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St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

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St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby Ted in Tallahassee » June 7th, 2019, 7:00 pm

Headed out from the Fort ramp at first light in the "Tin Can," my trusty 15' all-purpose does-everything jonboat. The tide was still very high even though it had been going out for a couple of hours. Saw a gigantic gator swimming along in the middle of the river about halfway to the lighthouse. After a fruitless couple of casts next to a still-submerged oyster bar I headed out to the flats and cast for some pins with a sabiki. While I was doing that I noticed a pressure wave coming towards me evidencing something large moving over the flats. Perfect conditions for that--flat mirror-like water, any tiny disturbance visible for a long ways. As it got closer big silver sides and backs breached--a school of huge tarpon! Neat to see, but for me not good to eat = no interest in trying to catch them. (I caught enough of them as a kid. Oversized minnows if you ask me.) After getting the pins and cutting one up for bait and putting the others in the live bait bucket, I headed to some creek mouths to cast my standard old reliable rig--a 1/4 oz. red-headed Bass Assassin jig with a 3" Gulp shrimp on it with a little strip of fresh pinfish fillet on the hook. By the way, those Bass Assassin jigs are the only make and style of jig I have found that holds a Gulp shrimp on worth a hoot--and I've tried a lot of them. After about an hour of casting around creek mouths and grass lines I managed only three short Reds, no keepers. Lots of cannibalistic pinfish happily destroying the bait on nearly every cast. Beautiful day, flat calm most of the time, water very clear. Some occasional clouds so the heat was bearable. Being very interested in the upcoming scallop season and finally finding myself in perfect conditions to do some scallop reconnaisance, I tooled around the flats for a long time, making my way around the general areas between Black Rock and Grey Mare, deep and shallow, and then some. I was standing up, surveying both sides of the boat, and even in front of it. I could see everything. It was like an aquarium. I must have seen a dozen sea turtles--I was shocked at how fast they can go underwater! Must be 15 knots easy. Some were just laying on the bottom too, looking up at me--kinda like quail that sit tight instead of taking off like all the others. Saw a good number of trout, a couple of sheepshead near a rockpile, at least one grey snapper and some BSB's by another rockpile, too many sting rays to count, a couple of big gar, some mullet of course, blue crabs, trunk fish, a small bonnethead shark and a big shark (saw the pressure wave first), but ... NOT ONE SCALLOP. Not looking good for the season .... Then I returned to fishing. Threw both free jigs and poppers, anchored over some good bottom for a while and chummed, had a big shark bait out as well as a live pilchard (caught on the sabiki earlier) out on a bobber. Behind the boat in the chum stream there was nothing but giant remoras and after a while, a whole bunch of bluehead cats that gummed my big shark bait in a writhing mass to almost nothing. The pilchard endured an unceremonious if not insulting death by finally getting ingested by a giant remora. I up-anchored and drifted a while and eventually managed two decent BSB's over some good bottom. Oddly enough, I did not catch ANY trout all day. By this time the not-very-low tide had come and gone and a super high tide was in the making. It was high and still coming in strong. Back to creek mouths ... no Reds, but got three nice flounder. After this full day of hard fishing and sight-seeing it was getting late, so I headed back in, trying an oyster bar on the way for one last chance at a keeper Red. All the bars were flooded really high and the tide was still raging in. The wind had kicked up strong by then too, must have been at least 10 knots plus. All the catfish in the world must have congregated on that oyster bar. I hate catfish. Anyway it was a nice day nonetheless, got 5 fish in the box so it wasn't a bust, and the forecast for the next week looks terrible, so I'll call this a win.
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby milto » June 7th, 2019, 7:58 pm

Nice report! I can say the other jig head that seems to hold the gulp on pretty well are the DOA C.A.L jigheads.
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St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby tallykenj » June 7th, 2019, 8:02 pm

I enjoyed reading your report. I was hoping it would end with a big fish. Sorry it didn’t. The Rock Garden is the clearest I’ve seen it in a long time. I love it. I’m hoping we will find a nice surprise in there in a few weeks. If the water conditions remain the same, it will be a great area for snorkeling.
Last edited by tallykenj on June 8th, 2019, 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby doomtrpr_z71 » June 7th, 2019, 8:05 pm

Hopefully the scallops show, good trip it sounds like, the bass assassin jig heads do a good job but I think the trout eye do a better job.
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby fishforfun » June 7th, 2019, 9:23 pm

Great report, I felt like I was there!
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby eightwt » June 8th, 2019, 8:21 am

Son and I fished same day at SM , just not as far east. He on spin with mostly plastic and I on the fly as usual. Yes the water was crystal clear, it is so neat to see everything. We managed a quite a few short trout with him putting a couple in the box and also a bluefish. No mackerel or BSB, this trip. My best story of the day was a pull that came toward me and when it got to the boat it appeared i had hooked a turtle. In the clear water I could see my pink fly on right front flipper, or so it seemed. It sped off and I started thinking of how I could get fly out or what. Thinking maybe just break off, the pull started back toward me. Got to the boat and now i was hooked up to a fish. A remora! Got it in, took a pic and had a discussion. Had the remora been on the turtle and didn't see it and then released itself? Don't know, but was first of that species I ever caught on the fly. Just never know what you will see in the salt.
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby Hit-n-Miss » June 8th, 2019, 9:19 am

:-D Great report. Hard to believe no scallops at all. Guess Keaton be the place this year. :-D
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby Salty Gator » June 8th, 2019, 9:35 am

Man, that is a long run in a 15’ Jonny, you are seriously cutting into your fishing time. And the channel can get dangerous when the wind and time are working against each other. Why not put in at the lighthouse? Thanks for the report
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby StMarksAngler » June 8th, 2019, 2:07 pm

Ted in Tallahassee wrote:but ... NOT ONE SCALLOP. Not looking good for the season ....


All of the FWC recon reports have been suggesting that this season is going to be very strong in our area.
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby Srbenda » June 8th, 2019, 4:04 pm

I saw a few scallops on the sandbar two weeks ago. I'm assuming there are more somewhere...
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Re: St. Marks Wednesday June 5th

Postby BloodyChamp » June 8th, 2019, 9:48 pm

I’m not a scalloping expert at all but I’ve been told that they rarely come anywhere close to St Marks UNLESS it is clear enough like now so I guess I’m even less of an expert after telling that pointless story.

I haven’t been fishing in over a week because I got a case of Sinusitis that I thought for a minute was going to KILL ME! I rarely get sick but when I do it’s bad, but even so it almost never has a name besides common cold or sore throat. I didn’t know what Sinusitis was until Friday when I finally went to the doctor. It was what I thought was allergies for the last couple of weeks (swollen eyes) and what I thought was poison ivy (rash...because sinuses can cause a rash???) a week or so before that. So anyway by this week it has festered in my sinuses into something nastier than a Remora with a stomach ache.

The last fishing trip I took was on the St Marks and it was in my own tin can. It was above The Fort, above that river’s infamous main source even! I caught fat Stumpknockers on a can of worms which was great but hardly what made a day out of it because there was so much brush in the water that I lost all the worms pretty fast. I tried a cork somewhere in the middle and that didn’t help. With so much time left I turned around and started over with a lure, and caught either a giant Redbreast or a 10 inch bass ever throw. Every throw. And this was after I came back upriver a very short distance making a ton of noise on the exposed logs. If I don’t get back down there fast I’m going to go nuts!
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