Capt.Ron Schurr

Capt.Ron Schurr

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall-Winter Inshore Catching!

The inshore and backwater fishing here in Northeast Florida is experiencing some of the finest action all year. With the passing of the first few cold fronts, the water has cooled down putting the flounder, redfish, black drum and speckled trout on the move and on the feed. The flounder run is one the best in several years, with some calling it the “greatest ever”. Thousands of fatties are migrating towards the inlets and off shore waters, making them easy to target along the edges of the St Johns River. Finger mullet fished on light jig heads and fish finder rigs from Mayport westward to Blount Island have been producing most catches. Bagging a 10 fish limit of these excellent tasting fish is not too difficult right now.

My favorite species, redfish, have moved into the backwater creeks in very big numbers. The cooler water combined with higher than normal tides have pushed the bigger upper slot redfish further in the marsh feeding on crabs and mullet. As the water temps continues to drop, I expect catches of 20 or more fish per trip, with December, January and February being some of the peak times for schooling reds. I prefer fishing light jigs tipped with shrimp or a small mud minnow along oyster beds. Lure fishing in the creeks systems is equally effective in the cold months. Small 3 and 4 inch soft plastics such as tube lures, Gulp shrimp and DOA shad tail lures, in darker colors are my choice.

Speckled trout are thick along the Intracoastal Waterway and the miles of creeks closer towards the inlets and ocean. I have been actually moving to get away from the trout lately, there have been that many. Most of these aggressive feeders have been in the 1 to 4 lb range, and usually will hit soft plastic mullet lures or deep running crank baits almost every cast.

Many people assume the fishing to be slower in the colder months, which is not the case.

The next 4 months are my favorites!

Capt. Ron Schurr

(904) 707-8328

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cold Weather....Hot Fishing!!

Wintertime fishing in Northeast Florida is red hot for redfish! One of the great things about living in Northeast Florida is that we experience somewhat of a change in season from summer to winter. By the end of September, anglers are to some extent,” burned out” with the dog day’s of summer and welcome a couple months of cooler weather.

Many people are surprised to discover that most of our best inshore fishing is during the colder months of the year.

Although our winters are mild compared to rest of the country, we do get a handful of freezes each year. Such cold weather is usually short lived as Jacksonville averages only 10 to 15 nights below freezing. Average high temperatures from February to April range from about 74 degrees in the afternoon to low’s dropping to around 50 degrees at night.

Anglers along Florida’s First Coast get “fired up” with each passing cold front. Cold weather means redfish…..lot’s of them! The saltwater creek systems along Intracoastal Waterway are taken over with large schools of redfish. Schools of over a hundred fish cruising along oyster lined creek banks are not uncommon. The darker tannic waters surrounding Jacksonville and St Augustine which are the norm in the summer months become almost crystal clear as the water temperatures drop into the mid 50’s.

Schooling redfish and clear water…….some of the best sight fishing opportunities you can experience. Because the water is cold and bait is scarce, redfish take advantage of the swift currents of the tide to bring food to them. This enables these fish to expend as little energy as possible while feeding. Finding these large schools are not as easy in the wintertime, as they are congregated in small ambush points back in the creeks, but as soon as you do find em….”Katy bar the door”! Catches of 30 to 40 redfish each trip is not uncommon.

The “Shrinkage Factor”…for the baits. Scale down on the size of the bait or lure in cold water. Fish exposed to low water temperatures have a much lower metabolic rate and tend to focus on baits that are small and easy to eat. Short 3 or 4 inch soft plastic grubs, tubes, and jerkbait lures in darker colors and live mud minnows on jigs are a good choice when fished very slowly along the bottom. My buddy Captain Tim Cutting likes to say “when you think your fishing the lure too slow…..slow it down some more” Great advice for cold water fishing.