Mayport Inshore Report

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Mayport Inshore Report


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      January 4, 2024 at 5:24 pm

      The dead of winter has dropped onto the First Coast and most of you reading this are doing it from the comfort of a warm spot. Contrary to popular belief the fishing can be really awesome this month. Look for the cold weather to fire off some great opportunities to catch some nice fish. Try to fish the warm weather high pressure bubbles after a front passes. The big rocks will be holding some good numbers of slots and oversized reds, black drum, sheepshead, ring-tailed porgies, black margate and trout. I really prefer the high outgoing tides for best results. Try shrimp, fiddler crabs, or small pieces of cut blue crabs for the good opportunities. A 7ft Shimano GLF with a Stradic 3000 and some 20lb PowerPro braid works well. Try a 1/4oz to 3/8oz jig or drop a Carolina rig along the edges and remember to fish slowly.

      The water is cold and these guys aren’t going to crush the bait. Try working the shallow drops first and if this proves unsuccessful go deeper. The little Jetties inshore are another great spot using the same techniques. This spot tends to be better at low tide so wait for the river to slow and give it a shot. The ICW north and south will be great for fishing the small feeder creeks and the flats. Chicopit Bay, Hannah Mills, Broward, Ft. George Inlet are a few that are good spots to check. Reds, trout, and drum can be caught working the last of the falling tides. Again fish slow and be patient. The water is cold and the fish will bite if given the chance. Shrimp, mud minnows, fiddlers and cut blue crab are great bait choices.

      On high clear water try throwing a Gulp in new penny or white on a slow jerk retrieve. Trout love these and they can produce some good quality fish. A float rig also is a good tackle choice if the fish are deep and allows you the chance to cover a broader range of the water column. The offshore scene should start to produce good numbers of sea bass as the water continues to cool off and pushes the fish into near shore waters. Red snapper will move in close with a few gags thrown in. Work the local party grounds at 6 miles and fan deeper out if this proves to be unproductive. Cut squid, cigar minnows, sardines, and even shrimp will produce well. Remember to always check the regs for what you can keep! Though it’s cold, remember you can’t catch them from the couch!

      Check out The Outdoors Show on 1010am or 92.5 fm Saturdays 7-10am for weather, info, and tips. Go to for info charters. Call 904.241.7560 or 904.626.1128 to book a trip.

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