentiful in the shallow water surf where a sand rake worked in the breaking surf will acquire enough bait for a full day of surf fishing. Bring along some ultra-fresh local shrimp as well as a double surf rig baited with one fresh shrimp and a live sand flea is key for catching delicious eating pompano, sea trout, whiting and redfish.

If there are a lot of finger mullet schooling in the surf bring along a six-foot cast net and a live bait bucket.  Finger mullet fished on a “Fish-Finder” surf rig is key when catching flounder, sea trout and redfish.

Tides and time of day are also key with the first few hours of sunrise and the last few hours of sunset will always offer the best surf fishing action.  Also look for the first of the falling tide to produce the best fishing action as well. Key areas to surf fish along Amelia Island’s pristine beaches include the southside of the St. Mary’s south jetty rocks, the old “Pipe Line” located by exactly in the middle of Amelia Island at the Light House home and public parking lot, and the little jetties located at the very southern portion of Amelia Island.

Non-Florida residents will need to purchase a Florida fishing license when fishing in the surf.  Please visit www.myfwc.com and purchase one on line.

A big migration of “Bull Reds” will also take place during the month of September where female redfish weighing from 10-50 pounds will be dropping their eggs during the full moon at the mouths of both the St. Mary’s and Nassau inlets. Male redfish will fertilize the eggs which will ultimately carry into nearby small tidal estuaries and hatch.

Fishing on the bottom with live mullet, or menhaden is key during a flooding tide. Be sure and keep your bull red in the water making sure your catch will continue to provide fishermen with the ultimate fishing experience.

Offshore fishermen will be targeting wrecks, lime rock ledges and live bottom habitats for hard fighting gag grouper, triggerfish, black sea bass, amberjack and the occasional cobia.  Red snapper season is closed during the month of September.  Key areas where single engine boats can access excellent bottom fishing include “Shultz’s Fish Market” located only five miles offshore of the southern portion of Amelia Island and “KBY” artificial reef which located only five-miles offshore of the St. Mary’s Inlet.
Fishing dead on the bottom with live cigar minnows, or fresh local squid is key to a successful day of bottom fishing.
A few tarpon will still be around during the month of September as well.  Fish at the very tip of the St. Mary’s south jetty rocks during the last of the in-coming tide while fishing dead on the bottom with live menhaden.

Backwater fishermen will be targeting sea trout during the last of the flood and first of the falling tides while casting a variety of surface plugs including Storm’s “Chug Bug”, Mirr-o-Lure’s “Top Dog” and the 52-M Mirr-o-Lure in the red and white color pattern which is a slow sinking plug.  Look for the best sea trout action to come from the deep edges of the Amelia River where ambush points including boat docks, oyster bars and sandbars will hold specks weighing to ten-pounds.

Finally, flounder fishing during all the falling tide is excellent during the month of September where boat dock pilings are constructed near deep sloughs, jetty rocks and sandbars as well.  Fish a live bullhead minnow, or finger mullet slowly along the bottom using a fish finder rig.

For more fishing information please call 904-261-2870, or visit www.ameliaangler.com.