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March 26, 2009

Inshore/nearshore report NE Florida-3/26

Waters are warming and so is the fishing. Spanish mackerel arrived last week.

Late March/early April is a good time to wet a line in the inshore salt waters of northeast Florida.

The spanish mackerel arrived last week and showed up throughout the St Johns River system east of the Dames Point bridge all in one day! This seems a little early for them, but they follow thier own calendar.They varied in size and hit anything that moved.

There are plenty of "snapper" blues mixed in with the mackerel. Larger blues could show any day at the St Augustine jetties. Durable topwater plugs or live baitfish thrown tight to the rocks will catch them once they arrive. Be careful! Jacks and ladyfish are also due to make an appearance soon.

Sheepshead and yellowmouth trout are spawning over sand and shell bottoms. Some are good size. Speckled trout are starting to hit lipped diving and topwater lures. Of course, you can also catch them on the traditional sliding float rigs and plastic jigs.

There are some nice reds cruising the back country on the mud flats and around the oyster beds. The "teenager" reds(8-15lbs are showing up at the jetties. I had one day last week when we caught seven on a half day charter.

Good fishing!
CAPT Bob Cosby