Soon, the big ball is going to drop in Times Square and we'll be changing the calendars from 2021 to 2022.
Regardless of what year it is, Treasure Coast anglers will be chasing their favorite targets. Mild weather and warm temperatures will mean more of the same action anglers have enjoyed through the bulk of December.
Pompano have been on the beaches along with whiting and croaker. Tripletail are being caught on the buoys. Cobia and mackerel are in 40-70 feet. Snapper and grouper can be caught in 70-100 feet of water. Redfish are chewing inshore
Closures in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.
- Snook: The closure began Dec. 15 and runs through Jan. 31, 2022.
- Spotted seatrout: No harvest of trout is allowed in the waters of eastern central Florida, from Volusia to Palm Beach counties, from Nov. 1 though Dec. 31. Harvest will re-open Jan. 1, 2022.
- Grouper: Shallow water grouper are prohibited from harvest Jan. 1 through April 30, 2022. That includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.
- Hogfish: No harvest of hogfish is allowed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida from Nov. 1 through April 30, 2022. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2022.
- Inshore: Capt. Glyn Austin of Going Coastal charters in Palm Bay has been steering clients to catches of oversized redfish in the inlet. The big fish are coming into the inlet and feeding on live croakers and crabs. Drifting with the outgoing tide is a good way to catch these big fish. Flounder are being caught by anglers fishing with live mud minnows or gigging at night along the sides of the inlet near the rocks. Sheepshead are biting on pieces of shrimp.
- Freshwater: Bass fishing will be steady at Headwaters lake on wild shiners. Remember, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission just approved regulations that make it an all catch and release fishery for bass fishing and anglers must use a circle hook when fishing with live bait.
Inshore: It's not quite cold enough to shut down the snook bite yet, but anglers are reminded that harvest is closed until Feb. 1. Live mullet cast under docks, around bridge pilings or under mangrove branches will yield snook. Redfish and trout are being caught on the points of spoil islands.
Surf: Santa Claus brought pompano for Treasure Coast anglers, said Paul Sperco of Port St. Lucie. Fishing on a Hutchinson Island beach, Sperco and another angler caught limits of pompano while fishing with Fishbites EZ Flea and Yellow Crab offerings. Spanish mackerel are also within casting range of 7-foot spinning rods rigged with chrome jigs. Reel fast to get bites from mackerel and bluefish.
Inshore: There are tripletail and sheepshead being caught around the bridges and channel markers in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River. Snook are biting around the bridges, too.
The level of the lake is still on the high side so anglers are finding bites along the vegetation lines on Observation Shoal, at Point of the Reef and near Horse Island. Fish are up in the weeds and can be hard to get to for anglers. Wild shiners are working, but so are lipless crank baits.