We spent 15 minutes on the phone with pro-angler Justin Colton to discuss surf fishing and kayak fishing for Jack Crevalle off of Vero Beach, Florida with the Hogy Epoxy Jig Lures. Here's what we learned...
Angler: Justin Colton
Targeted Species: Jack Crevalle
Location: Vero Beach, Florida
Tides: When fishing from the beach, it helps to catch the tide either two hours before high tide or two hours after high tide. Through experience, Justin has found that this is when the bite is the best. Combining this with an early morning or later afternoon bite is ideal.
Approach: Whether from the kayak or from shore, Justin is always looking for birds. It’s mainly pelicans down in the Florida area that you want to be looking for. If Justin sees them diving and hitting the water, he often moves to that area on the beach.
When kayaking specifically, he often looks for bait balls. Some common baits in this area are “greenies,” sardines, threadfins and mullet when they are running. They are all very similar looking baitfish aside from the mullet which are silvery/gray. In the summer, they ball up and you can catch a mixture of kings, jacks and other species.
Rigging/Lure Selection: 4.5”, 2oz Epoxy Jig Lure
Why This Bait? Match the hatch! The slender profile and coloration is similar to common bait fish in the area that both kings and jacks can’t seem to stay away from!
Colors: Green or Olive (common bait fish), Silver (during the mullet run)
Retrieve: Cast out and retrieve as quickly as possible. No jigging or popping in between. Sometimes, Justin will wade out if the fish are over 85-yards offshore, throw the lure out as far as he can in hopes of landing just beyond the school and reel in as fast as he can. He used this technique for the Jack he caught from shore in the photo below and after two cranks, he was on.
Do not let the lure sink before retrieving. When you see them coming by, they will usually be in schools of 8 – 20 at one time and due to the excellent casting distance of the Epoxy Jig Lure, you can zip it out and reel it back quickly, normally hooking up on the way over the school. They move at a fast, slow jog pace and look like a dark shadow moving towards you.
Rod: Justin uses a custom rod but it's similar to St. Croix Mojo 8’ medium/fast action
Reel: ISLA 4000
Line: 15lb PowerPro braid
Leader: 40-50lb Ande Mono
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- Tags: Casting, Epoxy Jig Lures, Florida, Jack Crevalle, Kayak Fishing, Kingfish, Surf Casting