Mayport – Fishing Report September 2018
The summer has been an awesome time with plenty of bait to be caught and fish to catch with the abundance of food. The kingfish bite on the beach has been at times slow but, on many days epic. The southeast hole, redtops, chum hole , and the breakers have been great producers of quality fish in the 20 and upper 30lb slots with a good number of fish over 40lbs. Big schools of jacks and bonita have cruised up and down the shallow water gully’s right of the beach to keep things lively. The shrimp boats have produced an abundance of sharks and even some big tarpon thrown in for good measure. It’s been a great summer and August was no exception to this. I look for the fishing in September to remain the same. Look for the schools of pogies to continue to hold in shallow waters just south of the inlet on the areas beaches. Look for diving birds and dirty water to show you where the largest concentrations are. Bag a big net full of these tasty baits and slide SE and start in 41 ft of water and slowly troll to 51-55ft of water. If the fish are on the feedbag it will not take long. Look for sharks, kings, bonita, jacks, and tarpon to be in this area willing to take a bait. If it’s slow there move south and try again.
The near shore reefs and area wrecks will also be really productive this time of the year. Summer crowds should be gone and thinned out and pressure will have been minimal. The local party grounds should be hopping with all the aforementioned species plus the annual migration of sailfish should be filtering thru the area. If the troll bite is slow drop some fresh bait on the bottom and hang on. Red snapper, grouper, jacks, cobia, and triggers will be around plus they can’t resist fresh bait.
The inlet should be hopping with our annual migration of bull reds. Fish the last of the falling tides for these big studs and soak a whole blue crab or pogie on the bottom for optimum results. I like a stout rod like a Penn Spinfisher V series with 50lb braid and a 3-way drop swivel with a 60lb fluorocarbon leader. Drop it on the edge of the channel and let ‘em soak. A lot of fish in the 30-40lb class will be available and be sure to have a venting tool available as this is a catch and release fishery only.
Also look for a lot of good 26-33in reds to push onto the rocks this month. Trout will also be available on the high outgoing tides around the end of the rocks this month and can be caught using artificial or float rigs and shrimp.
Lastly tho I am appreciative of the snapper season we had I was dismayed at the number of days we were given to harvest a few. Please contact your state representative and voice your comments. Despite the short mini season we did bag a good number of quality fish. Our fishery is as healthy as I have ever seen it.
Remember you can’t catch a fish sitting on the couch. Catch the Outdoors Show every Saturday from 7am to 10am on 1010am or 92.5 fm for the latest on tides, weather, and fishing forecast. Capt. Kirk can be reached at 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128 for charters from 4 to 50 people