Wednesday, December 31, 2014

From Whites Tackle - Ft Pierce / Stuart

Inshore the trout fishing has been ok to the north around Queens Cove with a few reds mixed in up by the mangroves.The south jetty has been good with some pompano and flounder with live shrimp on the incoming tide.

Sebastian Inlet Report


We have a lot of clouds over the inlet this morning and the wind has picked up significantly. Winds are blowing out of the Northeast at 19 mph, gusting to 23 and there is a moderate chop on the water. Although no NOAA advisories are issues at this time (9:00 a.m.) always check before going offshore. It looks as if the front may come through after all. We have a very good chance of rain today so go prepared for that; the good news is the no see 'ums are gone!

We are still seeing the same variety of fish at the inlet including Black Drum, Blues, Sheepshead and Reds. Speckled Trout are being landed from the banks of the inlet and in the river and a few from the jetties. Flounder have been small to mid-sized but we haven't seen the big guys in large numbers, just a few stragglers in the 6 - 9 lb. range. Maybe this coming front will bring them into the inlet. 

Our first photo today features Ian Mendez of Orlando. Ian landed his Black Drum off the north jetty using live shrimp. Ian also landed and quickly released a goliath grouper, not one of the monsters under the jetty, but a nice one. Unfortunately, we can't post the photo due to FWC regulations.
Liam Scott of Cornwall, NY was in the Sunshine State visiting his grandparents over the Christmas break. Liam landed this Flounder in photo two which was released. 
Photo three is of a Sand Perch that Liam landed and released as well. Liam also landed a good sized Goliath Grouper that was released right away.

Photo four is of Logan Abell and Maxwell Saint Cyr of Palm Bay. The young men fished the north jetty on the night of the 23rd and did well with Black Drum. They landed four that were over 20" using clams.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Whiting part 5

Artificial Lures for Catching Whiting

Artificial baits can be one of the best methods for catching whiting, especially in clear water. Residing mostly in the surf zones along the coasts, whiting usually rely heavily on a good sense of smell, as well as “taste” from those barbels under its chin. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their eyesight is useless however.
There are many areas around the state of Florida that are known for their crystal clear waters in the summertime. Some of these areas, such as in the Panhandle, house many whiting during the summer, and can be fished using artificial jigs and flies quite successfully.

Lures for Catching Whiting

Most of the artificial lures that work for whiting include small jigs, similar to those used for Florida pompano, and flies. Many anglers will tip the hooks of the jigs or flies with just a small piece of shrimp or squid to add a nice pungent smell to the jig. When using lures to catch any fish, you want to either (a) mimic that fish’s natural diet, or (b) make the fish angry enough to bite at your lure. Whiting fall more into category (a), where you want to use lures that mimic small shrimp, crabs, and fish within the surf.

Jigs for Whiting

Jigs are perhaps the most effective artificial lures for whiting. Whiting are generally bottom-feeders, eating small crabs, clams, and worms in the surf. To use the jig effectively, bounce the jig along the bottom, kicking up sediments along the way. This will catch the eye of schooling whiting, and lead to more bites, as opposed to not letting your lure hit the bottom. As mentioned before, placing a small piece of shrimp or squid on the hook will drastically increase bites.

Bucktail jigs such as the one shown work well for whiting in the surf, especially when tipped with shrimp or squid.

Artificial Flies for Whiting

Many anglers across Florida are blessed with fly waters where they can catch whiting. Although small, whiting are basically miniature versions of Redfish, and can really pull a line, making it an excellent fly target. When using flies, target whiting in clear water. Clear water can be found either be within the inlets, in the deep troughs and sandbars on calm surf days, and in many calm areas around the Panhandle, just to name a few. The technique is similar to that for Florida pompano – using a sinking leader and fly, making strips to bounce the fly along the bottom and stirring up sediments for attention. A small piece of shrimp or squid may also be tipped on the end of a fly, just as is commonly done with regular jigs in the surf, for more action.

Many of the same flies used for Florida pompano, such as crabs work great for whiting because they happen to share a very similar diet.

A General Statement about Whiting Lures

Although tipping a jig or fly with some natural bait – usually shrimp or squid – sort of defeats the purpose of using an artificial lure in the first place, it is really just a matter of effectiveness. Taking the best of both worlds, you can have the fishy scent that would bring a fish to your bait, as well as the control of covering more ground and stirring up the action yourself using an artificial lure.

Sebastian Inlet Report


We have a foggy morning at the inlet. Winds are moving out of the West-Southwest at 2 mph, gusting to 4 and the water is calm. Unfortunately, no wind = no see 'ums, they are out and gnawing on our anglers this morning. Be sure to take insect repellent if you head to the inlet today! 

We have the usual cast of characters at the inlet for this time of year. Black Drum, Blues, Sheepshead, a few Pompano, Reds, Flounder and C/R Snook have been providing some action. Speckled Trout are being landed on the flats and from the jetties. Today would be a good day to get out and try your hand at surf fishing. Calm days like today can produce some nice fish from the beach.

Terry Streeter is featured in our first photo today with a real nice Sheepshead he landed off the north jetty .
Alek Turko of Indialantic landed four nice Sheepshead and a Black Drum that are displayed on the cleaning table in our last photo. 

Catch 365

"Blend In BUT Stand Out"

Ever noticed how a snook's color changes based on the environment it's living in.  Many baitfish and shrimp do the same thing.  Always consider this when picking out lure colors...Blend in BUT Stand out a little at the same time!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Whiting part 4

Natural Baits for Whiting

Natural baits are by far the best method for catching whiting. Taking a look at the head of a whiting, you’ll notice small barbels under the chin – they use these barbels to “taste” for things in the water they can eat, which is why a smelly natural bait lures them right in.

The Best Baits for Whiting

Whiting eat a diet consisting of mostly invertebrates – small crabs, clams, shrimp, and marine worms. Although they do eat fish as well, fish are usually a small part of the whiting’s diet, and are thus not the most effective baits for catching them in the surf.


Clams are often regarded as the best whiting bait. They stay on a hook very well, and are very pungent – important for the keen smelling faculties of whiting.

 The clams found frozen in bait shops are usually the perfect size, just about one-inch in diameter.


Shrimp are the second best bait – or best if you ask some expert surf anglers – for catching whiting in the surf. The trick to using shrimp for whiting is to make sure to peel them. This will increase the scent in the water, allowing the whiting to easily find it. You also want to make sure not to put large pieces on the hooks, sticking with one to two-inch pieces.

Sand Fleas

Sand fleas, also known as Mole crabs, are famed for their ability to catch another highly targeted surf fish – the Florida pompano. They’re one of a whiting’s preferred natural prey and can be found either blanched or frozen in bait shops, or found live right there in the surf. Look for them as the water recedes after a high wave.


When it comes to a smelly invertebrate, you can’t get much better than a squid. Squid works very well for whiting, especially on rougher surf days, when the smell travels far in the water.

Other baits that will Catch Whiting

Basically any smelly or live invertebrate you can get your hands on will catch a whiting. This may include mussels, oysters, fiddler crabs, mud crabs, or even tiny blue crabs. Whiting do have a pretty small mouth, so remember to either cut your bait into small one-inch pieces, or use about that size of whole bait.

Sebastian Inlet Report


We have a pretty morning at the inlet. Winds are blowing out of the South-Southwest at 5 mph, gusting to 6 and the water has a light chop. We have some dark clouds to the Southwest, although there is only a 5% chance of rain predicted for today.

Tommy Turwoski at the Sebastian Inlet Bait and Tackle Shop reported that over the weekend the bite was pretty good. A lot of Speckled Trout, Black Drum, Sheepshead and Blues kept the anglers busy while some Spanish Mackerel, Reds and Flounder were spotty. An occasional Pompano would find its way to an inlet angler. 
Eduardo Gonzalez is featured in our first photo today. Eduardo fished the incoming tide at sunset . Using mullet, he hooked up with three nice C/R Reds within an hour! The Red in our photo was 38" and released unharmed. 
Our second photo today features Mr. Bennett of Orlando. Mr. Bennett landed this good sized Black Drum on the 18th. Nice catch Mr. B.!

Cody Hagle was using Bluefish for bait when he landed this Shark off the north jetty that was released unharmed. 

Alek Turko of Indialantic took home two nice Black Drum and is featured in our last photo today. 

Catch 365

"Super Spookin"

Heddon's Super Spook (the big brother to the classic Zara Spook) is a great lure to throw in dirty water conditions.  The size and noise work well together to help call the fish up.  Don't be intimidated by the larger size of the lure.  It'll catch small trout (pictured) all the way up to monster tarpon. Plus the extra weight makes it easier to cast longer distances.

Friday, December 26, 2014

From Capt. Charlie @ Fishing Center - Ft Pierce

As 2014 comes to a close, I would like to thank everyone for reading my reports for the past 13 years. It's fun and I certainly enjoy doing them. I have met many old friends again this past year and made many new ones as well. Here's hoping that 2015 will be a bountiful year for everyone and the fishing continues to reward anglers throughout the Treasure Coast. I am truly blessed with the people around me in so many capacities. Thank you all! Eva and I wish everyone a blessed Holiday Season this year.

The weather this week has been fantastic! Warmer temperatures and sunny skies make for a wonderful adventure on the water! Water temperatures have been around 70 degrees this week and that means the fish are feeding before the next cold front arrives. Enjoy this could change soon! It's been a fun week on the water.

Fishing has been very good out there and it should continue this way with the warmer water temps. Docks, mangroves, grass flats and channel edges have all been productive for us. I love this time of year! A large variety of species are out there to keep your rods bending. Trout on the grass flats. Redfish under the docks and mangroves. Sheepshead and black drum around structure. Mackerel feeding on the beaches and inlets. Jacks and ladyfish....everywhere! It's a great time of year!

From Todd / Eric @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

INSHORE- Fishing around Munyon Island improved greatly over the past few weeks.  Spotted Seatrout, Snook, and even a small handful of redfish have filled into their wintertime hangouts on the grassflats.  Live shrimp, DOA shrimp, and Gambler Little EZ swimbaits are all good choices right now.  The Hobe Sound flats are also holding a good number of fish right now, with reports of ladyfish, jacks, snook, trout and other species all coming in.  Nighttime snook fishing around the bridges is good, especially on an outgoing tide.  
Surf/Pier- Surf fishing remains a bit off for the season, but a mixed bag of fish are being caught by those putting the time in.  Bluefish, spanish mackerel, jacks, and spinner sharks are scattered up and down the beach.  Tossing a large silver spoon or big popping plug is a good way to find them.  Pompano are still not here n big numbers.  If pompano is the desired species...head north.  Good numbers of croakers have been caught around the pier using small pieces of shrimp.

Sebastian Inlet Report


We have a lot of cloud cover at the inlet this morning. Winds are blowing out of the North-Northwest at 7 mph, gusting to 13 and the water is calm. 

We received an update from Tommy Turowski at the Sebastian Inlet Bait and Tackle Shop this morning who reported a good Speckled Trout bite. A lot of Blues, Sheepshead and Black Drum have been making appearances along with Reds and a few Flounder and Pompano. Inlet regular Mike Ricciardi of Vero Beach fished on Tuesday and reported that the morning hours produced some good sized Black Drum in the 20" - 24" range, twenty five to thirty fish came over the rails on the incoming tide. Mike went home with two.
Sally Baughman of Jackson, WY is featured in our first photo today. Sally landed this nice Black Drum on Tuesday and confirmed our report from Mike that plenty of them were coming over the rails. She landed four that were the perfect eating size, Jim landed three that were returned to the water, as they had plenty! 
 Newlywed Josh Messerschmidt of Alaska landed this big Black Drum and apparently got at least two good catches.
Troy Roecker of Palm Bay is featured in photo three. Troy landed this Black Drum.
The last photo is Khoi Van of Melbourne who landed his first Black Drum.

Palm Beach Report

     The beach fishing along the Treasure Coast has been excellent this week. Big numbers of pompano are being caught throughout the day and nice, and many of the fish are a good size, too. 
There have also been whiting and big croaker around, as well as a few bonefish.
     Redfish and trout are biting on the west side of the Indian River. Black drum and sheepshead are also being caught in the river, pretty much anywhere you find structure.
     Big numbers of pompano have shown up in the surf along Jupiter, and they are there all day.
     There has been a mixed bag of fish being caught in the Intracoastal Waterway from Marker 42 down through Jupiter. Jacks, mutton snapper, bluefish, croaker, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel have all been reported.
     The inshore action has been a bit slower in central and southern Palm Beach County, but there have been some jacks, bluefish and Spanish mackerel caught in the Intracoastal, inlets, and on the beaches. You can always try your luck at bridges and docks in the Intracoastal as well, especially at night.

     it has been a great week for bass fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Excellent numbers of fish have been caught, and many of them have been over 4 pounds. A few bass over 8 pounds were reported.
     The bite is lasting throughout the day, and the best action is still along the outside edges and back in the grass. The East and West Walls have been some of the hottest spots, along with the south end of the lake.
     Live shiners and artificial lures seem to be working equally well. 
report courtesy of Palm Beach Post

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

From Whites Tackle - Ft Pierce / Stuart

Inshore yesterday was ok with some nice reds around to the north of north bridge with a few nice trout reported to. The pompano bite has been good in the inlet and around J.C. Park on the incoming tide,Back to the south around Midway road there has been some nice snook and reds around with a few trout.

Catch 365

"1/4oz Pearl Bullet"

A simple 1/4oz pearl colored bullet head jig with a mylar flash tail (pictured)will very often catch docklight snook when nothing else will.  Fish it just under the surface with a light fluro leader for best results, and be prepared to catch a lot of snookies!

Sebastian Inlet Report


We have another lovely morning at the Sebastian Inlet. Winds are blowing out of the South at 7 mph, gusting to 10 and there is a light chop on the water.

We received some nice photos from our readers that we will get posted real soon on the web site. We received a couple of updates from inlet regular Mike Ricciardi of Vero Beach who fished the weekend (a rare occasion) and reported a good Black Drum bite on Saturday . Twelve to fifteen Drum in the 22 - 34" range came over the rails on the outgoing tide between 7:00 - 11:00 a.m. Mike landed one that was 28", Josh Sullivan of Palm Bay landed the largest at 34" and "Big Dave" Hartwell landed a huge 44" C/R Red using a bucktail. Numerous Snook were landed and released on bucktails, dead shrimp and clams! Small Bluefish were caught throughout the morning on bucktails and spoons. Mike went back for more punishment on Sunday and reported the end of the north jetty was three deep and a real war zone. An incredible Black Drum bite kept the anglers busy with about 100 fish coming over the rails for those using clams. Mike lost two on the way up, and but that was it for him. The Drum were hungry for clams and Mike was out, so he will get some more and try his hand later this week. 
Sally Baughman of Jackson, WY sent in our first photo today of Amanda Villagsne of Halifax, Nova Scotia who was visiting with her family. Amanda brought in this decent sized Bluefish using a shiny lure.

Photo two features Alek Turko of Indialantic with a real nice 15" Sheepshead he landed off the north jetty 
Photo three features Mike Ricciardi with the 28" Black Drum he landed.
Josh Sullivan of Palm Bay is featured in our fourth photo with a huge 34" Black Drum he landed.

Our last photo features Dave Hartwell with the big 44" Red he landed and released.

Monday, December 22, 2014

From Capt Joe Ward @ Bait Shack - FT Pierce

A very good pompano and whiting bite in the surf yesterday just south of Ocean Village. Clams for the pompano and a piece of shrimp for the whiting. Also jacks and spanish. The trout bite was slow but a few reds came from the dock line along North Indian River Dr. 

Sheephead and black drum around structure and they were taking live shrimp. Live shrimp in the tanks today.

Whiting part3

Line and Leader for Whiting

As with the size of tackle needed, the line and leader choice desired for whiting varies depending on the conditions of the surf. In general, heavier surf requires heavier line, and lighter surf allow for lighter line.

Fishing Lines for Whiting

On the days of lighter surf conditions (up to two-foot waves), 8-to-12 pound test line is appropriate. The lighter the line you can use, the better, because the higher sensitivity of lighter line will allow you to feel the bite better over heavy line. This can be quite important for whiting, because many times the bites are just a series of “tap, tap, tap,” which can be mistaken for wave action with heavier tackle. On those heavier days however, up to 20-pound test line may be required for casting the large sinker needed to keep your bait from drifting away.

Monofilament Line for Whiting

Monofilament has many advantages when surf fishing for whiting. For one, mono is more resistant to abrasion than other types of line – this is important because the line will over time be rubbing and be grazed over by the sand and shell, which will cause damage to the line over time.
The second advantage of monofilament for surf fishing is that it’s cheap! Although braided line is more expensive than monofilament, it usually lasts a lot longer. This may actually not be the case in the surf, since the sand will be very abrasive against the line over time.

Using Fluorocarbon for Whiting

Take the advantage of monofilament being resistant to abrasion, make it virtually invisible, and take the stretch out of it, and you’ve got fluorocarbon line. Fluorocarbon line is the best line to use in the surf, however is very expensive to spool an entire reel, and therefore makes an excellent long leader – the part that will experience the most sand abrasion, as well as the part the fish will see the most too.
Braided line for Whiting
Braided line has many advantages, but also many disadvantages for surf fishing. For one, braided line has a smaller diameter than other lines of the same pound test, and therefore has more sensitivity for feeling the light bite of a whiting. Another benefit of the smaller diameter is that you generally get a farther cast with braided line, and so can be important on those rough surf days.
 The smaller diameter line may also help your sinker stay put, because the line will cut through the water better. The disadvantage to braid however, is that it is not resistant to abrasions, and will be damaged over time from the sand and shell of the beaches. This may lead to break-offs as the line weakens.

Flyline and Leader

Whiting are bottom-feeders, which means you need to get your fly to the bottom. One way to get your fly to the bottom, besides obviously using a sinking fly, is to use a sinking leader. A sinking leader made from fluorocarbon is recommended, as it has the greatest sinking rate among all of the line types available.

Final Notes about Whiting Lines and Leaders

Surf conditions can vary daily, and so the size of the line and leader required will depend on how rough – or not so rough – those conditions are. As for the type of line and leader used, it is generally recommended to use monofilament or fluorocarbon line, or at least a long leader, for more long-term use, where as braided line can provide good sensitivity and far casts, but may not stand up as long to the pressure of abrasion from the sand and shell of the surf as the other lines.

catch 365

"Is Bigger Better?"

Ever floated a nice big fat shrimp by a snook, only to have him nose up to it and turn away.  If the shrimp are running small in a given area that is what the snook will be keyed in on.  Don't overlook the small shrimp in the bucket...bigger isn't always better!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Palm Beach Report

Black drum and sheepshead seem to have taken over the beaches of the Treasure Coast. They’re also showing up in the inlets and in the Indian River. Pompano are also showing up on the beaches, but to catch them, you’ll likely have to throw out to the second sandbar.
The trout and redfish bite has been good in the Indian River, and the good news is, you don’t have to be on the water too early. In fact, the best action seems to be a couple hours after the sun rises and the water warms up a bit. The bite on the west side of the river has improved as the winds have shifted and subsided.
There are still plenty of snook at the bridges, especially at night, and some monsters have been hooked at the Roosevelt Bridge.
Pompano are biting at the Hobe Sound Public Beach.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are being caught in the surf along Jupiter.
In the Intracoastal Waterway, ladyfish, jacks, bluefish, and lane and mangrove snapper are biting throughout the day near bridges. There are still some snook around as well.
Some bluefish, jacks and Spanish mackerel were reported on the beaches and in the Intracoastal in central and southern Palm Beach County, but certainly not big numbers.

The winds have calmed around Lake Okeechobee, which has made it easier to fish the outside edges and back in the grass. This is good news because these are the areas that are holding the best bass.
You can catch fish just about anywhere you go on the lake, best the best and most consistent action is definitely on the outside. Big numbers of bass were being caught this week, and several weighing more than 7 pounds were reported.
There’s a bite all day long, and live shiners seem to be working a little better than artificial lures; although you can’t go wrong either way.
All reports indicate that this is going to be an excellent season on the Big O.

Whiting part 2

10 Whiting Tips and Tricks

Once you learn the tricks of the trade, a trip to the surf can land you an excellent fish-fry of whiting almost every time. Although not the most difficult fish to catch, there are many misconceptions, as well as regional differences throughout Florida, on how and when to catch whiting. These tips outline the top things you need to know to catch this small, but fine-tasting fish.

10 Things to Remember When Whiting Fishing:

The top 10 tips presented here list the general best ways to catch whiting. It is worth mentioning though, that no two beaches are alike, even if they seem that way from the outside. The Atlantic and Gulf coast differ a lot between the amount of tides per day (Gulf has only one tidal cycle per day, whereas Atlantic has two), the wave action (Atlantic has more), and the location of migratory fish. What this means is that there are many local tips you will learn from getting out there and fishing your favorite beach, and communicating with the other anglers in the area.

1.Diversify your bait.

Whiting feed on a variety of crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), small fish, clams, and several types of marine worms, but the top choices to use as bait are clams, sand fleas, peeled shrimp, and squid. If you’re using two rods, or have a multiple-hook rig, use one of each to see what the fish are biting that day.

2.Ask around!

Just as you should diversify your bait on any given day to see what the fish are biting, you should save yourself the time and ask around. See what others have been catching whiting on in the area you plan on taking your next trip.

3.You don’t always have to cast far.

Many anglers think that you have to cast a hundred yards out to get any fish on the beaches. The truth is, on many days, most of the fish are actually in the along-shore channel just of the sand, and before that first sandbar. Never overlook this channel, especially during high tide, when the surf allows.

4.Don’t put all your baits in one spot.

Along most beaches, there are usually several sandbars, and troughs of deeper just in front from the waves that break on the bars. You never know where the fish are running, so always cast your rods in different troughs.

5.Learn to read the beach.

As you may have noticed from tips # 3 and #4, the fish are usually in the deeper troughs parallel to the shore. To find where these are, you need to learn how to “read” the beach. In general, the waves break when they hit those sandbars, and dig out deeper water after the bar. There are also usually many eddys (circling water opposite of the direction of the current) along the shore, where deeper water will be cut out and fish often move into.

6.Use light gear on calmer days.

If the surf is light, or you’re fishing the generally calmer waters on the Gulf coast, use light to medium gear (8-to- 12 pound test). Using as light of gear as possible will allow you to have more sensitivity in your line and rod, which will allow you to feel the slight taps of a whiting bite.

7.Use heavy gear on rough days.

When the surf is rough, the fish are often hanging out on those sandbars farther out, because the wave action and rip currents are just too much to handle. A 10 or 12 foot surf rod with heavy tackle is usually required to cast far enough to get past the breakers, and the rods are tall to keep your line above the ways.

8.Inshore, target the deep channels.

Whiting are not strangers to the deep channels inshore, particularly very close to the inlets, where they will ride the high tide inwards to feed on small crabs and shrimp. Target them within the channels using live bait or jigs.

9.Know where the fish are throughout the seasons.

Whiting are fairly migratory – they travel south for the winter, and back north for the summer. What this means is that if you’re a south Florida angler, summertime is not the best time to go out, but rather winter. The opposite is true for north Florida anglers (especially in the panhandle) – summertime is prime whiting fishing.

10.Communicate with other anglers.

As mentioned in tip #9, these fish move throughout the seasons. This is not clockwork however, as the weather in Florida can vary tremendously from year to year, depending on when cold fronts move through the state in the fall and winter. Communicate with other anglers on the forums to find out where the fish are during certain times of the year, as you await that major migration your way.