By: Jamie Deonas
Now that tropical storm Fay has past us and Amelia Island is starting to dry out we are seeing an unbelievable explosion of surf fishing. When a tropical storm comes through our area most people never think about the effects of what large amounts of rain water do in the estuaries and back waters. These areas are very sensitive and the fish life relies on a delicate balance between abundant food supply and water chemistry. When fresh water is introduced in the amounts we experienced last week the bait fish migrate from these back waters to the beach near the inlet were they find the common water quality they are accustom to. This now changes the feeding habits on larger predator fish that normally stay well off the beach. They are now within surf fishing distance and anyone who ventures down to the shore has an excellent chance at some really big game fish. Red Bass, Trout, Blues and Jacks have all been reported in great numbers and in great size.
Want to have some fun with the family fishing this Labor Day weekend? Get yourself a cast net, 5 gallon bucket, #3 circle hooks and a surf rod and reel and head down to the beach. The best place for both bait and fishing has been near Ft. Clinch. Look for bait fish right at the shore line. They are really easy to spot as you will see lots activity on top of the water. Cast net a dozen or so Mullet and place them in the 5 gallon bucket with fresh ocean water. Hook the Mullet in the upper part of the back and with a medium sized egg sinker and cast your bait out into the ocean just beyond the surf. For even better and faster results, try fishing near the area you caught the bait. If the bait fish are hanging around in a certain area then something larger must have them pinned there.
Remember to abide by Florida fishing rules and take along a way to measure your catch. With the sizes that have been reported by local surf fishermen you make sure inline with the law.