Thursday, March 26, 2020

SNOOK FISHING IN A BARREL *camera lady gets in on the action*

Say It Isn't So

Coronavirus has closed many beaches in Florida. Is there a safe option to keep them open?

courtsey Of , Treasure Coast Newspapers
My life is like a stroll upon the beach; As near the ocean’s edge as I can go.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, The Fisher’s Boy
I grew up on the beach, pretty much. The first three decades of my life were spent engaged in all manner of activities on a beach somewhere. The past two decades had me going to the beach plenty, too.
Since the middle of last week, we have seen a cavalcade of beach closures around the Sunshine State. Until further notice, beaches are being closed to public access, even if Gov. Ron DeSantis has yet to issue that order himself — and he's said he won't.
City and county officials have deemed it necessary to prevent gatherings of large groups of people to stem the spread of deadly COVID-19.
However — and this is a pretty important distinction — the beach is not closed if one has private access. After all, unlike when a hurricane is approaching, the beach is not unsafe, being in a crowd is.
Condominium owners, beachfront homeowners and members of community associations that have a private access to the beach are allowed to enjoy their salt therapy uninterrupted, as long as there are no large groups. A quick drive up and down Hutchinson Island Monday revealed a bizarre coastal dystopia.
Public beaches such as Jensen, Bob Graham, Bryn Mawr and even the House of Refuge were sealed off by locked gates (the beaches have gates?) or temporary chain link fences. Middle Cove, Frederick Douglass and Waveland beaches had yellow caution tape stretched across their entrances.
Meanwhile, residents of Indian River Plantation in Stuart, Holiday Out just north of the Martin-St. Lucie County line, and other beach clubs along the east side of A1A conducted life as usual. 
Bathtub Beach at the southern end of MacArthur Boulevard in Stuart is closed for repairs as well as COVID-19, but I guess we've grown used to that by now.
The entire process has me wondering if we are going too far with the restriction of access to our favorite places. I get the mandatory closings of bars, restaurants and malls — although coastal Florida depends on its service economy to survive. I am terrified about how deep an economic hole these measures will dig us into.
But to some degree, the parks, beaches and waterways became our only refuge.
While I'm glad they're allowing people to use the park areas of beaches, such as Fort Pierce's South Beach and Kimberly Bergalis Beach that were open Monday, it makes no sense to allow that while prohibiting use of the beaches just beyond the parks. 
What if we could adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maintain safe distances from others, and still enjoy access, even if limited, to some of these areas? Here are some suggestions:
  • Limit beach access to the number of actual parking spots available. On the Treasure Coast, only a few "large" beach access points have more than 100 parking spots, and those typically offer more than a half-mile of beachfront along the tide line. Don't allow parking along the roadsides or across the street. 
  • Limit beach access to residents of that particular county. What is great about the Treasure Coast is the plentiful number of public beach access points available in all three counties.
  • If these measures still produce too much demand, enact designated days of access. For example, license plates that end in an even number can use the beaches on even-numbered calendar days, likewise of odd numbers. Vanity plates, well, you don't get to go. Sorry! 
I know I'm going to get a lot of heat from those who'll say I'm giving advice that goes against CDC recommendations. Right now, none of these are options because law enforcement is maintaining the closures. I saw members of four different law enforcement agencies patroling A1A Monday.
I also completely understand our government's need to protect some of us from ourselves. I've seen the videos of the spring breakers and remember being one myself many years ago.
But we need to remember, closing beach access punishes those who were following safe guidelines. Beachgoers are more than just spring breakers on Miami, Daytona and Panama City beaches. They are also:
  • Anglers fishing for pompano
  • Walkers getting exercise
  • Dog owners letting their pets stretch their legs
  • Treasure hunters sweeping with metal detectors
  • Trash collectors helping to protect sea creatures by removing garbage that washed up or was left behind
  • Surfers, paddleboarders, kayakers, beach divers and families who are seeking to engage with nature.
At one point or another, I've literally been all of these. 
All I suggest is that perhaps we can be safe and also maintain public access to outdoors recreation for taxpayers who want it, instead of allowing it only for those who paid for a private beach access.
courtsey of  @ Treasure Coast Newspapers

The Pompano Kid Catching Pompano in Northeast Florida, Surf Fishing Cre...

From Whites Tackle - Ft Pierce / Stuart

Fort Pierce Inlet has been a bit tough for Snook unless you are using live bait, due to very clear water conditions, Sebastian has been closed as with all state parks. Fishing in the Indian River has remained good, with good numbers of Sea trout falling for soft plastics and shrimp. Redfish numbers are solid as well, mostly around the mangroves, with some over slot specimens being caught as well. Snook are enjoying the warmer conditions, with plenty of quality fish around on the flats and shorelines, with twitch baits and soft plastics accounting for most catches. Pompano continue to be caught in the Indian River as well, mostly on goofy jigs, in areas from Stuart up to the Wabasso Causeway. 

Go To Lures for SURF Snook...

Hand-Pouring Green Colorshift Shad Swimbaits; Hand Pouring Soft Plastic ...

Friday, March 20, 2020

From Todd &Trey @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

INSHORE-  Snook fishing improved this week with nice warm weather.  The snook are keyed in on springtime mullet currently.   Live mullet fished along seawalls and under boat docks are a good bet during the day; while a flair hawk or big swimbait is a good choice at night.  The first part of the outgoing tide has been best for the snook as of late.  Mixed in with the snook have been a fair number of jacks; including a few real nice ones.  Live mullet or noisy topwaters are the way to go for the jacks as well.  Sandperch are biting very well in the ICW right now on small pieces of shrimp.  Still a few sheepshead hanging around the bridges, with a few mangrove snapper beginning to move in as well.

SURF/PIER-  Pompano reports were very good this week along the beach.  Decent pompano catches coming from just north of the Juno Beach Pier all the way up to Hobe Sound.  Sandfleas, clams, and FIshBites are all producing good numbers of pompano.  Best bite will be lowlight periods of the day and also at the end of the hightide.  The Juno Beach Pier has had a very good croaker bite this week, with fresh shrimp being the bait of choice.  The Jupiter Inlet has been hot this week with a solid pompano bite on Doc's Goofy Jigs, as well as a few snook beginning to show up.  The snook were quick to jump on freelined live croakers.  

                                      

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

In the midst of everything the Coronavirus situation is creating ,its nice to be able to put out a surf fishing report that just talks about catching some fish on the beach. I f anyone took a ride up to any of our beaches on Hutchinson Island this weekend it was obvious there was only one thing anyone had in mind- enjoying our fantastic weather. Beaches were packed all weekend from Santa Lucea to Fort Pierce Inlet . Surf fishing results were kind of mixed with some beaches like Waveland,Glasscock, and Little Mud that produced some decent pompano fishing but the accesses like Blue Heron, Middle Cove , and Normandy, that had been the spots to fish, slowed down considerably. I fished today up by Fort Pierce with my son Randy and friend , fellow worker, and the Treasure Coasts number one Fly Fishing expert, Jeff Smith. Jeff had never caught a pompano from the surf but by the end of the day he was dialed in and caught a nice bunch of big pompano. I know I keep highlighting and talking about Fishbites Yellow Crab bait but today I actually had an angler that was fishing next to us come up and ask if he could buy some from me!! We put 15 pompano in the cooler with the biggest tipping the scales at almost 4 pounds. The rods that we we fished with the stand alone Yellow Crab Scent produced 75% of the fish. The anglers fishing on either side of us did not have this Fishbite bait and they had a pretty tough day. When you find a color or a scent that is continually getting bites,switch a couple of your other rods over to that scent. Natural clam strips tipped with Clam Fishbites and Frozen Sand Fleas tipped with EZ Flea Fishbites did not produce many strikes today. Looking at the updated marine forecast it appears as if we are going to get seas back up to 5 feet through Friday so we will have to see how that affects our conditions. The Coronavirus situation is something that will pass and I hope everyone stays healthy and safe. 
                                                         

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bottom Sweeper Jigs: Top Pros & Cons (New Product Review)

Scouting Around Palm Beach And Martin County





Inshore fishing:
Along the beaches in Jupiter there has been good action on pompano, as well as whiting and croaker. Though the ‘go-to’ bait right now is sand fleas, they have been very hard to find. Instead try fish bites, fresh, live, cut up shrimp or clams.
Up in the Loxahatchee River there have also been some pompano caught as well as some nice-size jack crevalle and good numbers of black drum. They are all being taken on cut shrimp.
Lake Okeechobee:
On the lake, the bass are done bedding down and are heading back out. Plus, with the water temperature fluctuating less and holding steady at 74 to 75 degrees the bite has become much more consistent. Anglers working the outside edges of the Kissimmee grass, using spinner baits (especially double silver and white) are catching plenty of fish. Most have been in the two- to two-and-a-half pound range. Hot spots the past week have the shoal and Buckhead Ridge areas.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Catching Fish TOO BIG TO KEEP! - Jetty Fishing

Using Cut Bait For Surf Fishing Success

From Capt. Charlie @Fishing Center-Fort Pierce

The winds of March have arrived! Warmer weather means winter is over and spring conditions are just around the corner. Chances of rain are on the increase so watch the weather and plan your adventures carefully. Water temps will be on the rise this month and you can expect lots of exciting fishing action around the Treasure Coast this month.

Look for redfish to be around mangroves and docks. A DOA shrimp is always a good choice for reds. Trout will be moving onto the shallow grass flats as the sun warms things up. Try a DOA Deadly Combo or live shrimp on a popping cork to locate trout. A DOA CAL will also work well this month. Sheepshead, drum and snapper will be along channel edges and docks and willing to take a live shrimp. Snook fishing will pick up around the inlets, bridges and docks. Live pilchards are a favorite bait in March. Mackerel, bluefish, jacks and many other predators will be coming in with the tides and feeding around the inlets and channels of the river. Small shiny lures work best for these fish.
Pompano fishing has been good so far this year. Pompano are in the river and along the surf and willing to take a Doc’s Goofy Jig, shrimp or sand fleas. They usually can be found in channels and deeper parts of the flats in March. We have had great success on croakers the past few years. There will be nice sized fish in the river and along the beaches feeding with whiting. They are fun to catch and very good on the table!

Winter wasn’t so bad even though we complain about it. Living in Florida spoils you! March is a good time to check equipment. Both fishing and the boat should be checked a few times a year to make sure everything is in good working order. Some of these windy days will provide a good chance to check rods, reels and safety gear for when good weather arrives. 

From Todd &Trey @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

INSHORE-  Snook fishing was better this week with warmer temps.  The snook are keyed in on live mullet in the ICW and Loxahatchee River right now.  The bridges are also holding snook at night, especially on an outgoing tide.  Flairhawks, big swimbaits, and diving plugs are all good lure choices right now.  Mixed in with the snook should be a few god sie jacks

SURF/PIER-  Pompano bite has been good this week.  Conditions look good for the upcoming week for the pompano to bite into the weekend.  Clams, sandfleas, shrimp, and FishBites are the baits of choice for the pompano.  A few bluefish biting bottom baits at the pier this week.  Spanish mackerel are around as well.  The spinner sharks are around in solid numbers finally.  Should be some pretty good action this weekend....

                                      

Sebastian Inlet Report

                                               
Rough Seas Putting a Damper on Fishing

A-hearty WAY-TO-GO to our featured anglers of the week!  Joe Hardy from Syracuse, NY, and Ed Nunez from Milwaukee, WI.  “We love Space Coast surf casting, especially near the inlet.” 

Check out this massive 47” Black Drum that Joe brought in using sandfleas on pompano rigs.   We hear that Ed has been surf casting near Sebastian Inlet for years while visiting his parents who winter in Melbourne Beach, but Joe is relatively new to the sport.  “He’s a great student and to bring that Drum to the beach on a light line was quite impressive!  My sister and 88-year old Dad were also there to help land these fish.  Teamwork!” 
When you do make your trip to the inlet, try the jetties for the Bluefish with your spoons or Gotcha lures.  We’ve also been getting reports of massive Black Drums that were caught on the North Jetty, but also from the beaches (the photo says it all, right!?).  Use your sandfleas, shrimp and clams to target Black Drum.  Anglers are still seeing Sheepshead too.  Snook and Redfish can be found throughout the inlet system and are hitting on live shrimp.
                                        

Saturday Talk with Capt. Paul Sperco

                                                       

The Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro has begun and this should be a busy weekend at Bass Pro in Port St Lucie . Bring any rod or reel that needs to be updated and trade them in on a new one . It’s a great opportunity to get some great discounts on all of the fabulous Penn reels . This event only happens once a year so if you have been looking to get in on our spring Pompano run , how about a new Penn Spinfisher Vl Longcast Spinning reel . This reel will allow you to reach these great fish along our local beaches. I will be in the store Friday, Saturday- Spring Pompano Seminar at 230 pm, and Sunday. Stop by the reel counter and I will answer any questions you might have and show you the entire line up of Penn products .Hope to see you .

Monday, March 9, 2020

40inch SNOOK + MULTIPLE PB's SPILLWAY FISHING *epic day*

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

II hope everyone had a chance to get out and fish the last couple of days because the bluefish,mackerel, and pompano certainly were there at alot of locations. I fished yesterday afternoon with friend Chuck Frith from Jensen Beach and although it wasnt the "run from rod to rod"bite it was steady enough to put a bunch of nice pompano in the cooler. I ran into friend and local angling expert, Capt Mike Conner at Blue Heron and Mike was starting to put a nice catch of pompano together as he usually does. Fellow worker and friend from the Snook Nook ,Burry McGee fished just south of me and landed his personal best pompano which probably tipped the scales at 3 pounds. Another local sharpie ,Ron Robinson , was also just south of me and he too had a nice catch. I went back this morning before heading to Bass Pro Shops and added another 15 pompano to my cooler in just a couple of hours . Salted clam strips were hot today,tipped with Clam Fishbites. The best stand alone Fishbite producer was guess what ?, Yellow Crab. Friends Joe Castronova and Mark Nygard each had a recrerational limit today also. There is some great fishing on the sand right now so hopefully it will pick up right where it ended today once the weather settles. This is Daylight Savings Time weekend and everyone needs to get tuned into the technique, time, bait, and location changes that the time change brings on to our pompano fishing. I (PAUL) will be going over all of these aspects Saturday at Bass Pro Shops in Port St Lucie at the last Pompano Seminar of the season at that location, Springtime Surf Fishing for Pompano. The program will kick off at 230 and this one usually draws a big crowd so come in early for a good seat. I will be at Bass Pro this weekend in the fishing department and at the Snook Nook on Thursday morning if anyone has any questions or advice you might want to ask before Saturday. 

Friday, March 6, 2020

How To Catch Croakers - The Best Snook Fishing Bait

Catching Monster Pompano on Sand FLEAS! {Catch Clean Cook} BAKED Pompano...

IS YOUR POMPANO RIG WRONG? SURF FISHING

From Todd &Trey @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach


INSHORE: Snook fishing had started to improve this week, but another spring front will most likely slow them back down this weekend.  Look for snook fish to really start rolling as we see more consistent warm weather in a row soon.  The snook have been in the Loxahatchee River around boat docks and seawalls during the day; and stacking up around docelights and bridges at night.  Look for the snook to be keyed in on mullet along seawalls, and shrimp around the docks and bridges.  Some big bruiser jacks around the Loxahatchee River this week.  The jacks are also keyed in on mullet along seawalls...they just go about attacking them a little different than the snook do.  The Home Sound flats are holding a nice little mixed bag of fish early in the morning.  Been a few snook, jacks, ladyfish, pompano, and a few others from marker 40 to 44 in the ICW up that way.  Sandperch action has been very good in the ICW on small pieces of shrimp. 

SURF/PIER:  Early in the week saw some good surf and pier action, but strong southeast winds limited most action as of late.  Changing weather with the front this weekend could fire up the fish (If the water doesn't end up to cloudy and dirty).  Pompano bit good again this week.  No hot spot to speak of as the fish seem to be really moving quick.  The pompano bite has bounced around from Singer Island up to Home Sound and pretty much everywhere in between.  Sandfleas, clams, and FIshBites will be the bait of choice for the pompano.  Spanish Mackerel and a few bluefish are also scattered up and down the beach.  The Bobber rig with a clark spoon is a solid choice right now as the fish seem to be feeding heavily on glass minnows. Croaker have been biting live shrimp very good at the Juno Beach Pier this week. Spinner shark fishing has not been as good as it should be this week, but a few of them are around.  Fresh chunks of cut bait remain the bait of choice for the sharks.

                               

Sebastian Inlet Report

                                                              
Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish Running

Yesterday was a beautiful day to fish the inlet and Tommy at Sebastian Inlet Bait & Tackle tell us the Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish were running.  There’s been a lot of good action at the inlet lately and anglers are reporting catches of Snook, Redfish, Sheepshead, Black Drum and even a few Flounder this past week.
Try the North and South jetties for the Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish.  They are hitting on spoons and Gotcha lures.
Snook and Redfish you’ll find throughout the inlet biting on live shrimp off the North Jetty during the day and hitting lures at night. 
Sheepshead are also around, pretty much everywhere, and Black Drum can be found off the North and South jetties.  Sebastian Inlet Bait & Tackle can get you set up with your sand fleas, shrimp and clams if you're fishing for these guys. 
One angler brought in a 5 lb. Flounder of the North Jetty so they are still around to be had.  Try the T-dock on the southside of Sebastian Inlet State Park and West of the bridge too to target Flounder.
A shout out to our angler of the week – Samuel Campbell – with this gorgeous keeper Snook he caught fishing the North Jetty.  “First keeper of the year, excellent fish!”  Way to go Samuel!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Scouting Around Palm Beach And Martin County

 Inshore fishing:
In the both the St. Lucie and Indian Rivers, the snook fishing has been good. During the day live bait has been working best while at night throwing Flarehawks has been producing. Size-wise it’s been a bit of a mixed bag, but there are definitely keepers to be had.
If you’re looking for a fight there are some big jack crevalle moving into the St. Lucie and Indian Rivers right now and they’re just itching to test some lines. Working the beaches from Lantana Public Beach down to Boynton Inlet, anglers are catching jack crevalle using spoons and yellow bucktail jigs.

Lake Okeechobee:
Anglers working the Buckhead Ridge and Tin House Cove areas have The spec bite has been fantastic around Little Grassy and Third Point. They are up in the grass right now and anglers are getting their limits using minnows and jigs.
More freshwater fun:
Working a few of the waterways in the conservation area west of Boynton and along the 441 canal, one angler reported catching and releasing 52 largemouth bass and two snakeheads. The bass were up to six pounds. They were caught on a variety of lures including Senkos in silver, gold and black flake, red and black, black and yellowtails as well as blue/black half-ounce jigs with a blue flake Gambler crawfish. They caught around a dozen of the bass on five weight flyrods casting white chartreuse crazy Charlie flies.

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

                                                           

If there was ever a day that validates the theory that our springtime pompano bite switches from first light to the afternoon, today was it. I started at Beachwalk Pasley beach access early this morning and when the sun came up the water color looked perfect for that area to be holding some pompano. Unfortunately the only bite I received in the two hours I was there was from a bluefish. Tiger Shores, Stuart Beach, and Beachwalk all produced a few pompano on Tuesday afternoon but by this morning they were gone. I stopped at Normandy and that spot was pretty crowded with anglers targeting the bluefish and rods were bent up and down that entire area for the fishermen throwing the spoons. The water looked good up and down Hutchinson Island and looks at Middle Cove, Frederick Douglas, and Blue Heron confirmed that. I picked a spot and folks that I spoke with said there was some activity with the pompano but it died off. Todays high tide was around 3 pm and so I set up and waited to fish the incoming tide. My first three hours produced 1 pompano and 3 bluefish. The pompano must have got the memo about the afternoon feeding time because around 130 the action started and just got better. The end result was around 30 pompano , a few bluefish and blue runners along with a few shark offs.The hot bait today was salted clam strips tipped with Clam Fishbites. I love my chances during this great time of year when you can find some nice clean water with a mid afternoon high tide. Looking ahead the opportunity to chase some of this great fishing down is going to be short lived as the next front approaches. Seas are forecast to start building on Friday and it looks like its going to be next Wednesday before things will calm down . We are heading into the best pompano surf fishing of the year but we need Mother Nature to back off with the wind and the seas. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Fishing Florida Whiting and How to catch whiting from the surf. Surfcast...

90lbm of lead (fishing weights) in 1 dive at Jupiter FL inlet fishing point

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

The last two days on the beach have kept pace with our last couple of months of wind and rough surf. One of these weeks we are going to get 4 or 5 days in a row of nice weather and we will be pinching ourselves. I fished Sunday and today and the only thing I had to show for the effort was a few bluefish. If anyone wants to catch a few to put in the smoker or just have some fun reeling them in they seem to be spread up and down all of our beaches. I caught them on Yellow Crab Fishbites today so I am sure if you used cut mullet and targeted them you could have some great action. The northeast swell and wind yesterday really produced some challenging conditions and if you were not using spider sinkers you probably had some issues holding bottom. I did not fish too long yesterday or today but I did receive a few reports of a couple of pompano here and there. My son Randy and friend Chris Battjer fished at Santa Lucea yesterday and only had two bites but they both turned out to be two pound pompano. Other beaches that produced a few pompano were Blue Heron, Porpoise, Tiger Shores, Stuart, and Bridge Road in Hobe Sound. Water color was pretty nice at most spots and once the wind backs off things should pick right back up. Looking ahead Daylight Savings Time goes into effect this weekend and with the longer days, times, techniques, baits, and locations for the best pompano fishing of the year will change somewhat. I will be covering all of that information on March 14 at Bass Pro Shops in Port St Lucie at the Springtime Surf Fishing for Pompano Seminar at 230 pm. The weather is forecast to improve starting tomorrow so lets all hope we start to see 2 to 3 foot seas instead of the 4 to 6 that has been the norm. Good luck this week and catch em up.