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Species

Like anywhere in the world, fish are dependent on water temperatures, salinity, pollution, tides, and availability of food sources. Amelia Island offers the following inshore species at different times of the year. (click on picture for detailed story)

 

Black Drum

Life Cycle: Black drum spawn near shore in the early spring.  Black drum may also be found offshore. Migration: Black drum move deep in winter and return to the shallows in early spring. Fishing Tips: Black Drum are bottom feeders and frequently are bycatch when fishing for redfish.  They feed on oysters, mussels, crabs and shrimp. For the larger fish …

Black Sea Bass

Life Cycle: Black Sea Bass mature at about 7.5″.  They are protogynous hermaphrodites meaning that they switch from female to male when they reach 9″ to 13″.  They spawn from midMay to the end of June.  Black Sea Bass are a member of the grouper family. Migration:  Mature fish move into 20 to 80 feet of …

Blacktip Shark

Migration: Blacktip prefer temperatures between 69° and 77°F.  Spawning takes place in bays and estuaries during summer months.  They migrate to southern Florida during the coldest months, smart fish.  The young stay in the estuaries where they were born until they are old enough to migrate with the adults.  They arrive in Amelia Island waters in early May …

Bluefish

Life Cycle:  They reproduce during spring and summer and can live up to 9 years. Migration: Young usually are inshore during spring and summer and move offshore to join adults during fall and winter.  Large numbers of bluefish migrate to southern Florida from the northern stocks during winter and leave again in the spring.  Amelia …

Bonnethead Shark

Life Cycle: Bonnetheads breed and give birth in November.  These sharks mature at about 3 feet in length and bear 6 to 12 young at one time. Migration: Bonnetheads prefer water temperatures over 70°.  They move south during the cold months. They are found around Amelia Island from May to September. Fishing Tips: Bonnethead sharks are an inshore …

Flounder

Life Cycle:  Nearly all flounders landed by anglers around Amelia Island are southern flounder or gulf flounder.  Gulf flounder are the only species to range along the entire Florida coast. Southern flounder are generally only found north of the Loxahatchee River in Juniper, FL. Southern flounder are found on silt and mud, and gulf flounder …

Ladyfish

Life Cycle:  Ladyfish are known to spawn offshore. Migration: None Fishing Tips: Ladyfish are found inshore in bays and estuaries.  They may occasionally enter freshwater.  Ladyfish frequent tidal pools and creeks and often form large schools and harasses bait at the surface.    Adults feed predominantly on fish and crustaceans.  They leap when hooked and are sometimes call …

Mangrove Snapper

Life Cycle: Small adults move to nearshore and offshore waters at approximately Age 3 – 4.  Smaller adults may remain in estuaries or move to nearshore habitats, but tend to remain in shallower water than more mature adults.  Spawning occurs from April to November with a peak during the summer months and is influenced by the lunar …

Pompano

Life Cycle: These fish spawn offshore between March and September.  Florida pompano feed on mollusks and crustaceans, especially sand fleas. Migration: Pompano are most comfortable in 78.8° F and will mirage deeper and or further south to find that temperature.  Around Amelia Island, this temperature is achieved by early summer. Fishing Tips: Use the lightest equipment that will …

Redfish

Redfish

Life Cycle Redfish are prodigious spawners that produce tens of millions of eggs. Spawning season is from about August through December, in passes, inlets and lagoon estuaries around the state. During spawning season, redfish use special muscles rubbing against their air bladder to produce a “drumming” sound for which they are named. Migration Juvenile redfish …

Sheepshead

Life Cycle: Sheepshead spawn offshore in the spring and return to nearshore and estuarine waters. Juvenile sheepshead are most abundant in grass flats and over muddy bottoms. As they grow, they begin to leave the grass flats and congregate with adults around jetties, breakwaters, piers and wrecks. Migration: None Fishing Tips: Fish very close or around piling or …

Spotted Seatrout

Life Cycle: Spawning occurs inshore from March through November. Migration: Spotted seatrout move into deeper still waters during colder months.  They spend their lives within a mile or two of home.

Tarpon

Life Cycle: Tarpon spawn offshore in warm waters.  They reach sexual maturity between 30 and 50 inches. Migration: Tarpon prefer water in the 75° to 85° F range.  Amelia Island waters provide ideal temperatures conditions from mid-May to mid-October on average. Fishing Tips: Live shrimp,  pinfish or whole mullet make good baits, but plastics and …

Weakfish

Life Cycle:  The fish mature at age 1 or 2 and spawn during the spring and summer in nearshore and estuarine waters. Juveniles move from waters of high salinity to waters of lower salinity throughout the summer. Weakfish live as long as 17 years. Migration: They leave the estuaries by winter for deeper water.Fishing Tips: Anglers catch …

Whiting

  Life Cycle: Southern kingfish reach sexual maturity by one year. At that age, the males are approximately 5.3 inches long, while females are substantially larger, at a length of about 7.5 inches. Spawning takes place from April to October. Migration: Seasonal.  Deeper water in the winter and surf zones in the summer.