By Captain David Lifka
mail@floridanewsline.com

Too much rain has put a real damper on the start of this year’s shrimping season. Sporadic catches with various sizes have been the norm. Hopefully now as we get into the peak of the season, shrimping will turn around. It’s happened in the past.

Redfish on the docks north of the Buckman Bridge all the way to San Marco area docks has been very productive in recent weeks. Fishing artificial or live baits during moving tides has been working best.

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The best fishing we can expect this time of year is that of croaker and yellowmouth (weakfish). Good numbers of both are being caught in the Green Cove Springs area of the river and farther south of Shands Bridge. 

These fish are usually easy to catch, and without any real size or quantity limits, this can add up quickly to make a nice sized pile for a fish fry. Live or dead local shrimp make the best bait for either. You can also try cut croaker for the chance of some really nice sized yellowmouth, as the larger fish sometimes prefer cut bait.

Do not let inconsistent shrimping mess up your day. Always have rods in the boat for an alternative, and switch to fishing when necessary. After all, something in the cooler is always better than nothing at all. Also, baiting an area at dusk and shrimping under a couple of lanterns after dark may be the answer to attracting shrimp for some decent catches.

Fishing Report: Good numbers of reds on docks. Marker 18 at Green Cove Springs seems to be the best first stop for croakers and yellowtails. If you make it to the beach, surf fishing has been surprisingly good for a variety of species. 

Whether you catch one, some, or none, the family time spent fishing will last a lifetime.

Email your Catch of the Month photo to catchofthemonthpictures@gmail.com. Be sure to include the name of the person(s) in the photo, the name of the person who took the photo, the type of fish and date and location of the catch. We will select a photo each month for publication.

Photo courtesy Andrew White

Andrew White caught these two redfish north of the Buckman Bridge near Beauclerc using a white strike king spinner bait. One was 34” and the other 30”. Both fish were released with no issues.

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