Mayport Report April 2019
The conditions at the end of March made a turn for the better as the cold water we had experienced began to warm up. Look for Redfish to move in the shallows feeding at the lower tides in small to large schools. Sight fishing can be a blast and the small wakes they make are a dead give away as to the location of the pods. Shrimp, mud minnows, and even quarter pieces of blue crab are great baits on jigs or small Thill Balsa floats. The creeks north of the St. John’s River from Cabbage to the south and Garden to the north are great spots to look. The speckled trout should be biting well this month and typically can be caught with artificials like small top water plugs or Gulp jerk baits in new penny or white. I prefer the high outgoing clear tides for the better action. Look for good numbers to increase as the water warms and conditions of water quality improve. Word is the big dredge’s are going to push up the river soon and that will surely help the upper river a bunch to the big rocks.
The big stones will be a great bet as sheepshead, trout, reds, drum , ringtails, and black drum begin to pile into this artificial reef to feed. Small jigs with shrimp, fiddlers, cut crab, and minnows work great to catch any of the aforementioned species. I also deploy float rigs, deep drop 3 way swivel rigs, and the old Carolina rigs to work this area of the inlet. The huge black drum should show in big numbers just remember to release these big leviathans as they are the breeding spot and aren’t very good table fare.A good chunk of cut blue crab is the best bait for these fish. Use a stout rod and a thre way swivel with a large Kahle hook for best results. Try to remember that these fish have had a hard winter and will be in tight schools so if you stop and don’t get a bite move! A few bounces from spot to spot will many times pay off.
This is a transition month for us and the reward can be great if you pay close attention to the conditions. Water temp, water quality, and bait are the most important factors for success. This month you might see triple tail on the rip, Spanish mackerel, perhaps cobia but it will not happen if you don’t spend time looking.
The offshore scene will improve too. Snapper, sea bass, ringtails, beeliners, cobia, triggers, and a few more species will move and feed in close this month. The party grounds and all the local hard bottom spots will hold good numbers of fish. Be sure to check the regs for what you can keep. Remember you can’t catch anything from the couch so go!
Capt. Kirk can be reached at 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128. Via e-mail www.Enterprisefishingcharters.com Listen to the Outdoors Show on 1010am or 92.5 fm from 7-10am for weather, tips, and tides every Sat.