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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bill was right about St Jerome's Creek.

Today was the day - I thought when I left home. I decided to launch from Buzz's Marina instead of Drury's Marina to see what the south side creek offers. I left the boat ramp at 09:50 AM. I started jigging the docks while bottom-fishing for possible spots. After 45 minutes without any success, I decided troll toward the inlet. Because the water depth changed frequently between 3 and 10 feet, I only trolled a gold, ¾ oz KastMaster (casting spoon). I saw some birds were active near the channel to the North part of the creek. I trolled where the birds were. There, I caught an 18" striper. I released the striper because I was expecting big ones today.



The mouth of the creek was very interesting place. It was very narrow and current was strong. Due to the 10MPH wind and current, the kayak moved unpredictably. I talked with a guy on a small boat. He said he caught a few stripers at 17-18". It was too easy to catch stripers here and I was not into small stripers today. Birds were scattered but they were active. So I bottom fished for spots near the docks instead of jigging for stripers at the inlet. I did not catch any spots for live-lining for a big striper. Around 12:00 PM, I headed out to the bay for one big striper. The NNE wind was blowing at 8 MPH. I was not sure if the wind forecast would be accurate. The NW wind in the morning and SW wind in the afternoon was predicted. The wind forecast could be wrong. So I decided to troll toward east instead of south. That way I wouldn't have to troll back to the inlet directly against wind when the wind blows from south or north.

I trolled between crab pots. Crab pots were laid from 10' of water. I passed the light tower. The crab pots were around the light tower in 27-28' of water. There was a couple on a boat chumming in 27-28' of water next to the light tower. They said they caught a few bluefish. I was determined to trolled in 30-35' of water. So I kept trolling to the east. I caught a few bluefish on deep-diving lures while trolling in 15-33' of water.



I had a good violent pull and I broke the rod tip in 33' of water. I did not see the fishing line was wrapped on the reel. I should have worn reading glasses. That was the end of my favorite rod, a lure and the most importantly the fish. I should have brought an Ugly Stick and 30 # line for trolling instead of the light action rod and 15 # line. On channel 68, I heard that boaters are catching small bluefish not stripers. It was calm until around 3:00PM.



At 3:15 PM, the SW wind started blow at 8-12 MPH. I was in 38-42' of water. I was about 4 miles off the inlet. The forecast was right for the afternoon. So I trolled back toward the inlet. At the light tower, some charter boats and private boats were chumming. Charter boats were chumming at this time a day was not a good sign.
I circled around them and saw a 23" striper (estimated) was landed. But that was it. I passed them and caught a bluefish again.

At the inlet, I tried for a striper for dinner. Immediately I caught a 20" striper on the same casting spoon (gold, ¾ oz KastMaster). I was with 8-10 small boats. I snag a 3" menhaden on a treble hook on the casting spoon. It was 5:30PM, when I headed for the marina. While I was trolling with the same casting spoon in the south side creek, I snagged another 3" menhaden.

Here is the pic of a 3" manhaden and the 20" striper



Bill was right. ST Jerome's Creek is an excellent place for kayakers.

Pic of Where I troll:


Thanks, Bill

Joe
 

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Great report and nice catching. You really covered some ground, and it looked like you had some great conditions. Too bad about your broken rod and lost fish, though, but it sounded like an exciting minute or two, and it probably was a nice fish. I'm surprised you didn't see any big bluefish while you were out there. I wonder if they're still around?

I use a 6'6" medium (I think) action Ugly Stick for trolling, and I like it a lot. However, I haven't landed anything over 24" with it yet. I think I'd prefer one that was medium-heavy or heavy action because trolling a Stretch 25 makes it bend more than I'm comfortable with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bill,
I am bringing the same Ugly Stick rod (you have) and a Medium sized trolling reel for trolling next time. A guy came over aound 6:00PM at the ramp. He said he saw me at PLO. He and his father-in-law were going out to PLO PIER on his dignhy (Zodiac) at night. He said he was still catching 20 inch + bluefish neat PLO pier. Anyway, none I contacted at the inlet caught bluefish yesterday.

BTW, I think the creek holds keeper Puppies and Flukes in summer. I will try the creek next summer more often.

Also you were right about the water temperature. I checked the water temp 3 times yester day. The top water temp rose by 4 degrees in the afternoon. It was 56F in the morning and 60F late after noon. I always checked the water temp in the morning once. Now I am checking twice.

Joe
 

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I think you're right about the redfish and flounder. There's a good combination of structure, marshes, and depths so that there should be some good redfish fishing. It gets pretty shallow outside of the channel in the creek, so it would probably require a rising tide. I tried for some reds last time I was at St. Jerome's, but I think it was a little late. I'd definitely be up for a series of redfish expeditions next summer.
 
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