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Low Light Conditions for Seatrout

Low Light Conditions for Seatrout Low Light Conditions for Seatrout
By Jim Hammond

It won't be long before the shrimp move into the river and the trout fishing at night will be on fire. With the warm temperatures and the lack of rain, it won't be long before the trout start feeding at night. When this happens you can have just about all of the fun that any angler could want in a short period of time.

Here are some of the key items, that will help you get prepared for this fun fishing.

1. The best times to go.
Try to pick a night that you have a falling tide about one hour after sunset. For what ever reason, the trout seem to bite the best on the falling water, when the summer weather patterns are here. Most of you should have access to some sort of tide chart or table. For those of you that do not, you can pick up a tide chart in just about any fish camp/ bait store. Now that you have the chart you will probably want to know what you are looking for. Under the column marked high tide, look for a high tide at Mayport around 8 to 9 pm. This means the water will be falling off of the high, hence, high outgoing tide.

2. Understanding the tide chart.
Most of the best spots for this type of fishing are not at the Mayport Jetties and this is where the tide chart gives the highs and lows. Here is some help on understanding the chart. From Mayport the tide times will be different depending on how far from the jetties you fish. The Blount Island area is about 1 hour later than Mayport. The downtown area is about two to two and a half hours later than Mayport. The Epping Forest area is about three hours later than Mayport. (example: If the chart has the high tide at Mayport at 8:00 pm, the high tide at Blount Island will be about 9:00 pm.).

3. Finding a spot to catch these trout.
I like to look for areas that are lighted, such as docks, piers, bulkheads and bridges. Look for an area that has a good strong current or in in an eddy area. An eddy is an area, usually near strong current that has a backflow of current. This area will have a current that is going the opposite way of the main current or the water will be swirling around in circles. These are all areas the trout lurk, in search of the bait being swept down stream.

4. What to do with the boat, boat positioning.
Now that you have found a spot to try, either anchor your boat, so you can throw your bait along the down current side and work it along the edges. Remember what I say about putting your anchor down, send it over the side GENTLY, do not throw it. Now that you are anchored, I would work this area for about ten minutes and if you have not had a bite in that time, move to the next spot. If you have a trolling motor, you can ease this over and use it instead of putting the anchor down. Do not get on top of the area that you want to fish. Stay back as far away as you can and still make good cast.

5. The baits that I like to use.
If the fish are coming to the surface and striking or popping, then I generally throw something that floats or floats and dives, such as the MirrOlure, Top Pup, Provoker, or the 12 Fathom floating jig head with a 3 to 5 inch paddle tail minnow. If you do not see any surface action, then throw something that sinks or dives, such as the Jaw Jacker lead head jig with a curly tail rubber bait or a paddle tail minnow. You can also work the MirrOlure Catch 2000 or the 52M.

6. Fly Fishing.
For the FLY FISHERMAN, just about any fly will work. I have had great success with the Bearded Charlie, Bead Eye Charlie, Clouser, Gotcha, Flexo Popper and the Albie Anchovie. Position the boat as I have described above and cast along the edges, let the fly sink for a couple of seconds and start with short two inch strips and work up to fast four to six inch strips.

7. Being prepared.
Here are a few cautions for night time fishing. Nothing looks the same at night as it does in the daylight, there are shadows on the water that look like things floating and there are things floating that you can not see. The tug boats that you have complained about in the daytime for making a big wake, will make much larger ones at night.

For charter information you can contact me at (904) 757-7550 or email me at [email protected].

Good Fishing
Capt. Jim Hammond

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