What to fish this weekend


to play

The Saint-Jean river and the lakes of the region

The shrimp came from Green Cove Springs and the only reports came from the north, in the Doctor’s Lake area.

And the best fishing reports came from there, too. Neither is a coincidence. There were a few reports of very good numbers of split reds, mangrove snappers, small flounder and a few croakers – most of them piling up under the docks.

I had an interesting report from a friend who said he and another guy caught shrimp around Beauclaire Point last week and had giant shrimp in the net. He caught chunks of shrimp and his buddy only caught the heads of the big shrimp and he caught all the bigger reds that day – bar none.

Never heard of catching shrimp heads, but it might be worth a try. And you are using something that was just thrown away. Why not give it a try?

Otherwise, spider riggers get a good number of speckled perch in the deeper areas of Orange and Lochloosa.

Sunfish stay around the trees because of the high water in the river. Throwing crickets seems to be the way to get them out of the blanket.

The catfish remains the Rodney Dangerfield of the Fisher Brothers – they get no respect. But they are plentiful and generally easy to catch. And they are excellent on the table next to coleslaw and chicks.

Speaking of hushpuppies, a friend says he relaxes the mixture with a teaspoon or two of datil pepper vinegar and the results are spectacular.

And really, how could it be bad?

Recent report: Crushed shrimp before you start?

Menorcan Heritage Month: The Menorcans keep a rich heritage alive in Saint-Augustin

Local history: Remembering the St. Augustine shrimp community, a booming industry for over 50 years

The intra-coastal waterway

Plaice seems to be the hot bite this week, which is evident as the season is closed until December.

Redfish is still a staple food. The FWC is currently holding meetings and appears to want to lower the catch limit to one fish per person and not allow charter captains to keep a fish. Apparently, the “stupid” virus affecting federal fisheries managers has been sneezed at our state stock managers.

If nothing else, if they go this route, it might be a good idea to increase the size limit by a few inches for a single fish. We certainly have no shortage of oversized rockfish cruising the ICW these days. And the folks at the tournament would love this type of slot machine. By simply saying …

The black drum is a good choice just about anywhere you can put a piece of crab or shrimp near an oyster bar. The mangrove snapper is there too.

Trout fishing has been slow, or few people may have been targeting them this week. The water in the ICW is 10 degrees warmer than this time last year.

There are tons of red mullet in the ditch this week, so bait shouldn’t be a problem.

The fishing has been good in and around the creek, but the catch – not so much. The big spinner sharks have cleaned it up and make things miserable for people who cling to reds – and worse for reds …

The ancient city eats: St. Augustine’s Ginger Bistro specializes in Japanese soul food served in style

Restoration of the ancient city: Sainte-George Restaurant exudes modern elegance with a Euro-American menu


The sailboat migration that we should be seeing now just isn’t. It’s probably the water temperature here too. The few boats that hung around (because the bottom fishing is so good) caught a few mahi and black tunas.

The bottom fishing is excellent. There were tons of triggerfish in 140 to 165 feet of water. There were good catches of mutton and mangrove snapper. The Beeliners were thick. The big amberjack keep things interesting and a few cobias were also frozen by the lower bumpers this week. A few groupers were caught, including giant rascals.

There have simply been no reports of local reefs and wrecks this week. There is a barracuda invasion that vandalizes any target fish you manage to catch.

Surf fishing has been quite poor. Our beaches just don’t seem to attract or hold schools of whiting or pompano anymore like they used to.

You can walk down to Ormond Beach and expect to come back with some beautiful 12-14 inch whiting and a few legal pompanos.

Even the redfish did not seem to want to chase the large schools of red mullet on the beaches. I think our beaches are so shallow – maybe because of all the sand mitigation projects over the last decade – and schools just aren’t comfortable with that kind of exposure.

Either way, we see a few pompano getting caught, but the water temperatures remain 10 degrees above their liking.


The weather will be bad all weekend – that’s the bad news. The good news is that the Florida-Georgia game is on Saturday and the Jaguars are chasing another win on Sunday. Add a few racks of ribs and 12 packets of frothy drinks and the wound might not be that deep.

It’s Saturday 15 to 20 knot westerly winds and 3 to 5 feet seas. Sunday winds blow from the northwest at 10 to 15 knots, pushing the sea to 3 to 4 feet.

Jim writes a weekly fishing report for The Record. Contact him with reports, questions or photos at [email protected]

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