It's Always Fishing Season in Jax

Join Visit Jacksonville ambassador, Amy Kennelly, as she chronicles the fishing seasons in Jax.

We are officially halfway through the year and our fishery here in Jax has been producing strong. From sheepshead to mahi, it has been an amazing year thus far harvesting some tasty dinners. My crew released a blue marlin this past month and it really doesn't get much better than that. We are so lucky to live in such a unique and thriving area. North Florida is truly one of a kind.

February was big wahoo season. The wahoo fishing in North Florida rivals some of the top wahoo locations worldwide. During this time Jacksonville hosts the Wahoo Shootout where teams set out to catch the biggest wahoo and bring home the cash. There are fish caught in the 80lb class and up every year.

March brings the first signs of seasonal change. During this time, the sheepshead fishing gets very good, it is not uncommon for boats to catch their limit on the First Coast. Jacksonville hosts the “world's largest sheepshead tournament,” El Cheapo, where hundreds of anglers head out in hopes of bringing home the title of 1st Place Big Fish.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

They also bring southeast wind. The season wind change matched with the gulf stream current, which lies about 60 miles off the coast, creates some unmatched Bluewater fishing. Generally, the middle of April through the end of May is our mahi season. Boats head out with bait boxes full of rigged ballyhoo in search of the mahi. Bycatch this time of the year is blue marlin, sailfish, and blackfin tuna.

The Dog Days of Summer

With the hot weather comes a hot bite and June brings a hot kingfish bite to the local waters. Some boats opt to fish within sight of land while others venture offshore to target kings. The 42nd annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is right around the corner, scheduled for July 14 -23, 2022 and is one of the largest kingfish tournaments in the Southeast. Another summertime fish is tarpon, which can be seen crashing pogy pods within 100 yards of the beach at this time. Local anglers are also anxiously awaiting the annual 2-day recreational red snapper season. The season opens on July 8-9, 2022 with the daily bag limit being one per person.

Fall Fishing

Before you know it, we will be approaching our fall fishing season with so much to look forward to. One of my personal favorite tournaments, The Flounder Pounder, will take place October 8, 2022. For the last 12 years local businesses have donated to this tournament with the proceeds benefiting the Jacksonville School for Autism. I am looking forward to seeing the owner of the tournament, Chip Davis, continue to crush another year of goals.

About the Author

Amy Kennelly

Former NFL Jaguars Cheerleader, Fishing Enthusiast & Visit Jax Ambassador