By Captain David Lifka

At last summer has arrived and this year’s fishing season is starting to come together. Making choices such as where to go, and what to fish for are just some of the pleasurable decisions we are faced with living in our area of the state. With so much freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water around us, our fishing possibilities for the summer season are many.

Whether it is just a short walk to a neighborhood pond, or a quick ride to a nearby creek or lake, the freshwater fishing opportunities around us are abundant. Throughout most of the year, but especially summer, expecting limit catches of panfish that inhabit our area waters is not unreasonable. Good numbers of largemouth bass will also be available in these very same waters. The catfish bite will be strong, along with plenty of mullet in the river all summer long.

Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line

The Lower St. Johns River and Intracoastal Waterway should offer fantastic saltwater fishing all summer long and continue into the fall. Redfish, speckled trout, and flounder will be highly targeted species for that inshore grand slam. Black drum, sheepshead, and even a mangrove snapper or two will be in these same waters for the taking.

For more saltwater fishing, fishing the beach could be a priority for many. Practically anything that swims in the ocean could end up grabbing your bait. While enjoying your normal catches of whiting, pompano, and sand trout, always be prepared for the really big bite that could end up spooling your reel or dragging your rod and reel off to sea.

Finally we have brackish water which covers most of our area of the St. Johns. Typically this area covers from downtown Jacksonville to Green Cove Springs, but some summers it could extend all the way to Palatka. Usually starting off a little slow, one can expect a steady increase of most any inshore saltwater species to come on with a bang as summer progresses. By late July or early August our annual shrimp run should be running on high gear, with outstanding shrimping and spectacular fishing that will hopefully last well into the fall.

Fishing Report: June 11 is the start of a 40-day Red Snapper season — well worth a fishing trip by your own boat, charter boat, or party boat. Croaker are beginning to show in the river at the usual spots. They’re running a little small right now but definitely tastier. Bream are a good bet at any local freshwater location. Try crickets, worms, or bread, and get the kids outside for some for some outdoor fun.

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

The CreekLine will now include a Catch of the Month photo with Capt. David’s Fishing Report each month. Please email a photo of yourself or your child with the fish caught 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.

This month’s Catch of the Month photo is of Norma Barrett (pictured with her son, Cory Barrett) who caught a carp in Lake Asbury in April.

Photo courtesy Danny Barrett

  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line