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St. Marks 7-29

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St. Marks 7-29

Postby Srbenda » July 29th, 2018, 6:48 pm

Left the marina around 10, got out to the lighthouse and it was nice and calm so we changed plans a bit. We picked up a few pinfish for bait on the flats, then headed out to the St. Marks reef.

Lots of activity out there today, plenty of bait, and fish chasing bait. I'm assuming it was Spanish, but my skills couldn't land a fish, although we had a few hookups on white paddletails and jerkbaits.

The pinfish finally got some love, and we battled for a few minutes before my line ( which was apparently frayed) popped. Probably a big shark, but we never saw it.

Then we headed to the east flats, and searched for scallops. 45 minutes of hard swimming netted us 10, which might make an appetizer.

After that we went into deeper water and picked up a bsb and a nice spanish on white paddletails. Also got a short trout.

The wind began to pick up at that point, 10 with gusts to 18, and the waves responded, so we headed back in.

i need some tips for working those reef locations- I have not put any bait on the bottom- just been working paddletails, jerkbaits, and spoons with limited success. Anything else I can try?
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Re: St. Marks 7-29

Postby tailwaters » July 30th, 2018, 9:16 am

The possibility of catching a keeper gag at that location during this time of year would be slim, not to mention they are closed in state waters anyways. That being said there are things to catch. If it was me I'd do a couple things. First I'd put a weighted pinfish about 10' below the boat and an unweighted freeline behind the boat in case a cobia swims by. While those baits soak put a gulp on a 1/2oz gig head and fan cast around the boat bouncing it slowly along the bottom for flounder. If the black sea bass are around you might want to switch to any plastic grub because it doesn't matter much to them and you would go through a lot of gulps otherwise. If you have any live shrimp you can also cast them up current and let them drift back for the Spanish. Go unweighted, 50lb leader and a long shank hook to avoid getting gut off. I say cast up current because you want it to drift back naturally. You can do this at any of the near shore reefs and by fishing for multiple species at once increases your odds. Good Luck!
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St. Marks 7-29

Postby bbb » July 30th, 2018, 10:07 am

To bottom fish, use a 4oz lead with a 4 foot fluorocarbon 20# leader and a 1/0 or 2/0 circle hook. There is some live bottom about 1/2-1 mile SE of the St Marks reef that had a bunch of rock bass in it. If in doubt, look for the stone crab bouy’s and you will find live bottom around them.

They were even hitting and holding onto the 4oz weight until we got them 10 feet from the surface.

For bait you can buy a box of cigar minnow and squid.

I will also cast net a wide variety of 3-4” baits around the lighthouse canal to have handy.
Last edited by bbb on July 30th, 2018, 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: St. Marks 7-29

Postby Srbenda » July 30th, 2018, 2:17 pm

Thanks for the tips, I was using 1/4 oz jig heads, so no way was my bait getting low enough.

I've tried cast netting the lighthouse canal with little success- do you net in the canal or just outside? Do you chum the bait up and then net?
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St. Marks 7-29

Postby bbb » July 30th, 2018, 3:00 pm

I just throw it at the ripples inside the canal and mostly catch mud minnow and finger mullet. Then I go on the flats and catch the pinfish. You can chum up the pinfish with almost anything.

I’m also throwing a 10’ net with 1/4” mesh. It will catch a 1-2” bait so not much gets away.
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Re: St. Marks 7-29

Postby GaryDroze » July 30th, 2018, 5:00 pm

The tidal pool east of the lighthouse always holds bait, at high & low tides. I throw an 8' net with 3/8" mesh. A half dozen throws will get you all you need, if you look for bait ripples.
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Re: St. Marks 7-29

Postby Srbenda » July 30th, 2018, 8:22 pm

GaryDroze wrote:The tidal pool east of the lighthouse always holds bait, at high & low tides. I throw an 8' net with 3/8" mesh. A half dozen throws will get you all you need, if you look for bait ripples.


Is this what shows on Google Maps as Sand Cove?

It looks to be about 1/3 mile east of the light house?
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Re: St. Marks 7-29

Postby cody0707 » August 5th, 2018, 7:06 pm

Srbenda wrote:
GaryDroze wrote:The tidal pool east of the lighthouse always holds bait, at high & low tides. I throw an 8' net with 3/8" mesh. A half dozen throws will get you all you need, if you look for bait ripples.


Is this what shows on Google Maps as Sand Cove?

It looks to be about 1/3 mile east of the light house?


I would be curious to know as well.
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