Friday, October 30, 2020

TCPalm fishing report: Time change, plus trout and hogfish off limits to harvest

 This weekend will be all about change for area anglers.

First, the clocks turn back one hour the night of Oct. 31, so don't forget to adjust those alarms for early morning fishing trips the next day.

Second, four changes to fishing regulations go into effect Nov. 1. They are:

  • Spotted seatrout — Will be closed to recreational harvest Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 in the central east seatrout management zone, which includes all state and federal waters from Palm Beach through Volusia counties, including the entire Indian River Lagoon system. Spotted seatrout, as well as red drum and snook, also remain catch-and-release only through May 31, 2021, in Gulf coast waters from the Hernando/Pasco county line south through Gordon Pass in Collier County. 
  • Hogfish — Recreational harvest will close in state and federal waters off the east coast of Florida and Florida Keys Nov. 1. This closure includes all state waters south of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast. The Keys/east Florida hogfish season will re-open May 1, 2021. Recreational harvest remains open in state and federal waters north of Cape Sable in the Gulf. 
  • Bluefish — Beginning Oct. 26, the recreational daily bag limit will be three fish per person along the Atlantic coast from Nassau through Miami-Dade counties. The minimum size limit is still 12 inches fork length statewide. State regulations for bluefish do not extend into federal waters of the Atlantic.
  • King mackerel — The recreational bag limit for king mackerel has been increased to four fish per person per day through March 16, 2021, in all Atlantic state and federal waters from Miami-Dade through Nassau counties. This change is consistent with recent changes in Atlantic federal waters to address forgone fishing opportunities to the recreational fishing community. 

Indian River County

Inshore: Capt. Glyn Austin of Going Coastal fishing charters said Sebastian Inlet and the surrounding area is busy right now. Snook, redfish and even a few tarpon are biting. Fishing the mangrove shorelines is productive for all three including trout, too. In Vero Beach, trout fishing is steady on the flats around the spoil islands with 1/8-ounce jigs and artificial shrimp.

Freshwater: The full moon Oct. 31 should have bass on the beds ready to spawn. Flip and pitch the shorelines to get reaction bites from fish defending their territory. Lipless crank baits and swim baits will also get plenty of bites along drop-offs and the edges of the vegetation.

St. Lucie County

Inshore: Dirty water conditions in the area of Taylor Creek and the surrounding grass flats will persist until the rains eventually let up. Snook won't mind however. They can be caught on mullet, shrimp, swim baits that mimic mullet and artificial lures that mimic shrimp.

Martin County

Inshore: Surf fishing was decent the past week, and should be until Nov. 1 when seas build again to 5-6 feet. Some pompano, whiting, bluefish and mackerel were caught by surf casters.

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