The cold fronts we have been getting the past few weeks have pushed a lot of our winter species into our area. The majority of surf anglers are out chasing Pompano on the long rods. Most of these fish have been caught 70-110yds off the beach. You will want to fish a 10-12ft rod to allow you to get the distance on your cast to reach the deeper troughs where the Pompano are cruising. FishBites remain to be a favorite bait option for those targeting Pompano. It is always a good idea to have a couple flavors with you when hitting the beach to see what they are keyed in on. Yellow Crab and EZ-Flea have been two of the hottest flavors lately. Anglers are also fishing with clams, sandfleas and pieces of shrimp to get the bite. You can fish a piece of one of those baits along with a piece of FishBites on your rig as well to ensure you have bait on your hook!
There have been Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish and Jacks cruising the beaches as well. Anglers have been picking them off on spoons, Gotcha Plugs and Gulfstream Flash Minnows. It is always a good idea to have a 7′-8′ rod rigged up with one to get in on some action while you are waiting on a bite!
Inshore Fishing Report
There have still been plenty of Snook caught in our area. A lot of fish have moved up into the St. Lucie River. We have also heard about Snook caught up on the flats around the power plant as well as around the causeways. With the cooler water temperatures, a lot of these fish will be more inclined to feed on a slower presentation such as a shrimp, either live or artificial. However it is still tough for them to pass up a live Pilchard or Croaker! A lot of Snook have been caught in the dock lights at night and some quality fish have been caught rolling jigs and swimbaits on the bottom around the bridges. Just a reminder that Snook season closes on December 15th.
The Sheepshead have been showing up inshore around structure such as bridges, docks, channel markers, rock piles and underwater mangroves. Live shrimp on a jig or fiddler crabs are perfect ways to target them. Have heard about some Black Drum showing up around the bridges as well. More of these fish will continue to show up as well.
Fishing channel markers with shrimp this time of year is always a great idea. You may find Triple Tail, Sheepshead, Drum, Croakers and even Flounder. Flounder season reopened on December 1st.
Some Pompano have been picked off by those jigging on both the Jensen and Stuart Causeways, on the Sailfish Flats and in the inlet. We have not experienced a hot run on them inshore yet, but it should be any day now! Spanish Mackerel have been caught in the inlet and around Jensen Causeway as well.
Freshwater Fishing Report- Capt. Angie Douthit
Fishing Lake Okeechobee has been somewhat steady for both bass and crappie bite. The water level has remained a little bit higher than this time last year making some areas to get to the fish a little tougher, knowing the lake and how to access these types of areas is key to sometimes more and bigger bites. When fishing for bass lately it’s been a mixture of using live-bait (wild shiners) and artificial lures. The artificial lures that have been producing bites are worms; slow-working top water lures, swim jigs/baits; rattle traps/spinner baits on the outside edges mainly; flipping/pitching into isolated grass clumps near pre-spawn lake locations. Lure colors are: June bug; Red bug; Watermelon/Red; White; Black/Blue and Crawdad color patterns. For the Crappie trips, I solely use tube jigs or something very similar and fish the crappie off the beds in certain areas of the lake. This type if fishing for Crappie is fun and productive. You get to see different parts of the lake, take in the beautiful scenery such as Manatees; Bald Eagles; Limpkins; Snail Kites and other wildlife that we are Blessed to enjoy! Crappie fishing and Bass fishing are found Sometimes within the same location throughout the Lake. Whether fishing Lake Okeechobee has always been on your bucket list or you’re a repeat yearly customer of mine, there is always something new/exciting to experience while fishing out on the big O. Areas that have been hot lately for Crappie has been the Grassy area (located North of the Kissimmee river); South-end of Kings Bar; Hendry Creek area; Kissimmee River along the river drop-off on both sides; some parts of Dupree Barr and Observation Shoal and a few areas within the Monkey Box area. Areas for Bass has been somewhat the same but have a look at the Indian Prairie/Tin House areas.
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