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Jacksonville Fishing Report for Amelia Island & Mayport

Capt. Dave Sipler
August 1, 2003
Jacksonville - Saltwater Fishing Report

What a week....Highs and Lows

Had a Tarpon charter today, 8/1/03.

And wouldn't ya think since last Sunday's Tarpon catch I was stoked as hell? Yes sir......I was.

Ran towrds my spot and stopped at 4 shrimp boats to get chum. Each one waved me off, which means either two things:

GO THE HELL AWAY!, or they just don't have none on the deck.

(I'll go with the latter)

Well, I didn't want to waste any more valuble time chasing shrimp boats so I went to plan "B".

I always carry bait, and frozen ground chum blocks. So time was of the essence and the tide was getting right.

(Memo: since the water is so damn cold for August, a chilly 72 degrees, it seems the window of opportunity on this precise spot is about 2-3 hours, but of course I try it abit longer than that)

I pulled up dropped anchor (that's how I like to do my Tarpon fishing) Dropped the chum in my chum bucket, cut a dead mullet in 1/2 and tossed them out on my Loomis kick butt sticks, and my Accurate reels that can stop just about anything, and there we were. We commenced to be "Tarpon fishing".

It wasn't long till me a had a bit, and my heart was racing.

The rod tip bounced and bent over anmd the line moved thru the water. Then it just stopped. So I reeled in to check the bait. My VMC 2/0 4X strong treble hook completely smashed and wrenched!!

"What the ^$$#^*&((&%&*)_(*&%$$%^& !!!!!!!!"

I never have seen anything like this before!

Then the other rod did the same. So checked it.

No bait and the hook was wrenched, bent and useless!

Holy deepsea monsters BATMAN, what's going on?

I thought.

Then I sent two more cut baits out, stirred up the chum bucket a bit and sat back in amazement with my charter clients looking as perplexed as me.

I changed my mind quickly, and got rid of the trebles.

I said hell with those hooks and tied on my real favorite, a big ole Eagle Claw circle hook, ......Try bending that you mystery "whatever".

Then a rod bumped and the line started moving so I grabbed the rod, hit freespool, it moved off, I fed it line and then jammed the lever to the strike position and reeled fast.

FISH ON......I yelled.

But no jump? No nothin'.

I handed the rod to my customer and he reeled and what ever it was, was big and heavy.

Up comes a Loggerhead Sea turtle with a Circle hook in it's lip.

SO....that's what multilated the treble hooks!


Right up at the boat the hook pulled and Mr. Turtle swam away. Thankgoodness. Cause I'm a fisherman, not a turtle


After we gained our composure, the lines were back

out, and all was normal again.

Then here they came.......ROLLING TARPON. First just a few, then a few minutes later, more.

I started to get all jiggy inside, my stomach gets tense when the anticipation of a hook up is coming real soon.

So I thought.

Hell, I started casting to them with a MirrOlure 52MR the were so close to the boat.

But no bites.

We stirred up the chum bucket, I tossed out cut sardines, freshened up the cut mullet dinners and everything.

For two hours we watched them pass by us.

Then nothing. And the water temp got even colder on the incoming tide.

We packed up shop and ran to a shrimp boat and finaly got some chum. And headed back to the spot.

Feverishly we chummed, and gazed across the water looking for any signs of fish. Nothing.

We never had a shark bite, no turtles coming to dinner, Zippo....

By now the water was about 70 degrees, so we went up into the Nassau Sound where the water was 76 and the tide started to fall. Warmer water, chummed and still no signs, other than leaping rays.

That was my day today. How was yours?

Point Blank. This water temp is killing it. The fish are there "sometimes", hell we just had a 80 pound Tarpon the other day, but the temp then was 77 degrees then.

Here's the story. Every day will be different. Don't count on any Tarpon consistantly, I guess. At least not till next year, or untill we get a hurricane or the fall mullet run starts. Then they will be eating everything in sight, for the migration south.

It's a day to day dilema.

So off to other things I guess. Reds at the jetties and in the river maybe. Trout, croakers, and my good ole Pompano and Whiting trips, with some Sharks thrown in as line screamers.

I've experienced some severe Highs and lows, this week.

One day a good Pompano, Whiting, and a big Trout catch with a 80 pound Tarpon thrown in for good measure.

One day with 19 sharks and 13 huge whiting, with jacks and ladyfish action. All I guide could want on a half day trip.

And Today, with good fish (TARPON) around me, and no bites at all.

There's always next week. I'm getting (trying to get) a new Yamaha HPDI 200HP outboard, for my boat.

So if all goes well, I have smooth sailing for another 8-10 years aboard the For Reelin II.(I take care of my stuff)

She'll be fuel efficiant,and whisper quiet, again.

I always try for them biggun's...cause "SIZE DOES MATTER"....remember that!

Till the next tide,

Capt. Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing

Jacksonville/Mayport Florida



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Inshore fishing the St. Johns River, and estuaries around Jacksonville, Florida provides year round opportunities for Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum, and Sheepshead to name just a few. Plus, seasonal favorites such as Shark, Tripletail and Pompano. The legendary Mayport Jetties are mile long piles of huge granite boulders that protect the inlet to the St. Johns River from the Atlantic Ocean. Around these jetties is some of the best and most consistent fishing.

Contact Info:

Capt Dave Sipler's Sport Fishing
Departing from:
4870 Ocean St.
Mayport, FL 32223
Phone: 904-642-9546
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