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Capt. Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing - Jacksonville, St. Johns River/Inlet & near-coastal waters. Updated: 3/03/06

Spring has me......HUSLIN'

Since the last two weeks of February was sort of dead, I sure was looking forward to March. It's the first week of March and if all goes well my month is already made. The reservation book is pretty filled up and so far so good on the weather.

But just because it's March and it feels like spring time now, doesn't mean here in N.E. Florida, we're out of the woods just yet.

I'll give you an example. March 2nd, I had two guys out with me for the day and it started out beautiful at 8am, but around 10am the wind started to blow from the Southwest. I did think much of it till around noon, when the easy breezes turned into full blow 25 kt. gusts. Then by 2pm it felt like a full on gale blowing right down the St. Johns river.

Now everything was a chore, fishing, anchoring, docking, and lastly getting the boat on the trailer, at the end of the day. We caught a lot of fish and worked our way through the face burning wind but by the afternoon it was a dramatic change from what it was when we left the dock.

We have a lot to look forward too. For this river and inlet fisherman, the Speckled Trout will start to absolutely pile up on the clear water incoming tides. Live shrimp to sub surface lures, will take some studs. And those ferocious Yellowmouth Trout (weakfish) will hang around till the water gets too warm and then they head on. Many of them too will push 4-5 pounds as will the Specks.

The Sheepshead and Black Drum spawn. Oh...how fun that can be. Especially, where I fish for them. In shallow water, no more than 7 feet deep, can produce in just one tide, Drum to 60 pounds and many Sheepshead that can go 5-10 pounds, along with some Whiting and maybe a Pompano, thrown in too.

It was just two years ago, when I took some clients to this sacred spot and we had 10 -Sheepshead from 5-7 pounds, a hand full of bull Whiting, and 3- Black Drum that went 21, 40, & 41 pounds, in just a 6 hour trip. Another spring time trip that was just an afternoon 1/2 day yielded, 3- Sheepshead, a handful of Whiting, and 3-Black Drum from 26-28 pounds. Shallow water, BIG BOYS. They are a lot of fun on light tackle. I'll also mention the same guy who caught one of the 40 pounders fished with me again, and he and his guests caught a 90 pound Black Drum and a 10 pound Sheepshead all in the first hour of fishing.

In N.E. Florida and in around the Big St. Johns River, in Jacksonville, Amelia Island, and St. Augustine, the key water temperature is 68-72. This is another one of the periods of the year I really love. So much is going on. Bait is starting to show up more, the tiny little Bluefish are everywhere and are a huge pain in the butt, the Pompano are on the beach, and the Big Redfish are cruising the surf, inlets, and rivers. Some people call a 30" Redfish a big one, but during the spring, a 30 pounder is a big one. And many go much larger.

One thing that changes in the charter fishing business, is the way calls come in. Instead of last minute calls for tomorrow, people seem to do more planning, which I like. I know what the deal is in the winter. Since we get sporadic days of beautiful weather, than a few days of dreadful weather, folks have to take advantage of what we have quickly. But that usually changes in the spring time, because the weather gets more predictable, right into summer.

I'm going to add in here a surf fishing report, because I have gone head first straight into full blown addiction mode. Surf fishing is one thing that has kept me sane this winter. Days when going out in the boat even for just the fun of it, would have been disastrous, were easily turned into fun days on the beach. Long casts into the chilly water, wet feet, enjoying the sun even though I'm freezing, and enjoying the thrill of learning all I can, is what I like to call fun.

As of right now, I'm catching just Whiting. It started out that back in December and January many of them were small. But now when we and the buds hit the beach armed with long rods and fast reels the Whiting fishing is for BULLS only. On some of our last trips we have boxed nothing but 14-18 plus inch Whiting. I can't speak for my surf fishing partners, but this guy is gearing up for a Pompano assault, and by April, I'll be geared up for those giant beach roaming Redfish, and by May and June the big Jacks, Sharks and maybe Mr. Tarpon, while standing on the beach, with my toes in the sand!

If you're one to plan ahead. "ya know, make reservation in advance and have me thinking about you, coming". You'll want to start giving my May Speckled Trout fishing trips a thought or two. May is a BIG month for BIG Trout! Last May, was a riot of Gators! On my web sites home page under the photo of my standing in my boat is a collage of photos of some of the Trout my customers caught, last May. From 5 to 7 pounds and all of the sizes in between those. We were catching upwards of 50 fish a 6 hr. trip, sometimes. I always have my regular Trout freaks. But if you'd like to join the GATOR CLUB, now is the time to make those plans. Fun Fishing, and great eating is guaranteed .

If you make reservations in advance, and are staying in a hotel, and if transportation is limited, don't worry. Say, you'd like to fish, but the wife wants to go sight seeing or wants to go to the beach and needs the car. I can provide pickup to and from your hotel, for you. Just make sure you mention, you'd like that service, when making reservations.

If you want up to date daily reports of what my clients are catching, the weather, or a surf fishing report. You can always find daily reports of my adventures on my Reports Forum located on my web site.

Just click on DAILY REPORT, and it'll take you to my forum's home page, then click on "Capt Dave's Daily reports, the good the bad and the ugly ", and then you'll be able to scroll right through months of my daily reports, that I do just for you, so you to be informed. And don't forget to stop by the "recent catch" photos section, to see the smiling faces of past customers trips.


Till next tide,

Capt. Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

904-642-9546- (8am-8pm EST)

If you would like my fishing report emailed to you on a monthly basis email me and I'll put you on the list.

Email Capt. Dave
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