XRAPS N FISH YAPS - Still wearin out the Trout and Reds

Been hammering the Trout in a big way the past month and let me tell you, there is no sign that the bite is slowing. Limits in minutes! Every single day! It's been crazy. We're not talking about schoolie Trout around 15 inches, I'm talkin Gators. Fish averaging 18-20 inches. 24-27 inchers are being caught every trip out. It's nothing to achieve a limit of solid keepers in about 30 minutes right now.

The hardest part is finding them. Focus on the river, not the creeks, but river shoulders. Find spots with current breaks, bottom contours, and sharp drop offs. Bottom type is definitely a factor. Gravel, shell and rocky bottoms are all good signs to look for. I don't do well in areas with sand or mud bottom. Dinks maybe but not the slobs. You can do very well around commercial and residential docks up and down the St. Johns. Structure is the name of the game. Areas with intense current are also key. Find a spot with fast moving current and structure creating an eddy, and you can just about guarantee there's a Snaggle Tooth in there. Trout are an ambush predator. They tend to sit in holes on the bottom or in eddy's on the edge of fast moving water. They're eyes sit high up on their heads for that very reason.

Once you locate a productive hole, getting them to bite is about as easy as riding a bike. All you need is a couple artificial baits that cater to the right situations. A soft plastic search bait, in my case, Slayer, SSB Stick Baits are deadly. A diving twitch bait(floating) is crucial when dealing with a snaggy bottom. When worked correctly, the bait will go near the bottom but without making contact with it. Excellent way to get those big Gators in areas with unforgiving snags. In my experience, those are the places that produce the best fishing for Trout. I have a box full of plugs that are designed to run at specific depths. 3 inch Rapala XRaps run 2-4 feet, 4 inch XRaps run 4-6 feet. From there, you have your Crank Baits. I don't use them enough and will most definitely start after watching my buddy Jordan whackin the fish with them this week.

The Reds are biting good in the Inlet as usual. Mostly big ones between 30-40+ inches. The Drum are still out there but the bite is hit or miss. When they are around, focus on the tip of the North Jetty. They don't tend to hang around the South row.

Just a heads up, some of you know about the Bill Dance shows I was fortunate enough to film. The first of the 2 will be airing this week on the Sportsman Channel. The second episode will air the following week. Both episodes will air on 3 different days each week. Between the 3 different days and times, you can probably squeeze one in. Sorry for not being more specific. I haven't had the chance to pull up the actual schedule. Bill Will be coming back down to film again in June, should be a blast.


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