By Captain David Lifka

In recent years, over the summer months and into early fall, we have been fortunate enough to experience some of the best fishing and shrimping anyone could remember. Shrimp were filling cast nets with counts of more than 100 per throw. Limits of slot sized reds were being caught just about anywhere in the river where you decided to soak a live shrimp. Flounder, black drum, and yellowmouth trout were right there at your favorite croaker hole with tarpon and dolphin rolling as far south as Green Cove Springs. Yes, fishing was good.

Now we come to the summer and fall of 2018. What a difference this year has been to recent years and actually recent decades. In the past, we have always had to deal with some type of weather related interruption to our summer and fall fishing season. This would usually be the result of rainy spell of a couple of weeks or so, or possibly the passing of some kind of tropical disturbance. Usually a week or two following the weather inconvenience, fishing would come back with a vengeance, and everyone would be happy — but not this year.

Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices

Because of the exceptional amounts of above average rainfall throughout much of the entire St. Johns River, for the first time that many can remember, fishing has only gotten worse instead of better as the summer and fall progressed. This does not exclude all fishing on the river, as freshwater fishing has remained somewhat decent. But what it does include is any type of annual shrimp run, and the showing of the variety of saltwater species that invade our normally brackish waters.

On the bright side, the freshwater catfish bite has been strong. Dead shrimp, bottom fished anywhere from Green Cove Springs to San Marco should result in some pretty good results. The bream bite should be strong and abundant all the way out of the creeks and into the river, especially on the end of docks. Even largemouths are making their presence known in these same areas. Don’t be afraid to work the docks.

Areas closer to the ocean should be affected less and should produce some good fall fishing. St. Augustine, Palm Valley, Beach Boulevard, Ft. Caroline, and Mayport areas of the St. Johns and Intracoastal Waterway should all be hot spots right up to late November. The annual migration of bait fish traveling south should also produce some very good surf fishing for the rest of the fall months.

Fishing Report: Freshwater fishing should be at a premium. Fall bass, bream, and catfish should be readily available in just about any freshwater location. Migrating bluefish should be in good numbers in the surf. Cut fish or finger mullet with a short wire leader should help you land limit catches.

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

Email your Catch of the Month photo to 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 Chris Joyner

This month’s Catch of the Month photo is of Chris Joyner of Fruit Cove, who caught black drum in early August on the Intracoastal Waterway using dead shrimp and fiddler crabs as bait.


, who caught this shellcracker on a warm July afternoon in Julington Creek Plantation near the golf course.


  • Ackerman Urology We specialize in Prostate health, sexual health, bladder health, and Kidney health
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Pavers concrete and more Free estimates
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • Vote Rod Hardwick for st johns county sheriff Working together for the strength of our community during challenging times
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Starling Nocatee, 360 degree virtual tour
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Tutoring club of st johns. Text tutoring to 484848 for a chance to win one month of free tutoring
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman cancer center. We're here for your cancer treatment
  • Have questions about your medicare benefits? Call a SHINE volunteer.
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Academy of Dance Open House & Registration August 19th and 20th 3pm to 6pm Classes start August 24th! Ballet, Pointem Jazz, Hip Hop Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Music Theatre, Vocal
  • Affordable Water
  • All About Ballroom
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Cronin Ace Hardware
  • Vote for Christian Whitehurst! for St. Johns county commissioner, District 1
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits!
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church
  • The Goddard School summer camp
  • Havana Printing and office supply Call us today for all your cutome printing needs
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. Have you watered your birds lately?
  • Legends of Real Estate call Kim Kessler
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commerical!
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care
  • Florida Waterways Inc. Your trusted Waterway Advisers
  • Harbor Chase Independent & Assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Immerse yourself in a rewarding community that enriches your body, mind, and soul.
  • Dont Forget to vote for John Turner School Board member
  • Julington Creek Family Dentistry. Implant Cosmetic and Restoration Dentistry. We are following Advanced Safety protocols set forth by CDC, OSHA and ADA guidelines for dental practices
  • Lori Hershey for School Board, District 7. A school system we can all believe in.
  • Alicia Washington for Circuit Judge
  • Matt Schellenberg. Dependable Leadership for these challenging Times. School Board District 7
  • Re-elect Mike Orfinger for circuit judge
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Mobile Notary Service. 15 years experience, 24 hour services
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Chris Strickland for ST Johns county sheriff!
  • Sugar Bear Antique Mall Summer spectacular sale July 10th-12th
  • Baptist Health, Great tools for motherhood
  • A Green Cleaner, Free pickup and delivery to your home!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin. Your safety and peace of mind is always our Top Priority
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021