Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools of Pogy Still Cruising Offshore

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Schools of Pogy Still Cruising Offshore

Article excerpt

Byline: Capt. Jim Johnson

As I wrote last week, we are well into our summer weather pattern, which comes with heat. The only thing missing right now is rain, we need rain. The lack of rain is affecting the salinity of our local waters.

Massive schools of menhaden, also known as pogy, are still cruising our area along the beaches roughly five to six miles offshore. Sharks, bull reds, tarpon, kingfish, Spanish mackeral, cobia and jack crevelle are feeding on these large groups of fish. Not only are the pogies here in great numbers, but the mullet and glass minnows are here too. If you like to smoke mullet, anglers at Fort Clinch have been reporting huge schools of big smoker mullet.

Fishing around the local shrimp boats by catch will give you plenty of action from sharks, tarpon, cobia and jack crevelle. While fishing in the north or south jetties of the St. Marys sound, I personally witnessed tarpon, sharks, jack crevelle and blues feeding on the schools of mullet cruising along either side of the jetty. Fishing on the bottom in the deep holes along the jetty will give you tarpon, sharks, whiting, bull reds and the occasional cobia. Cut bait or fresh shrimp is my choice for bait. A live mud minnow or finger mullet along either side of the jetty will give you a tasty flounder for your supper table.

Lure anglers are also having good success from slot reds on either side of the jetty on the outgoing and incoming tides. A 1/4 ounce jig rigged with a Berkley Gulp shrimp, Bass Assassin seashad or Blurp will give you plenty of action from trout or redfish at this spot.

The backcountry anglers are also having excellent catches this week with trout, redfish and flounder. Due to rising water temperatures and high daytime heat, I suggest planning your trip early in the morning. As usual, floating a live shrimp or fishing a live mullet or mud minnow on the bottom will give you plenty of success around the oyster bars, and grass lines. The topwater plug action is on fire still, using Rapala skitter walks, skitter pops, Storms chug bugs, Mirrorlure Top Dogs and the Sebile stick shad. The Sebile is also making a suspending stick shad which is producing plenty of action after the topwater turns off. …

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