11 July 2023
Welcome to Fish Whisperer Charters in Jacksonville, FL!
Water surface temperatures in the near shore waters are 87° - 89° and water clarity has been very nice. Bait has actually cooperated very well this year with only a few days of anguish and forced jigging; however, the jigging has more than made up for any lack of bait on the beach. Also, if you are gong to throw a net for pogies, try and have the correct net for it. The bait becomes difficult for anyone to net if they are being bombarded by small mullet nets and the sound of boat engines. When folks ask me, I tell them for pogies, have at least an 8ft net 5/8” to allow it to sink quickly for fast moving bait pods and when they are fast and spread out, I’ll throw a 10’ net.
Fishing this summer has been outstanding for the most part. The ocean began to give us a break earlier this month and many enjoyable trips yielded red snapper, kings, cobia, gag and red grouper, sailfish, etc. About snapper…well, since there is a whopping 2-day season for those, this weekend will be menacing on the water. PLEASE be safe and considerate, even if those around you are not. NOTHING is worth an incident on the water when safety is involved.
TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, Procedures)
To be honest, the Atlantic Red Snapper are so regulated abundant that fishing should be easy for most folks attempting to get their one fish per person, regardless of size, this year. Drop some bait to the bottom, cout to three, and stand by! Bring some different kinds of bait because what I have learned, is that after the East Coast fleet has beaten these fish for a day, the fishing for them may slow down the next day. I have kept accurate logs for each year and this is certainly a trend. Particularly, if you are only fishing for the largest of them.
Really, it’s all about the bait. Most of the folks I’m fishing this time of year are return customers that want to get offshore and have a great time again. Like most captains, I want to give them just that. That means a layered approach regarding bait. Frozen bait will at least give you options on the days that nothing is moving in your direction. This is typically cigar minnows, ribbonfish, & bonita strips for trolling along with cuttlefish, Boston mackerel, or squid for bottom fishing. The “frozen bag” is something that I carry every morning out to the boat. As far as live bait, it’s pogies via net, if they’re available, or using a sabiki rig to jig bait such as sardines, cigar minnows, threadfin herring, etc.
Once you have your bait plan taken care of, fish in the same area as you caught your bait as the predators will not be too far from there. Again, remember it’s summer and to respect Mother Nature. If you see a storm building, use common sense!
Hope that helps!
If there are ever any questions, just post them up on my Facebook Page and I'll get back with you.
Catch em' up and stay safe!
Until next time...
Fair Winds & Following Seas,
Capt Kris Kell