Although we won't have the flat, calm surf conditions of last weekend, the outlook to bend a rod looks great along our beaches. Spanish mackerel, pompano, whiting, croaker, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, and sharks continue to be caught at numerous locations and I don't see this action backing off. I started off this morning at the south end of Hutchinson Island and was greeted by a stiff northeasterly wind that was gusting up to 20 knots. I checked Fletcher Beach Access and spoke with an angler who had put a couple of pompano in his cooler before the wind picked up. Heading north I checked Normandy but did not like the conditions and drove up to Middle Cove where the action had been so good during the early part of the week. Five ounce pyramid and spider sinkers were the key to holding the bottom in the four foot surf, and my first cast with a rod rigged with EZ Flea Fishbites produced a pompano very quickly. The action slowed and the only bites I got were from a bluefish and a ladyfish. After the tide turned at about 12:30 the action turned on. Five more nice sized pompano, bluefish, blue runners, and whiting were all added to the catch list as the tide started to drop. The falling tide in the afternoon has been the prime time for the pompano bite in the last couple of weeks so if you can't spend all day on the beach try to target this time slot. Fishbites and sandfleas were the best baits today and it was nice to see some of these large pompano re-appear. Reports of 12 and 13 inch pompano were the norm during the past week but today the bigger ones took center stage. I got a text from Hayden Murphy, who is a big time river angler at 5 pm; he had just released a nice spinner shark at Middle Cove and reported the schools of mackerel were up and down the beach. This should be a great surf weekend whether you are going to target whiting and croaker in the first trough, set up the long rods for pompano, or get the heavy tackle out and play catch-and-release with the spinner and blacktip sharks.
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