By Captain David Lifka

So far, so good … that is for the start of this summer’s fishing season on the St. Johns River. With salinity levels way up due to the very dry spring we just experienced, the expected advancement and onslaught of a variety saltwater (brackish water) species of fish has begun. 

Croaker, growing in size and numbers, have been working their way southward from Downtown Jax to Marker 18 located at Green Cove Springs. Yellowmouth trout, now referred to as “Weakfish” are beginning to become more abundant, especially in areas between the Fuller Warren Bridge and Buckman Bridge. Redfish and flounder are being caught around docks and pilings, with some reds already being caught well south of the Shands Bridge. 

Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line

As the summer progresses and the weather remains favorable (no above normal rainfall), we should be able to expect better saltwater fishing, with even more species working their way to our parts of the river. In previous summers when salinities have been high, additional types of fish such as sheepshead, mangrove snapper, snook, whiting, and even tarpon were present and being caught. Already this summer, reports of tarpon rolling as far south as Orange Park are being made. 

With summer here and the kids out of school, sometimes getting the kids out of the house and into the world is more difficult than the past. For many, air conditioning, television, and cell phones have replaced enjoying summer vacation outdoors. The many wonders of the great outdoors are being overlooked or even missed completely by today’s children.

Fishing is much more than a sport to just “catch fish.” Instead, fishing is a sport that provides opportunities to see, enjoy, and be a part of the environment around you. When fishing you cannot help but learn about the clouds in the sky, the birds in the air, the plants and trees around you, the moon and its phases, tides, sea life, animal life, species of fish, weather conditions, the sun and sunburn, and vitamin D. These attributes to fishing as well as many more, help make up and define the sport long before a knot is ever tied, a line is ever cast, and a fish is ever caught. Want to get the kids off the floor and out the door? How about giving fishing a try?

Fishing Report: Time to hit the river for croaker and yellowmouth for a nice fish fry. Creeks are good for bream; creek mouths are good for catfish. Surf is offering smaller whiting and sand trout.

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.


  • HarborChase independent & assisted living Memory Care Mandarin, call to schedule your virtual tour
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Memorial emergency We have the compassionate team and technology to take great care of you or a loved one in an emergency
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience
  • Fresh Look Lawn Maintenance
  • 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
  • Nautilus Behavior Health Let us help you and your family be at your best
  • Nemour's Childrens's Specialty
  • Quality Eye care 25+ years of experience
  • DIscount up to 30% Jim Register state farm agent
  • River City Roofing call today for your free roof inspection
  • Join us for Easter River of Life UMC
  • 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
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • Eddie Creamer Property appraiser
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Strandz hair studio. For a beautiful new you!
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Tutoring club. Worried about the FSA? WE CAN HELP.
  • Custom heating and air
  • Academy of Dance
  • Affordable Water
  • Baptist Medical Center South
  • All About Ballroom
  • Central Bank, Come see us for a small business loan!
  • Episcopal Church of Our Savior
  • Irritated Eyes? Your not alone its allergy season! Schedule an appointment with clayeye for some relief!
  • 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
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Vote for Dr. Erick Aguilar Republican candidate U.S. House Fl 4th district
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • Nemetz dental associates
  • Deerwood Academy register now for 2020-2021 VPK
  • Excel Pediatrics 2 locations Durbin creek and Avenues
  • 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
  • The Legacy at st johns the ultimate resort styled living
  • Weaver and Stratton pediatric dentistry & orthodontics. Exams. Prizes. Fun!
  • Smart Choice Medical healthcare membership! No VoPay, No Deductibles, No Hassles
  • Memorial Emergency Mandarin
  • Mint cleaning tips for a clean virus free fresh home
  • George R. Hentshcel CPA, P.A. Taxes, Accounting, & Consulting
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • Luxury living and compassionate care come together at starling. Welcome Home.
  • Tousel and tease beuaty parlor! family friendly walk-ins welcome
  • Mandarin Garden Club Annual Plant Sale
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • The Windsor Senior living facility
  • Being Well Florida News line is excited to introduce Being Well magazine
  • Westminster Woods on Julington creek. Live well. Be Happy
  • Ackerman Cancer center, Leaders in proton therapy
  • Elder Source for senior and care giver resources
  • Future home loans. North Florida's Premier Mortgage Expert Ryan Proffitt
  • New! Camp Yalla Summer Camp grades 7-9
  • Alive Credit Union Start banking healthier today!
  • Clara's Tidbits Now in Mandarin!
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty, Dental Lab
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021