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Ok so I am wanting to take a fishing trip to St. Marks. I live about 2hrs away so i figured i would get away from my home waters in Panama City Beach as it is starting to get a little crowded and try somewhere new.
I am seeking advice on navigating these waters. I hear there are lots of rocks and oyster beds. I am thinking i should take my aluminum jon boat the first time so i can get familiar with the obstacles that lay beneath the surface. Also where would be the best launch? I primarily like to fish skinny for redfish. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks you.
 

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To the east of St Marks is the rocky bottoms, to the west is sandy as a general rule. Better red fishing will be to the east along the bars,rocks and grass shorelines. Go slow and sacrifice your aluminum prop, SS props will kill your lower unit in this area. Great fishing at this time of year but the bottom can be brutal if you don't know where you are going.
 

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To the east of St Marks is the rocky bottoms, to the west is sandy as a general rule. Better red fishing will be to the east along the bars,rocks and grass shorelines. Go slow and sacrifice your aluminum prop, SS props will kill your lower unit in this area. Great fishing at this time of year but the bottom can be brutal if you don't know where you are going.
Bobber is right, and the rocks that start east of St. Marks dot the water all the way to the Aucilla River. Fishing can be great around and between them. We did it Saturday morning on a low tide, then moved to an interior bay and fished the shorelines at high tide.
 

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If you get on bigbendfishing.net, guys usually post fishing reports of what boats are doing well on what tides and temperatures. They should be moving out onto the flats at this point, I haven’t been fishing in a coon’s age unfortunately, so I don’t have much specific info.
 

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The best place to put in would be the lighthouse ramp in the refuge. You can put in at the "fort" in the town of SM but would require a 5 mile run to get out to the gulf. Regarding the rocks, they are east of the lighthouse and pretty much start due south of Stony Bayou. That area south of it is called the "Rock Garden". The water has been clearing up the last couple weeks so if the sun is out and not too much ripple on the water sight fishing should be good. I mainly fish the creeks in this area and the best time to do so is during a low tide. The last couple hours of a falling tide or first couple hours of a rising tide my advise would be to focus on "choke points" in the creeks. Once the tide rises the reds scatter throughout the marsh and along the shoreline. good luck and let us know how you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bobber is right, and the rocks that start east of St. Marks dot the water all the way to the Aucilla River. Fishing can be great around and between them. We did it Saturday morning on a low tide, then moved to an interior bay and fished the shorelines at high tide.
So are there any rocks in the interior bays?
 

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The best place to put in would be the lighthouse ramp in the refuge. You can put in at the "fort" in the town of SM but would require a 5 mile run to get out to the gulf. Regarding the rocks, they are east of the lighthouse and pretty much start due south of Stony Bayou. That area south of it is called the "Rock Garden". The water has been clearing up the last couple weeks so if the sun is out and not too much ripple on the water sight fishing should be good. I mainly fish the creeks in this area and the best time to do so is during a low tide. The last couple hours of a falling tide or first couple hours of a rising tide my advise would be to focus on "choke points" in the creeks. Once the tide rises the reds scatter throughout the marsh and along the shoreline. good luck and let us know how you do.
Yeah thats where i would want to fish. In the creeks and marsh. Do you have to navigate the limestone rocks to get into the creeks and marshes? The lime stone is my primary concern.
Thanks for the info.
 

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So are there any rocks in the interior bays?
Here and there, but they tend to be oyster bars vs the limestone formations east of St. Marks. I posted a couple pictures of the latter on the What'd You Catch post yesterday. I'd be happy to give you some spots to try and the routes to get there if you want to PM me.
 

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There are no rocks or none you have to really worry about west of Stoney. There are some at the entrance of it you need to keep an eye out for. They are mainly at the entrance so once you get past the island at the front of it you are good (in that creek). Moving east some creeks have rocks and some don't. Google earth has some great views of this area and would be a good resource for you. I have been fishing these creeks for over 20 years and still hit the random rock from time to time.

Between Palmetto Island and Gray Mare rock their are some rocks around but not nearly as many as in the rock garden. Not sure if this helps or not. Regardless you are wise for taking your aluminum boat the first time you fish this area.
 

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There are no rocks or none you have to really worry about west of Stoney. There are some at the entrance of it you need to keep an eye out for. They are mainly at the entrance so once you get past the island at the front of it you are good (in that creek). Moving east some creeks have rocks and some don't. Google earth has some great views of this area and would be a good resource for you. I have been fishing these creeks for over 20 years and still hit the random rock from time to time.

Between Palmetto Island and Gray Mare rock their are some rocks around but not nearly as many as in the rock garden. Not sure if this helps or not. Regardless you are wise for taking your aluminum boat the first time you fish this area.
Thanks that helps out alot actually. I have never fished over there and really have no idea where to go. All i know is that there is rocks and the areas that look good from google earth. I am starting my research now before i take a trip over next month.
 
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