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Palm Coast Fishing Report

It is always a pleasure fishing with Don and who ever he brings along as a guest which was Buster. We had a great time fishing the creeks and flats of Palm Coast picking off some redfish at low tide pitching live shrimp and 1/0 Daiichi circle hooks into deep holes in the back of creeks. This is where the term “catching fish in a barrel” comes from as we had the fish penned up in a deep hole surrounded by shallow water.

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Palm Coast Fishing Report

Had the pleasure of taking repeat client Craig and his grandson RJ who wanted to catch a “Big Fish”. Our first spot produced the big fish on the first cast, a healthy 27 inch slot redfish that ate a live shrimp on a 1/0 Daiichi circle hook.

We continued working the oyster bar at low tide in this creek picking off some nice redfish for RJ. According to RJ we caught over 80 something fish but my count was more like RJ caught 14 redfish.

 

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Capt. Chris Herrera

www.PalmCoastFishing.com

386-503-6338

 

Palm Coast Inshore Fishing Report

You have good days, bad days and incredible days; this was an incredible day with Jim and Mike. I had a 3 boat charter lined up with 8 anglers who were all taking bets for biggest and most redfish. I knew our chances of winning were good but after the tally was complete it wasn’t even a competition. Before leaving the dock I told Jim and Mike that our chances of winning would be good if we gambled and go way up in a shallow creek where a school of redfish had been spotted days prior. The gamble was that the tide was going out and we were without a doubt going to  get stuck in the back of the creek with fish or without. Lucky for us we found a few fish that we pushed into a hole. We setup with live shrimp, Daiichi 1/o circle hook and bb split shot.

For the next 2 1/2 hours we caught redfish after redfish with the first fish being the biggest at 29 inches. After the smoked cleared we counted 48 keepers, 3 undersize and 1 oversize redfish. When the tide started to flood again we made our way out of the creek and headed back to collect our bet and brag a bit.

 

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Capt. Chris Herrera

www.PalmcoastFishing.com

386-437-2545

Palm Coast Inshore Report

Had a great time spending a few hours aboard Capt. Jim’s new boat this past Saturday as Jim, AJ and I participated in the Flagler County Sport Fishing club redfish/flounder tournament. As fishing guides we felt confident we could do some damage by covering as much active water as possible with artificial lures. We each picked a different lure and color and immediately went to work catching redfish on Slayere inc paddle tails, gulp jerk baits rigged weedless and a gulp jerk bait and 1/4 ounce Slayer inc jig head.

We each carried our own weight as Aj caught third place redfish, Jim took home the second place redfish and I was lucky enough to take home first place flounder.

Great day with great friends and good fishing to top it off!

my flounder

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Palm Coast Inshore Report

Creek bends, shallow flats, Inlets, docks and creek mouths, what do these areas have in common? Flounder, it’s that time of year when water temperatures (68 degrees) dictate flounder activity and the annual flounder run starts.

It’s fairly simple fishing as using a ¼ ounce Slayer Jig head with a finger mullet or mud minnow slowly dragged across the bottom. Other simple rigs consist of using split shots or an egg sinker (fish finder rig) and 14 inches of leader with a 3/0 Daiichi D16Z Octopus wide hook. For artificial applications any jig head and soft plastic combo (Z-man Paddle Tail) works well in deep water areas. Spoons, soft plastics and hard baits fished on shallow sandbars will produce flatties as well.

Flounder strikes or “thumps” as I like to call it are very distinct to other inshore game fish. When fishing for flounder patience pays a great part after feeling the “thump”. Flounder will grab a hold of your bait and sit on the bottom till bait stops moving around and that’s when the flounder will turn mullet or mud minnow around and swallow it head first which will initiate the second “thump”. Many “Old Salt” flounder anglers know the importance of feeling for flounder on the line by slowly lifting the rod tip to make sure the flounder is still attached to the line and then give some slack for about a minute before setting the hook.

Trout fisherman will get their limit and more using float rigs at Matanzas Inlet with shrimp being the top bait. The last 2 hours of outgoing tide and first of incoming is the locals preferred time to fish. Topwater plugs like a Spook Jr., Rapala or Mirrorlure can catch the biggest trout looking for a bite in the shallows or ICW drop offs at creek mouths. When the bite slows down on top switch gears to diving plugs like a Sebile Stick Shadd or curly tail grubs with a ¼ ounce Slayer jig.

Redfish will start to huddle in masses and seek the warmth of oyster beds during afternoon high tides.  Long casting spoons or jerkbaits will produce. For scattered redfish live or cut mullet on a fish finder rig tossed around points, creek mouths or oysters will do the trick. During low tides look for reds cruising shallow mud banks with their backs out of the water chasing small grass shrimp. Matching the hatch (live shrimp) or a FishBites shrimp on a weedless hook tossed in front of a belly crawling redfish will result in a catch.

 

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Capt. Chris Herrera

www.PalmCoastFishing.com

386-503-6338

 

Palm Coast / St. Augustine Flood tide report

tailing redfish

 

September brings cooler weather, the beginning of the mullet run        but most importantly those big tides that flood our spartina grass      flats. So what is so special about flooding the spartina grass you         ask? Simple, it gives us fisherman some unbelievable sight                   fishing for tailing redfish opportunities in north east Florida.

Flood tides occur during the months of August, September and          October with September being the peak month for tailing redfish        action. During these months the tides during new and full moons are much higher than the rest of the year by a foot or more which offer new feeding grounds for redfish and fishing grounds for anglers. Flood tide areas are mostly confined to the north east coast of Florida because of our extensive spartina grass flats.  The southernmost region for flood tide action starts at the Matanzas river in Crescent beach and goes for hundreds of miles north to the Carolinas with the primary spots in Florida being St. Augustine to Fernidina Beach.

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Flood tide fishing is all about picking the right days with the right tides by looking at your favorite tide charts,  whether it’s a tide app, tide book or online tide charts.  When looking at the monthly tide chart, look for the days that offer a tide height of 5.4 ft or better which will coincide with the new or full moon.  For fair weather days a 5.4ft tide height is a must but flood tides can occur during nor’easter storms that will push more water in than normal which create flood tide opportunities.

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Once you have your days picked out it’s time to get the proper gear and lures ready for some tailing action. When picking out lures you have to keep in mind that you will be fishing flooded grass which means weedless rigs are a must. That’s right, traditional topwater plugs, treble hooked plugs or exposed hooked lures are not going to work in this terrain. Instead go with a weed less rigged soft plastic lure that resemble what the redfish are gorging on and that would be any type of crab imitation soft plastic. You are not limited to just crabs as paddle tails and jerk baits have caught many fish in the past and will continue to do so in the future. I normally like to buy fresh water craw fish soft plastic lures that are dark in color matched with a 1/16th Slayer inc. XXX penetrator hooks with the point of the hook inserted back into the soft plastic for a weed less presentation.  When it comes to rod selection I prefer a 7’6” medium action rod which allows for long casting light lures matched with a 2500 series spinning reel lined with 10-15 lb braided line.  Flood tide is not just for lure anglers but this is some of the best fly fishing available to guys who like to throw feathers.  Crab patters with rattles or spoon flies are some of the most common flies tied to the end of one’s fly line.

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Now we are geared up to go catch some redfish but where do we go? This is where Google maps or any other mapping source you have come into play.  With today’s detailed topo maps you are able to see in great detail the short spartina grass fields used as feeding grounds by redfish. The spartina grass fields that are closer to a main creek that have several small feeder creaks leading in the grass typically hold more fish.

tailer 9-2-11  Approaching a grass field should be done as quietly and slowly as       possible so you do not spook the fish that are staged up and                 slurping in the feeder creeks while waiting for the grass to flood.         Approach the edge of a flat by poling or use of a trolling motor and     watch the grass start to flood waiting patiently for fish to start             crawling and tailing before poling or wading the flat.

Once redfish are spotted tailing, bail from your skiff or kayak and       approach with ninja like stealth and get ready to make the cast. Not   so fast though, it is all about timing when casting to tailing redfish.   The tail is used as a gauge as to which way the fish is facing but don’t cast yet as tailing redfish are much easier to catch when they level out and begin to swim before tailing again.  When you see the redfish tailing make sure to make a long leading cast as you do not want to spook him with the splash of the lure. After a long cast reel the lure with speed basically water skiing and don’t slow down until a couple of feet in front of the redfish. When the lure gets close stop reeling, let it sink and give it a little twitch when the redfish is a few inches away and get ready to set the hook when the line gets tight.

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There are several great free online sites that offer great tide info like NOAA   http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/http://www.tides4fishing.com/us/florida-east-coast/palm-valley,  (Tide Chart free) app for android phones and (Tide Graph) for I phones.  I personally prefer the Florida Sportsman tide book as it really gives you detail tide information for the whole year at a flip of a page.

Hooks can be purchased from www.Slayerinclures.com

Soft plastics can be purchased from http://zmanfishing.com/store/categories/elaztech

 

Palm Coast Fishing Report

It’s that time of year where the full moon brings the high water that floods our spartina grass flats and gets those redfish tailing. It all starts by checking your tide charts and when it reads a 5.4 or better get the rods, wading shoes and skiff ready to catch some tailers.  This is a North Florida fly fisherman’s dream as we do not often get sight fishing opportunities this time of year on fly for redfish. Crab patterns and shrimp patterns are the most used flies but bait fish patterns won’t be refused.

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Palm Coast Inshore Report

Fire works were not the only thing making loud booms this 4th of July in Palm Coast as redfish have been exploding on  topwater plugs at first light. For my clients who are to young or novice anglers we have been using cut blue crabs and finger mullet tossed around oyster bars waiting for a redfish to pick it up. Flounder have been making a good showing in numbers but lacking in size. Big mangrove snappers have showed up and eager to chew up a live mud minnow or small finger mullet.

 

 

 

 

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Palm Coast Fishing Report

Fishing for redfish has started to pick back up this past week with early morning starts for some topwater action. Fishing around the oyster beds with lures or cut bait has put several big fish in my clients hands and the dinner table. Here are just a few of our most recent catches.

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Palm Coast Fishing Report

Fishing in Palm Coast this week has been steady catching some nice upper slot redfish with artificial lures and live bait. Early mornings starts are a must to beat the heat and get on the action. Topwater plugs at first light have proven to bring some excitement to my anglers as redfish have been blasting the plugs. As the sun rises we would fish in deeper water getting black drum and flounder with a mix of other fish. Live shrimp bounced off the bottom is a great way to stretch a line especially with the kids.

 

 

Here are some of our recent catches.

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