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By Capt. Brylee
Special to the Pioneer
Sept. 21 marks the last day of summer. The cooler air and subtle weather changes will start to become more and more noticeable and with the hot summer we have had, they are much welcome.
The Florida sun will start to entertain us less and less as autumn continues creating cooler waters and better fishing.
Both off-shore and in-shore production should increase as this happens.
Off-shore fish such as Amberjack, Gag Grouper and Red Grouper will move to structure closer inland and feed more aggressively.
In-shore fish you will find staying close to the flats and moving into the rivers and creeks. As the temperatures get colder they will move further into the rivers seeking bait in the deeper and warmer waters.
The daily storms are still making off-shore fishing slow according to Cap. John Blouse with Hooked-Up Charters out of Cedar Key. Most of the action Cedar Key has had has been in-shore fishing for Trout and Redfish. Live Pinfish and shrimp have been the baits of choice but jigs and shallow diving lures have also been effective.
Reports of Black Drum, Reds and Trout being caught have come in around the Shell Mound areas.
All reports were fishing around the oyster bars and islands just off shore. Live shrimp and Gulp bait on jig heads have been the most commonly used rigs. On the Atlantic coast reports from Sam Jones, at Devil’s Elbow Fishing Camp in St. Augustine, state that the Bull Reds are thick right now. Part of what has them so thick right now is that the bait fish are so plentiful. Finger mullet and large mullet have filled the inlet bringing in big and hungry Reds.Snook on the other hand have been scarce since the hard freezes in 2010, so if Snook are what you are shooting for you will need to go further south. The Halifax River and boardwalk have had Snook running as well as reports from Ft. Pierce inlet.Our feature catch this week is from Devil’s Elbow Fish Camp. Eric Jones while fishing the inlet landed a 26 ¾” Red Fish last Sunday. He fished the bottom with a 2500 Penn spinning reel rigged with a whole live mullet hooked on a ¼ oz. jig head. Although 26 ¾” is inside the slot and isn’t necessarily considered a “Bull” red, it is a fine catch and on the verge of being a “Bull”. Eric’s brother Sam who works at Devil’s Elbow said “the fact Eric caught one is proof they are in there thick, cause if he can catch one; anyone can!”Please obey all State and Local Laws and remember to catch and release.