Fernandina Beach Fishing Report

Coastal Angler/Fernandina Beach Fishing Report for Jan. 2019

Author: Terry D. Lacoss
111 Centre St.
Fernandina Bch., Fl. 32034

Fishing further up in both the St. Mary’s and Nassau river systems during stable weather conditions offers a grab bag of angling opportunities.  Here winter fishermen will hook into a variety of both fresh and saltwater game fish.  Striped bass fishing is excellent during the first hour of the falling tide while fishing on the bottom with cut mullet or working a white spinner or minnow type plug at the mouths of feeder creeks.

Largemouth bass will be fattening up for the late winter and early spring spawn while feeding in the shallow sloughs where feeder creeks are key.  Drifting a wild shiner shiner under a small brightly colored float close to shoreline cover is the number one fishing tactic for taking trophy river bass. Schooling bass will readily take a #11 gold floating Rapala or floating frog worked close to shoreline cover.
A favorite sweet water creeks includes Lofton Creek where one stretch of this brackish creek, just below the power lines, fishermen are apt to catch sea trout, largemouth bass, redfish, or even striped bass.

Black drum fishing is excellent in the deep waters of both Cumberland and Nassau Sounds when a warm winter in-coming tide arrives during mid-day.  Seasoned black drum fishermen prefer fishing with fairly heavy fishing gear including 30-50 pound tackle while fishing dead on the bottom with ultra-fresh shrimp or a quarter blue crab.

Deep water wahoo fishing can be red hot at Northeast Florida’s “Continental Shelf” during the winter fishing season as well.
A favorite setup for wahoo begins with 50-pound class trolling rods set at the transom and fished with weighted lines. A 24-ounce trolling weight is rigged to a 15-foot section of 200-pound mono shock leader is attached to the trolling weight for high speed trolling to up to 15-knots.  At the business end, a blue and white rubber skirted “Jet Head” is attached.

Specially designed and rigged trolling lures are luring the speedy wahoo which are capable of chasing down a high-speed lure at speeds up to 60-miles per hour. Here trolling speeds are bumped up from 12-18 knots. Heading the list of high-speed lures includes C & H “Mr. Big”, “Wahoo Whacker XL” and the “American Express”.

January bottom fishing is also excellent at FA, FB, FC and HH fish havens during the month of January.  Winter offshore fishermen can also expect to catch black sea bass, triggerfish, gag grouper, flounder, sheepshead and red snapper.

Black sea bass fishing at KBY reef where broken concrete strewn along a rough bottom is excellent during the cold of winter..  Best baits include fresh squid, or cut baits.  A sporting fishing technique includes employing twenty-pound spinning tackle with the spinner filled with twenty-pound braided fishing line. A four-foot length of fifty pound fluorocarbon shock leader is attached to the tag end of the main line using back to back “Uni” knots.  Finally a four-ounce buck tail jig is tied to the jig using a “Loop” knot.  Drop the buck tail jig down to the bottom, engage your spin reel and begin to jig the lure slowly making sure that the jig makes contact with the rough bottom.  Keep in mind that most winter bottom feeders will prefer to feed along the bottom where they can easily trap their meal against the structure.
Be sure to check the latest FWC fishing regulations by visiting www.myfwc.com.

Inshore fishermen will be targeting hard hitting redfish during flood and low tides.  Sight fishing for redfish is becoming more and more popular where many inshore fishermen have sold their jetty and offshore fishing boats and are now chasing redfish with a shallow water boat.  Prime areas to sight fish for January redfish include the marsh bays located just south of the “Shave Bridge”.
Look for the last of the falling tide to uncover large schools of redfish that art huddled up in a shallow pool feeding on crabs and shrimp. Best lures include the Berkley Gulp shrimp in the “New Penny” color pattern and a ½ ounce gold spoon.
Sea trout will be holding along the deep waters of the Intra Coastal Waterway where fishermen will be drifting live shrimp deep under a trout float.  A key area includes the rough and rocky shore line located just south of the mouth of Egan’s Creek.
Be sure to check the latest FWC fishing regulations by visiting www.myfwc.com.

For more fishing information please call the “Amelia Angler Outfitters”, 904-261-2870, or visit www.ameliaangler.com