Palm Coast Premier Inshore Fishing Guide
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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.

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!