August is here and the Redfish and Trout are in a full summer time feeding pattern. I would recommend getting out very early or fish into the evening around sunset and after. Dock lights will produce as well. A good method is cast up current and let your bait drift back through the light, while keeping well "in tune" with that bait. The lightest terminal tackle will definitely help produce a strike. Often time live baiting a shrimp, the weight of the hook can be sufficient, and most times, wind is minimal helping in casting finesse baits. If you fish the daytime hours, plan to fish mornings. Redfish will be in the shallows tailing or backing, feeding on grass shrimp. A productive method for this time of year is to dead stick a shrimp with the lightest TBS Jig you can get away with. This will hold the shrimp in the area where the redfish are and as it lands it helps prevent spooking of the fish. On a properly rigged TAllen rod, you should have no problem making a long cast to your desired location. Do not throw into the fish, lead them if moving or cast to the furthest outside area in the deeper part of where they are tailing. Redfish in extreme shallow water can be very easily spooked, I cannot emphasize that enough! Be patient and when the fish eats the bait, drop your tip allowing the fish to engulf the shrimp, as it pulls away and you feel the "weight" set the hook hard. Trout will be the same as far as time of day. I like to fish them early as possible or late in the evening. I choose what species I will target by what the tide is doing? If the tide is low or falling early, I usually target Redfish. However, if the tide is high, or incoming I usually target Trout. Topwaters such as BiteABaits, Skitter walks and Top dogs are all excellent choices. Use the one that you know how to work the best. Remember what I have always said through out the years, master a couple of time proven baits and become one with that lure. It will make a world of difference in your angling success than trying to fish many different baits and mastery none!! I still use some of the same 5 or 6 baits that I started fishing over 30 year's ago in the North Florida area and more importantly they still produce. If bait is your way for trout, a frisky shrimp on a TBS Jig will be a good choice. Float rigs are also an excellent choice. The same areas, grassy points, structure bottom/edges, drop offs, and docks that are holding bait will be of interest. There are plenty of Jacks, ladyfish, Mangrove snappers, to fill your rods with a good bend in the hot afternoon sun. Don't get me wrong, redfish and trout can still be caught in the afternoon, however the early and late times are best. Flounder should start showing in greater force, there have been some nice ones showing in some of the same areas. Docks by the Mayport ferry have consistently produced doormats over the past years. Again, a jig and shrimp combo, especially a mud minnow or finger mullet, bounced around those pilling's can be a top producer. Bull redfish will start showing more as the month progress's. Traditional fish finder rig with a piece of cut ladyfish, crab, or mullet will be a ticket. Use just enough weight to get the job done. In all application I like to use Hi Seas Fluorocarbon leaders, they help in light re fraction and it allows the leader to become much harder to see, making the bait or lure much more of a natural presentation. Tarpon will be in full force, where you find them is where they are. I recommend a live mullet on a heavier fluorocarbon leader and drift the bait into the fish. If the tarpon are stacked in a hole, put a bottom bait and a live mullet out and be patient. If you get a hook up, remember to bow to the King!!!
Get out and enjoy North Florida's outstanding fishery, you can't do it talking about it from the couch!!
Capt. Tony Bozzella / TBS JIGS
Professional Angler / Guide
904 651 0182