Pier & Surf

Pier & Surf – August Fishing Report


The mullet are here! The mullet are here!

That is right folks. It is the long awaited mullet run 2018. This is the most exciting time to be a surf fisherman in Northeast Florida. Literally millions of mullet leave the safety of the ICW and creeks to venture out into the open water of the Atlantic Ocean. What happens then can be awe inspiring. When the predators move in to munch down on these hapless bait fish, the show is awesome. My favorite time to fish it is at sunrise. This is the time when all mullet lovers come to breakfast. I do indeed mean ALL the predators. From Jack Crevalle, Seatrout, Spanish, Bluefish, Flounder, Ladyfish, Sharks, to Tarpon!

The gear for success is fairly simple. A cast net and five gallon bucket is a must. Some people also use a flow through bait holder that they stake off in the surf. I am real picky when it comes to keeping my mullet lively so I use a ten gallon round Igloo cooler. Then I add a bait saver air bubbler. This keeps them cool and aerated.  I only use two rigs during the mullet run. The first is a double dropper tied out of 50 pound mono, tipped with 5/0 to 7/0 circle hooks.  The second is a fish finder/sinker slider rig tied out of 100 pound mono. I use the same 5/0 to 7/0 hook size.  100 pound may seem like overkill but it isn’t.  All species from Ladyfish to Tarpon will not shy away when that mullet is wiggling on the end of the hook. I also like to add a red or fluorescent orange float in front of the hook. The last Tarpon (see picture) that I landed was on this rig. If you are targeting Tarpon you need to ”use enough gun!” I like a reel big enough to hold 400 yards of 30 pound test.

This is also the best time of year to land a world class Bonnethead. Remember the world record is 28 pounds. During August in the past few years, my customers have landed scores of 20 to 26 lb. crab eaters. These “shovelheads” love to eat Calico crabs, Blue crabs, Stone crabs, and Mantis shrimp. The best way to target them are with the above 100lb fishfinder tipped with a half of a Blue crab. Remember the saying “we are what we eat”? Well that is the reason that the Bonnethead is delicious on the dinner table.  Bon appetit!