Summer Fishing Out of Mayport

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Summer Fishing Out of Mayport


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      June 3, 2024 at 4:08 pm

      Summer is upon us and I look forward to calm seas and the right amount of ocean swell. The month of May started out with a bang with a few crazy weather fronts. A lot of wind made for a few bumpy days on the big pond. I believe that our normal Bermuda High weather patterns will begin to dominate soon. Look for copious amounts of bait to push into the beach and bring bull reds, sharks, tarpon, kings, bonita, sailfish, cuda’s, and cobia. Catch a live well full of these and pitch back into the pods. I try to find big swirling black or dark bait pods that have not had a net tossed on them.

      Big fish can be easily spooked and stealth will pay big dividends. Just toss a med heavy spinner like a Shimano Saragosa 6000 and a med heavy rod like a Bluewater Jigging rod rigged with a 2-3oz egg sinker and a 2 ft length of 60-80 shock leader with a 5/0 live bait hook back into the foray and hang on. If there is any fish in the pod they should whack it! Look for the striking fish to hit these live baits trolled over the regular haunts both on the beach and the local party ground hot spots. Kings, cudas, sharks, bonita, sails and cobia will lurk around the hot spots and should readily take these frisky baits.

      A good trolling rod like a Shimano Torium 30 with 20-30lb line works best and a short piece of wire for slow trolling rigs can be easily made or you can stop by Strike Zone or B&M and the boys will sell you premade rigs or tell you how to make ‘em. The bottom fishing can be good this month for sea bass, grouper, beeliners, triggers and snapper. Check the regs for what you can and cannot keep as they vary.

      The big rocks will hold redfish and trout with a small amount of action for Spanish on the higher tides. One of the cool things this last month were the huge bluefish cruising the rocks up to 36 inches and just crushing live pogies freelined against the rocks. A Williamson Gomoku Jig, Shimano Jig or Seahawk lure works well with a small length of wire attached when trolling or tossing at the Spanish mackerel. As the heat builds these fish seek cooler water so try to keep that in mind when you check the rocks. The rip outside of the rocks will hold kings, cudas, sharks, cobia, and an occasional sailfish. Slow troll this area on the bottom of the outgoing tide for best results.

      The inshore Mayport basin both north and south from the little jetties will hold trout, reds, some drum, sheepshead and flounder along with lots of jacks and ladyfish. The falling outgoing tide produces the best result. Try topwater plugs early like a Bomber-Long A or a white Gulp swimming minnow for positive results. Remember as it gets hot these fish feed early and late in the backcountry. I also go to my old standby of mud minnows or shrimp on a 1/4oz jig to catch a few fish for the cooler. Remember you cannot catch ‘em from the couch!

      Capt. Kirk can be reached at 904.626.1128 for info on charters from 4 to 50 people. He can also be heard every Saturday morning from 7am to 10am on The Outdoors Show on 1010am or 92.5 FM giving out weather, tides, and fishing forecasts with Jeff Lageman and Capt. Kevin Faver.

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