September is a neat month, anglers can switch gears with Redfish tailing in the grass. Also the big bulls are lining the rivers channels with many to be had on fish finder rigs paired with cut bait, mullet, ladyfish, crab, and shrimp. This is also the time of year where the mullet start to transition out of surrounding inlets and head South for winter. The Mullet run can produce spectacular fishing. On the bulls use a 30-40lb Hi Seas Fluorocarbon leader, and enough weight to hold bottom. I find a j hook of 6-8/0 does a great job. You can use circle hooks and leave your rod in the holder with great hook up success. You will have to do your home work on finding them. They often cruise the edges of the St. Johns river from the Mayport jetties, to well South in the River, depending on bait and time of year. Heavier tackle is recommended so you do not stress the fish and you get him in fast so he swims off well to fight another day. Most fish are 20-40lbs with some even reaching close to 50lbs at times. Please take the time and respect these bulls, they are our breeding stock and we are lucky Jacksonville is on there route and we can partake in angling these great fish!! With many of our smaller Redfish frequenting the grass flats at the higher flood tides, this will be an awesome time to look and hunt “tailers.” Redfish will be on the prowl for fiddlers and many other tasty crustations up on the spatina flats. Rising water is best with fish often staying through the tide working there way out and off the flats as the water falls. Light tackle spinners with fluorocarbon leaders and NO TERMINAL TACKLE accompanied with weedless plastics and spoons work well. Wait until the fish starts to upright and move forward, bring your bait across his path. No different with the fly fishing. 7 – 9 weights with floating line are best. I like weedless spoons and crustation patterns. Accuracy is a must. 15 – 40 ft shots are common. Don’t forget polarized glasses!!
There will still be plenty of the fun fish, jacks and ladies. Look for moving water and birds, early and late best. Sea walls at the higher end of the tides will have some jacks crushing baits. Topwaters are best and they eat them up. Both Tarpon and Jacks will also be hovering around the mullet run. Outgoing tides with big pulls of water can turn a blitz on!! Bait fish plugs like BiteABaits, Rapalas and Mirrolures can be very successful.
Capt. Tony Bozzella / TBS JIGS
Professional Angler / Guide
904 651 0182