I have never fished St. Augustine, but I called a charter guide about a year ago in that area and was advised that surf fishing produces pompano, whiting and bluefish consistently. He told me to get a sand flea rake and look in the surf for the sand fleas. He actually called them mole crabs. That said, many of the methods used to fish where you are remain the same on all of Florida's many beaches. We're surprised more of our readers aren't taking advantage of surf fishing. If you are one of them, we would appreciate comments.
Shrimp is the best bait for the whiting, and cut mullet for the bluefish. They use a fish finder rig, but instead of a egg sinker, they use a pyramid sinker which holds better in the surf. Use a wire leader for the bluefish. Spanish mackerel will also come through and the bluefish bait and rig works for them also. Once you hook a Spanish mackerel or a bluefish, put on a shiny spoon and retrieve it at a fast pace. The key to catching pompano off the beach is casting your sand flea in the trough.
In addition, he said the St. John's County Ocean Pier offers the opportunity to get shots at Tarpon and King Mackerel (from the pier). Pretty cool stuff. Last but not least he said, quite often a cobia or tarpon is caught in the surf. That has to be nerve racking. Use the longest rod possible in the medium power range and at 8 foot or more. Use 15-lb. braid and a long 15-lb. fluorocarbon leader. Minimum of 36 inches for the pompano. For the blues you have to bump up the leader or go to wire. I personally go to a long shank hook and stick with the fluorocarbon leader. The bite is much better that way and the cutoffs are few. Let us know how you do and take some pictures.
Captain David M. Rieumont
The Online Fisherman Inc.
Captain David M Rieumont
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