The most productive zone in the forecast is the surf. Relatively calm conditions allowed anglers to wet a few lines, and for some, the pompano bit. Spanish mackerel are also in the surf zone. Snook are there, too.
There is still flooding in the St. Johns River north of Lake Harney near Geneva but the water levels are receding and should be better by the weekend.
Closures & regulations changes in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.
- Flounder: Harvest closed from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30. Harvest re-opens Dec. 1.
- Hogfish: Harvest closed from Nov. 1 to April 30, 2023. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2023.
- Spotted seatrout: Harvest closed from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach counties. Harvest re-opens Jan. 1, 2023.
- Snook: Harvest closed from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31, 2023. Harvest re-opens Feb. 1, 2023.
- Grouper: Harvest closed from Jan. 1, 2023 through April 30, 2023. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.
- Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1.
- Alligator: Hunt season open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
- Lobster: Regular season opened Aug. 6.
- Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1 for state waters. Bag limit is now 5 fish per day per angler; Vessel limit is now 30 fish per day. Captain & crew may not be included in limit.
- Tilefish: A commercial fishing closure is in place beginning July 6 until Dec. 31, 2022.
Speckled trout, redfish, black drum, jacks are all on the catch list in the shallow waterway. Use live shrimp. They can be freelined or fished under a popping cork. Sometimes, that extra action can trigger trout to feed on sound thinking that other trout nearby are feeding.
This zone has been the hot one this week as anglers are reporting catching pompano, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, blue runners, snook, sharks and more. High tides mean no long casts necessary. The fish are over the bar and near the trough. For those who aren't crazy about macks, try this: Only take as many as you will eat fresh that day. Leave the skin on when filleting. Broil skin down in an oven for 10 minutes flavored with butter, lemon, favorite spices, or if in a grill, wrap fish in tin foil after flavoring and cook for 10 minutes. Serve with cheese grits, string beans and tartar sauce.
Spanish mackerel are the catch in this region. Gotcha plugs or diamond jigs are the best to throw at these toothy fish. The other key to catching them is to reel fast. Mackerel love the chase so the faster one reels, the more successful he or she is. Snook can be caught on the rocks off north jetty with live bait. Flounder can be caught around the T Dock, but the season is closed for harvest right now, so let them all go until the end of November.
Indian River Lagoon
Small tarpon can be caught and released in the Thousand Island area of the Banana River Lagoon using small swim baits or small live baits. Snook can be caught around structure like seawalls, docks, causeways and channel edges. Redfish have been biting in the same areas, but remember, all redfish must be released in the entire lagoon system according to FWC regulations.