Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Surf fishing this past weekend can best be described as just OK. We still had the the remaining swell from the storm that left the Carolinas during the week and there were still some weeds that just do not want to leave the area. I fished at Stuart Beach both Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday being the slower day of the two. I fished with Norm from the Port St Lucie Angers Club and the croaker action was a slow pick. Sunday proved to be better with the croaker, whiting, and loads of mojarra. Fishbites and frozen shrimp were the baits we used to put about 30 croaker and whiting in the cooler. It is the time of the summer when the commercial shrimp boats don't sail as the shrimp have moved to deep water far off-shore. The frozen shrimp are also hard to find, so try some clam strips to go with the Fishbites until we get past this annual shrimp shortage. My son Randy did manage to play tug-of-war with two large snook that ate live the croaker he was fishing on a live line rig. Anyone who wants to hook one of these great fighting fish should just put a smaller croaker out on a near-shore setup and be prepared to hold on. Remember, this is catch-and-release only, so return these fish to the water quickly and unharmed. I started today, Monday, at Stuart Beach and caught some nice whiting and croaker until the bite shut off after only about 45 minutes. A trip to Middle Cove was short lived, as that water was dirty and full of weeds. My final stop was in the area of Normandy beach and I put five big croaker in the cooler in a very short amount of time before the weeds made that area unfishable. We can overcome the shrimp shortage with Fishbites and clam strips, but the weeds need a current or wind shift to make all of our beach areas fishable. If you find your favorite beach loaded with weeds, start looking at some different spots and fish the ones that have the minimum amount of grass. Good luck and catch em up!
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Great weather and great fishing was the way to describe surf fishing this weekend along Hutchinson Island. I fished with my son Randy and his entire family including my grandaughters Kaitlyn and Ashley, and everyone got in on the action. Croaker, whiting, mojarra, and a 25 lb jack all made our catch list at Stuart Beach. The croaker, whiting, and mojarra all found the usual Fishbites and cut shrimp bait combination to be their baits of choice. Randy also caught a huge jack on a 7 inch live croaker fished on a bottom rig. If anyone has not hooked a big jack, then you are missing the fight of your life. We were set up north of the swimming area and that jack almost made it all of the way down to the swimmers before he decided to head back our way. This species is one of my favorites because whether you hook a one pound fish or a 25 lb monster like Randy caught, they have to be the hardest fighting fish, pound for pound, along our entire coast. My grandaughters showed us why this type of fishing is great for all ages, and this summer's croaker and whiting run has been one of the best in years. Once again the bite was non-stop just before the high tide mark and all of the bites came 5 to10 yards from the edge of the surf. I sent all of the fish home with Randy so he could continue to sharpen his filleting skills, and I was able to take a weekend off from standing at the fillet table. It appears as if we are going to have a swell and some weeds to deal with in the first part of the week, but the big shore break should start to diminish by Thursday. I fished today although the swell was definitely building and weeds made conditions challenging. I managed to put some nice whiting and croaker in the cooler but conditions cut down on the total number caught. Good luck this week and catch em up.