|Fishing Report for Jacksonville, Florida|
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updated fishing report? Please tune in & call our "Still Just
Fishing" radio show 6:00am to 8:00am each Saturday morning on WBOB Talk Radio
600 AM or 1600 The Beach. It's
Breathtaking sunrises! Romantic sunsets! Scenery not seen anywhere else. Get out of the concrete jungle of the city for a day and come see why I fell in love with MY childhood fishing grounds at such an early age. You'll fall in love with the Florida salt marsh.
Ahoy there Anglers,
Hi to all !
Thank you all for tuning us in on our Still Just Fishing Radio Show each and every Saturday morning this year. We've had a great show and enjoy our listeners when they call in and ask questions, tell their fishing reports and experiences. Dont forget, you can listen to Talk Radio 600 WBOB on FM in Orange Park on 100.3 and downtown on 107.7, and online and for the last two months now we can be heard on 1600 AM at 1600 The Beach Radio Station too. Tune us in when you can.
First, I'd like to thank everyone who joined the Recreational Fishing Alliance, (RFA) last year and this year at one of our RFA Rallys. With your support we have begun to accomplish quite a bit in our local fight to protect our rights to fish and to be able to keep a few fish. Jim Donofrio, RFA's Executive Director, lobbied in Washington enough to allow the offshore anglers to be able to keep a few red snapper back in September. Although I know only 2 weekends of open season wasn't enough but at least it's a start and better than the last 2 years of closed completely. Sometimes we have to take small steps to be able to accomplish the bigger picture. It is looking up and with more lobbying to Congressmen and Senators we will accomplish more and hopefully get some kind of open season permanently.
Locally, by attending Jacksonville Water Ways Meetings and City Council Meetings we, the RFA, was able to get Oak Harbor Boat Ramp temporarily repaired and opened back up and are continuing our fight to get permanent repairs to keep it opened for our local boaters and kayakers. The RFA is all about angler access and with your help we're not stopping our fight.
We've also gotten the U.S. Coast Guard to help us keep quite a few areas opened back up in our local waterways where anglers were being run off by facilities claiming they had restricted areas where we couldn't fish. With the help of attorney Hank Holbrook and the RFA, the U.S. Coast Guard saw our de lima and Lt Commander Roberts Butts of the Coast Guard arranged a Fishermen's Discussion Meeting with the U.S. Coast Guard, JaxPort Security, the Jacksonville Port Authority, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Marine Unit, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Land Patrol, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marines, The Florida Fish & Wildlife, Jacksonville Maritime Exchange, Crowley Company and Tug boat Companies all for us fishermen and women. I have to say the RFA won. We got to have our say and now the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will no longer run us out of the areas as before. This is YOUR RFA in action.
We are still fighting to get inshore artificial reefs built in the St. Johns River as well as just offshore in Florida State waters, not in Federal waters where they can shut it down whenever the Feds feel like it, and will continue that fight as well. We have a couple more items we're working on locally and I will let you know when we get more information and are winning the fight.
With your support we are getting the numbers of members locally where the politicians are listening to us and wanting to work with us because they know numbers of members means numbers of people who VOTE ! I know most of you don't get to hear us on the Still Just Fishing Radio Show on Saturday mornings but we are working for you and things are finally looking up for us anglers. By joining the Recreational Fishing Alliance, you are helping us to be able to let the politicians know just how many people are concerned about our fishing rights and are determined to keep them. Numbers are what counts and we know it, they know it and the more members we can add to our rolls the more we're being listened to and the more we can accomplish so, please tell your fishing friends that we need their help to by joining the RFA and allow us to help them and their concerns too. We need you all as much as you need us. We cannot fight alone and with numbers we can and will win ! Let's build the RFA like the NRA is to hunters. It's only $35 and will help keep you fishing.
We're all starting to receive our renewals for RFA memberships for 2012-2013 and I'd like to ask you all to PLEASE send your renewals to Rick at Rick's Bait & Tackle, 224 North 20th Street, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250 instead of to RFA Corporate Headquarters so that we can still get our local recognition and local credit for our members here in North Florida. You still make your checks or money orders out to RFA but we need your local support so please, everyone allow us the opportunity to keep our fight for our fishing rights right here in North Florida by renewing your RFA membership for another year and see exactly what we can do for you. Most of you don't get to research what's going on behind closed doors by all these Enviro-nuts that want us off the water. They are the ones with membership numbers showing the what their people want and their numbers speak up a lot more than anglers do. That's where we, the RFA come in for you, attend meetings that you don't go to and speak up about our rights, write letters and e-mails, make phone calls to the people who count. We're there for YOU ! We've had a great year with your support and with more members this year the politicians are listening more and more and are now asking us in these meetings, "what can we do to help our local anglers and boaters". YOU can help yourself as well as all the anglers in North Florida. PLEASE RENEW and let us show you what we can do as we're building an army that is making a difference and we cannot do it without YOUR help !
The sheepshead are hitting better and better now and I've noticed the bite seems to be better on the last half of the outgoing, low tide and the first half of the incoming tides. Average size right now seems about 1 1/2 to 4 pounds but have caught some 6 pounders mixed in also. Spot-tail porgies, (known locally as ring-tail porgies) are biting out at the rocks also with some pretty nice ones to 3 pounds. Good to eat as they are member of the same family as the sheepshead. Also of the same member is the black margates but we haven't managed to catch any as of yet this season but when the water cools another 5 to 6 degrees I expect to start seeing them then. Redfish, some slot's and some oversized are hitting crab at the rocks also. A couple of the larger sheepshead in the deep water spots but it really isn't time for them yet. Because of our water temperatures this season I'm probably guessing another month before they get more numbers. Whiting, yellowmouth trout and a few big croakers are still at the jetties also. The black drum are moving in and we're catching them from 4 to 15 pounds with an occasional 50 to 70 pounder mixed in every once in a while. While the 4 to 15 pounders are still great to eat, please release the giant drum so they can spawn and help keep our black drum population good. The giants are not good to eat at all anyway. They dwindle through here each winter heading down South and will be coming back through in huge numbers just after the full moon in March. A few keeper sea bass are at the rocks and remember, you can keep 15 per person over 12" inside State waters for now but they're closed completely in Federal waters. The FFWC in their December 5th meeting approved new regulations on the State's sea bass. Starting February 1, 2013 the State of Florida's black sea bass limit will be 5 per person per day bag limit with a 13" minimum size limit. Keep that in mind in a couple of months.
The redfish, a few oversized, some undersized and quite a few slot-sized ones are being caught. We've had no problem getting our limit of keepers most days but like yeaterday they just seemed to slow down and didn't hardly even see any moving in the shallows. Maybe it's the weather but really, who knows what turns them on at certain times. Like last week I had two guys and we caught 14 slots, 6 rats and 1 oversized.
Spotted sea trout everywhere and plenty of them. Now most are undersized but the action is great and if you take care of these guys while you're unhooking them and releasing them then we should have a legal size population that's hard to beat in a couple of months. As you're targeting the trout you'll see that you're able to catch a few keepers included in the same schools as the small ones because like every year during this time of the year a bunch of small males are hanging around the few big females during spawning season. Was a pretty good flounder year. Not as good as last fall but better than some. Seems to be about over now. There are a few flounder around a every once in a while you hear of another big one being caught but most are moving offshore for the winter. Mangrove snapper are in the creeks, most are to little but some good black drum and a few sheepshead here and there being caught.
Whiting, yellowmouth trout, a few black drum and spotted sea trout are being caught in Nassau Sound. I've heard of a pompano or two in there also. The St. Johns River still has a few nice croakers but their numbers have really diminished as usual as they head North to Chesapeake Bay. The St. Johns River's yellowmouth trout this year was phenomenal. We caught plenty and some were even 5 to 6 pounds this season. They're still here and they have certainly bounced back to great numbers. Spotted sea trout on rock banks, grass shore lines during the higher ends of the tides are doing good on lures again. When the water temperatures drop suddenly like they did last month just after Hurricane Sandy went through it slows down some fish like the trout but then after a couple of days they get used to the temperatures and begin to feed again. Some of the whiting in the St. Johns are really nice but just not a whole lot of them. Still, great to eat. Some sheepshead in the river along with a few black drum in the hard bottom, rocky areas in deep water and there seems to be a bull red or two still in the deeper water now and then also. Some keeper sea bass along hard bottom spots on the edges of the channel. I'm guessing the larger ones like the deeper water more.
Spotted sea trout seems to be the best action in the Cove lately. Black drum and yellowmouth trout are in the too. A few but not as many redfish are being caught but at least most are keepers. The easiest way is to try a Cajun Thunder Float with a live shrimp on a 2/0 Eagle Claw Kahle hook during the higher tides along the grass and you'll catch trout and redfish and sometimes a black drum or two. i love to catch trout on lures but you won't luck up onto a black drum with one.
I hear the whiting are doing great in the surf along with a few pompano and recently a few permit has come up our way. Some up to 4 to 5 pounds. That's something we don't get to see as much as the pompano and whiting. There are some nice black drum so far up to 6 pounds being caught in the surf also.
As always, please remember to bring a trash bag out with you whether you're fishing in a boat, on land, a dock or on a bridge so you can keep your trash out of the waterways. Mother Nature needs us all to help her keep Florida's beauty as pretty as ever.
Merry Christmas to all !!! and I hope you all have a great fishing NEW YEAR !!!
Captain Vic Tison
Host of the Still Just Fishing Radio Show, Saturdays 6:00 to 8:00am on 600 AM WBOB and 1600 AM The Beach
United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain
International Game Fish Assoc. Certified Captain
Chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, North Florida Chapter
Regional Director for the Florida Guides Association
Member of the National Assoc. of Charterboat Operators, NACO
Member of the American Professional Captain's Association
Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc.
P O Box 28208
Jax., Fl. 32226
Web Site http://vic2fish.com
JACKSONVILLE FUN FACTS
We are the largest city in the contiguous United States in land area covering 841 square miles.
We have the largest amount of park land of any City in the U.S. The total amount of park land is 73,043 acres or 114 square miles. That's more than 2 Walt Disney Worlds.
We have the largest 'cable-stayed' bridge in the western hemisphere.
We have the largest Kingfish Tournament in the world, in July.
We have the largest FREE Jazz Festival in October
FLORIDA FUN FACTS
Florida's TOP 10 sought after saltwater game fish in order:
Fishing is the second largest sports industry in Florida.
Florida hosts 3.4 million anglers annually.
Florida has produced over 700 World Fishing Records.