Northeast Florida Jacksonville area waters inshore report
This has been a strange fall. As I write this, there are still large shrimp far up the river and plenty of finger mullet in the creeks. The bull reds are still in the river and haven't moved in any numbers to the sand flats outside the jetties. Somebody caught a snook by Blount Island. Mangrove snapper are becoming a common catch. Maybe the full moon in November and the strong nor'easter cranking up right now will get things moving. Don't get me wrong, the fishing is good, just running behind schedule.
If you want a bull red, try half a blue crab fished deep along the edges of the river channel. Use 30-40lb class tackle to subdue the fish quickly for a healthy release. There are also schools of slot reds both at the jetties and in the ICW creeks.
The flounder bite has been good one day, and not so good the next. Dedicated flounder fishermen are waiting for the big push of finger mullet from the creeks. Work the docks and rocks in the river and inlet with finger mullet, mud minnows, and soft artificials for these fine tasting fish.
The sheephead fishermen are growing in number along the jetty rocks as the water temperatures fall. Right now the temps are ranging from 65-70 degrees, and some decent catches are being reported.
The speckled trout bite is picking up in the river and ICW and its creeks. Try sliding float rigs with live shrimp, DOA shrimp, and topwater plugs. The plugs will work best on higher tides, early and late, and on overcast days.
Some decent catches of black drum are being made along the jetties on crab and shrimp baits. The deeper holes in the creeks and ICW can also be productive.
When the mullet are running in the surf, the redfish will be there too, along with flounder, bluefish, and larger trout.One day a couple of weeks ago, some friends and I caught nine oversized and slot reds in the surf on mullet and Storm wildeye shad lures.