What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

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Leoparddog
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Joined: March 22nd, 2021, 4:44 pm

What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by Leoparddog »

The Admiral and I went out Sunday from St. Marks, launching about noon. We fished the St. Marks river down to the Lighthouse area and got skunked. We are new to inshore fishing but usually we catch at least a few. There were lots of boats out fishing in the area and all seemed to be fishing off the sandbars and oyster beds like we were. So I think we were in the general area. The Mrs. was throwing 3" paddle tails (Zman Redfish Toad) that produced a couple of reds last weekend and I was using a variety of 5" jerk baits in a variety of colors. We weren't using popping corks, just slow bouncing and twitching the lures back to the boat.

Basically we'd stop the boat in about 3-4 feet of water and were casting at the shallows of the oyster bars. So what were we doing wrong? Did we miss the falling tide in the morning? Low tide was pretty early and high tide was about 330 I think
Thanks for the help.
ropeman
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Joined: July 23rd, 2007, 1:24 am

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by ropeman »

I had the same problem on Saturday. We fished around the mouth of the St Marks with shrimp, artificial, and a gold spoon. Nothing biting except a half size trout. I think we got there too late because the forecast I use said the best time was about an hour before high tide. I saw several boats, but non of them launched from the lighthouse ramp. First time I was the only boat at the ramp.
rockyg
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Joined: February 21st, 2008, 9:13 pm

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by rockyg »

Based on some 50+ years of fishing St. Marks you were not doing anything wrong, you are just there at the wrong time. Late Fall/Early Winter is a challenging time to fish. The fish have tails and they use them a lot right now. The water in the river Sunday was roughly 69 degrees, so that's too warm to force the fish into and up the river. That's when they are easy to locate and why a hundred boats from Ga. line both sides of the river after a cold snap. So the trout and reds look for bait to try to top off on fat stores for the winter. Find the bait (mullet/pinfish/minnows, etc) and that's where the fish are.

I had a great afternoon Sunday on overslot Reds and trout. If I fish in the same area after this cold front I will be wasting my time.

I will say that overall the number of folks fishing St. Marks these days is ridiculous. (and sad to an old-timer like me)
“Life is fraught with opportunities to keep your mouth shut.”
― Winston S. Churchill
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procraftwes
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Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by procraftwes »

I fished thursday in the area and found them about a mile or even as close as a half mile due south of the lighthouse in about 5-6' of water. I was shocked they were in water that deep but the tide was high. I must have caught like 30 of them fishing a basic cajun thunder with about 3-4' of leader with a white gulp shrimp. Thought they'd be closer to the mouth, in the river and/or creeks.

Basically I fished like it was mid summer and found them and was shocked to find them in water that deep. If I moved too far east or west it was a dead zone.
ropeman
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Joined: July 23rd, 2007, 1:24 am

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by ropeman »

rockyg wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 2:11 pmI will say that overall the number of folks fishing St. Marks these days is ridiculous. (and sad to an old-timer like me)
That's why I was shocked at the lack of boat trailers at the lighthouse ramp. Maybe the tide was too low for anyone that knows the conditions. It was just high enough for my boat at 12:30
Leoparddog
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Joined: March 22nd, 2021, 4:44 pm

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by Leoparddog »

Thanks everyone. Mrs. Admiral wants to go back out next Saturday. :-) She's talking about taking the kayaks this time which really limits our range. I'm going to try to keep her in the CC next weekend, I can't go as shallow in it but we can cover more range.
rockyg
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Joined: February 21st, 2008, 9:13 pm

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by rockyg »

ropeman wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 3:25 pm
rockyg wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 2:11 pmI will say that overall the number of folks fishing St. Marks these days is ridiculous. (and sad to an old-timer like me)
That's why I was shocked at the lack of boat trailers at the lighthouse ramp. Maybe the tide was too low for anyone that knows the conditions. It was just high enough for my boat at 12:30
While I prefer the Lighthouse ramp I had calculated it might be too skinny for my flats skiff on Sunday. I've seen the end of the canal completely dry in the past. The Fort ramp parking lot was full at 11:30. :smt011
“Life is fraught with opportunities to keep your mouth shut.”
― Winston S. Churchill
Leoparddog
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Joined: March 22nd, 2021, 4:44 pm

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by Leoparddog »

rockyg wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 11:14 pm
ropeman wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 3:25 pm
rockyg wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 2:11 pmI will say that overall the number of folks fishing St. Marks these days is ridiculous. (and sad to an old-timer like me)
That's why I was shocked at the lack of boat trailers at the lighthouse ramp. Maybe the tide was too low for anyone that knows the conditions. It was just high enough for my boat at 12:30
While I prefer the Lighthouse ramp I had calculated it might be too skinny for my flats skiff on Sunday. I've seen the end of the canal completely dry in the past. The Fort ramp parking lot was full at 11:30. :smt011
It wouldn't take much effort to dredge the Lighthouse canal and ramp just a couple of feet deeper. I'm sure that's a deceased equine that has been beaten around here before
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ugadawg
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Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by ugadawg »

We went Sunday and fished the flats. We saw a lot of boats in the river on the way out, but the water temp on the flats was 68 F, which is way too warm for the fish to be in the river IMO. We ended up catching 3 slot reds, a few right under the slot, and some nice fat trout. We fished pretty shallow, and caught all our fish in about 2 hours, once the water was high enough and still moving. It took forever for the water to come in, and once it finally did we had about an hour and half of good fishing before the tide topped out and the bite stopped.
Leoparddog
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Joined: March 22nd, 2021, 4:44 pm

Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by Leoparddog »

ugadawg wrote: November 23rd, 2021, 12:06 pm We went Sunday and fished the flats. We saw a lot of boats in the river on the way out, but the water temp on the flats was 68 F, which is way too warm for the fish to be in the river IMO. We ended up catching 3 slot reds, a few right under the slot, and some nice fat trout. We fished pretty shallow, and caught all our fish in about 2 hours, once the water was high enough and still moving. It took forever for the water to come in, and once it finally did we had about an hour and half of good fishing before the tide topped out and the bite stopped.
Thanks Ugadawg,
Do you find the fishing better on a rising or falling tide or does it depend on where you are fishing?
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ugadawg
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Re: What was I doing wrong on Sunday?

Post by ugadawg »

It really depends. If I am fishing shallow it seems that the rising tide is the best. Also, shallow is not a great place to be on a falling tide if you don't want to get stuck. If I am fishing out on the flats in 4-5+ it seems that the water just needs to be moving.
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