Warming summer water temperatures attract large schools of fast swimming king mackerel to many of Northeast Florida's p
Fall fishing at Amelia Island spotlights redfish, also called red drum and spot tails. If you wish to catch a big fish, hooking into an adult redfish during the fall fishing season may well be your best big fish opportunity.
Redfish weighing to 50 pounds will be schooling both at the Nassau and St. Mary's inlets, while preparing for their annual spawn. Female redfish will lay their eggs at night during a flooding tide while nearby male redfish will soon fertilize the eggs. The flooding tide will carry the fertilized redfish eggs far up into the bays and finally into the small feeder tidal estuaries where the eggs will eventually hatch. The fry redfish will remain in the feeder creeks until they are a few inches long, then migrate out into the nearby bays. Once the redfish have reached approximately 30 inches, they will then migrate out into the ocean to spend their adult lives.
The best angling tactic for redfish includes fishing right on the bottom with cut baits, squid, crab or fresh shrimp. Redfish will also take topwater plugs and plastic baits rigged to a led head jig. The current size limit regulations for Florida redfish is at least 18 inches long and not more than 27 inches long. Northeast Florida recreational fishermen can keep two redfish per day.
Fly fishing for redfish during the Fall fishing season is also popular during a full and new moon when the spartina marshes are flooded. Here, wade fishing while casting a crab pattern to tailing redfish may well be the ultimate angling tactic for Florida's most popular game fish!
Sea trout will also be running during the fall in backwater areas. The last of the incoming and the first of the outgoing tides will produce the best speck action for sea trout weighing up to 10 pounds. However, the average size for Amelia Island sea trout is from one to two pounds. The best angling tactic includes drifting a live shrimp under a small float close to flooding oyster bars, shallow bars, boat docks and deep sloughs.
The best hard bait lures for specks include the 52-M Mirr-O-Lure, Top Dog and Storm's Chug Bug. Without a doubt, the best sort bait lures for specks include the D.O.A. shrimp and Berkley's Gulp shrimp.
Tiger Basin, located at the northern portion of Amelia Island at Cumberland Sound and Simpson's Creek, located at Nassau Sound and the Amelia River, harbor some of Florida's very best sea trout angling. Current Florida fishing regulations for sea trout allow recreational fishermen to keep five specks per day measuring at least 15 inches, with one speck in their bag limit measuring 22 inches or more.
Back country fishing for flounder, bluefish, sheepshead and black drum is also excellent during the fall fishing season.
Beach fishermen will be targeting excellent-eating pompano while fishing with sand fleas or small pieces of conch. Whiting will be schooling as well, and will take a fresh shrimp fished on a double-hook setup. Also look for sea trout and redfish to hold in the surf, particularly during the early morning and late evening hours.
Offshore fishermen will be dropping fresh squid down to the bottom where lime rock ledges, wrecks and hard shell bottoms are holding gag grouper, black sea bass, flounder, sheepshead and excellent-eating triggerfish. Be sure and bring along a lot of extra hooks - as reef sharks will take your baits as well!
High-speed trolling far offshore where water depths drop to over 200 feet of water will produce fast-swimming wahoo that can weigh over 100 pounds! The best lure includes the C&H "Wahoo-Whacker".
Bass fishing will pick up during the fall in the many tidal freshwater rivers located in Northeast Florida. For best results, fish the last of the falling tide with a #11 Rapala or white spinner bait. Swimming a weightless dark-colored plastic worm close to shoreline cover is also a deadly freshwater bass tactic. Look for the best freshwater action to come from Lofton and Boggy Creeks.