Saturday, March 25, 2023

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report


Spring has sprung.

The week began with mild temperatures as what may be the last cold front of the season made its way along the peninsula. South winds have replaced the north breeze meaning the migrations have begun again.

Inshore, the snook fishing has been great at many of their back country hangouts. Live bait, live crabs and large jigs will get bites from the aggressive predators.

Indian River County

Inshore: It's all about snook at Sebastian Inlet. Fish the outgoing tides with live pinfish or live croakers to catch top end of the slot fish. Other catches there include redfish, black drum which can be sight-casted to in schools, Spanish mackerel and pompano from the beaches. Lewis Arnold of Vero Beach used a No Live Bait Needed jerk bait to haul a 41-inch snook out of the mangroves near Round Island.

Freshwater: Bass fishing is about as good as it can ever be at Headwaters Lake near Fellsmere. Work through the crowds to get bites from 3-6 pounders. Some are sitting on the beds. Spinnerbaits, wild shiners and crank baits are working well.

St. Lucie County

Inshore: Spotted seatrout can be caught along the ends of the docks at St. Lucie Village, along Indian River Drive and Hutchinson Island. Wade fishing is a good approach to find the trout. Use live shrimp or artifical shrimp or jerk baits. Tripletail can be caught using live shrimp near the channel edges.

Surf: Pompano finally showed up this week. The fish are probably moving north as part of their migration. Cast to 100 to 150 yards off the beach with Fishbites to get bites.

Martin County

Inshore: Snook fishing is the best option in the area right now. Fish can be caught from the Roosevelt Bridge down to Hell's Gate docks and around Rocky Point and Sailfish Point docks. They will take live bait, large jigs and swim baits fished around structure.

Lake Okeechobee

The lake finally has fallen below 15 feet above sea level. Tuesday, it measured 14 feet 8 inches which means there is still plenty of water in the western spots like Point of the Reef, Sportsman's Channel and Observation Shoal. As days get longer, look for bluegill fishing to be picking up along with shellcracker. Bass fishing is best around spawning beds. Toss lipless crank baits, topwater frogs and stick worms to get reaction bites.

Ed Killer South Fla. Report

 Mosquito Lagoon: Capt. Jon Lulay of Mosquito Lagoon Redfish Charters in Titusville said the fragile lagoon this past week featured clear water, and great fishing opportunities. Big redfish and big black drum can be caught by sight casting to schooling fish with a Slayer Inc SST swim baits or a Berkley Gulp! jerk bait on a Mission Fishin jig head. Lulay said his anglers had a few nice trout up to 5-6 pounds this week. When it has been calm, he said he has been able to locate 2-3 schools of black drum between 10-14 pounds, too. What works best for the drum are live shrimp on a Mission Fishin jig head. When trying to locate a school of big drum or reds, look for the color change in the clear water. Lulay said the water quality has belied the lagoon’s long term issues which seems to be habitat loss. The sea grass is really depleted and some spots which had acres of sea grass even one year ago look like a desert he said. But the fishing is still good for now, and the spring bait run is coming soon.

Surf: Caleb Couture of Tradewinds Surf Fishing Charters with Caleb Couture on Facebook said the surf fishing from Spessard Holland to Sebastian Inlet has been pretty good, and it’s going to get even better in the coming weeks. His anglers have been catching limits of pompano, plus whiting, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and, close to the inlet, even a few surprise permit. Anglers using Pompano Rigs by Couture, found at Strike Zone in Melbourne or Reel Em In in Sebastian, with the pink and white colored floats, or chartreuse floats, and Fishbites in pink with shrimp or sand flea flavors have been having good success. The best times have been to fish an hour before or after high tide or an hour before or after sunrise and an hour before sunset, he said.      

Indian River Lagoon: Capt. Jim Ross of Fineline charters in Rockledge said anglers can still find a few black drum and redfish by fishing from area bridges with live shrimp and cut crabs. However, water quality in the Indian River and Banana River lagoons is really poor. Ross said it’s hard to get excited about a fishing trip on these waters when the nutrient load has caused so much degradation that a fish kill seems to be looming. Hopefully, it will not happen, but warm weather and possibly a rain event could trigger one this spring similar to the one in 2016.

Sebastian Inlet: Capt. Glyn Austin of Sebastian Inshore Fishing said the variety of catches being caught in and just outside the inlet has been excellent. Everything from giant oversized redfish to slot-sized snook to early season tarpon is being caught on live baits. Some anglers fishing from the jetties at Sebastian Inlet State Park are not having as much success as anglers fishing from boats, however. Black drum and sheepshead are staple catches, and schools of bluefish and Spanish mackerel provide flurries of action.     

report courtesy of Ed Killer Florida Today

Sebastian Inlet Report


Chilly, cloudy water has slowed the snook bite, but warmer temps are coming

 First, I'd like to start off with a little educational info for all of you who want to do battle with one of our ‘jetty monsters,’ the Goliath Grouper. As you may know, Sebastian Inlet State Park employs me to educate and enforce the park rules and regulations for fishing on the north jetty and the park, as well.  A large white signboard on the way out to the jetty and information kiosk between the parking and the jetty contain important rules for fishing the jetty. On both signs — especially the large sign — it states rule number 18: “Targeting Goliath Grouper, a protected species, is prohibited.”  In simple terms, you cannot fish for goliath groupers on the jetty, at all. The rule is in place to protect our sea life resource, the goliath, from any harm, as they are protected strictly by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Please leave your heavy gear at home and leave them be. Also, since it is a written rule, law enforcement will get involved, and we don't want that to happen. Help us protect our valuable marine resources. Now on to the fishing action.

North jetty: For the better part of last week, fishing slowed down a bit. The winds were brisk and dirtied up the water, cooling it down from 76 down to 71 degrees. The snook bite has slowed, but some keeper fish have been caught in the early morning high tides. Live shrimp, artificial shrimp jigs have been the key baits on the jetty. Boaters have been catching some on live croakers and pigfish. Last week’s outgoing tide placed the fish farther out, making it harder for the jetty anglers to reach them. Other species being caught, but in small numbers, are the sheepshead around the pilings on cut shrimp and fiddler crabs. A few pompano, whiting and black drum were also caught midweek on the ocean side of the jetty on shrimp. Outgoing tide at the tip has been all about the bluefish and jack crevalles on any bait and also silver spoons. Some small Spanish mackerel showed up to play for a couple of days until the water got too sandy, and they left. 

South jetty: The fishing has slowed a bit as well, with the cooler water temps and dirtiness. Incoming tide has been the better tide to fish with small snook and some redfish being caught on live baits along the inside jetty rocks. Outgoing at the tip has been all about the black margates, blue runners and jack crevalles. These fish have been biting on dead shrimp fished on the bottom. Not much else going on over here. 

South catwalk: The main bite over here is still the sheepshead on live fiddler crabs fished around the pilings. Another species I saw caught over the weekend were some really nice sand perch and black margates on cut shrimp. Incoming tide is the best. 

T-Dock area: Back here it has slowed down as well with the cooler dirtier water. There have been some bluefish being caught as well as some jack crevalles on small jigs and silver spoons tossed out to the channel area, both tides. The snook fishing has slowed with only a few being caught on live baits and jigs on the incoming tide. 

Surf area, both sides: For the most part both sides have been blown out due to the high N,NE winds and big NE swell all last week and the weekend. About the only place fishable was the area just south of the south jetty, but nobody was fishing there because of the dirty water. 

From Todd, Eddy & Jeff @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

 INSHORE-  Snook fishing was good this week inshore.  A fair number of mullet moving around inshore; and the snook aren't too far behind along with a few jacks and maybe a tarpon or two.  The night bridge bite started to improve this week as well.  Sheepshead action seemed to slack off a bit, but still a few around.  Palm Beach Inlet has had some bruiser jacks cruising through.  A few early season mangrove snapper starting to show up inshore.  

SURF/PIER-  Really, and I mean REALLY, good pompano fishing this week both along the beach and at the Juno Beach Pier.  On the beach the usual assortment of baits (sandfleas, clams, shrimp, and Fishbites) are getting the job donr on the pomps.  Best bite has been first thing in the morning, and then again late afternoon.  On the Juno Beach Pier the pomps are biting Doc's Goofy Jigs in bright colors the best.  Pink and green jigs have been the most productive.  A handful of ladyfish and bluefish mixed in with the pomps.  Some big jacks cruising through the pier as well over the past few days.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

  I am happy to report a pretty darn good pompano bite that’s been going on the past two days in Palm Beach County . Yesterday afternoon was very good south of us and this afternoon the bite is happening as I write this . The other part of this story is that we had some nice water and conditions up here on Hutchinson Island today but those fish that are down south just haven’t made their northern migration yet . Randy looked at a bunch of beaches and talked to a few friends that put some time in from Stokes to Blue Heron and it sounded like pretty slim pickings . The forecast for the beginning of the week is certainly not the best but it is good to know there’s a shot of fish south of us . I have had some calls about my pompano rig availability and I will be dropping off a bunch tomorrow morning at the Snook Nook and they will be getting another delivery Monday or Tuesday . If you aren’t local I sent a bunch to Fishbites in St Augustine at the end of the week and you can pick them up at their tackle store, Fishbites Trading Post in St Augustine or order them from their website. Let’s hope our conditions are fishable this week and those pompano south of us head our way .

From Todd, Eddy & Jeff @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

 INSHORE-  Snook fishing remains good over the past week.  The Loxahatchee continues to produce some good fish, especially on moving water early in the morning.  A decent push of springtime mullet and warm temps have the fish relatively fired up on bigger baits.  A mullet or loud topwater fished along seawalls with decent current flow are going to be a solid choice for cruising snook.  A few big jacks and the occasional tarpon mixed in as well.  Sheepshead action has slowed a bit, but still a fair number around.  A few more mangrove snapper reports sneaking in this week as well.  

SURF/PIER-  The Juno Beach Pier has had a pretty solid pompano bite this week.  Rough conditions, mixed in with a strong rip, made the pier a little better option than the beach.  The pompano seemed to bite a little better first thing in the morning; with a few midday flurries, and a evening bite as well.  Bright colored Doc's Goofy Jigs (Char, Pink, Orange) seemed to get the most bites; with a fair number of pomps falling to bait as well.  If the surf allows this weekend, should be a good number of pompano along the beach as's that time of year!  Blacktip reports seemed to pick up a bit late last week into this week.  Again, conditions are the main thing working against us along the beach.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Check It Out

 FWC statewide snook workshops start next week 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is adopting a holistic management approach for snook that includes a review of several environmental and human factors including habitat, fishing effort and stakeholder feedback to evaluate the fishery at a more local scale. FWC staff is proposing to establish 10 new management regions with snook regulations based on the status of the fishery in each region. The public is encouraged to attend one of the FWC’s in-person workshops that are being held throughout the state. 

Below is a list of locations. Workshops will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude by 8 p.m. EDT. 

March 23, 6–8 p.m. 
Sebastian City Hall
1225 Main Street
Sebastian, FL 32958 

March 27, 6–8 p.m. 
South Florida Water Management District, Building 1
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406 

March 28, 6–8 p.m. 
Crystal River City Hall Council Chambers
123 N.W. U.S. Highway 19
Crystal River, FL 34428 

March 28, 6–8 p.m. 
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium
100 Eighth Ave. S.E.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 

March 28, 6–8 p.m. 
Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center Auditorium
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113