Palm Coast Premier Inshore Fishing Guide
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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.

Palm Coast Fishing Quarantine Report

The snook have been chewing good lately with the water temps rising. Small creeks and canals have been loaded up with finger mullet, so if you find the bait you will find the snook. A 3”-4” paddle tail in lighter natural colors rigged on a 1/8oz or 3/16oz weedless rigging hook has been my go to for them lately. Making blind cast around fallen trees, snags, or logs can be an effective way to target snook as they are very structure oriented fish. Also when quietly making your way down a creek or canal always keep a look out along the edges for laid up fish, because snook like to be warm they will lay there sunning themselves.

On a strong out going tide, creek mouths are great place to target snook as lots of bait is being flushed out and snook will setup around structure waiting to ambush. Small suspending twitch baits can be very productive for this scenario as they will produce a reaction bite when snook are feeding a lot. And last but definitely not least a topwater plug is probably the most exciting way to catch a snook, early morning, late afternoon or overcast days are the best times to fish a topwater. 

The big blue fish have also made there way in town, exploding on big schools of mullet as they cruise around. Steel leader is almost a must have when fishing for these guys as there teeth are extremely sharp. Mullet rigged on a 4/0 live bait hook is a great choice when they are feeding on top, almost any artificial bait imitating a baitfish will produce bites from these hungry fish. Also the nearshore Spanish mackerel have showed up your going to want a light steel leader with them as well, a gold or silver spoon moving fast is my favorite presentation for Spanish mackerel.

Capt. Caleb Blackburn

Sheepshead are in!

Sheepshead fishing has been great over the past few weeks, these guys can be a lot of fun and when found in good numbers make for steady action. Lately I have been finding sheepshead around deeper structure rock piles, docks, bridges and even steep drop off’s around the ICW. The rig that I have found to be the most effective lately is a fish finder rig. Depending on how fast the tide is moving in the area that you are fishing will dictate what size weight you will need to fish, but I have found that a 1/2oz has been a good all around size. Putting to much weight will effect how you feel bites and can make them tricky to catch. I have found because of how small sheepshead’s mouths are and how they eat that a smaller strong hook like a size 1 works best.

Sheepshead head feed on mostly crustaceans such as small crabs, shrimp, barnacles, oysters etc. Fiddler crabs and mangrove crabs are great baits for sheepshead because they are hardy and stay on a hook well. Sheepshead can be a little tricky to hook sometimes, I have found that when I feel a bite that slowly lifting my rod until i feel the weight of the fish on my line before setting the hook is a good method for hooking them.

Capt. Caleb Blackburn

Palm Coast Fishing Spring Break Report

Break out you’re topwater plugs because it’s that time of year here in north east florida! Some of my favorite colors for topwater plugs to start with are bone color and lighter natural baitfish colors. The best time to fish a topwater is either very early morning at first light, or late afternoon when the sun is low, also cloudy overcast days can be a great time to fish them.

After the sun comes out and temps start rising it’s time to tie on a 3-4” paddle tail or a suspending bait.

The banks of the intracoastal have been a great place to target a wide variety of fish such as sea trout, flounder, blue fish, and some redfish.

Also we are starting to see some snook showing up around palm coast, docks, seawalls, and bridges can are all great places to target snook. As I talked about earlier a topwater plug can be a great way to feed snook and can also be one of the most exiting ways, paddle tails, jerk baits, live mullet, and also, live shrimp can be productive bites from snook. The sheepshead bite continues, fishing live shrimp or fiddler crabs hooked on a jig head with enough weight to hold bottom can produce bites from those finicky eaters.

Palm Coast / St. Augustine Fishing Guide and Charters

The best places to find sheepshead is around rock piles, bridge pilings , and docks. And let’s not forget about catching a sunrise or a sunset here in palm coast florida as this time of year has some of the best!

Palm Coast Fishing Report

Fishing has been anything but slow here in palm coast over the past few weeks. With a great variety of fish hiding in creek holes on the lower stages of the tide, this a great time to take advantage of what I like to call “fish in a barrel”. Free lining jumbo live shrimp, head hooked with a size one thin wire circle hook can produce strikes from trout and redfish.
After free lining some shrimp I like to tail hook live shrimp on a 1/4 oz jig head and see if any fish are hanging low in the holes, this is a great way to catch redfish flounder black drum and the occasional sheepshead.
Also colder temps mean clean water here in palm coast and with that being said open flats can be a great place to target schooling redfish. A three inch paddle tail rigged on a 1/8oz jig head is a great bait to target schooling reds with, also a live shrimp on a 1/4oz jig will work great. And for the fly anglers a olive colored shrimp pattern or natural baitfish patterns are sure to fool a hungry redfish.

Capt. Caleb Blackburn

Palm Coast Fishing Report

The weather is not the only thing hot this time of year as fishing has been hot as well.

The redfish bite has been good during outgoing and low tide as we have opportunity at “catching fish in a barrel” as they gather up in deep holes and wait out the tide. Redfish have also been schooling on the flats if the tide gets really low which makes easy pickings. During high water and low light conditions a topwater plug is my go too followed by soft plastic jerk baits after missed strikes or sun comes out.

The flounder bite has been steady for the last month with lots of fish from all different sizes. Best baits have been live small mullet or mudminnows on a 1/4 ounce jighead.

Palm Coast Fishing

This past week has been a solid week of catching either inshore or nearshore fish. Inshore fishing has been producing redfish and flounder with live bait or artificial lures. The nearshore bite has offered up plenty of spanish mackeral , bonita and kingfish. Trolling live bait or casting small spoons and soft plastics has put many fish in the boat.

Palm Coast Inshore Report

Fishing for redfish has been great last few days on the shallow flats and in deep water. Low tides and no wind had made finding schools of redfish easy by slowly covering water till you see the schools either feed or “push” water giving away their location. Easing up with live shrimp on a jig head or soft plastic lures has been our go to presentation that works well.

Fishing along the ICW has been tougher since you cannot sight fish but using todays technology it has been easy to find them with Humminbirds Helix 10 Si mega imaging. Check out the image below:

Palm Coast Inshore Report

With the holidays here it was time to get back to work and put my clients on some fish. We had some bad days in the beginning of the week due to high winds and dirty water making sight fishing almost impossible. Now that the wind has finally died we had many opportunities at catching shallow water redfish with live and artificial lures. Best live bait has been live mullet as the redfish are hammering schools of mullet. I like to rig my mullet with a Daiichi 3/0 circle hook behind the dorsal fin so it swims away from the skiff and closer to the surface of the water.

When it comes to artificial lures I always suggest “matching the hatch” so a paddle tail has been my go to lure rigged weedless. I like brands like Z-man or Slayer inc. lures rigged both with a 1/8th ounce jig head or a weighted weedless hook.

Last of the outgoing tide has been the best for me as we can see the redfish pushing wakes in less than a foot of water. A stealthy approach is a must and preferably by polling but a troll motor will work at low speeds.

Brian nailed them today with paddle tails.
Taylor tricked this fish with a Slayer inc. jerkbait.

Sully caught this one on live mullet