Local Expert - Fishing
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Hello Folks, Captain Dave Sipler here.....I'm going to tell you all about Jacksonville's fishing opportunities and great tips for the open sea.
As a full-time fishing guide since 1996, I’ve fished the St. Johns River from downtown to the inlet 18 miles east, up and down the coast, and north toward Amelia Island. I'll be telling you all about what you may be missing when it comes to fishing when you visit Jacksonville and the beaches area.
Kicking off these fishing blog entries right now is perfect timing – because "spring has sprung" in Jacksonville, for sure. And like many of my days, no long boat ride is needed for all the action you can handle. I depart daily from the Mayport area of the beaches. So that means a two-and-a-half-mile long boat ride puts us right at the St. Johns River inlet in a matter of minutes.
Locally referred to as "the Mayport Jetties," where the St. Johns River meets the Atlantic Ocean, is an area protected by two-mile-long giant granite boulder rock piles that protect the inlet. This area is deep, swift, and has the largest concentration of structure anywhere along our coast. And my boat the "Jettywolf" was built for fishing this area 12 months a year, seven days a week.
Hence the name "Jettywolf:" we're always looking to take a big bite!
Since its spring, the light tackle fishing opportunities right now at the inlet are enormous. And so are many of the FISH!
These past weeks have been giant Redfish, Redfish, and more Redfish! And the angling challenges fit everyone from the novice to the seasoned "ole salt." Everyone who comes south needs to catch a Redfish. It's one of our staple species 12 months a year.
But right now, as of this writing. They've been insane!
From serious "light tackle" to using the minimal-size tackle will get the job done. Redfish from 10-25 pounds have been chewing on live shrimp fished on a jig head, a float drifted down the jetty rocks, or fished on the bottom in the tide on deepwater edges.
And they are hard fighting fish, too. When fishermen think Florida inshore or coastal waters, they think REDFISH!
Other species during the spring that I target are Black Drum, Sheepshead, Speckled Trout, and Weakfish. All are great eating fish. And all fish kept must meet the Florida size limits and bag limits of course. Some are more generous than others. But then again, it is called "sport fishing." It's all about the hunt, the battle, and beauty of each species.
You can expect to depart early. 7 a.m. is a usual departure time for me because as summer quickly approaches, we want to be back by the afternoon. That's when the wind starts blowing, and the chances for "weather" to hit as the afternoon temps rise.
See our most recent video!
Local Expert - Fishing