Redfish are still in the rivers. Fish on the bottom with cut bait in deep sections of the Cumberland Sound, the Nassau River, or the St Johns River. Use cut mullet, ladyfish, or menhaden. Another good technique is to bounce a ½ ounce jig with a Burkley Gulp New Penny 3-inch shrimp in the deepest waters. It is recommended to use a descent tool to return redfish since there is a risk that the fish’s air bladder may be inflated. It is important that the breading stock remain as healthy as possible.
Redfish may also be found in the back bays during high tide or at the mouth of these bays during falling tide. Keep moving until you find the fish. A live shrimp or Burkley Glup Swimming Mullet under a float will attract redfish or trout in these areas.
Trout are staging for their winter pattern. They can be found around the entrance to river mouths and jetties. A large creek may hold hundreds of trout waiting to move into the warmer backwater of the creek. A ¼ ounce jig head with a FishBites Fight Club 4″ paddle tail or a Gulp Swimming Mullet fished along the bottom will fill your livewell. Catches of 30-50 fish in a few hours are possible. If you don’t get bites after a reasonable time in one spot move as trout are schooling.
Black drum are plentiful in the deep waters of the rivers around the Jacksonville area. Fish a ¼ of a fresh crab dead on the bottom during the tide change when the current is slow. You can find black drum in deep channels or around bridge abutments in November. You may also catch a large redfish with this method.
Sheepshead will be moving back inshore this month. Look for clear water around rocks, docks, and bridge pilings. Small shrimp and fiddler crab are the best baits for sheepshead.
Striped bass can be found in the upper reaches of tidal creeks and the St. Mary’s and St Johns Rivers. They like brackish water. Look for some of the best striped bass fishing here to come under and close to the I-95 Bridge on the St Marys River or inland of Jacksonville in the St Johns River.
The best lures for stripers are lures like the Daiwa SP Minnow or any other slow sinking minnow lure. A ½ ounce white spinner bait with a silver #5 willow leaf blade is also a productive bait. Slow jig any lure raising it a few feet off the bottom and then let it drop back to the bottom. Live shad fished on the bottom is also an excellent method.
Don’t forget that the flounder season is closed from October 15th to November 30th.