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The water is finally warming up and fish are starting to hit top water lures. The last two days in the creeks water temperatures have reached 75 degrees. I caught my first red of the spring on a "skitterwalk" dog walker last week. Lots of baitfish are showing in the creeks at low tides. I even saw some finger mullet at the south jetty a couple of days ago. All this bodes well for the inshore fishing scene.

With these warmer water temps the spanish mackerel, jack crevalle, and ladyfish will be arriving any day. Toward the end of the month the cobia should show up following the migrating manta rays. The big drum are still being caught at area jetties, from the pier, and even from the surf. If you target these breeding fish, be sure to use heavy enough tackle to get them in quickly, preferably for a waterside release. They deserve similar treatment as the bull reds caught in the fall.

Sheepshead are still biting strongly at the jetties on fiddlers, clams, and crab. Smaller drum are occasionally caught there, as are slot and oversize reds using the same baits. Lots of small bluefish are in the area, and can be a nuisance when you are targeting other species such as speckled and yellowmouth trout.

The ICW and creeks north and south of the St. Johns River are giving up slot and rat reds, speckled trout, and flounder. Most of the trout are too small but are fun to catch. Fish the higher tides along the banks and over oyster bars with topwaters for gator trout early and late in the day. Don't be surprised if a red smashes your plug.

Good fishing!

Captain Bob

-- Captain Bob's Fishing Charters,Inc. http://www.captainbobsfishingcharters.com
 
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