July 8, 2022
Coastal Angler Magazine Fishing Update For July 2022
The Clay County Department of Tourism is excited to begin a new partnership with Coastal Angler Magazine as they share monthly fishing updates for the waterways of Clay County.
Here’s a look at what’s biting this July in Clay County!
Wow, its hot and we are just getting started on the hot weather. This time of year, it is best to fish early in the morning and late in the day just before dark. Afternoon thunderstorms are becoming more common and that is a good thing. The lakes are a little cooler and healthier looking.
Bream will be bedding on Lake Santa Fe, Orange and Lochloosa, Sampson in Starke, Rodman Dam and some of the little lakes in the surrounding area. I would plan a trip just before the full moon in June if you want to be there when the fish are spawning. Worms on a cane pole and a split shot with no cork is my choice, but crickets will be productive also. Put your nose to work and find the bedding areas by smelling them. They smell like watermelon to me. When you find an area that smells like watermelon back off about 10 yards and start fishing and cover the area until you find the beds. When you hit right spot the action can be fast with what I call lap bream. Large bream. When you pull one in the boat, I put them between my legs to hold them so I can take the hook out. Be sure to wear long pants.
Bass fishing will be ok for the ones that get out early. Top water baits work well until the sun gets up then switch to plastic worms rigged with 1/8 oz bullet weight. My favorite is a 6 or 7 inch black or purple or June bug color. Live shiners fishing in the passes of the bigger lakes are bringing in decent catches of bass. Doctors Inlet around and under the docks with large live shrimp is fun. You never know if you will catch a red or black bass there.
Croaker and yellow mouth trout in the St. Johns River around mile marker 18 is a good starting point. Fresh dead shrimp on the bottom on the drop to the river channel just on the deeper side is best.
Cast netting shrimp should start picking up in July, but August will be better. It is a little too early to tell what kind of shrimp run we will have, but you can get your nets ready and game plan for what and how to bait them up. More on the shrimping next month.
Please support your local bait shops and mom and pop stores. Heck we are probably next-door neighbors and even remember your name.
Please help to conserve water. As more and more people are moving to Florida, water is becoming a precious commodity. The availability will only get worse….