Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
INSHORE- The mullet are beginning to show inshore, and the fishing has begun to improve dramatically as a result. Snook, tarpon, jacks, and maybe even a few redfish are all taking advantage of the endless buffet of finger mullet flowing through. Typically the mullet come up to the surface best at night (Or during the day in low traffic areas or during overcast days), and that is when the fish tend to be the most active. Lots of good lure options for fishing inshore ariound the mullet schools. A topwater lure (Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil. Yo-Zuri Top Knoc, Rapala Skitterwalk, or Heddon Zara Spook) is a great way to excite a bite while fishing around mullet schools. Try focus on the edge of the schools for best results. Snook fishing will also be good at night around the bridges. Look for the snook to stack up around the bridge pilings and let the tide wash them a endless finger mullet buffet. A DOA Baitbuster is a great lure choice for this. With a strong swell forecasted for the end of the weekend. don't be surprised to see a lot of mullet showing up inshore.
SURF/PIER- Surf action has really fired up over the past week. The mullet are starting to show, and the predators are close behind. The early season mullet run is a great time to target snook, tarpon, and jacks. Following the later arriving mullet should be bluefish and blacktip sharks. A live mullet fished on the outside edges of the school is a great way to go. Keep the mullet close, but distanced enough that he looks like a easy target for quick results. If the tarpon are around and you can't get bit on a live mullet, trying a fresh dead one. Let it sink just on the edge of the school. A lot of times tarpon patrolling the edges will pick up the easy sinking meal as they keep the bait surrounded. For those looking to throw lures a Yo-Zuri Mag Darter, Rapala X-Rap, or large silver spoon will all be good ways to go around the mullet. The Juno Beach Pier continues to produce a good snook bite, along with a fair number of pompano and a permit or two. The pompano have been biting Doc's Goofy Jigs and Fishbites the best early this season.
Hanging in the humid air was the feeling that a seasonal change was afoot. The mullet were here, and everything was about to go off.
Florida is a little different than the rest of the country. Our unofficial state mascot, Florida man, has taught us all that.
Transplants have always told me they wish Florida had seasons like (fill in the blank of the state they came here from). I always tell them Florida has seven seasons. They are, in no particular order:
- Football season
- Spring football season
- Jan. 17 (or what we call "winter")
- Hurricane season (which never ends)
- Mosquito season (which also never ends)
- Tourist season (which pretty much never ends)
- Fall mullet run
For anglers, the last season is the one they really get excited for. It takes place along Florida's coastlines through the months of September and October.
It always starts the same way: rumor fueled by wishful thinking. The mullet sightings begin sometime around the third week of August. They usually start off with phrases like "A friend of mine in Jacksonville said ..." or "They're at the Georgia state line ..."
Usually, neither of these is true, but I get why it happens. Late July into August can be the slowest time for fishing along Florida's coastline. Snook season is closed to harvest, so they are strictly catch and release. They also are about the only reliable fishing target during that stretch.
Sometimes tarpon, redfish and snapper offer a little variety. But little else is going on, and there are virtually no bait to be had, not even shrimp.
So the mirage begins. Every angler near the water's edge in late August who sees a splash in a coastal estuary thinks it's the beginning of one of the greatest annual migrations on Planet Earth. In reality, it's probably just a little fish trying to shed a parasite.
For the next two weeks, the rumor mill begins to pick up a little speed, and with a little bit of truth to it. Some mullet schools — what Joey Antonelli of Indiatlantic calls "pre-pods" — begin pushing down the coast north to south.
The first ones are the silver mullet and they tend to be a little off the beach, or even in deeper water, Antonelli explained. The finger mullet come later. These are the mullet every living thing in the water are after.
They are no longer than a person's finger, and have shiny silver scales. They are yearling mullet and they are following a great pre-programmed instinct to head south for the winter. They wind up in Florida Bay, the Florida Keys and Everglades, eventually.
Some of the silvers head as far south as Central America, crossing the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
I started getting tagged in social media posts about three weeks ago. The emails began about two weeks ago. Anglers claimed they were here.
I was skeptical, so I checked my sources. Sure enough, the action was light, at best. On scouting and fishing trips recently, I classified the mullet schools I saw as being mostly resident fish being harassed by jack crevalles, snook, tarpon and sharks.
- But Wednesday, I decided to travel to Sebastian Inlet as research for this column. The tide took me a little by surprise, but the new moon fall tide is like that here. When I swung over the T-Dock on the south side of the inlet, a half-mile west of the bridge, that's when I realized no matter whether prior reports were correct or false, my own observation was clear.
This was definitely part of the largest biomass of just about anything other than humans that will make its way south this year. Even in the complete darkness, with nothing but the light from my cellphone to help me see, my other senses told me Florida's greatest season had officially begun.
I could hear the mullet. It sounded like the pitter-patter of a light rain on the water's surface. I could smell the fishiness of the scene a few yards off the dock.
The school measured well over an acre in size. It was holding position in the current as it tried to employ a safety-in-numbers approach to survival.
Around me, the exultations of excited anglers told of the fun being enjoyed by dozens. A man on the dock next to me hooked and hauled over the rail a top-of-the-slot sized snook. A fisher on a boat drifting nearby did the same with a hoot and a holler.
It was truly like an episode of Wild Kingdom or Blue Planet taking place.
- Finest season
All at once, the surface of the water erupted. The sound of 500 mullet scrambling skyward to evade a predator made it sound like someone sprayed a fire hose across the inlet.
No doubt tarpon, snook, redfish, big jacks, sharks and more were in the midst of a great feed. Soon, this biomass of fish will be commonplace from Melbourne to Jupiter.
It will be found along beaches, around inlets, along causeways, under bridges and at the end of docks. For the next six weeks, or until a tropical storm hits us directly, the mullet run will be underway.
Florida's finest season is finally here.
- Treasure Coast Newspapers
Friday, September 18, 2020
Just got back from raking sandfleas at Blue Heron Beach and it is definitely fishable- for now . Looking at the forecast as we head into the weekend conditions are going to change quickly. Hurricane Teddy is going to give us a building surf starting late Saturday so if you plan on fishing the beaches get there before Saturday night. Seas are forecast to build to 9 feet on Sunday and up to 14 feet on Monday. Thats a big swell. I am happy to deal with unfishable conditions at this time of year along the beach if the storms causing all of the wave action stay well offshore. It seems the last couple of years as soon as the first schools of mullet appear in our area we get some big weather. I was at the Snook Nook this morning and the mullet were getting hammered behind the store. Maybe its time to break out the snook set ups and hit the river next week because hearing anglers coming into the store today, the snook bite is pretty darn good .The northeast pattern of wind is forecast through Tuesday and the mullet and pompano schools should get chased down the coast from the areas they have been holding north of us. Looking at my Windfinder app seas do not drop to under 6 feet until next Friday. This can certainly change between now and then but it does not look very promising. On a positive note anyone who wants to rake some sandfleas for future use , they have been plentiful from Middle Cove to Fort Pierce Inlet. They have really been showing from 5 pm to dark and I only raked for about an hour and a half tonight and filled a bucket with some nice fleas. There are plenty of mullet starting to show in the river so my advice is to give that a shot after our conditions start to get bad starting late Saturday.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
INSHORE- Still haven't really started to see the finger mullet showing up inshore yet; but it won't be long. Snook fishing remains the best bet inshore. The snook bite at the bridges has been very good on outgoing tide. A flair hawk jig remains the top lure choice, especially for slot size fish. Swimbaits should also do the job on the snook. A handful of bruiser jacks cruising around the ICW looking for early arriving mullet. Other inshore reports remain a bit slow. We are transitioning out of the dog days of summer into early fall...won't be long before we see some big improvement on the inshore side of things.
SURF/PIER- The Juno Beach Pier is till producing a fair number of keeper snook. The hot bait of late for the snook at the pier has been live shrimp of all things. That will no doubt change as we start to see the mullet show up. No real numbers of mullet yet, just a few early season trickles. Shouldn't be long before we start to see them in much better numbers. The Juno Beach Pier has also had a decent number of permit around. A small blue crab or calico crab is going to be the way to go for the permit. A few mullet up in Stuart, but no full on just yet. Scattering of early season pompano around over the past week or so.
September Fishing Forecast With COVID-19 still affecting the Treasure Coast, more people have turned to fishing to get out of the house. August was a super-hot month! September will continue to be warm, but the fishing is always exciting. It’s a great time of year to target tarpon, snook and redfish around the Treasure Coast. Lots of bait has arrived in the area and the predators are chasing it both in the river and on the beach. Water temperatures will continue to be warm. Temps have been in the upper 80’s lately. It is always best to fish early or late in the day. The fall mullet run begins this month and that will bring exciting action to the area. I love fishing in September! Fish the shallow water early. Look for redfish around docks and mangroves this month. They like the shade these areas offer, and you can get a nice redfish fishing live bait, DOA shrimp and CAL grub tails. The trout bite improved this year and you can find some nice fish around Bear Point, Harbor Branch or Round Island flats. Fish top water early and switch to DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits as the sun warms up. Snook season opens again on September 1st. Live bait, DOA Terror Eyz and assorted other favorites used around jetties, bridges and sea walls can get you hooked up to that slot fish. Make sure you are prepared for the season and check your equipment. It’s always good to check your license and snook stamp, too. Fish the bait schools! It's easy to spot the bait this time of year. The fall mullet run is going on strong in September. If you do not find bait around your favorite fishing spot, you will most likely not find many fish there. Move around if you need to find active bait. Fish love this time of year and they are out there gorging themselves on the bait in anticipation of the coming winter months. Water temperatures will begin to mellow out and will get back to normal. It's a great time of year to be fishing!
The snook bite has been excellent for anglers at the Stuart and Jensen causeways. Lots of slot-size keepers. They are pretty much hitting everything from dead shrimp to Fishbites to topwater plugs.
Along the beachies in Jupiter and at the Jupiter Inlet there are plenty of snook being caught. They are mostly being caught using sardines as well as croaker and mullet.
Speaking of mullet, there have been a few decent sized schools that have moved through the Jupiter area and could be a signal that the big fall push is on the way.
At the Juno Pier, there are some Spanish mackerel starting to show and be caught. At the Lake Worth Inlet the snook fishing remains decent with the top of incoming tide being the key to a consistent bite. If you cannot fish the incoming tide, there are still some snook on the outgoing tide but the bite shuts down quickly. Snook are also being caught along the area beaches with the average size being under slot with a few slots mixed in.
Around Peanut Island there have been good numbers of jack crevalle and tarpon cruising around as the bait has been getting thicker inside the inlet.
Bridge fishing has been good with live shrimp or shrimp lures. Cast your bait up current and allow it to freely float back to the bridge. The top of the incoming tide has seen the best bite.
The bass bite is still best in the early morning on the outside grassline from first light until around an hour afterwards. Light colored swim baits and spinner baits are working well. After that the fish are moving further into the grass so it's time to start targeting the inside of the outside. Throwing flukes is a good method of locating them and flippin' jigs or creature style baits have also been producing results.
There are still bluegill being caught. The rim canal has been the top spot.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Thur. trip up to the beach was a little unusual as I cannot remember a pompano trip where we landed more permit than pompano! My son Randy and I met up at Blue Heron around 7 and after the sun came up it was evident the water had turned to a dirty shade of green and after catching a few catfish we packed it in and headed to Stuart beach. The water there was much better but after a couple of hours all we had to show for our efforts were catfish and one ladyfish. Randy and his father-in-law Barry Rashkin were fishing short rods and catching a few decent whiting and croaker but the bite was definitely slow. Just before the change of the tide we got one decent hit and put a keeper pompano in the cooler. About 15 minutes after the pompano, one of the long rods got hammered and when Randy set up on the fish I the fight was on. I told him it's pulling like a nice permit and 10 minutes later we landed a beautiful big permit. After a couple of pictures we released it and rebaited with Crab Fishbites that was on that rod. Five minutes later the rod goes off again and another permit run took Randy up the beach. We landed this one also and took a couple of pictures before we released him. Two permit in twenty minutes will certainly make your day and although the pompano didn't show up, these two beautiful game fish made the day. I have to say our population of permit and bone fish along the beaches has been increasing every year and hopefully that trend continues. There are a lot of anglers that spend a lot of money to fish in the Keys and the Bahamas for these great fighters and we are awfully lucky to have surf fishing that now includes these sought after game fish that are available for us to play tug of war with. If you are lucky enough to hook and land one of these great fish, please take your pictures quickly and get them back into the water so they can make someone else smile when they do catch one. I have caught a couple of permit and bonefish on live sandfleas but the majority of the ones I have caught have been on EZ Flea or Yellow or White Crab Fishbites. Today I did the "coaching" and Randy did the catching. It is hard to imagine that there is any better surf fishing opportunities than what we have available to us along our Treasure Coast.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
I hope everyone had a safe and healthy few days off. I fished back up at Blue Heron today and once again the numbers were not big but there are some quality sized pompano swimming along our local beaches . The first pompano I caught today bent my 12 foot rod over double and took off down the beach. I really thought it was another big jack until it semi skipped out of the water 70 yards out. The count today was only 5 legal sized pompano and it is nice when you don't have to think about measuring them to be sure they are legal. A friend of mine fishing down in the Jensen Beach area caught 8 with no keepers so you just have to be lucky and be at the beach where some bigger ones are located. The bait today was EZ Flea Fishbites and all of my bites were pretty far off from 75 to 100 yards. The water up north was not as clean today as it was Saturday and you had to cast beyond the dirty water to reach the area that these guys were holding in. I always say at my seminars, "the two biggest reasons you do not catch pompano are, you are not reaching them or you are fishing in off colored water". Today both of those factors came into play. The other species on the catch and release list were ladyfish, jacks,blue runners , and catfish. I am happy to report that one of my friends in the Ormond Beach area gave me a call to say the pompano bite was excellent there over the weekend. The good news is those fish are heading our way. Looking ahead to this week the current forecast is for East winds at 5 to 10 knots which should keep our surf conditions in very fishable conditions. Snook, pompano, jacks, ladyfish, blue runners, whiting, and croaker should be on the catch lists this week.
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Friday, September 4, 2020
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
This past weekend saw some great surf conditions with calm surf and pretty good water color. The catch rate was not the greatest but signs of the transition from summer to fall were definitely out there. I started at Beachwalk Pasley beach access on Saturday morning fishing both long rods for pompano and pitching a short rod for whiting and croaker. The long rod bite only produced blue runners and one small jack. The short rod did produce 4 big whiting and a couple of croakers before I packed it up due to the tide dropping and the shallow conditions. The whiting and croaker bait that produced was Pink Shrimp and Yellow Crab Fishbites.I took a ride north and settled in at Blue Heron. The near shore water was brown and streaky but after 30 yards the water cleaned up beautifully. The first bite came from a nice 15 inch pompano that fell for a EZ Flea Fishbite. I was lucky enough to put another keeper pompano in the cooler but unfortunately the next two pompano hook ups were taken by sharks after getting them half way in. The next 6 fish I caught were from a school of bonefish that bit for about an hour. If you have never caught one of these great gamefish it is definitely a thrill as the initial run they make will make you think you have a substantial pompano or permit on the line. These fish are somewhat fragile so if you do hook one please return it to the water as gently and quickly as you can. EZ Flea Fishbites hooked all of the bonefish. On Sunday I fished in gin clear water at Stuart Beach and caught and released a bunch of blue runners on the long rods and had non stop action on the short rod with small croakers. I did see two small pods of mullet move down the beach and along with the number of small croaker in the first trough I thought the snook would be chasing them but I never saw one. We are certainly in a transition phase and look for bait schools to be moving along our shoreline. One tip I can give you on the pompano front is if you are fishing a beach with the calm clear water ,remove the floats from your pompano rigs and this will produce more bites. I am heading back out this morning and will post a report later today or tomorrow. We are heading into the Labor Day Weekend and the surf fishing will certainly start to pick up as we get into September with the first schools of mullet that are heading our way from the north.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Conditions are improving, with diminishing winds and wave heights soon to make surf fishing more productive. The surf is still pretty dirty, with some seaweed thrown in for good measure, but calmer conditions to come should clean it up quickly. Before the winds there were good numbers of Snook, Tarpon, Spanish Mackerel, and other species were up and down the beaches, which should show up again, especially if the much anticipated mullet run begins. The inlets continue to produce Snook, but live bait has been more productive, and Mangrove Snapper have been caught on Pilchards in the Fort Pierce Inlet and nearby bridges as well. The Indian River is still fairly dirty overall, but decent numbers of Sea trout are being caught in some of the cleaner areas closer to the inlets on soft plastics, and Snook and baby Tarpon fishing in the early AM has still been productive as well.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Mangrove Snapper are around to be had all day long. They’ll hit on live shrimp and you’ll find them throughout the inlet system so try your hand at fishing from different spots. There have been some Jacks and Spanish Mackerel coming over the rails on the jetties. Jacks will hit on live shrimp and spoons, and break out your little spoons, jigs and Gotcha lures to target the Spanish Mackerel. We hear it seems to be better on the outgoing tide and Tommy recommends trying earlier or later in the day as your best bet.
INSHORE- Snook fishing remains the best bet on the inshore side of things. With inlet snook fishing still good, a few early season trickles of mullet coming in, and enough rain to open up some spillways...you have a wide variety of snook fishing options ahead! The spillways have been producing a good number of fish when they are open. A flair hawk jig or SpoolTek have both been working good when the spillways are flowing. The snook have also been stacked up around the bridges as well. Look for the outgoing tide at night to be the best bet for the snook. For all around action it's hard to beat a shrimp imitating lure floated through the shadow line. For bigger snook a flair hawk or swimbait presented right along the bottom is a good bet. Mixed in with the snook have been a handful of tarpon and a few jacks. As we start to see more mullet flow through in the coming weeks, expect to see a real boost in inshore activity!
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
INSHORE- Fairly standard inshore report this week. As usual best action will remain catch and release snook fishing, especially in/around the inlets. Live croaker or sandperch are the top baits for the biggest snook. In along the seawalls live mullet will be a top bait choice for the snook and jacks. Should just be a few weeks away from the start of the fall mullet run. Keep an eye on the weather...a north breeze will get them pointed south i a hurry. Other inshore action is fairly slow. Has been a good number of mangrove snapper inshore. Small live pilchards and live shrimp are a good bet for the snapper.
The snook and tarpon fishing as been good at the Lake Worth Inlet and the nearby bridges and beaches. Flair Hawk jigs and bigger swimbaits are working great at night, while during the day downsizing your presentation to something like a Vudu Shrimp or a Hyperplastic Dartspin should work well. Big jack crevalle have been spotted cruising around the surf zone and the Lake Worth Inlet. Throw a big piece of metal like a Shimano Coltsniper jig or a big topwater lure to get into them.
Little by little, a few early season mullet have been showing up, which is an exciting sign for inshore guys because it means the bulk of them are not far behind. Spinner and blacktip sharks have been jumping along the edges of the flats and channels in the Intracoastal Waterway near the Boynton Inlet.
From the Snook Islands down to the Boynton Inlet, permit up to 15 pounds are being caught using both live shrimp and dead bait including shrimp, crabs or clams. Fish along sandy shorelines and around grassy flats.
The bluegill bite has been really good, not quite as on fire as the past few weeks, but still definitely worth the effort for some tasty panfish. Hot spots have been King’s Bar, Buckhead Ridge and the rim canal around Henry Creek. Worms and crickets are working as are beetle spins. The bass bite has been best in the early mornings and right before dark using moving baits including swim baits, Skinny Dippers and Horny Toads while working the outside grasslines. After that morning bite begins to slow down switch to flippin’ or live shiners.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Saturday, August 8, 2020
INSHORE- A few early season trickles of mullet coming through...won't be long till we really see a good number showing up inshore. Snook fishing remains the best bet inshore, with a handful of bruiser jacks and maybe a tarpon or two in the mix as well. Snook fishing will be good with live baits (mullet or pilchards are good choices inshore) during the day in the Loxahatchee River around good current based points and boat docks. Snook fishing has also been pretty good at night around the bridges. Flair Hawks and Swimbaits remain the top choices for the snook. They are keyed in on bigger baits, so don't be afraid to throw some larger lures at them. Last of the incoming and first of the outgoing will be good tides to fish. Mangrove snapper action has been fair inshore. Small live pilchards and live shrimp are great bait choices for the snapper.
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Monday, August 3, 2020
Friday, July 31, 2020
SURF/PIER- Snook fishing has been good along the beach; but conditions this weekend will make that shall we say a little rough. The Juno Beach Pier snook bite could go off this weekend depending on how the storm comes by. Snook bite could go off on jigs and swimbaits. The Spanish Mackerel bite has been good this week. Freelining small live baits or the bobber rig have been the way to go for the Macs.
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
SURF/PIER- Rough conditions (by summertime standards) and lots of seaweed had the surf bite a little tough this week. Those willing to fight through the weeds found a decent snook bite. The snook are in both Jupiter and Palm Beach Inlets in good numbers. The Juno Beach Pier has had good snok action, with a handful of tarpon around as well. Good number of Spanish Mackerel around the pier over the past few days. The bobber rig or crappie jig have been the best bets for the macs.