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GROCERIES - Inlet mixed bag and then some

The Spring weather pattern is steady progressing and the fishing in the Inlet is getting better by the day. Devil Rays and Cow Nose Rays are all over the place, Spanish are busting Glass Minnows, Pogey pods are rolling in(Albeit scattered), Pompano are crossing the Inlet, Black Tips are already here and Mullet are everywhere. Things are heating up quick!

A lot of Sheepshead were caught in the Inlet this week. Everyone I know wore em out. It was tough watching from the Drum hole, let me tell yah.... Clients have been booking charters to check off the giant Slimeball from the ole bucket list and I'm in for the ride. I did get a few opportunities to target keeper fish this week.

We've been working the big rocks with live Shrimp on a jig head the past 2 days. This method of fishing is both very simple to do and a good way to pick up a variety of species. Rather than limit yourself by throwing Fiddlers on a jig and catching primarily Sheepshead, you can switch it up and work a live Shrimp. You never know what you'll pull out of those rocks doing this. I've been surprised time and time again by all sorts of unexpected fish species going this route. Snook, Groupers, Pompano and snappers just to name a few. You catch a lot of Red Fish, Sheepshead, Black Drum and Trout primarily.

The technique is simple. Just cast the jig up against the jetty and allow the jig to sink. Next, you work the jig back towards the boat. When you do this, keep your rod tip up. The higher the angle, the less you'll snag. Don't work the Shrimp on a long cast. You'll want to be fairly close to the rocks. Doing so will reduce how often you end up snagged in the bottom. Once again, the higher angle of retrieve reduces hang ups.

There are other smaller details to consider that will greatly cut back on aggravation with snags. Rather than using a leader material that is heavier than your main line, use a leader that is slightly lighter. In my case, I run 15 pound Spider, Ultracast and 12 pound Ande mono as a leader. This may seem pointless to you but I assure you, it's not. What's worse, tying on a new leader and jig head every time you break off or only having to tie on a jig head? with a leader that is lighter than the main line, once you apply pressure to break the line, 9 times out of 10 the line will break right at the jig allowing for a much faster re-rig. When the fish are chewing, you need to have bait in the water. The bite can turn off quickly and you want to maximize your time fishing by cutting back on time retying. Work the fish on a lighter drag and you'll be fine.

The last point I'll share with you is how I hook my Shrimp. There are ways to rig a Shrimp so that it's weedless. Once again, cutting back on down time. By running the point of your jig/hook down through the top of the Shrimps tail, and then burying the point back into the belly of the Shrimp, you're able to fully conceal the hook making the rig weedless. The diagram below is shown with a hook rather than a jig but you can rig this way with both.

Catch em up fellas!

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