Tom Van Horn, St Johns River

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Early January St Johns River Fishing Report, January 7, 2017

POSTED ON JANUARY 8, 2017 IN FISHING REPORTS

Paytons Respectable St Johns River Crappie

Early January St Johns River Fishing Report, January 7, 2017

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Although the weather the past week was as good as it gets in Central Florida I only had the opportunity to fish on two occasions, both of which were on the St Johns River near Orlando Florida.  Fishing on the St Johns River last week was also very good with a mixed bag of assorted panfish, crappie and largemouth bass.  Water levels on the river have been dropping out at a rate of 4 to 6 inches a week producing very shallow conditions and very little current, but the two inches of rainfall received in Central Florida on Friday and Saturday have increased water levels,  current (total volume) and dropped water temperatures by 12 degrees.  Both water volume and levels should continue to increase over the next week as runoff from the Orlando and Melbourne areas works its way downstream.  You can monitor these changes on line by visiting USGA Water Gauges in both Geneva and Christmas:

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/uv?site_no=02234000 

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=02232500

My week started out on Saturday December 31st with a charter on the St Johns River with three fine young anglers, Fin, Payton and Skyler.  Although both Fin and Payton were only 6 and 7 years old, both were excellent anglers for their age and both were a pleasure to fish with.  The river has been loaded with bait and busting fish, so we took advantage of this by targeting areas where crappie and bass were striking the surface managing a number of very respectable crappie and catfish which were slated to make a fine meal on my crews return home.

Fin, Payton and Skyler share a St Johns River moment together.

My next trip was again to the St Johns River on a mission to find American shad with my good friend, veteran Florida fishing guide and outdoor author Captain John Kumiski.  Immediately after launching the boat we spotted a shoreline lined with egrets bitterns and herons working bait, and once we arrived on site, busting bass and crappie.  Within minutes of launching both John and I were catching fish on ultralight tackle casting tandem crappie jigs and shad darts.  Although we continued to catch fish our mission was to find American shad, so we moved on.  For the remainder of the morning we moved around checking different locations and catching crappie and bass, but didn’t find any shad until the very end of the trip where I miss two nice shad that came unbuttoned at the boat.  Since this trip I have been receiving many reports of shad catches and when combined with colder water temperatures, increased water volume (current), and approaching full moon, I’m dreaming about my return to the river next week.

As always, if you need information, have questions or would like to book a charter, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom van Horn

407-416-1187

mosquitocoast@cfl.rr.com