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Palm Coast Fishing Report

September marks the autumn bait movement that will eventually turn into the fall “mullet run” by months end. Starting your mornings off with topwater lures that resemble a mullet like the Rapala skitter walk or Spook Jr. will produce redfish, trout and snook. Cast topwaters parallel to ICW banks, over flooded oyster beds or docks that are holding mullet to find the “trophies”.


September’s full and new moons brings the tidal waters up into the Spartina grass where Redfish and Sheephead will be found tailing and gorging themselves on all sorts of crustaceans. Bailing from the skiff and wading with the fly rod and a rattle crab pattern is one way to hook up or a live shrimp hooked through the tail with a Daiichi Octopus wide bait hook.


Snook and Tarpon will be in the canals feeding during low light conditions, a live select shrimp will trigger a bite from both species. Lead a rolling Tarpon with a live select shrimp on a Daiichi 3/0 circle hook and a loose drag to help your chances of landing the Silver King. Pitching the docks with live shrimp will get the attention of most linesiders (Snook) especially when encountering a school and the competition factor kicks in. Remember to handle snook with care as they have had a few rough winters and snook numbers are still low.


Area inlets will host Flounder and Bull Reds during the change of tides, a live 6-inch mullet on a fish finder rig will get the doormats to the boat. The fish finder rig consists of a 1/0-3/0 DaiichiD18Z hook with a 10-inch piece of 30lb fluorocarbon leader, a good swivel, glass bead and ¾-1 ounce egg sinker. Once you cast this rig, slowly drag and pump it back to the boat keeping contact with the bottom. For creek flounder a mud minnow or finger mullet on a ¼ ounce Slayer inc. Destroyer jig head fished around creek bends. A knocker rig with a 6-ounce weight a Daiichi 5/0 circle hook and cut or live mullet/ pogie will be the choice set up for Bull Reds at the inlet. Just remember take time to revive these breeder reds and get them back in the water as quickly as possible.


Trout catches can still be expected to be best at night fishing the dock lights, a live free lined shrimp or non weighted artificial tossed up current and drifted through the lights will produce Trout and Snook. Remember to wet hands before handling fish if you plan on doing some catch and release.



Capt. Chris Herrera

Call to book your Palm Coast Fishing Trip today!


Flood Tide Redfish Fly Recipes

Here is another great fly that will get a redfish’s attention during the flood tides. Call to book your spin or fly fishing trip for tailing redfish 386-503-6338


Palm Coast Inshore fishing report

With all the bait showing up the last few weeks, redfish, trout, flounder and snook have not been watching their weight and fattening up for swim suit season. Early morning bite has been real good with topwater plugs during the higher tides where bait is visible. Once the sun gets high switch to soft plastics like slayer inc. jerk baits on 1/8 ounce jig heads for redfish, trout and snook.

Live bait fisherman have been doing well with live shrimp or mud minnow on jig heads bumped across the bottom of creek holes for flounder. Take your time with a slow retrieve and wait for the thump, even then give it time before setting the hook on a flattie.







Palm Coast Spring Break Report

This past spring break in Palm Coast has really put some nice redfish in the skiff. We had some spectacular days of redfishing along with trout, jacks and even some snook. Best bite has been with live bait as most of my anglers were young novices but the the artificial bite has been good as well. Throwing soft plastics and topwater plugs at first light has put plenty of upper slot redfish in the Hell’s Bay skiff.

Here are a few of our catches from this past week:
































Palm Coast Fishing Spring Report

Spring break has officially started as all of my regulars and new clients are enjoying the fantastic weather we had this past week in Palm Coast. Fishing has been hot as well  since conditions have allowed for sight fishing remaining schools of redfish. We have been catching them on soft plastic paddle tail lures made by Slayer inc. as well with live bait. Along with redfish, my clients have caught flounder and trout as well.



Palm Coast Fishing













Sight Fishing For Schools Of Redfish

Winter has finally made its way south to Florida, with the chill comes gin clear water. The brown algae is dying off due to water temps dropping into the low 60’s and the redfish are fired up and feeding. Sight fishing opportunities start at 9am and continue till about 2pm. Polarized sunglasses and a casting platform make for the perfect combo for sight fishing redfish in the shallow flats. Redfish will eat just about anything put in front of them but artificial lures is the best bet. Slayer inc. paddle tails on a 1/8 jig head is my favorite combo

Image result for slayer inc paddle tails

Fishing Palm Coast with Captain Chris Herrera sight fishing for redfish using slayer inc. paddle tails

Fishing Palm Coast with Captain Chris Herrera sight fishing for redfish using slayer inc. paddle tails

Fishing Palm Coast with Captain Chris Herrera sight fishing for redfish using slayer inc. paddle tails

January Fishing Forecast

Well it’s the first of the year and I hope your new years resolution has something to do with spending more time in the outdoors. Grab those new polarized sunglasses you got for Christmas and hit the flats as the reds are schooled up and eating good! Actually they should be schooled up but with this rare warming trend we are still on a mid fall pattern. Red fishing on the flats isn’t an early morning ritual like in the summer; waiting for the sun to rise and warm the waters is your best bet. Although till things cool off try topwater plugs at first light since mullet are still the main food source for redfish.

Use the info below if we get a cold front anytime soon.

A low mid morning incoming tide is a perfect scenario as the sun heats the oyster beds and once the tide floods schools of redfish will sit on these hot spots for warmer water. Approach the school with stealth as not to alert the school of your presence before getting into casting distance.Fishbites paddle tails or flies are my choices for catching redfish. Once the school is on the move bomb a Sebile Stick Shadd out in front of the school twitch a few times and hook up!


Creek fishing for Seatrout is about as sure as it gets this time of year. Jigging for Trout in creek holes with a ¼ ounce Slayer Jig and Fishbites paddle tails will get the attention of every schoolie in the hole. Most Trout will be on the small side but if numbers is your game, creek hole fishing is the place. Small Reds also occupy the same creek holes and can be caught with live shrimp; small split shot and a Daiichi 82Z 1/0 circle hook.



Fly fisherman get great opportunities on landing the elusive Sheaphead on fly this month. Sheaphead can be found on the most oyster-laden flats during low incoming tides, these striped bandits will be foraging for oyster crabs so a crab pattern is the best fly for the job. If fly fishing isn’t your thing, live bait fishing with fiddler crabs and a fish finder rig vertically fished around bridges, docks and rocks will put the bend in the rod.


Tricks To Catch More Flounder



Top Flounder Rigs by Frank Bolin

The bright, reflective eyes of a TerrorEyz jighead piqued this toothy flounder’s curiosity.

Look close. You’ll notice them, despite their low-key attitudes, skillfully pitching baits into likely flounder haunts. For flatfish followers, nothing matches the thrill of dredging a hefty doormat off the bottom.

Veteran flounder fishermen know success depends on terminal rigging. There are many kinds of rigs used by the dedicated angler, but all retain one attribute: They get baits down to the bottom, where flounder chew. If a bait does not find bottom, chances are a flounder will never see it, much less inhale it.

Several factors deserve consideration when selecting flounder rigs. Water depth, current and bottom terrain are three significant variables. Bait size also plays a role. It takes more weight to drag larger baits, i.e., silver mullet, pinfish and croakers, to the depths. However, a fine line exists. Baits need to move freely across submerged terrain, not hold fast, overweighted, in one spot. Too much lead decreases strikes as much as using too little.

A simple and effective livebait flounder rig is the jighead. With various weights and hook sizes, jigheads make good everyday bait carriers. Simply pin your bait through the lips, toss it upcurrent and let the leadhead sink your livie into the zone. Nothing could be easier.

All types of jigheads do the job, but some do it better than others. I stick with leadheads equipped with light wire hooks. These thin-diameter hooks usually find something to grab between a flounder’s sharp dentures. Jighead color can spell the difference between banner and mediocre fishing. Brightly hued heads amplify flash. Chartreuse, red and orange are good choices. Opt for chartreuse in clear water. Go with red or orange in dark, tannin-stained or brackish water. The glitter-filled TerrorEyz jigheads from D.O.A. lures consistently entice flatfish when baited with mud minnows.

Jigs work best with smaller baits. Live shrimp, small finger mullet and mud minnows (killifish to y’all hailing from north of the Mason-Dixon line) make excellent jighead baits. For added attraction, try leaving the plastic tail on your jig in conjunction with live bait. Tails provide extra action and often invite a second shot if a flounder steals your livie. Mud minnows and chartreuse tails make perfect companions. This combo remains one of my favorites.

Baits pinned on leadheads offer distinct advantages for anglers pursuing flounder in slow current, shallow water and around oyster bars. Leadhead rigs allow constant, direct contact with the live bait. The slightest bait movements and subtle telltale flounder taps telegraph instantly up the line to the rodtip. Remember, when flounder fishing you must “feel” your bait to distinguish hits. Work leadhead flounder baits around docks, eddies and shoreline structure for best results.

Jighead baits do have some drawbacks. Perhaps the most disconcerting is a tendency for flounder to “taste” the lead and spit the hook before the set. This happens almost every time a flounder mouths a jig-fished bait for too long. They’re also tough to fish in strong current and depths over six feet. Once you need more than a 3/8-ounce jighead, it’s time to switch to a different rig.

Doormat chasin’, inlet fishermen normally employ standard, barrel sinker livebait rigs. This type of terminal tackle produces more fish in fast-water and deepwater situations in many Florida inlets and passes.

Flounder anglers are essentially inshore bottom bumpers. Often, inlet hotspots require from one to two ounces of lead to get baits down. This is where that old dependable standby–a standard fishfinder-style, livebait rig–outfishes everything else. Expert flatfish seekers bypass store-bought rigs, sporting needless hardware and steel leader. The best flounder rigs utilize mono leader and minimum paraphernalia. A more natural presentation is a must when targeting flounder weighing five pounds or more.

Do like the pros. Make your own fishfinder-style bottom rig. Start by threading an egg sinker onto the fishing line. Tie the line onto a sturdy barrel swivel. Size 7 barrels are a good choice. This size swivel is not overkill, yet it’s big enough not to slip through an egg sinker. Next, attach an 18-inch length of 20-pound leader to the swivel. Finish the rig with a livebait hook sized to fit your bait. Downsize your hooks for small baits; upsize for larger offerings. Use either a Palomar, improved clinch or Uni-knot for all connections on the fishfinder rig.

I’ve found this rig works in every type of flounder terrain provided it is not overweighted. When weighted correctly, the egg sinker and bait should roll along the bottom with the tide, maintaining steady contact with the bottom. A good rule of thumb is to use the lightest sinker necessary to reach the bottom.

While egg sinker rigs perform in most situations, it pays to vary the rig a bit in certain conditions. Bullet or worm sinkers provide a good alternative when using the fishfinder rig in shallow water or around rough terrain. Their streamlined shape allows you to snake the rig up, over and through scattered oyster clumps and shell bars.

Experiment with hook size and types. For smaller live baits such as shrimp and mud minnows, No. 4 or No. 6 Kahle hooks work great.

Remember that small hooks pack a big punch. Finger mullet require larger hooks. Offset bait hooks such as Diachi’s D87Z and Owner’s 5116 in sizes 2/0 and 3/0 are gaining popularity among the flounder league. VMC, Gamakatsu, Eagle Claw and Mustad manufacture similar models.

Expect to see more flounder fishermen switch to fluorocarbon leader. Most line companies now produce softer versions. They’re much easier to tie than the stiff varieties introduced several years ago. And the price keeps coming down, making it affordable for all anglers. Plus, there’s no denying the stealth factor offered by a nearly invisible fluorocarbon leader.


How To Tie The Bone-B-Que

How to tie bone-b-que cover image

The Bone-B-Que is the product of our own Biscayne Bay guide Capt. Dave Saddler’s ( time on the water studying the habits of the giant bonefish that rove through the Bay. The Bone-B-Que started out as a modified bonefish slider and has evolved into a proven pattern not only for bonefish, but also for redfish, baby tarpon, permit, snook, seatrout and pretty much any species that enjoys a nice shrimp once in a while. From the longer tail that flutters in the current to the orange thread around the weed guard, every aspect of the Bone-B-Que is designed to catch the eye and trigger the feeding instincts of big Biscayne bonefish.

The Bone-B-Que is typically tied with size 5/32″ I-Ballz eyes to get the fly down to deeper bones in 12″-3ft of water, however it can be tied with bead chain eyes for shallow water tailers.

Bone-B-Que Materials:

Bone-B-Que Step 1


To start, take your tan thread and start your wraps just behind the eye of the hook. Wrap back to the gap of the hook, stop when your thread is just about in-line with the barb, then wrap back towards the front of the hook. Place your I-Balz about 1/8″ behind the eye of the hook to leave enough space in front of the eyes to tie in your weed guard later. Tie in the eyes using figure-8 wraps then secure the eyes with about 10 parachute wraps between the eyes and shank of the hook. Let your thread hang behind the eyes.

Bone-B-Que Step 2


Prep your craft fur for the tail by creating 4 sparse bundles and merge them into 1 thick bundle. To do this stand the fur straight up and make one clean cut as close to the base of the fur as you can. Use your fingers to pull out the underfur from the bottom and the longest fibers from the top of the bundle. Lay the bundle on your tying table. Do this 3 times, stacking each bundle on top of the previous. If the butt section of the thick bundle you just made is uneven, cut it to give it a straight edge. Wrap your thread back to the bend of the hook. Place the bundle on top of the hook where the bottom end is somewhere near the middle of the hook shank. Make a few tight wraps forward to tie in the bundle. To avoid bulk, trim the fur that pushed up when you made your tight wraps. Then continue wrapping forward to completely cover the craft fur.

Bone-B-Que Step 3


Pinch the end of the tail and gently pull it tight. Then take an orange or yellow marker and make about six vertical bars on both sides of the tail.

Bone-B-Que Step 4


Take two strands of Krystal Flash and fold them in half. Hold the flash on top of the hook where the ends meet the ends of the craft fur. Make a couple wraps over the flash in the same spot you started tying in the craft fur. When you feel the flash is securely tied in, trim the excess flash in front of your wraps.

Bone-B-Que Step 5


To create the collar, tie in the tip of your rabbit strip in the same spot you started to tie in the craft fur. At this point it is a good idea to lock your thread with a couple of half hitches and advance the thread forward.

Bone-B-Que Step 6


Take the rabbit strip and palmer it one full rotation around the hook. Secure the collar by pulling back on the rabbit strip and make some tight wraps over the front of the collar. Trim the tag end of the rabbit strip as close to the shank of the hook as possible.

Bone-B-Que Step 7


Now take the crustaceous brush and pull back on the fibers so the wire is exposed. Tie in the wire in front of the collar. This is another good time to make a couple half hitches so the fly doesn’t come undone while palmering. Advance the thread so it’s hanging right behind the eyes.

Bone-B-Que Step 8


Palmer the crustaceous brush forward until the brush is right up against the back of the eyes. The key to a nice full body is to brush the fibers back as you go and to make your wraps as tight to each other as possible.

Tie in the tag end of the crustaceous brush as close to the back of the eyes as you can while trying your best to not catch any of the fibers from the body in your thread wraps. If you have a pair of hemostats or hackle pliers it helps to hang them from the tag end of the brush to keep tension while you tie it in.

Bone-B-Que Step 9


When the tag end of your brush is securely tied in, make a couple of anchor wraps around the eyes to hold the thread. Let the thread hang off the eyes and cut off the tag end of the brush as close to the hook shank as possible. It’s a good idea to use an old pair of scissors when cutting the wire of the brush. Next, use a bodkin to pick out the fibers of the body so they stick out naturally. Pull back on the fibers and make a couple of wraps with your thread behind the eyes and in front of the body. Whip finish and cut your thread behind the eyes.

Bone-B-Que Step 10


Break the good scissors back out because it’s time to trim the body. Capt. Saddler likes to use the eyes as his guide when trimming. Press the blade of the scissors tightly against the eyes and make straight cuts across the top and bottom of the body. You can do the same for the sides however, Capt. Saddler likes to use curved scissors and follow the curve of the eyes to give the sides a little rounder profile.

Be careful not to cut any of the rabbit collar when trimming the fibers.

Bone-B-Que Step 11


Using orange thread to tie in the weed guard is just something big oceanside bonefish seem to have taken a liking to. Grab your orange thread and tie it in directly in front of the eyes. If you have a rotary vise it helps to flip the fly upside down at this point.

Bone-B-Que Step 12


Take a piece of Mason mono about 2 1/2″ long, fold it in half and pinch it at the bend. Place the mono over the top of the hook so that the hook is in-between each prong of the weed guard. Make 8-10 wraps over the two prongs, behind the fold in the mono. Next pull both prongs towards the eye of the hook and make 8-10 wraps behind the prongs so they stand straight up.

Bone-B-Que Step 13


Finish your Bone-B-Que by whip finishing with your knots in front of the weed guard. You may notice vestigial fibers still hanging from the crustaceous brush. As long as they’re not suffocating the rabbit collar it’s ok to leave them as they’ll only add to the fly’s movement in the water.