Surf & Pier

SURF & PIER

After a crazy hurricane/noreaster fall, things have finally settled down and the fishing is on fire! The pompano run was late getting here and only the water temperature will drive them further south. They will stick around until the water drops below 65 degrees. So go get them now! They may not be back until March, or even as late as April! The go-to baits are fresh clams, live sand fleas, and Fishbites. My friend Scott frequently limits out on pompano and all he ever uses is Fishbites! Our two favorite scents are clam and sand flea.

This is also big redfish time of the year. They are massed up around all of the inlets for their annual spawning run. My favorite bait is one half of a blue crab. That is unless there are still some mullet in the surf. You cannot go wrong with fresh mullet that matches the hatch. Today I caught a 43 inch redfish at Vilano. Yesterday my friend Chip had a 44 inch one at South Ponte Vedra Beach. Let’s go get them before the water gets too cold and these big fish move offshore to deep water.

The great tasting whiting are very abundant in the surf right now. You will never go wrong with fresh dead shrimp. Small pieces of bait and small hooks are essential for your success. I drop down in size to a #2, not a 2/0, to increase my whiting catch. Some very successful fishermen go as small as a #4! Cut your shrimp into 1/2 inch to one inch size pieces. By the way, the front half of a fresh whiting is very good redfish bait! Tight Lines!

The photos are of my 43 and Chips 44 incher.

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