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A Lot to Choose From - Ways to Produce a Strike

A Lot to Choose From - Ways to Produce a Strike A Lot to Choose From - Ways to Produce a Strike
By Jim Hammond

Here are a few ways to fish that should produce a strike or three:

1) Anchoring on the edges of oyster mounds and pitching shrimp along the edges, catching reds from 15 to 27 inches, most in the 15 to 17 inch range. To do this ease along the shoreline until you find a concentration of oysters and gently put your anchor down. When the boat lays up on the anchor, start tossing a lead head jig with a shrimp along the edges. These fish are feeding pretty good, so be ready for the bite, if they are there the bite will be fast and furious until you have caught most of them.

2) Jetties fishing for reds, drum, yellow mouth, sheepshead and my favorite TOADFISH! Go to the jetties, find a spot that looks good on your recorder, put your anchor down and send a fresh shrimp to the bottom. Be sure that you have enough weight to stay on the bottom. In my arsenal of weights, I have sizes 1/2 of an ounce and up to 16 ounces, for those days when it is ripping. Most of the time you can get away with 4 to 8 ounces. The rig that I like for sending the bait to the bottom and waiting, is a slip sinker with a one to two foot long leader with a Daiichi Circle Wide 4/0 or 5/0 hook. (you should be able to get these hooks at Clapboard Creek Fish Camp 757-1423 or Rick's Bait and tackle 992-4646). My bait of choice right now at the jetties for this type of fishing is a live shrimp.

3) Fishing at the jetties and bridge pilings for sheepshead. Get you boat as close to the rocks or pilings as you can. ( keep in mind the other boat wave action, don't get your boat beat up on the rocks). The rig that I like for this is a six to seven foot stiff rod with either a spinning or baitcast style reel, spooled with 50 pound test PowerPro braided line. Put a 1/2 to 2 ounce egg sinker on the line then a barrel swivel then about 12 inches of 30 pound test monofilament as the leader the a very sharp #4 or #2 wide bend hook. The bait of choice for this is a fiddler or small live shrimp.

4) Trolling the creeks for blues, trout and what ever will bite the hook. Right now the creeks have a few trout and blues and these fish are very easy to catch. I like to send out as many baits as I possibly can fish without staying tangled, I can fish about five, if there is not too much boat traffic. My rig of choice is a 6 to 7 foot long medium action rod, baitcast style. Tie to the line on the spool a Jaw Jacker jig about 1/4 to 3/8 ounce and to the eye of this jig tie on a piece of 20 pound mono about three feet long. Tie another Jaw Jacker jig to the other end. On the jigs, feed a four inch long curly tail rubber bait. I have been doing good with a white body with a red or pink tail, all chartreuse, white, clear metal flake with a green tail and clear pink. Now you are ready to fish. Go in a creek, preferably one that has at least four feet of water at low tide. Put the motor in gear at an idle speed. Start sending the baits out of the back of the boat about 30 to 60 feet from the boat. If you stagger the distance from the boat with these baits you should be able to troll with at least three and maybe as many as five at a time. Concentrate on the deep bends as these area will usually produce more fish. When it is time to turn around, you will have to reel in all of the baits or you will have a big tangled up mess. When you get a fish on there will be NO DOUBT, as the rod will be doubled over and jiggling pretty good. If the rod gets a hit and the fish does not hook up you will want to check your bait as these fish have pretty sharp teeth and to troll with less than a whole rubber bait is not as productive as a whole bait.

5) Easing along the edges with the trolling motor chunking and winding for reds, flounder, trout and blues. Go to a creek or the ICW, put the trolling motor down, get a Jaw Jacker jig (1/4 to 3/8 ounce), put a shrimp. minnow or small mullet on it and toss it along the edges, slowly retrieving it back to the boat. This can be done with a spinning or baitcast outfit. If you spool the reel with PowerPro line you will be able to cast further than with the same test mono. You might also want to use at least a seven foot long fast action rod to get a little more distance out of your cast. Keep a tight line as these fish are not usually slamming the bait on the bite.

6) Offshore bottom fishing. Now is a good time to charter one of the local head boats (Deep Sea Fishing). The bottom fishing is on fire right now with both the Mayport Princess and the King Neptune having real good catches, when they can get out. Last week the Mayport Princess had lots of snapper and cobia. These boats are easy to fish and they both provide everything except your food and drinks. You can book a trip with either of these boats by calling 241-4111. For those of you with your own offshore boats, the nice sea bass have turned on pretty good.

There is a lot to choose from this time of the year and all should produce good catches of fish.

For charter information you can call me at 757-7550. This is also a good time to think about buying your significant other a gift certificate for Christmas. Think of the excitement on Christmas day when they open up a gift certificate for a fishing trip. For gift certificates for fishing trips you can call me at 757-7550.

Good Fishing,
Capt. Jim Hammond

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