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Why I love this time of year.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...."it's my favorite time of year!" Not because I love Turkey, or that my life revolves around shopping for Christmas presents. But more like the fishing is great and the air and water temps are cool. It's just more comfortable now that it is in the summer.

Top months to fish inshore in Jacksonville Florida:

October 1st thru Mothers day.

What can you expect?

Well, we do get a lot of cold fronts moving through the area. But that's a small price to pay for someone like me. Because I FISH THE BIG ST. JOHNS RIVER AREA! And we won't be running for an hour and a half through 4 foot+ seas offshore to go catch us a mess of great tasting fish. "been there done that"

Instead we'll mosey on down the river 400 yards from the dock, and start spankin' some Speckled Trout. Or head a whopping 2.5 miles out to the inlet where the St. Johns dumps into "Lake Atlantic", and fish some of the largest structure you've ever seen coming out of the OCEAN.

Two-mile long piles of granite rocks that hold fish like a magnet, that protect the inlet from the ever moving Ocean sands. Here we'll hunt Sheepshead, Drum, Redbass, Yellowmouth Trout, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Sharks, Pompano and Tarpon. Depending on when you book your trip. All on super quality light tackle......for maximum enjoyment.

You'll be surprised to be an "Angler" although you may not even consider yourself a "fisherman" yet, really. You will target, and catch a certain species along with others, using a certain techniques, a certain way. Which is what accomplished "Anglers" do. And spend more time light tackle fishing, with less boat riding.

If your not familiar with N.E. Florida, this is how it works. We have two transitional times of the year. Basically, Thanksgiving and then Easter. Around the end of November the water has cooled off, and most of the warmer water fish have migrated south, leaving our native population of species to be our "primary target species", Redfish, Trout, Flounder, and Sheepshead. Then towards Easter, the water starts to warm up quickly and we start getting migratory species heading North again. Jack Cravalles, Tarpon, Pompano, Ladyfish etc. So depending on what time of year you fish here, different things are happening all the time.

But still, my favorite time of year is between those transitions, Nov. thru May. We have less bothersome species when the water is cooler. Some of the days I have had during this time frame have no rival during the rest of the year. Sure I love catching fish plain and simple. But, nothing is finer than taking people out and putting them on Trout, Reds, and Sheepshead, a mere 5 minute boat ride from where we just left from. All the while we're not sweating to death, it's super comfortable, there's hardly a soul around, and we're in fishin' heaven!

Lately, I've had those kind of days. Limits of fat Specks, throw in a nice Redbass or two, pick up some Flounder, and a few Sheepshead. Everyone catches fish, is challenged, and has a ball.

One trip lately that sticks out in my mind is one of my favorite fishin' gals, Kathy Widner. She was in Florida......again, from her home state of California. Unfortunely, her husband Rick was left at home, but Kathy had daughter Kim along with her on our November 13th charter. We left the dock around the mid-morning and headed straight for the inlet. I jigged up some live Croakers to use as bait and we then anchored up. I took the Croakers cut them in half and tossed them out on my favorite G. Loomis "whoopin' sticks". And it didn't take very long to get what we came for. Kathy reeled in an 8 pound Redbass, that was 26" Long. A real fattie! Then we saw lots activity a little further out, so I moved. Bait was being balled up from below by Bluefish, Spanish Mackeral, and Porpoise's, while the birds dived in from above. A nd I went and parked right along side all the commotion. Pitched out two more Croaker halves, and waited. Again it didn't take long. Kathy and Kim had a "double header" going......

Grunts and groans came from both, ( I liked that cause I knew these were big fish) Kathy's came up first, a 15 pound Redbass. Then, Kim's, a whopping 25 pound Redbass, her biggest fish ever. What a sweet double header, that was!

And the day wasn't even half over yet! We then went and took the float-rigs and live shrimp up in the river, and caught a bunch of Specks, Sheepshead, and Flounder!

And wanna hear the best part? All this was between the dock we left from, and 2.5 miles at the end of the jetty rocks at the mouth of the inlet! No long boat rides. Just maximum fishing time.

Think about it. Good times, diverse popular species, everyone catches fish, great eating, and without breaking a sweat.....unless you're lucky to get into what Kathy and Kim tangled with. And don't count that out, FOR SURE!




*Watch my "daily" reports pages, and "recent catch" photos for action like this. *

Till next tide,

Capt. Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

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

St. Johns River & Inlet; Mayport / Jacksonville, Florida

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