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April Fishing Forecast

First light, outgoing tide and add schools of mullet, this formula makes for a successful morning outing for trout. Tie on your favorite topwater plug and get to casting, gator trout will be lurking around the bait pods along the ICW.. Working topwater and sinking plugs like a Sebile stick shad parallel to drop offs and around creek mouths will guarantee success! Don’t overlook deeper creek holes as “Gator Trout” can be taking residence.

 Redfish will also be patrolling the shell banks of the ICW working the bait pods during low tides. Shallow flats that are holding mullet will have redfish shadowing mullet pods looking to eat all the shrimp and crabs the mullet kick up. A Fish Bites Extreme watermelon red flake color jerkbait on a Slayer 4/0 Penetrator 3/16oz. hook is great search bait for flats fishing. Oyster bed hopping and casting to spartina grass edges will also produce strikes as long as the mullet are around. If redfish are busting mullet switch to mullet imitators like my new favorite lure the Sebile stick shad in hollow mullet. Live bait fisherman should soak live mullet or shrimp around oyster bars on high tide using Daiichi 1/0-3/0 circle hooks.

 Flounder should be chewing steady in the flats, creeks and inlet on outgoing tide being my favorite. Live finger mullet with a 000 split shot or using a Fish Bite Extreme Paddle and Slayer inc. jighead slowly bounced across the bottom will produce flatties. Jig fisherman will target deeper drop offs with mud minnows or finger mullet. Doormats around the inlets will fall for 5-7 inch mullet on a fish finder rig. I prefer to use Daiichi D18Z J-hooks as I miss a lot of flounder on circle hooks.

 Big Blue fish should continue to chew around Matanzas Inlet, they will bite just about any lure that resembles a mullet, first light is best for numbers. Ladyfish will be stacking up outgoing tides busting baitfish in the bigger creeks that will keep the kids occupied. Light jigs and paddle tails or live shrimp will get slammed by lady fish on every cast once you find them.

Speckled trout are lurking around mullet schools

March Fishing Forecast For Palm Coast

Spring is around the corner and should bring the mullet out of their winter hiding holes. Redfish will start to scatter on the flats and will be hanging around the pods of mullet eating whatever gets kicked up. Look along Spartina grass edges, oyster patches during high tides and ICW and creeks for low tides. 1/8 ounce jigs with a paddle tail, Rapala skitter walk topwater plugs and hard plastic mullet imitators are proven lures that work for reds in March. Live mullet, cut mullet, shrimp and popping cork combo or a mud minnow on a jig head will produce Redfish for the live bait fisherman especially during low tides in deeper creeks around oyster bars. 
Trout will be devouring top water plugs with the fish attracting sound of “Click Clack”  at first light along ICW, creek mouths and docks on outgoing tides. Throw that plug far up creek in shallow water and “walk the dog” into nearby drop-offs where trout tend to hang out. When the sun gets high over head whip out that jig and soft plastic combo or diving plugs for subsurface trout. For Live bait fisherman I like to freeline a live shrimp on low incoming tides around creek holes with a 1/0 circle hook rigged through the shrimps horn.
Bluefish will be around Matanzas Inlet mixed in with the trout at first light filling their bellies with soft plastic jerkbaits on ¼ oz jig heads. Cast along the rocks and let it drift down current and be ready for the thump. Later in the day Bluefish will feast on a live mullet on the bottom using a fish finder rig. 
Look for Flounder at the inlets during change of tides using a fish finder rig and live mullet. Creek holes during low tides will hold Flounder as well and my favorite rig is a live mud minnow and  1/4oz  jig head. Keep your bait pegged to the bottom and retrieve it as slow as possible. If you think you’re going slow enough, stop and retrieve even slower till you feel that thump.

January Fishing Forecast

Happy New Year to all!  January brings great sight fishing opportunities for redfish on our shallow flats. Slow poling or using your trolling motor with the sun to your back will get you close to single redfish or schools. Many different ways to catch redfish in the shallows, I prefer fly or artificial lures but bait works as well.
Sheepshead can also be seen hanging over oyster beds but they are tough to trick into eating when that shallow. Best bet is to fish the area bridges and docks with fiddler crabs. 
Weak fish and trout start to gather up in schools but unlike redfish prefer a little deeper water than redfish. Free lining live shrimp is the easiest and sure fire way to catch them unless you prefer lures. My top picks for lures is a topwater plug, jig head and soft plastic or a hard plastic lipped diving plug
Creek hole fishing is a safe bet on catching during low tides for species like black drum reds, trout and flounder. The trick is to cover the hole from top to bottom with live shrimp.

Now Booking Flood Tides!

Flood tide? What is it and what’s the big deal? Well it’s probably one of the most sought after tides a shallow water angler will target redfish this time of year. Nothing is more exciting to a shallow water anglers than sight fishing “backing redfish” or “tailing redfish!”

Tailing redfish looking for crabs or snails.
marsh crab seeking refuge on a grass stalk

During late summer and early fall the full moons and new moons bring in extra higher tides that flood spartina grass flats that are usually dry or have minimal water. The average depth of water we fish is no more than knee high with shin high being best. That opens up opportunities to be poled by one of our experience guides or you can get out and wade firm bottom.

Flooded pools ready to fish
wading is popular way to fish when you have multiple shots or angler

There are two main ways we target flood tide redfish, on fly or spin with soft plastics. Our preferred way is to fly fish for them and really gives our fly anglers some of the best sight fishing opportunities. For our non fly casters we have just as much fun poling you in range to pick off these redfish with soft plastic lures.

Capt Cullen Traverso is one of our top shallow water fly guides who specializes in flood tides is seen here releasing a redfish caught on fly.

photo by Capt. Cullen
photo by Capt. Cullen
Photo by Capt. Cullen

Dates are limited so be sure to book soon!

Capt. Chris Herrera

386-503-6338

Palm Coast Inshore Report

Even though it’s August and already hot in Florida it’s going to keep getting hotter with the fishing. This time of year red fishing really starts to get “hot” as bull redfish are gathering at area inlets getting ready to spawn. Best tides are last hour of outgoing through slack. Live bait such as mullet and blue crabs are commonly used on fish finder rigs.

Night time fishing has been great as well if you prefer to fish when its a bit cooler out. We have been catching snook, tarpon, black drum, redfish and trout. Every species is caught with different rigs but all in the same general areas. Live shrimp typically is the catch all bait we use for all species mentioned but rigged according to species. I like to free line shrimp for fish that are suspended just below the surface and will use a jig head for fish on laying on the bottom.

August Fishing Forecast

August is a great month to hit the beach and target the usual suspect’s tarpon, kingfish,sharks and jacks. Look for shrimp boats to dump their by catch and get ready to hook into various species of sharks using 7/0 Daiichi circle hooks and a minimum of 80lb. test leaders. Once the sharks get their fill look for the tarpon to move in to finish off what the sharks didn’t. A tarpon’s favorite meal seems to be the trout dumped by the shrimp boats, float one in the mix of chum and hold on. Best set up for tarpon is a 6/0 live bait hook with 80-100lb. 6ft. leader. 


Look for Schools of jacks pushing water on calm days in 30-55ft. of water, a well place fly or live bait is a sure hook up as jacks are ferocious eaters. Make sure you don’t use inshore tackle because these are not your typical inshore jacks. Ocean running jacks push weights up to 40lbs. so gear up properly or be prepared to get spooled. Inshore Jacks can be found cruising the ICW at first light heading north busting bait. These fish move at a fast paste so keep that motor running and keep up. 


The inshore bite continues at first light tossing your favorite topwater lure along grass banks at high tide or along sandbar edges at low tide. During low tides look for schools of reds to gather in the deepest parts of the flat possibly mixed in with the mullet, a live mud minnow on a Daiichi 2/0 circle hook and bb split shot will get the job done. Live bait fisherman can also target redfish around oyster beds and grass edges using a live shrimp and popping cork to get their attention.


ICW banks are holding some nice trout when the current is moving and bait is present. Free lining a live shrimp is hard to beat but for the artificial fisherman a Z-man Paddle Tail and Slayer 1/8 ounce jig head jigged off the bottom will put specks in the boat. 

Palm Coast Fishing Forecast

August is a great month to hit the beach and target the usual suspect’s tarpon, kingfish,sharks and jacks. Look for shrimp boats to dump their by catch and get ready to hook into various species of sharks using 7/0 Daiichi circle hooks and a minimum of 80lb. test leaders. Once the sharks get their fill look for the tarpon to move in to finish off what the sharks didn’t. A tarpon’s favorite meal seems to be the trout dumped by the shrimp boats, float one in the mix of chum and hold on. Best set up for tarpon is a 6/0 live bait hook with 80-100lb. 6ft. leader. 

Look for Schools of jacks pushing water on calm days in 30-55ft. of water, a well place fly or live bait is a sure hook up as jacks are ferocious eaters. Make sure you don’t use inshore tackle because these are not your typical inshore jacks. Ocean running jacks push weights up to 40lbs. so gear up properly or be prepared to get spooled. Inshore Jacks can be found cruising the ICW at first light heading north busting bait. These fish move at a fast paste so keep that motor running and keep up. 

The inshore bite continues at first light tossing your favorite topwater lure along grass banks at high tide or along sandbar edges at low tide. During low tides look for schools of reds to gather in the deepest parts of the flat possibly mixed in with the mullet, a live mud minnow on a Daiichi 2/0 circle hook and bb split shot will get the job done. Live bait fisherman can also target redfish around oyster beds and grass edges using a live shrimp and popping cork to get their attention.

ICW banks are holding some nice trout when the current is moving and bait is present. Free lining a live shrimp is hard to beat but for the artificial fisherman a Z-man Paddle Tail and Slayer 1/8 ounce jig head jigged off the bottom will put specks in the boat. 

Summer is here, and that means some exiting things are happening in palm coast that you don’t want to miss. It’s shrimping season, and you might ask what does that have to do with fishing? Well these shrimp boats fish all night long then in the morning have full nets of not only shrimp but lots of small baitfish that we call “by catch”. Once sorted through all of the by catch is dumped back into the water behind the boat and that’s when all the fish begin to feed in one giant frenzy!

With this being said it’s a great time of year to target species like tarpon, multiple species of sharks, and big powerful jack crevalle. 

A fun sized tarpon of about 65lbs.

The flounder bite has been on here in palm coast also. A low out going tide is my favorite time to target flounder in creek holes. The low out going water usually pushes them into the holes where it makes it  easiest to target them. A shrimp, mud minnow or an artificial paddle tail or shrimp on a jig head is my favorite way to target them. Patients is key with flounder though working it very slow on the bottom waiting for that thump to happen. Then when you do get a bite don’t be to quick to set the hook or you could pull the bait away.

Last but definitely not least, the summer month mean some very big tides “flood tides” to be exact. That means flooded grass and happy tailing redfish. So if you are a fly fishing or light tackle enthusiast this is your time to try your hand at some flood tide tailers. Creeping and tailing through the grass these hungry redfish search these flooded spartina grass flats for small crabs to feed on. Having a shallow water technical poling skiff like the hells bay professional is key to poling into range of these reds. 

Palm Coast Inshore Fishing Report

It’s that time of year again the tides are low, shrimp and baitfish are coming into the intracoastal and flats. The redfish, snook and trout are hungry! This time of year the redfish seem to go shallower than any other time of the year, so for us fly and light tackle fisherman it’s the most exiting time of year. On a negative low tide the fish will go so shallow, they will be backing or crawling looking for small crabs, shrimp, and baitfish along the bank. This is the perfect opportunity for throwing small flys or small artificial lures for a super exiting take. 

Poling in only a few inches of water you have to be very quite, because crawling redfish or snook can be on edge and are very aware of they’re surroundings, and the hells bay professional is the perfect tool for the job. For the fly fisherman shrimp or crab flys tied on a size 4-2 with lightly weighted bead chain or lead eyes. This time of year my favorite colors are tan and black and purple. A 6-8 weight fly rod with 15-20lb tippet and an accurate cast will do the trick.

 Now for the light tackle people, a small light weight shrimp lure or a small paddle tail hooked on a 1/8oz jig head or rigging hooked is the go to. A 7’4” medium, fast action spinning rod with a 3000 size reel 10lb braided line and a 15-20lb fluorocarbon leader is my setup of choice. The snook and trout will wander up on the flats occasionally giving you a shot, but for the most part stay in a little bit deeper water. So throwing weighted clousers or baitfish patterns and for spinning gear a 3” paddle tail rigged on a 3/16-1/4oz jig heads can be an effective way to target them.

Capt. Caleb Blackburn

Florida Insider Fishing Report

Forward to the 7 minute mark to hear the North East Florida region report.