Saturday, July 29, 2023

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

It’s been a pretty tough week for anyone targeting the whiting, croaker, and mojarra down here in St Lucie and Martin counties . After that big bite I had last Sunday I fished this past Monday and Wednesday and only managed a couple of small mojarras . I fished a total of 9 beaches those two days and just didn’t find any . The glass minnows that were thick last Sunday were nowhere to be found for me this week . I did not fish today but Randy did and caught 6 or 7 nice croakers early this morning and had a 50 to 60 pound tarpon grab one of his croakers also . He got one nice jump out of the tarpon before he broke him off . Randy said the water on the south end of Hutchinson Island was much cleaner today than it was from the Jensen traffic circle north . The best report I can give you is the sand fleas are showing up and down South Hutchinson Island . Definitely haven’t seen them like this in a couple of years so get your rakes out and put them in the freezer for the upcoming pompano season . I fish 4 rods during the pompano season,two with plain Fishbites , one with a sand flea tipped with Fishbites and one with a clam strip tipped with Fishbites when I start my day . As the bite develops I determine what they want that day and will switch the spread that I’m fishing to the baits, colors, and scents of Fishbites that are producing. It’s nice to be able to get up to our beaches and get some fleas . I’m heading up tomorrow to hopefully find some whiting and croaker . My sandflea rake will be on the cart too!! Good luck and catch ‘‘em up .

Lets Talk About Snook

Join us at the historic West Palm Beach Fishing Club. Seminars take place on select Wednesday evenings and start at 7pm. There's typically 1-2 seminars monthly. These meetings are open to WPBFC members & guests, friends of the featured speakers, and all others interested in the Club/seminars. Call with any questions 561-832-6780

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 By the time you read this, you may be doing so over a fresh broiled lobster tails dipped in golden melted butter. You might even have a side of grits and some freshly shucked ears of corn to go wit that lobster.

The two day mini-season for lobster always falls on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. It gives recreational divers and snorkelers a chance at getting a few lobsters before the commercial trappers put their traps into the water, mostly in the Florida Keys.

Each year about 40,000 divers are expected to arrive in the Keys where their limits are six per person per day. Many decide to make the trip because they know the chances of getting bag limits in high. Some stay closer to the Space Coast where a Huka rig fitted with several breathing hoses gives a group of divers the easy chance to work in shallow waters for some tasty tails.

Visibility is always relative, often worse closer to shallower water and better in deeper water. Sometimes there is a thermocline sending cool or dark water into the water column as a diver works his or her way down. Sometimes weather doesn't cooperate either. Hopefully, you'll have a safe season and not spend too much to get your tails. Or do like me and for $29.99 a pound get yours at the seafood market.

Mosquito Lagoon

There have been juvenile tarpon in the shallow lagoon taking swim baits. Use artificial shrimp this time of year when live shrimp can be hard to get. The shrimp will catch you speckled trout, redfish, black drum, jacks and snook. Freeline the shrimp or rig them under a popping cork.


There has been good fishing this week for whiting during the high tide and beginning of outgoing tide. Use Fishbites in the crab or EZ flea flavors. Catch and release snook, small sharks and jacks are also possible catches.

Sebastian Inlet

There has been good snapper fishing around the jetties, catwalks and T dock. Use pieces of shrimp since this time of year live shrimp can be hard to come by. Catch and release snook and redfish are in the inlet taking live mullet, sardines and pogies.

Indian River Lagoon

Fish around docks and bridge pilings with pieces of shrimp or clams to catch sheepshead and black drum. Catch and release juvenile tarpon, snook and redfish are in the Merritt Island area near Dragon Point. Fish with topwater plugs early in the morning to catch speckled trout.


With the high heat this time of year, anglers will find fishing deeper in the water column can be productive. Slow down one's presentation because the low oxygenated water will cause the bass to move slowly and not be very aggressive. Live crickets are best for catching bluegill and sunfish in Lake Poinsett and Puzzle Lake.

Todd, Morgan, Eddy & Jeff @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

INSHORE-  As expected for this time of year...catch and release snook fishing will be the best bet inshore.  A fair number of fish in the Loxahatchee right now, but a bulk of the fish will be around the inlets.  Live baits during the day remain the way to go for the snook.  At night bridges close to the inlets have been producing good numbers of snook.  A small swimbait (like the 3" NLBN) on a fairly heavy jighead has been producing very well; especially on outgoing tide.  Mangrove snapper fishing remains strong inshore.  Best bite on the mangroves, especially the bigger ones, will be at night.  Small live pilchards and live shrimp are the way to go for the snapper.  

SURF/PIER-  Cold water along the beach early in the week made fishing a little tough.  A little wind the last couple days seems to be helping straighten things out.  Catch and release snook fishing has improved the last few days with warming water.  Along the beach small soft plastic paddle tails, small swimbaits, and suspending jerkbaits have been good lure choices for the snook.  The snook bite at the pier was slow, but has improved late into the week. The Juno Beach Pier has also had a pretty solid amount of blue runners and jack around.  The "Bobber Rig" with a small Clark Spoon is a good way to go for the Blue Runners.  Crappie jigs and free-lining small live baits is also a good way to go for the runners.  A handful of mangrove snapper reports coming from the pier as well, with the best bite very early in the morning. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023


ICAST 2023


Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

 It’s Sunday afternoon and after a less than exciting Saturday on the beach the phrase , “ if you don’t go you won’t know “ held true today . A 12 noon high tide and a 105 heat index forecast kept me home this morning to minimize my time on the beach . These whiting and croaker have been dialed in on the hour before high tide to 2 hours after all summer . I headed up at about 945 and tried a few different beaches up north , Frederick Douglass, John Brooks, and Middle Cove . I did catch a handful of croakers yesterday at Middle Cove along with some throwback Majorras . There was no activity at any of those spots so I stopped at an access closer to Jensen Beach around 11 and it was game on . Rays jumping out of the water, turtles sticking their heads up constantly, and lots of glass minnows showing all this life on the beach is what you look for . The big croakers were hammering the Orange Shrimp Fishbites and double headers were plentiful . One nice thread fin, a couple of big majorras, and a couple of nice whiting made their way to the cooler . I will tell you at about 1215 after the tide turned , the bite was over . Take advantage of the action when it is there because it can last 10 minutes or 2 hours . All of the bites came from 10 to 20 yards from the surf line . If you want that fish fry this week, look for bait activity and fish the high tide . I’m using rigs that I make with number 4 and 6 Mustad J hooks and and a 1 ounce pyramid for a sinker . The surf is calm and the water is clean . Hope everyone has a great week. Good luck and catch em up .

Sebastian Inlet Report


Weirdest summer fishing Snookman can recall, but you may hook a Spanish mac or a snapper

And now for our weekly fishing report fresh off the wire from “Snookman” Wayne Landry, the legend of the north jetty: “To begin, not much has changed in the past week from the week before, mostly due to water quality and clarity. Some people will say I'm crazy and that water conditions don’t matter, but I have fished the inlet for a long time and pay attention to the nuances of our inlet and its marine environment. Rain runoff from the intercoastal waterway is mixing with the clean Atlantic water and slugs of freshwater from the Sebastian River. This reduces the presence of baitfish and their predators. The baitfish, greenies and pilchards have thinned out from what they were, but there are still some around the jetty and the inlet. Also, schools of glass minnows have vanished — I have not seen any in a week or so, and the mullet have gone as well. The mojarra are still present in and around the inlet. There are fish around, but you have to hunt them down and find the right conditions to persuade them to bite. Here's the breakdown:

North jetty: About the only thing action here was a decent Spanish mackerel bite last week. Tuesday through Thursday there were several anglers doing well on live greenies and small jigs, but the greenies were the better bait. Most of the fish were in the 13 to 15-inch range — nothing big, but nice numbers. Also, there has been a little improvement on the mangrove snapper bite, but again, most are still too small to keep. Either tide has been good for both species, but incoming being the better tide to fish. Blue runners, skipjacks and jack crevalle round out the other species wanting to play. The catch-and-release snook bite has slowed, mostly due to the huge goliath groupers harassing and herding them! On the incoming tide when the water is clean enough, you can look down along the jetty and see these huge sea monsters just sitting around, or patrolling along the jetty and out to where the schools of snook are. Barracudas are still around. They chase and eat the Spanish mackerel and snappers that folks hook

South jetty: Here, the action is with mangrove snappers, but many are too small to keep; however, the numbers of them being caught has increased. Incoming tide is the better tide because you have more area to fish along the jetty rocks. Outgoing at the tip there have been a few caught in the eddy pool on the northeast and southeast corners —  along with black margates and blue runners. Use cut bait for the runners and snappers, shrimp for the margates. 

T-dock area: Back here, it is a snapper world! Plenty of small mangroves, some lanes and a few muttons are being caught on cut and live greenies around the dock pilings. There have been some keeper mangroves caught, but most are still small. For those tossing small jigs or free lining live greenies, there are some nice Spanish mackerel being caught as well. Plenty of bait back here to attract them.


Surf area, both sides: I haven't heard very much about the surf fishing. Most of the areas that I know of where the fishing is good have been vacant of any anglers. Not to say that there aren't any fish around. Whiting should be almost everywhere this time of the year and will bite cut shrimp. If you find schools of glass minnows in the surf, snook, redfish, tarpon and Spanish mackerel could be a happening thing. Small swim baits or any live bait could entice a bite. South of the inlet where there are some rock structures in the surf, mangrove snapper and sheepshead are possible. Shrimp, live or cut will do the trick. 

That’s it in a nutshell. As I mentioned earlier, the fishing should be better. The water quality and bait situation are the main culprits. Like I said, I have done this a very long time, and this year has been the weirdest/worst summer I have ever seen.” — Snookman.

From Todd, Morgan, Eddy & Jeff @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach


INSHORE-  Catch and release snook fishing remains the best bet inshore right now.  The Loxahatchee River has been holding a fair number of snook; but most are closer to the inlet right now.  Best action on the snook will be early morning, late afternoon, or at night.  Key points in the tide changes (especially around storms) during the day can also fire them up as well.  Mangrove snapper action remains good inshore as well.  The snapper tend to bite best at night, but can also be caught with moving water during the day.  Live shrimp and small live pilchards are great choices for the mangroves.  Most of the mangroves will be on the smaller side, so be prepared to pick through a few to find the keepers.  

SURF/PIER-  Water conditions have bounced around a bit this week, which has kind of thrown the fishing all over the place.  Cold green water along the beach slowed the snook fishing down, but still some to be caught for sure.  The inlets are holding plenty of snook, they have just not been super active this week.  The Juno Beach Pier has continued to produce a decent number of blue runners, scattered Spanish Mackerel, Bonita, and a few kingfish early in the morning.  A few mangrove snapper at the Pier first thing in the morning as well.  A few croaker and whiting biting in the first trough. Small pieces of fresh shrimp are the best bet for them.  

Monday, July 17, 2023

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From Todd, Morgan, Eddy & Jeff @ Juno Bait -Juno Beach

 Catch and release snook fishing remains good inshore.  Most of the fish have pushed closer to the inlet, but still a fair number in the river as well.  Bridge snook bite has been very solid at night on outgoing tide.  Small swimbaits have been putting a hurting on the snook as of late at night.  Mangrove snapper have been biting good at night around the bridges. 

SURF/PIER-  The Juno Beach Pier continues to produce a fair amount of action.  Most of the catching will be first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon.  The middle of the day is going to be a pretty tough pick.  A few kingfish early each morning on swimming plugs (Rapala X-Raps and Yo-Zuri LC minnow are great choices), followed by bonita as the sun gets up.  Catch and release snook fishing remains very good as well.  Live sandperch and croakers are top bait choices for the snook; though as of late small swimbaits have also been putting up some good numbers as well.  The small pilchards have been back around the pier in pretty good numbers, with a lot of blue runners chasing them around along with a scattering of Spanish and Cero Mackerel.  Mangrove snapper have been biting in very small windows.  

Sebastian Inlet Report


“Good morning, beach and fishing fanatics! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Without further ado, here is the report on inlet happenings: Not a whole lot has changed fishingwise at the inlet due to the water silting up a bit and water temperatures cooling back down again to around 81 degrees from the 85-86 it was last week. When that happens, fishing drops off a bit because the fish we normally see this time of the year prefer warmer temperatures. The bait is still around — small greenies, finger mullet and mojarras in the back of the inlet. Here’s the scoop:

North jetty: The action has been in the early morning and late evening high tides. Catch-and-release snook and some redfish are being caught on all live baits if you can get them past the  hungry goliath groupers. More mangrove snappers have been showing up from time to time  around the pilings, inside and outside. Small greenies, either dead or alive, are getting the bite. Live shrimp will work also, but all the ‘other’ fish like the shrimp, too, and will chew them up.

Catching snappers is a snap at the T-dock

There have been Atlantic spade fish around, along with a few nice sheepshead around the pilings for those using shrimp. There was one day last week that the Spanish mackerel bit pretty good for those using small live greenies, but that was short-lived when the water silted up. On the outgoing tide at the tip, again, catch-and-release snook, if you can keep the goliaths off them. Live mojarras and croakers. I had a report of a couple permit being hooked up at the tip last week, but none were landed. This is the time of year they would likely show up.  All those I have caught have been in July and August. Outgoing tide is better, so you can float a bait, either live shrimp or small crabs are what they like to eat. 

South jetty: Similar to the north jetty,  early and late incoming tide is the best when the water is cleaner. Catch-and-release snook are all over and are hitting live baits and artificials. Along the rocks on the incoming there has been an increase of mangrove snappers, too, with live or dead cut greenies working for bait. Outgoing at the tip is still all about the black margates and blue runners. Any dead bait will work for them with shrimp being the better bait. I also had a report of some small mutton snapper showing up again, but they are too small to keep. Eighteen inches is the minimum for them. I did hear of one keeper being caught, around 22 inches on a live mojarra. 

T-Dock area: Back here, it’s about the snappers! Species being caught include mangroves, muttons and lane snapper. Most are still under the minimum size limit, 10 inches for the mangroves, 18 inches for the muttons, and the lanes are 8 inches to be kept. But in all that there are some keepers being taken home, except for the muttons, all too small. Small live or dead greenies and live shrimp are accounting for the catches around the dock pilings. For those fishing small jigs and live greenies out further, there have been some nice Spanish mackerel around to play with! Lots of bait fish back here everywhere to net and use. Blue runners and jack crevalle top off the list to keep it interesting. Catch-and-release snook action has dropped off as most of them are out further east in the inlet doing their "spawning" thing. 

Surf area, both sides:  South side of the inlet, pocket area south to the day use area there have been whiting being caught, pesky catfish and stingrays all on dead shrimp and cut bait. There are some mangrove snapper being caught around areas that have rock ridges in the surf. Day use area. Snook and redfish also cruise this area  and can be caught on any live bait fished, especially mojarras and pinfish. Tarpon are also a possibility. North side up to the state park line has been pretty slow due to the silted water and lack of baitfish in the surf along with the low water all day. If you do find any baitfish, look for possible action around them and toss small to medium swim baits around. There could quite possibly be some snook, tarpon and sharks around for some fun. The tarpon this time of year are cruising the beaches and for the most part if you find some, they will play. Not much else is going on in the surf except for whiting, which are usually there, oh, and the catfish! 

That's all I have for this week. The weather is supposed to be all right, except for afternoon thunderstorms. Grab your gear and get out and enjoy the outdoors. Remember, take your sunscreen and stay hydrated!” — Snookman.

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 Closures & regulations changes in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.

  • Red Snapper: Harvest season opens July 14-15. Bag limit: One fish per person. Size limit: None. Venting tool and descending device required.
  • Lobster: Mini-season opens July 26-27. Regular season opens August 6.
  • Grouper: Harvest opened May 1, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind & rock hind. Harvest closes Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Hogfish: Harvest opened May 1, 2023. Harvest closed from Nov. 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024.
  • Snook: Harvest closed June 1. Harvest re-opens Sept. 1...
  • Cobia: New bag and size limits for state waters. Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length.
  • Spotted seatrout:  Harvest open as of Jan. 1 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach counties. Harvest closes November and December 2023.
  • Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1. FWC will re-evaluate later in the year.
  • Alligator: Hunt season open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1, 2022 for state waters. Bag limit is now five fish per day per angler; Vessel limit is now 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit.
  • Tilefish: Harvest is open as of Jan. 1.
  • Mosquito Lagoon

    Catches in this region include black drum, redfish, snook, jacks and speckled trout. Use live shrimp to get bites. Fish the shrimp under a popping cork to mimic trout feeding or simply freeline it. Tailing drum feeding in schools can be found around some of the islands.

  • Surf

    With the seaweed gone, fishing has been fairly productive during the last week. Whiting and croaker, jacks and blue runners are all possible catches. It's been better fishing from high tide and throughout the outgoing tide. Use Fishbites or pieces of shrimp to get bites. Catch and release snook are also patrolling the trough and some anglers are catching them on fly gear because the fish are feeding on minnows and crabs.

  • Sebastian Inlet

    Catch and release fishing has been best for snook, redfish, tarpon, sharks and jacks in the Sebastian Inlet and just outside of it. Best baits include mojarra, live juvenile blue crabs and shrimp. Mangrove snapper fishing during the incoming tide at night has been excellent.

    Indian River Lagoon

    Pitch the ends of docks to get bites from black drum, speckled trout, snook, redfish, jacks and sheepshead. Use topwater lures early in the morning to get bites from small tarpon, trout and snook. Soaking big dead baits in the residential canals will get tarpon, black drum and stingrays.

  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.
  • report courtesy of Ed Killer is florida today's outdoors writer. Friend Ed on Facebook at Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him at