Best Bet

Weather can make all fishing dicey. But wise anglers know to follow bait schools to locate gamefish pods, and that’s the key now on many fishing fronts in Northeast Florida.

Recreational cast-netting for marine shrimp has been a bust for all but the most expert and persistent mesh flingers. But some intrepid souls are getting some good catches of marine shrimp well upriver in the Welaka-Palatka region. That also has been a key to catching largemouth bass in the 3- to 6-pound range in that area, as well as downriver to the outskirts of Jacksonville.

Use live shrimp around boat docks, points, and creek mouths where the water is moving and anglers can get bass, as well as some hybrid striper, redfish, croakers (north of Bostwick) and catfish.

Diving birds also have been giving away locations of shrimp and baitfish schools moving in the river, and that can lead to schooling fish action for anglers tossing live shrimp, jigs, and shad-imitating plugs.

Saltwater

Inshore fishing continues to be excellent along the coast, particularly close to area inlets. Flounder, seatrout, redfish, croakers, jacks and ladyfish all are pounding baitfish and shrimp schools flushing out of inland waters. Abundant bait is key to locating fish. Watch for birds, rippled surface water and use boat electronics to pinpoint deeper schools.

Shoreline anglers also have been doing well on mixed bag inshore fishing. The little jetties area has been a good bet for land fishermen using finger mullet and live shrimp. That area east toward the river mouth can be good almost anywhere landlocked anglers can set up for casting. The slower ends of moving tides have produced some of the best action.

Much of the best flounder fishing in the lower St. Johns River continues to be around Mayport area boat

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