Mayport Report December 2017
The weather for the month of November felt like winter on more than one occasion. That being said I somehow believe that our weather pattern this year will lean towards cooler temps which might be a really good thing. The trauma we experienced from Hurricane Irma changed our fishing in October and November but, in a good way. The trout bite got kicked started, Virginia croakers fired early, and the flounder staged a little faster than in years past. This bonanza made for an epic fish bite that has continued and I believe will continue into December unless some really super cold front hits us.
Look for the speckled and yellow-mouthed trout to continue to bite well into December from west of the Dames Point bridge to the Mayport Rocks. Float rigs, jig/shrimp combos, plugs, and soft plastics should produce well. Fish docks, rock piles, oyster beds, and grass lines from outgoing high till dead low searching for fairly clean water. I had many good bites of fish just running and gunning from shallow to deep water if I was consistently changing up tackle/bait presentation till I found one that worked.
Look for the big rocks at Mayport to get really fired up on sheepshead, reds, trout, ringtails, black drum, and even margates. Live shrimp on a jig is deadly but float rigs will produce too. Sheepshead can be finicky with shrimp so switch to fiddler crabs to get these toothy wonders to bite. Jig/fiddler combos will produce as well as ¼ of a blue crab or clams as bait. Try working tight to the rocks and move deeper if the bite is slow. Sometimes the fish on the rocks will feed high on the rocks and sometimes they are at the bottom where it meets the sand.
Pogies were around in November and might still be around in December on the beach. If you can net a few run back to the rocks and work those baits for big redfish. Lots of slot reds can be caught in December with quite a few oversized ones in the mix too.
If you’re looking for some black drum action try soaking a ¼ piece of blue crab in the deep water off the north or south tip of the rocks for good sized eating sized fish this time of the year. The bite in November was pretty solid and should only get better.
The offshore action should begin to get better as the water quality begins to improve this month. Look for black sea bass, red snapper, ringtails, puppy sharks, and perhaps a grouper or two to bite. Try soaking some cut Boston mackerel, squid, cuttlefish, or even some huge jumbo shrimp for some fast action on the party grounds from Ponte Vedra to Rabbits Lair and beyond. Be sure to check the regs as usual for what you can or cannot keep. Good fishing to all and wishing everyone a Happy Holiday season and a Merry Christmas.
Listen to the Outdoors Show every Sat from 7-10am on 1010am or 92.5fm for live fishing reports, tides, and weather with Capt Kevin Faver and Jeff Lageman. For Charter info or gift certificates for the holidays contact Capt Kirk at www.Enterprisefishingcharters.com or 904-626-1128.