I was out today in the St John's just fishing around the bridges and caught 6 cats about 15-20 lbs.  I caught one that was about 8 lbs that I would have liked to have for dinner, but was told that they may not be good dependant on where they were caught and what they were eating.  I have eaten catfish before in other states and enjoyed it.  Just wonder how they are if caught in the river.  I tossed them all back, but thought I would ask.  Thanks

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It probably would depend on where they were caught.  The age and size of the fish can also be a determining factor.   Some areas of the river are more polluted than others.  For instance, the Cedar/Ortega basin has some of the highest levels of sediment contaminants.   Predatory fish also tend to have higher levels of mercury and other toxins due to bioaccumulation.   I would advise anyone to check with the Florida Dept. of Health for fish advisories.
I hope this helpful.
Jimmy Orth
Executive Director
2800 University Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL  32211

Thanks much for the reply and information.  I caught all of them under the I-295 bridge.  At least it was fun....much better than not catching anything.



I wouldn't hesitate to cook one up. The biggest thing is to not eat alot of fish in any one month (mercury).


Let me know if ya fish the Buchman bridge, from here on out. (After T.S. Beryl) Because I was there 5/30 for a half day and being a day or two after the storm, there was ZERO going on. I love that area.....No tugs, No Ships, No Navy, Less coneheads.

But, I couldn't give a dead shrimp away!!!!!  Seems the storm shut that area down big time. Couldn't believe it. Just crabbers and Crab traps everywhere. And not FISH.


You know where you can find me, so if ya go out again. Toss me a report of your findings.


Have ya got that "float-rig" down yet?


The Jettywolf



Capt Dave,

We have the "float-rig" (ordered them the next day after our trip), also got one of the filet knives you recommend.  The Buchman didn't offer up very much a couple weeks ago either (just before Beryl).  We had some bites and lost some shiners, but nothing to show for our work.  Granted, we were off on the tides so that didn't help.  We are going to try the Shands bridge on Tuesday, will let you know what happens.


After the float-rig, I have to learn how to use a casting net.


Take care and good fishing,



From what I heard, that's where all the fish were, before the storm. A crabber friend was catching everything even in his crab traps! Giant Croakers, to Black Drum.


Thinking of heading back to the Buchman on Monday to R&D. I saw bait everywhere, when I was there on 5/30. But as my reports said, No Bites!


I love it there.....No tugs, No Navy, No ships. But I hate the NO fish thing.....

Here's my tribute  "reports & video":


Shands is a bit further than I want to be or go, I'm still hunting "saltwater TROUTZ".

Not Bluegills and Bass, hahahahahahaha





when you say "shiners" are you talking freshwater shiners????

Man, ya'll need shrimp and Mullet actually!


Here's a 22" Trout caught on a mullet chunk under the buchman, when I went down again after Beryl. Not much action and I tried on the 3rd of June. Some Croakers, Whiting, and really small yellowmouth Troutz...most action for me came from near the fuller-warren bridge.

Hi Dave,


I'm jealous!  One of these days I'll get one.  Am overseas right now for awhile, so had to put my fishing on hold.  Keep me up-to-date on the fish.  Take care and stay dry.


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