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Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

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Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby ropeman » January 2nd, 2019, 3:08 pm

So, back in the summer I told the girlfriend several times that fishing would be much better once the water cooled off. Now it's nice and cool, beautiful weather to fish in and we still can't catch any fish. We went out to the St Marks three times between Christmas and New Year's Day and only caught two short reds and a few lady fish. We tried live shrimp on a cork and on the bottom, chartreuse Gulps on white jig heads, and silver/white spoons. I figured the fish would be in the rivers, but went out as far as Big West Bayou just to look around. The only place we caught anything was right across the river from Shell Island. I know the water is dark from all the rain, but it seems like I'm missing something.

I'm starting to get worried that the girlfriend is going to be looking for a guy who knows how to fish better with a bigger boat! :o
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby silverking » January 2nd, 2019, 3:42 pm

We need to see photos of the girl friend first in order to accurately answer your question. :wink:

Seriously, it was a tough summer and with the El Nino conditions so far a tough winter. The rain/runoff/unseasonable temps have definitely affected the normal river action. Those that are finding fish are 1. Working the bars and cuts near the mouth 2. Fishing the upper tidal creeks where salinity is higher and water temperatures are more constant.

Your choice of baits and lures will work. You might also try some suspending lures like the Paul Brown mullet, DOA 4-inch swim bait or shrimp/touts sweeping along with the current. The bite can be brief and the fish are scattered. Be in the right spot at the right time and it's on--for a little while. Using solunar tables to predict the ideal windows to fish can be helpful too, but not gospel. Wind, high pressure systems (cold fronts that turn 'em off) and negative low tides are all factors to contend with right now.

Hang in there and keep plugging away. You'll find 'em and the GF will be impressed. By the way, this is also a great time to scout for new spots/hazards that will produce or places to avoid when the action does get better--in about 60+ days.
"Sun rise and sun sets. Since the beginning, it hasn't changed yet." Little Feat
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby ropeman » January 2nd, 2019, 4:35 pm

silverking wrote:We need to see photos of the girl friend first in order to accurately answer your question. :wink:

She wants to see pictures of your boat first! :lol:

Thanks for the help. I have been thinking about scouting around towards Wakulla Beach or Stony Bayou, but thought the river would be a better spot with the water temp.
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby silverking » January 2nd, 2019, 5:23 pm

IMG_0012.jpg



Normally the rivers would be good. But this isn't a normal winter. Also keep in mind reds are much more freshwater tolerant than trout.

Use caution when exploring new areas. Winter's negative lows sometimes hide gnarly rocks that like to move around in the middle of the night.
"Sun rise and sun sets. Since the beginning, it hasn't changed yet." Little Feat
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby Steve Stinson » January 2nd, 2019, 5:29 pm

Sent you a P.M. Bud. Hope it saves your relationship... :-D
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby Redbelly » January 2nd, 2019, 6:17 pm

If you have a trolling motor then troll to locate them.

Silverking that's a very nice boat!!
Work 2 fish 4 days

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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby ropeman » January 2nd, 2019, 6:22 pm

Steve Stinson wrote:Sent you a P.M. Bud. Hope it saves your relationship... :-D

:thumbup:

Redbelly wrote:If you have a trolling motor then troll to locate them.

I need to fix the trolling motor, and the lights, and the bait-well pump, and the radio . . .
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby eightwt » January 2nd, 2019, 6:26 pm

Nice rig King! Hope everyone starts finding fishes...
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby Akwakop » January 2nd, 2019, 6:45 pm

I've been out twice in the past 10 days. First shell point and then today, Stoney Bayou. Threw spoons, mirro-lures, topwater, gulp and voodoo shrimp under a popping cork and no luck with any of them.
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby silverking » January 2nd, 2019, 9:00 pm

Thanks guys. Love the Mosquito. It's perfect for my style of fishing.

Hopefully the bite will improve for everyone once this front blows through backed by the new moon tides. :thumbup:
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby ropeman » January 2nd, 2019, 9:30 pm

Nice looking rig King! The g/f says I can't post any pictures of her so maybe there's still hope :) We will try again this Saturday in a few new spots.

I hope to have some time to get my current boat fixed up a little and sell it to upgrade or just run it one more season.
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby silverking » January 2nd, 2019, 11:43 pm

Good luck. I'm still spending money on mine and it's relatively new. Comes with the sport.

And you'd better hang on to your girl friend, she sounds like a good fishing partner.
"Sun rise and sun sets. Since the beginning, it hasn't changed yet." Little Feat
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby Srbenda » January 3rd, 2019, 9:48 am

We've had some success on the oyster bars closer to the fort.
Live shrimp about 1' off the bottom have delivered sheepshead, and live shrimp on the bars has delivered redfish.

However, I have not caught a trout now in close to 2 months...
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby One Keeper » January 3rd, 2019, 10:37 am

Creek mouths from Aucilla to Rock island has produced numerous trout and redfish for us recently. Gulp jerk shads and mirrordines has been the ticket. Not a big fan of live bait but it would probably work also.
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Re: Inshore/River fishing: what am I doing wrong?

Postby GaryDroze » January 3rd, 2019, 4:28 pm

Convince your girlfriend to wade the creeks east of the St Marks lighthouse at low tide and you will catch all the reds & trout you want. Even in the stained water, they have been biting hard last few weeks.

I cajoled my pretty wife into doing that kind of fishing when we were dating. Following one successful - but very muddy - trip, she told me she'd be staying home after that. She prefers eating to catching. We celebrate 18 years next weekend.
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