Coastal Angler: Fernandina/Nassau Sound
Author: T. D. Lacoss
96965 Buccaneer Trail
Amelia Island, Florida 32034
The month of October is an excellent month when targeting a variety of both offshore and inshore game fish species where cooling water temperatures are key. Look for sea trout to be schooling at the little jetty rocks located at the very southern tip of Amelia Island where a good in-coming tide produces the best action. Casting a clear plastic tail with silver flakes pegged on a ¼ 0unce led head jig produces specks up to five-pounds. Be sure and work the plastic and led head lure combination slowly along the outside edges of the jetty rocks.
Flounder fishing is excellent at the northwest portion of Amelia Island where dock pilings and a rocky bottom offers excellent flounder habitat. Fish with a live finger mullet barbed to a ¼-ounce led head jig slowly along the bottom. Be sure and bring along plenty of extra jig heads!
Redfish will be tailing during the full moon of October just southwest of the “Ben Shave” Bridge. Here vast marsh flats offer excellent wade fishing for tailing reds. Look for a wagging redfish tail, then cast a as crab pattern fly, or 1/8th ounce led head jig with a live shrimp just ahead of the tailing redfish.
Cooling water temperatures will also signal a major shrimp spawn in the fertile marshes where game fish including sea trout, flounder and redfish can be found taking advantage of the abundance of forage foods.
Targeting creek mouths during the last of the falling and first of the in-coming tides with a Berkley Gulp shrimp barbed on a ¼ ounce led head jig and worked slowly along the bottom will produce excellent redfish and sea trout action as well. I also like to cast a “Redfish Magic” spinner at these same creek mouths while using a white/chartreuse colored plastic tail. Simply position your fishing boat with an electric motor at the mouth of a falling creek mouth and make casts first to both the left and right points of the creek mouth. Finally cast far back into the creek mouth and work your artificial lure out into the main creek making sure that you keep your rod tip high. Once the lure enters the main creek, slow your retrieve and allow your lure to work the deep edges of the creek mouth.
Surf fishing at Amelia Island and Nassau Sound should produce excellent catches of sea trout, whiting, pompano, flounder, bluefish and redfish during the early morning and late evening tides. Bring along a sand flea rake and capture a gallon of sand fleas for a full day of beach fishing. Look for some of the best beach fishing to come during early morning and late evening hours.
Offshore fishermen will be targeting gag grouper at FA, HH and FC fish havens while targeting rock ledges. Fish dead on the bottom with live pinfish, mullet, Spanish sardines or menhaden. Black sea bass fishing should also improve with cooling water temperatures while fishing with cut baits, or fresh local squid.
Bull reds and a few tarpon will hang around the mouths of the Nassau and St. Mary’s inlets and along the beaches while chum fishing with freshly netted menhaden. The middle of the in-coming tide is key when arriving at mid-morning.
The many local brackish tidal rivers are often over looked by local fishermen and have very little fishing pressure. Launching your small fishing boat at the Lofton Creek public boat ramp located on SR-200 puts creek fishermen smack in the middle of excellent Fall freshwater bass fishing. Casting a #11 silver and black floating Rapala close to shoreline cover is key when hooking up to largemouth bass weighing up to ten-pounds. Navigating 1.5 miles down river fishermen will soon find sweet-water where a variety of both freshwater and saltwater game fish are schooling. Fish the first of the falling tide while casting a ¼ ounce led head jig and Berkley Gulp shrimp in the “New Penny” color pattern into the mouths of small feeder creeks and hang on!
Sweetwater fishermen can expect to catch a variety of game fish including freshwater bass, stripers, redfish, seatrout and flounder.
For more fishing and charter information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters at 904-261-2870.