Palm Coast / St. Augustine Fishing Report
Capt. Chris Herrera
May 3, 2011
St. Augustine - Saltwater Fishing Report
It's time to pray for west winds and hit the beach as cobia will be invading our nearshore waters. Hit the beach when the sun is up and watch for cobia piggy backing on Manta rays as long as water temps stay in their comfort zone (68-72). Unpressured cobia will eat just about anything (flies to plugs) but for picky eaters keep some live bait (pogies, mullet, shrimp or even mud minnows) handy and ready to fire.
Fishing at first light or last light still proves to be successful with topwater plugs. Sebile's Bongo Minnow is a small top water lure that has proved to be the gator trout lure of choice along with any kind of popper top water for those that cannot "walk the dog". When the topwater bite tapers off go for subsurface suspending baits like a Sebile Magic Swimmer or lipped diving plugs worked with a stop and go retrieve. Live shrimp and a bb split shot tossed up current along the ICW will produce trout for live bait fisherman.
Redfish continue to shadow mullet seeking refuge on top of oyster beds and will be fooled by Fishbites Extreme jerk baits, gold spoons and a Sebile Stick Shadd. Bouncing jigs with shrimp or mud minnows around oyster beds will also produce good catches of reds and flounder.
Snook that survived the cold spell this winter should show up heavy this month, local bridges, docks and seawalls fished at night will produce linesiders. Live select shrimp, pinfish and lipped diving plugs are local favorites when chasing snook but remember to use a minimum of 30lb. leaders to avoid cut offs. Remember snook are closed to harvest so make sure you get them back in the water quickly for a healthy release.
Inlets and nearby creeks with drop offs will hold flatties and doormats waiting to eat a live mullet on a fish finder rig or mud minnow pinned on a jig head. Best tides or during change of tides at area inlets or outgoing tides at creek mouths. For shallow water flounder try Slayer Inc. spinner baits or inline spinners.
Spanish Mackerel, blues and jacks will invade our near coastal waters just outside of Matanzas Inlet, proven techniques for Spanish is to slow troll spoons or look for acres size schools chasing bait on the surface. It's a great time to grab a fly rod and practice catching as spanish mackerel or ferocious eaters.
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