March 24, 2023
By Capt. Roger Bump
Fernandina Beach to Flagler Beach
Capt. Roger Bump covers inshore and offshore fishing in Northeast Florida from Fernandina Beach to Flagler Beach, including Jacksonville and Saint Augustine.
March 24 - 26
When the weekend comes, winds will pick up, of course. At least Sunday might lighten up. Late-season wahoo are still in play for high-speed trollers. Drag baits near weedlines just inside the ledge. Bottom fishing with jigging spoons starting in 60 feet is resulting in some cobia. Try a run-and-gun method using an anchor lock trolling motor to stay over the structure. Catching more than one cobia off a wreck is highly possible as they do school. Frozen squid will work as well for cobia. Deeper waters around 140 feet are best for triggerfish, vermilion and mutton snapper. Nearshore sheepshead is picking up at inlet jetty rocks and they are taking fiddler crabs. Also at inlets, giant black drum are spawning in deep channel edges. Half a blue crab on the bottom is best for black drum. Beach and surf anglers are catching a mix of whiting and pompano mostly on beaches south of Valano. Live shrimp is best for pompano and larger whiting. Spanish mackerel are also schooling at inlet mouth especially Mayport and Fernandina rocks.
Black drum have started to move into deep channel edges in the Intracoastal waterway, St John’s River and St Mary’s River. Half a blue crab on the bottom is best for big drum, fresh dead shrimp is a good secondary bait. Moving tides are best, often resulting in bonus catches of bull redfish. Slot redfish continue to be consistent even through tougher bluebird conditions. Live shrimp or a mud minnow on a jig head is best for redfish. The water remains fairly clear making sight fishing a good alternative. The best fishing inshore has been early or late in the day, especially for trout. Topwater lures and shallow twitch baits are best for keeper-size trout.
It’s going to be warmer than usual this weekend so dress accordingly and have sunscreen and bug spray available on your trip. Catch ‘em up.
Capt. Roger Bump
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