We were recently featured in the July 2016 issue of First Coast Magazine. It's always rewarding to hear that our hard work has been recognized by others. However, this was especially flattering due to the fact that it is a local publication, within our community. July's issue featured locals who are doing great things within the fishing industry on the First Coast, for us to be not only considered, but chosen as one of their feature stories was a huge honor. Thanks to all, for your continued support! Read the full article on First Coast Magazine's website: http://firstcoastmagazine.com/news/jetty-walkers/
It's starting to get COLD out there, but the fishing is still on fire! In the surf, there have been good reports of Whiting and Pompano. The Whiting are abundant all over the beach. The Pompano have been running up and down the beach, and holding in a few areas that have clean water. I like to fish a mid in-coming tide where the beach has a good drop off. My bait of choice is fresh clam and dead shrimp.
The Seatrout bite has also turned on, just find some structure and throw around it as the sun is coming up, using a top water plug. When the bite turns off, change to a jig head with a grub on it to get on the bottom. Redfish have been holding around the jetties, piers and bridges. Using some fresh shrimp on a fish finder rig, you should have no problem getting hooked up. So until next time go out and have some fun, and always remember to keep your lines tight and your drag loose.
Here at Ol' Salty's Tackle we have been very busy developing a new product, that I have been conceptualizing for quite some time. Back in the day, surf fishing trips were a real chore, hauling endless amounts of gear to your destination, taking multiple trips and then packing it all up and doing it again. It was just a pain. Then along came the Beach Carts, and it was like a breath of fresh air, they just made the whole process more enjoyable. HOWEVER, you cannot drag a cart everywhere! I have spent years thinking....if only I had a way to carry all of this stuff on my back, then I could fish anywhere easily. We all know there is absolutely nothing more frustrating than carrying only what you can hold in your hands and pockets, then you trek all the way down a jetty, your out there fishing for 5 minutes, before you realize you need one tiny thing out of your tackle box that is a half mile jaunt down a slippery, jagged jetty!
So, all that said, I decided to go to work on a fishing rack that could be worn like a backpack. I wanted rod holders, space for a bucket and all my tackle, all while keeping weight and comfort in mind. Thus the Jetty Walker was born! It consists of a lightweight, yet ridged and durable aluminum frame, which folds for convenient storage. It has four aluminum rod holders, and a large space to haul whatever you need. I like to throw my gear in a 5 gallon bucket, so that is what I have been hauling on the rack. But the rack is ideally sized to fit a variety of fishing must haves, such as a tackle box, small cooler, cast net or anything else weighing up to 30 lbs....the possibilities are endless! The Jetty Walker has adjustable shoulder straps, and removable comfort cushions so it is comfortable on your back.
The Jetty Walker allows you to carry everything you need, to do whatever kind of fishing you wish, for the period of time you wish, as far away as you wish to walk, with no restrictions what so ever! Jetty Fishing, Pier or Beach, even wade fishing into the water! Although my reason for creating the Jetty Walker was to help me fish in more remote areas, as I have been developing it and taking it on multiple test runs, I have found that it's resourcefulness goes way beyond just fishing. Go to our Tackle Shop and order yours today!
Summer Flounder fishing in Florida is best from June through September, with the largest catches being made later in the season. After the Flounder have spent the Summer thriving on bait fish in the shallow coastal waters and estuaries. Adult Flounder migrate due to changes in water temperature. In the Winter and Spring, they’re found offshore. In the early Summer, they move inshore. Then in the Fall, they migrate back offshore to spawn. So, with the peak of Flounder season rapidly approaching, the Flounder bite is really picking up.
When scouting a Flounder fishing site, I like to choose an area with plenty of underwater structure. Generally, rock piles, such as jetties. As well as the pilings of bridges, docks and piers. I like to find rock piles or bridge pilings just off of a major, moving water source, where the Flounder can find refuge from the turbulent current. I find that the most productive areas are the back side of any type of structure, where it is most protected from oncoming currents. Water and weather conditions are generally not a factor, since Flounders are ambush predators, which sit and wait for food to come to them. They also, do not have an air bladder like other fish, which is why they are able to lay on the bottom so effortlessly for long periods of time. Once they find a spot to bed down on the bottom, they are not easily spooked. You could walk right by them and they will most likely stay put. Which is why they are such an ideal target for gigging.
When Flounder fishing on rocks, you’ll have the best luck at high tide. When the edges of the rock pile, where it meets the sand or oyster reef, are underwater. This is where the Flounder will lay in wait, for bait fish
to swim by. Classically a jig head is the rig of choice, and it will consistently produce good quality Flounder, time and time again. I use an Ol’ Salty No Name Jig, tipped with a live mud minnow. It will not get snagged on barnacles and in rock crevasses nearly as often as an old fashioned jig head. Which results in less time tying rigs, and more time fishing. I like to toss my bait to whatever area is the barest or sandiest and keep it as close to the rocks as possible. As you keep your jig just at the edge of the rocks, also keep constant contact with the bottom, while bumping your jig up and down at six inch intervals along the rocks edge.
With bridge and pier pilings you’ll want to use a Fishfinder rig, such as the Ol’ Salty Flattie Finder. I try to use as little weight as possible, and cover about a five foot radius around each piling. Cast your line in a grid pattern making sure you cover all of the bottom. With each cast, let your weight hit the bottom, wait 30 seconds and then bump it forward a couple feet. Repeat this pattern until you are out of your targeted fishing area, and then start again.
Remember, that the Flounder is not going to come to you, you literally have to drag your bait over the awaiting Flounder.
An alternate method, would be to float a mud minnow, live shrimp or live finger mullet just off the bottom as close to the rock pile as possible. Letting the current carry your bait parallel to the rocks. If your float stops moving, or lays sideways, chances are you have a Flounder on the line.
The #1 RULE of Flounder fishing is to be very patient once the Flounder has struck your bait. Flounder will take the bait, only partially, and then wait before swallowing the whole bait. Once you feel the first tap on your line, wait 30 seconds, then pull in your line only slightly, then wait another moment more before setting the hook. If you let Flounder Fever overcome you and set the hook right away, you will lose the Flounder
People have been asking Ol' Salty about how to clean Flounder, so in response we have put together a video. We think you will find that filleting a Flounder isn't nearly as formidable as it seems!
You know the old saying, A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of....Uhhh?....well anything really!
I went out Saturday evening with plans to do a little night fishing at the Amelia Island State Park, with the intentions of catching a big shark. The conditions on the ocean side of the park were choppy and the water was pretty murky, so I decided to fish the river side instead. The conditions on the river side were calm, but with a pretty strong current.
Just as night was falling the local giggers started making their passes, walking along the shore and were reporting decent luck, I spotted a few with a couple of average size Flounder. As I set up my gear I noticed the wind was continuing to strengthen out of the East. I set up two PENN 850 SSm Spinning Reels with 12 ft. Prevail PENN rods, rigged up with Ol’ Salty Shark Rig – Medium Jawz and fresh cut mullet. And two PENN 330 Bait Casting Reels with stout Shakespeare Ugly Stik rods and again used an Ol’ Salty Shark Rig – Medium Jawz and fresh cut mullet.
As soon as I got my poles in the water a large school of mullet came swimming by, and I grabbed my cast net and went to work. Mullet is one of my primary bait sources in the Northeast region and when the mullet run is in full swing from, Mid July to October, I catch as much as I can. I use the live ones right away to target Trout, Redfish and Flounder and the rest get bagged and frozen to later target Shark, Jacks and Blues. I usually freeze enough to last me the whole year, until the next annual mullet run. I have also found that once the mullet start running so do the large game fish that eat them, so to spot the beginning of the mullet run, is to say that the supreme summertime fishing has begun!
As the wind continued to pick up, I moved my position three times, moving further west down the river bank each time in an effort to seek refuge from the wind behind the tip of the island. I had yet to hook up on anything significant, only catching a few Sail Catfish and Rays thus far. Finally at about 10:00 pm, I had a strong hit on my 12’ pole, presumably a Shark. The Shark had two strong runs then pulled the hook. Then about an hour later another Shark hit, I set the hook and the fight was on. After only a few minutes the shark tail whipped my line and broke me off.
That was the only action I had the whole night, however it was not a complete wash. I essentially spent the entire night replenishing my bait surplus. I also pulled in a couple small stingrays, which will be put in the freezer as well because they make excellent shark bait.