By Terry Lacoss
Without a doubt the best inshore fishing action comes during the fall fishing season where schooling sea trout, redfish and flounder head up the backwater fishing action. Excellent sea trout action has come during the past few weeks and should even get better as current cold nights and cool days lower water temperatures.
“I caught eight nice legal sea trout while drifting a live shrimp under a float right off my dock,” Don Whitman said. “ Some of the best trout action is coming during the middle of the in-coming tide while drifting live shrimp at mid depth water levels. I have also been catching flounder and redfish too”!
Don and Teresa Whitman operate “Leaders & Sinkers” bait and tackle and presently offer the only usable boat ramp located at the foot of Egan's Creek Bridge on 14th St.
“Bank fishermen have also been purchasing live shrimp from me and fishing across from the river around the 14th St Bridge pilings and tearing up the sea trout and redfish too,” Don Whitman said.
Without saying Egan's Creek is one of the best redfish, flounder and sea trout estuary in Northeast Florida. Fishermen often launch small boats including kayaks allowing the in-coming tide to take them up the creek while casting live shrimp under a small float close to fish attracting cover including creek mouths, boat docks and oyster bars. Which are very plentiful in Egan's Creek. Also keep in mind that the northern side of Egan's Creek has a vast spartina marsh where numerous small feeder creeks feed the fish creek with small crabs, mullet and other delicacies that game fish forage on.
Casting a ¼ ounce jig head barbed to a live bullhead minnow or shrimp is also a deadly fishing tactic when fishing Egan's Creek. Creek fishermen will often position their fishing boat up tide of a fish structure and cast their barbed live bait close to the structure allowing the bait to work slowly along the bottom. In many cases when a productive structure is located, schooling action can produce multiple hook ups!
Tiger Beach has also been producing excellent sea trout action for specks weighing up to five-pounds. Some of the best action has been coming during the last of the in-coming tide when the water is ultra clear. Casting topwater plugs including the “Chug Bug”, “Baby Zara Spook” over flooding oysterbars, or where nervous schools of mullet at present is sure to hook up a tournament winning sea trout. Seasoned sea trout fishermen are also casting new plastic swim baits in the white and chartreuse color patterns and doing well for giant sea trout as well.
However a sure bet big sea trout fishing tactic includes drifting a 4-6 inch live finger mullet under a “Popping Cork” over prime sea trout structures. Finally don't rule out the St. Mary's jetty rocks while drifting live shrimp, or finger mullet along prime run outs in the jetty rocks when hooking up to tournament size specks.
Finally the rocky and piling clad shoreline located from the mouth of Egan's Creek and south to the Fernandina Port is always a great spot to hook into better than average size sea trout.
If you are an avid flounder angler the flatfish bite is really taking off during the last of the falling and the first of the in-coning tides. Best areas to fish are sandy flats that are located close to large concentrations of oysterbars and spartina marshes. Work a ¼ ounce led head jig barbed to a live finger mullet, or bullhead minnow slowly along the bottom. Spinner baits including the “Redfish Magic” are also producing large flounder weighing to 10-pounds.in-coning
The best redfish action has been coming during the last of the falling tide while working spinner baits, surface chuggers, or live baits close to creek mouths, the deep sides of oysterbars. Look for wading birds and baitfish action to hopefully uncover a nice school of Fall redfish.
The “Annual Nassau Sport Fishing Trout Tournament” gets underway on Saturday, November 5th from 8:30 – 4:00 pm and consists of two divisions, the “Bridge” division and the “Boat” division. The “Bridge” division is strictly for children that are accompanied by an adult while fishing from the George Crady fishing pier. Any angler including children can enter the “Boat” division. The first fifty-youth fishermen fishing from the pier, will be handed out fishing rods and reels! Also 20-trophies will be given to youth fishermen with an 80% payout. The “News Leader” has partnered with the Nassau Sport Fishing Association in making this event a big success. For more information please visit