Saturday, September 30, 2023

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla.

The splash was as big as a trawler yacht. The mullet sailed five feet through the air. The small baitfish had to make a choice: fly or become lunch.

A 100-pound tarpon was in hot pursuit. It wheeled 90 degrees on the water's surface. The mullet briefly evaded capture by going airborne. A white frothy foam marked where the giant fish had turned so quickly. A half dozen other mullet streaked away from the spot, no doubt wondering when a predator would target them.

Meanwhile, 75 feet away, a five-pound jack submarined along the surface chasing one of the unfortunate fleeing fish. This mullet swam a straight line at top speed on the surface under the C Dock at the Fort Pierce City Marina. Could it swim fast enough and far enough to outlast the persistent hungry jack? Probably not, was my guess.

The marina was full of life about midday on a recent Saturday. Small schools of finger mullet swam up-tide as it swept in from the ocean a few miles away. They hugged the marina bulkhead for shelter from the myriad predators that patrolled the marina's depths.

Jack crevalle, what locals call "canal tuna," are notorious for their blistering speed and ravenous appetites. Groups of three to six jacks as small as 2 pounds or as big as 15 swam along a few yards from the bulkheads, looking like playground bullies aiming to steal someone's lunch money, or in this case, lunch.

Snook lied out of sight on the marina's bottom. As one of the Indian River Lagoon's top ambush predators, they know they can sit in wait and strike only when the odds of grabbing a meal are decidedly in their favor.

Tarpon roamed the open water of the marina just off the fuel dock between C Dock and M, N and O docks. Any mullet that got chased out into the open by the wolfpack of jacks were fair game for the tarpon and their bucket-shaped mouths. Once in a while, a small goliath grouper that lived in the bulkhead would come out after a mullet running away from a jack.

It was sheer terror for the mullet. Meanwhile, scores of sheepshead, a dozen pufferfish, a moray eel, a school of hardhead catfish and even drifting moon jellies carried on without a care as the feeding period commenced. The finger-long silver mullet, the center of the lagoon's food web, were being singled out by the fish-eaters. Striped (or black) mullet, which are much larger, and look a little different, swam around as if they were enjoying a weekend at the pool.

It was a snapshot of the fall mullet run through the Treasure Coast. Every year, what passes for the change of season here is kicked off by the annual migration of yearling silver mullet. They are no more than a half dozen inches long and come from bays, coves and the lagoon. The mullet gather before they go, and during some unknown tide or moon phase, they begin swimming south. Most exit the lagoon through an inlet and turn south down the beach. Those that don't move south in the lagoon.

Every year, their appearance spurs much debate around tackle shops, on catwalks and jetties and, of course, on social media. People ask where the mullet are. Others take great photos or drone videos for YouTube and Facebook. Even I get emails, texts and tagged in social media posts either reporting where mullet are, or where they aren't.

Anglers are often chasing the schools on foot down the beaches. They cast topwater plugs or swim baits patterned like mullet. Many love fishing the mullet run and hook up with sharks, jacks, snook and tarpon. Others, like my late friend Harry Scherer, used to complain that "fishing during the mullet run is like fishing in a lottery."

Snook-Nook Fishing Report

Inshore Fishing Report 

September provided our inshore anglers some steady mullet run action! We can expect to continue seeing schools of mullet pushing our way over the next few weeks as there have been reports of them as far north as Jacksonville. Some of the better fishing has been found early in the mornings and in the evenings/at night as the mullet schools have seemed to be more prevalent then. For those targeting Snook, the low light conditions will play to your advantage as the Snook will use the shadow lines from dock lights and bridges to ambush the mullet that are pushing through. Making your bait stand out in the school is key to getting the bite when the bait is prevalent, many anglers will prefer artificials such as paddle tails, jerk baits and top waters depending on the situation that you are fishing. Some of the most popular artificials we have been selling this month have included; NLBN paddle tails, NLBN Lil Mullets and Mini Mullets, 3” DOA CALs, Hogy Pro Tail Paddle Tails, Yozuri Crystal Minnows, Fingerlings and Top Knock Pencils, Rapala Xraps and Bomber Windcheaters. If you’re into fly fishing, the dock lights this time of year will provide you plenty of opportunities. If you do prefer fishing a live mullet, adding a small cork to slow the bait down or trimming the tail fins will give your bait a more injured presentation making an easier snack for the fish.  For those Snook fishing inshore during the day, there has still been plenty of action. Locating schools of bait in areas such as canals, on seawalls, along mangrove lines or near any ambush point or structure will be keys to your success. This is one of the best times of year to fish the sea walls even if you aren’t seeing any bait around. Larger mullet in the 6-10” range are one of the best bait choices if you’re hunting for big Snook. You will want to keep that mullet tight to the seawall for the Snook as when the bait comes off the wall a few feet you will start running into more Jacks. For those fishing docks, anglers have been finding success with Bunkers, Pilchards, Pinfish, Pig Fish, Croakers and Mullet. If you can get your hands on pins, pigs or Croakers anglers have been finding success around the causeways fishing the bridge fenders. 

We’ve had a steady Tarpon bite over the past month! Those fishing for them around the Jensen, Stuart and Roosevelt causeways on outgoing tides have been able to pick a few of them off on larger mullet and crabs. Fishing mullet heads is also an extremely effective method for some of the lazier fish. The crossroads and North Fork have yielded encounters with the Silver King as well by those fishing those larger mullet. We typically see a consistent Tarpon bite this time of year towards the power plant. A lot of times the feeding window may be short and is typically right at sunrise and sunset but at times it does last longer. 

Anglers fishing the flats and mangroves around the power plant and north have run into a few redfish and trout. Pitching artificials such as small paddle tails and shrimp into pockets in the mangrove lines is an excellent way to target them. A few flounder have been caught by those fishing shrimp on a jighead and live mullet. A few Black Drums and Sheepshead have begun to make an appearance at the Jensen and Roosevelt Causeways by those fishing shrimp, fiddler crabs and chunks of blue crabs. As we begin to get some cool fronts and north winds we will begin to see more of them showing up inshore as we get into the fall. Those cool fronts will also bring along Croakers, Spanish Mackerel, Pompano and Bluefish. October always brings us a nice variety of opportunities inshore with the mullet run and early signs of some of our migratory fall/winter fish! 

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 Do you have full moon fever? The harvest moon is Friday and it's another supermoon, meaning don't be surprised if the gravitational pull of the moon is a little stronger than normal. Here are some other natural indicators to watch for this weekend:

  • King tides are possible.
  • Mullet are still on the move.
  • The early stages of the bluefish, Spanish mackerel, pompano, dolphin and blackfin tuna migrations are beginning.

So if you're not stuck spending an afternoon at the church pumpkin patch, tie on your favorite mullet-patterned topwater plug or swim bait and make a few casts to see if there is a hungry snook or wily tarpon around.

Mosquito Lagoon

Capt. Jon Lulay of 2 Castaway Charters in Titusville has been steering clients to catches of redfish and tarpon in the lagoon. Redfish have been rooting in schools away from the islands and shorelines, but slot-sized fish can be found along the shorelines with live shrimp. Some sight-casting opportunities exist in the shallow windless waters. Speckled trout, snook and black drum can also be caught in the same area.


There are still mullet moving through the area and probably will for about two more weeks. Snook, jacks, tarpon, sharks and more have been in the schools. Use topwater plugs or swim baits patterned like mullet to get bites as the schools push south. Pompano, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are right behind this migration.

Sebastian Inlet

The bait schools in this zone have been energizing the bite for snook, redfish, jacks, goliath grouper and bluefish. The incoming tide seems to provide the most action around the T-Dock, but it's the outgoing tide that enhances the action around the ends of the jetties. Snapper will take shrimp or cut bait on the bottom.

Indian River Lagoon

Fish points, shoals, submerged spoil islands for action from speckled trout and snook. Live mullet will go a long way to generating action. Small tarpon and black drum are near mangroves or in residential canals. Fish the bridge pilings and piers for sheepshead and flounder.


Moving water in the river sections of the St. Johns have been key for catfish. Bass will be along the edges near spawning beds. Topwater frogs and crank baits will draw reaction strikes in Lake Poinsett and Lake Washington.

Sebastian Inlet Report With The "SNOOKMAN"

Cooler water temps should increase the action; look for snook, redfish, jacks, tarpon and more

“Snookman” Wayne Landry, our fishing guide, gives us the scoop: “Good morning, fishing aficionados. The weather was good for a change, except for the sometimes breezy ENE winds.

 The fishing has largely been just OK. More schools of mullet are moving around in the inlet and attracting predator fish, but there were no hot spots in the inlet last weekend. The better bite  was on the incoming tide — in middle of it — and the first two hours of the outgoing tide when the water was clearer. The incoming tide for both sides has improved, significantly impacting how the bite will be. I saw several different species being caught all around the inlet. Get to your favorite spot and just wait them out: the south side had the upper hand over the weekend. The water temps have finally cooled down a tad, from 85 last week to 83 this morning, which should increase the action. Here’s the breakdown: 

North jetty: Here, the action has been mostly on the very early morning and late evening high tides. Snook, redfish and big jack crevalle have been taking live baits of any type. Live pigfish and pinfish and mullet have been the baits of choice. Most of the snook caught were all oversized, but I saw a few nice upper slot fish caught last week. Pigfish were the dominate bait. Redfish of all sizes were caught on live bait and cut bait. Remember, they are catch-and-release only. I saw Spanish mackerel caught on live greenies, a bait getting harder to find. Mangrove snapper are still around and biting on live shrimp and live or dead greenies all along the rock shoreline and the jetty pilings. The outgoing tide has been producing snook, redfish, jack crevalles and bluefish; yes, I said bluefish! Saw a couple of them caught Saturday morning. Also, anglers are still hooking big cubera snappers, but aren’t able to land them. Also, on this outgoing tide, the Spanish mackerel bite was still happening on the beachside. Use live greenies. I also saw sheepshead caught around the rocks and pilings. It's a bit early for them as they seek cooler water temperatures. Cut shrimp is the bait for them. 

South jetty: On this side,  the bite has been all on the incoming tide, about an hour or so into it when the cleaner ocean water moves in. All along the rocky shoreline it has been all about the snook! Many caught, but most have been undersized. But quite a few slots are being caught! It's not been ‘hot’ by any means, just good enough to produce some great action. Live baits of pins or pigs are doing the trick. Saturday, while watching guys and gals fishing, it resembled what we ‘old timers’ referred to as combat fishing. They were slinging baits everywhere and hooking fish all over the place; tangles and breakoffs were the norm, but many small fish were caught. Along with them, folks were hooking redfish, jack crevalle and small tarpon. Outgoing tide at the tip was all about the black margates, blue runners, mangroves and a couple of nice sheepshead. Live and dead shrimp for them. 

T-Dock Area: Back here it has been a bit slower, the outgoing tide has been pretty stained with the brackish water coming out of the river. Lots of puffers being caught around the dock pilings, and just a few small mangrove snappers, all on cut baits. The incoming tide when the clean water finally gets back to the area is producing snook and redfish, jack crevalle and some Spanish mackerel. For the snook and reds live pins and pigs are the go-to baits, the mackerel are hitting small jigs and silver spoons. The nighttime guys are catching snook on the 3-5 inch swim baits, and the artificial shrimp jigs. Incoming tide, and the beginning of the outgoing tide have been the better times. 

Surf Area, both sides: The north side of the inlet from the pocket up to the north parking lot in the park has been producing snook and redfish when mullet are present. Also, I have been told that there have been big tarpon and sharks — mainly bulls and blacktips. Live baits, large swim baits will attract a bite from them. Early morning and late evening is the best time to fish. On the south side, same thing, when the water is clear and there are  mullet around, snook, reds, sharks and tarpon have been playing. Fish from the south jetty to the day use parking lot just south of the inlet. Again, live baits and large swim baits of any kind should bring some action. 

Well, fishing friends, that's it for this week. Rain is forecast this week, but that doesn't stop the fish from biting; they are already wet. As I’ve said, the water starts to cool a bit, mullet should start moving again, and hopefully, fishing will improve. This is the best time of the year to fish, as far as I'm concerned. Get out and to your favorite spot and catch dinner or a catch of a lifetime.” —Snookman


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

INSHORE-  Snook fishing remains very good inshore right now.  Mullet schools are still around, but not in massive amounts.  Smaller schools of mullet tend to be a little easier to fish; and often times lead to more action (If you think about it...would you rather pick a raffle ticket out of a bucket of 100 or 10,000?).  Look for the mullet to be the most active and up on top early in the morning, late in the afternoon, and at night.  Boat traffic and high sun tend to drive them down deep and make them harder to fish.  When the fish are actively feeding in a mullet school try a topwater plug fished on the outside edges of the school for best luck.  Another trick that can work well is a crazy different colored pug fished in the school.  Yes "match the hatch" is typically the best plan when picking colors, but an oddball in the middle of a million other choices can sometimes be the ticket.  It's mainly snook inshore with the mullet; but a fair number of tarpon and jacks will be around as well.  Snook fishing at night around the bridges remains strong as well.    

SURF/PIER-  Mullet pod reports were a bit slower this week; but still a good number of therm around.  The tarpon are still hanging around them in good numbers; and have been willing to crush a topwater fished on the edge of the schools early in the morning.  The Yo-Zuri Hydro and Topknock Pencil have been two top lure choices for the tarpon.  Snook action slowed a bit around the mullet schools; but big jacks and shark have taken up the slack.  Best bet on finding the mullet is to look early and late in the morning.   If you can't find any pods along the beach, sometimes checking the inlets on outgoing tide can be a good way to find them.  The Juno Beach Pier has been producing a lot of fish this week.  Spanish mackerel have been around the pier in very good numbers.  The bobber rig with a clark spoon or white crappie jig have been the top two lure choices.  A few kingfish around the pier as well early in the morning and late in the afternoon.  A swimming plug (Rapala X-Rap or Yo-Zuri LC Minnow) is the best way to go for the kings.  Some solid pompano reports coming in from the pier as well on Doc's Goofy Jigs.  A lot of the pomps have been on the smaller side; but a decent number of keepers in the mix.  Overall very good fishing; definitely worth giving it a shot if you have a chance.

Jay Linesider....MULLET RUN 2023 AND BRIDGE SHADOW LINES 🎣🐟🐟🐟🐟🎣

Monday, September 18, 2023

Lake Worth Pier Report With Dylan Campbell

 Lake Worth Pier report:

With snook season in full force, anyone and everyone are pitching at snook right now. From what I can tell some people are having more success then others. What I have seen to have the most effective experience was floating live pilchards on nothing but bare hook right on the edge of the school.(preferably flowing with the current)
The only artificial I have seen to have any effect on snook this season were glass ghost x-raps size 6-8 and nlbns on a white or lead head with solid color eyes.
Aside from that Kings have been caught or hooked up on everyday in the morning and PM.
Plate sized jacks have been making the rounds everyday in the am/pm bites. Catching snapper is braindead right now(i limited out on my gog bug). The blue runner bite is popping off like crazy. Average effective catch rate for someone using commercial rigs is about 2x5 gal buckets in about 3-4hours. Massive 40-50lb permit have been making the rounds at the pier with not a single person I have seen targeting them
Sharks, Sharks,Sharks: The majority of sharks I have seen is Bull sharks and hammerheads. I did see a 7-8ft white shark once but only once
The bait bite: Pilchards,small sardines, goggle eye and large golden dots have all been around in large quantities. Biting the 7-8am in the morning depending on the tide schedules & how heavy the predation factor is. Finger mullet are making their way through the intercoastal and beach fairways consistently now.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

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

 INSHORE-  Really good inshore fishing this week, and conditions look good for that to continue into the weekend.  Snook fishing remains the best bet, with good number and good size fish around.  most of the snook are locked in on the mullet schools and very ready to eat.  Early in the morning and late afternoon a topwater plug (Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil or Topknock are two great choices) fished around bait docks and seawalls is a great way to go for the snook.  Ambush points and areas with good current will better improve your odds.  In with the snook taking advantage of the mullet schools should be a good number of tarpon, jacks, and even the occasional redfish.  At night the bridge snook bite remains very strong.  Flairhawk Jigs and 5" NLBN Swimbaits have been the lures of choice.  

SURF/PIER-  A good number of mullet coming down the beach this week, with a good number of fish around.  Lots of big tarpon and snook in the mullet schools; along with sharks, big Spanish Mackerel, and jacks.  Looks like it may get a little rough along the beach making fishing a bit tough, but the fish should be around.  The Juno Beach Pier will very likely go off this weekend.  Find the mullet schools and the fish won't be far behind.  A Rapala X-Rap, Yo-Zuri Mag Darter, or 8" NLBN have all been good lure choices around the mullet schools.  OF course fishing a live mullet on the outside edge or under the school is also a great way to go.  Typically the best action will be early and late in the day; but when the ocean gets moving like it's forecasted to this weekend it can stay active throughout the day.  A few more pompano reports this week.  It's still a bit early in the season for the pompano, but those putting in the time have been catching a few.  

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report


There is no doubt. The mullet run has been switched on to full operation mode.

Sebastian Inlet has looked like ground zero for the mullet migration. Vero Beach, North Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce, South Hutchinson Island, House of Refuge, Hobe Sound, all these beaches have had big schools of mullet swimming south and getting pounded by predators. Sharks, pelicans, ospreys, snook, tarpon, jacks, redfish, basically anything that swims or flies is on the action.

Some are showing in the Indian River Lagoon as well, but not as thick as the schools on the beaches. Will this weekend's groundswell and wind make it more difficult to see the mullet? Quite possibly. But have your gear ready to fish. Now is the time to get in on the action.

  • Flounder: Harvest closes Oct. 15 to Nov. 30. Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person.
  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest closes November and December in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens Jan. 1.
  • Snook: Harvest reopened Sept. 1. One fish bag limit, 28-32 inches, snook stamp required.
  • Grouper: Harvest opened May 1. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind. Harvest closes Jan. 1.
  • Cobia: New bag and size limits for state waters. Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. SEd Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report ize limit: 36 inches fork length.
  • Redfish: Harvest of redfish has been banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon since Sept. 1, 2022. FWC will reevaluate in the future.
  • Indian River Lagoon

  • Inshore: Jacks, tarpon, snook and sharks have been pounding the mullet schools around Sebastian Inlet during both tides. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to find the schools, north, south and inside the inlet. Some mullet have been moving south in the lagoon, too, so look for fish around Barber Bridge, and around the spoil islands south of the 17th Bridge.

    Freshwater: Headwaters Lake has seen much better bass fishing of late. Use crank baits or spinnerbaits to find bites from bass along edges of vegetation and ledges.

  • St. Lucie County

  • Inshore: There have been bait schools throughout the lagoon, but not as thick or exciting as those on the beaches. Fish around the end of the docks along St. Lucie Village, the Turning Basin, Bear Point and Herman's Bay to find mullet schools. There have been some trout, snook and tarpon around the fish.

    Surf: This weekend's action is more like a surf report. There should be good overhead swells breaking at Dollman and Walton Rocks. Winds should be light enough not to make it into a washing machine. Expect crowds as surfers from Palm Beach and Miami come to the Treasure Coast for the waves.

  • Martin County

  • Inshore: There has been some action with jacks, pompano and croaker at the Jensen Beach Causeway. Some mullet are stirring, especially up into the South Fork and North Fork of the St. Lucie River as the mullet run has been beginning.

    Ramp rage:Boat ramps should be resilient against hurricanes, king tides and sea level rise

    Dolphin deaths:'A really big problem': Here's what's killing dolphins in Indian River Lagoon

    Lake Okeechobee

    The western and northern parts of the lake look about as good as any angler could ever want the lake to look. No algae. No murky waters. Gin clear in spots. Long, lush eel grass and tape grass beds. Perfect conditions for world class bass fishing. Use 9-inch worms, dark colors, or crank baits to get bites in the grass.


Fishing is slow but should improve when Hurricane Lee rolls by 

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fans and fishing fanatics. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! First, I'd like to remind cast netters to please only take the finger mullet you need and  toss the remainder of your catch back into the water alive! This rule is listed on our rules sign board on your way out to the jetty. Bait fish resources are NOT everlasting. Returning your extra catch back to the water helps ensure we have them in the future. It also keeps the jetty clean. Cast netting on the jetty is a privilege and can be revoked at anytime by park management.

Now for the fishing report. Over the weekend I was there Friday through Sunday. For the most part, fishing was slow even though the mullet were running thick. Very early morning high tide and very late evening high tide was producing some snook, but most were oversized and had to go back in the water. I did see a couple of catch-and-release redfish caught, too, along with jack crevalle. Not what you'd expect for the amount of finger mullet around. Also, I did see mangrove snapper caught around the inlet, but not in the numbers as before. My take on the slowdown is that the ocean calmed down; when the mullet are here, the snookies like it roughed up. Also, the water the last few days was showing 87 degrees along the coast — way too warm for this time of the year. Tannic freshwater from the Sebastian river affects the water quality and ultimately, the fishing.

 North jetty — Midweek when it was a bit washed up, there was a pretty good snook bite on the afternoon high tide on live shrimp and finger mullet on the beach side. Also, three to four-inch paddle tail swim baits were getting a few fish on the beach side. There were nice catch-and-release redfish and monster tarpon in the mix. As the ocean calmed back down, so did the fishing. There were hordes of mullet, but nothing attacked them until just before dark when they decided to feed again, but it still was slow. The mangrove snapper bite is still going on with live greenies, but it has slowed down from what it was. One of my friends has been catching his limit everyday around the jetty pilings, with some of them in the 16-inch range. Spanish mackerel were playing nicely, looking for live greenies. I saw plenty of fish in the 16 to 18-inch range caught. Also, nice lookdowns were caught on live greenies and small jigs. All this action was on the high incoming tide. On the outgoing tide at the tip, there were plenty of jack crevalle caught with finger mullet and cut bait. There were a few snook caught, not many that I saw over the weekend, but they were all too big to keep. Live mullet and pigfish were the baits of choice there. A couple of catch-and-release redfish were in the mix. A couple of my friends heard that there were also a couple cubera snappers hooked, but not landed. 

 South jetty: Over here it is a different story. The water is dark, with freshwater flowing out and south along the beach; during tide change, the freshwater returns and never clears. Catfish, stingrays and some puffers are the most being caught. There have been some black margates around along with some jack crevalle and blue runners caught on cut baits.

On the incoming tide, if you can find some clean water, you might find a snook or two wanting to play, and possible a redfish. I saw  one redfish caught Sunday at the tip. The finger mullet are here, but not quite like the north side where they are plentiful. So, yeah, slow over here. 

T-Dock area: Back here, conditions are similar to the south jetty: cloudy, tannin-stained freshwater that has chased everything away. The only baitfish are finger mullet running along the shoreline into the intercoastal. I did see mangrove snappers caught over the weekend, but not in significant numbers. And no keepers, all were small. 

Surf Area, both sides: As I mentioned earlier, the south side is a bust with all the dark freshwater flowing down the beach and not being able to clean up. Catfish and stingrays are the norm. The north side is where all the action is: from the inlet all the way up to Bonsteel park. The reasons: all the mullet and more to come, breezes and waves picking up, and cleaner water. This, my friends, is the area to fish. Snook of all sizes are being caught, along with redfish and big tarpon crashing the mullet schools. You should find some action on live baits, jigs, swim baits and big spoons fished in the surf. The best times to fish: very early mornings when the tide is high, and late evenings when the sun is setting. 

There we have it, folks. Fishing is picking up, as it usually does in the fall when the mullet start showing up. It should improve when the water cools down a bit to where it should be — 78 to 80 degrees — and it should get better. A note for anglers at the jetty and the beach: As the week progresses, winds and waves are going to increase, courtesy of Hurricane Lee as he gets more direct outward from our coast and moves away. The surf is supposed to get to 6 to 8 feet with NNE winds 15 to 20 mph. That all should get the fishing riled up again! Get out, wet a line and see what you can catch for dinner! Be careful out there.” — Snookman


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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

 INSHORE-  Snook fishing has been very good inshore the past week.  The finger mullet have started to show up inshore and the snook, along with some smaller tarpon and jacks, are taking full advantage.  The finger mullet tend to be the most active (in other words...up on top where they are easy targets) early and late in the day, so get after them if you can.  When fishing around schools of mullet try and present baits on the outside edges or underneath the school for best results.  Fishing ambush points (boat docks, bridge pilings, seawalls, mangrove points, etc) with current is also a good tactic.  A lot if times the predators line up at these spots and wait for schools to be swept pass them.  A single bait or lure is a lot of times too easy of a target to pass up.  Mangrove snapper action has started to slow down inshore, but still a fair number around.  And in other news that a select few will appreciate: Fall is just around the can always tell when the toadies start biting. 

SURF/PIER-  Big news this week along the beach is the arrival of the mullet.  Monster tarpon, jacks, and snook are all around to get in on the first big pods showing up.  Best action is going to be early and late
 in the day; but depending on conditions those fish will sometimes bite throughout the day.  Fishing in the middle of a large mullet school can be an exercise in patience.  With a million options to choose from, getting something to grab your bait can be tough.  Fishing the outside edges of the school can be the ticket, as can getting a bait below them as well.  Another good trick can be throwing a way off colored plug.  Sometimes that weird hot pink or bright green plug is just different enough to get their attention.  Good lure options for the early part of the run (When the bluefish haven't shown up too thick) are 8" NLBN straight tails, Yo-Zuri Mag Darters, and Rapala X-Raps.  The mullet run is (or at least can be) one of those National Geographic type moments that sometimes just watching is good enough...catchiong a fish or two out of the madness is just a bonus.  In other news along the beach we have seen a few early season pompano starting to show up. 


Friday, September 1, 2023

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

 INSHORE-  Good looking conditions going into opening weekend of snook season.  Fishing in the wind may not be the funnest thing in the world, but man it helps to get the fish biting! Plus, this time of year the north wind is a driving force for getting the mullet moving.  Look for early morning, late afternoon, and night to be best for the snook.  With a rough ocean forecasted for the holiday weekend, one would expect a lot of boat traffic inshore during the day.  Outgoing tide tends to be the most productive for the snook; but don't overlook incoming tide, especially when the water has some color to it.  The key is just to have the tide moving.  Slack tide is just hard to get much going on.  Mangrove snapper action remains good inshore.  Live shrimp (hopefully they start to become available again headed into the weekend) are a great bait choice for the snapper. 

SURF/PIER-  Snook season opens back up September 1st, and that will no doubt draw most of the fishing attention this holiday weekend.  Snook reports this week have been a bit on the slow side, but conditions look right going into the weekend for them to bite good.  It may get a little rough on the beach, but the Juno Beach Pier provides a good option in rougher conditions.  A few days of north wind should get the first of the mullet (most likely finger mullet first) to show up and the snook will be close behind.  Flair Hawks, swimbaits, and good swimming plugs are all good lure options in rougher surf.  A few early early season pompano have started to show up.  It's not big numbers, but a changing weather pattern this week could help bump the numbers up a bit.  The Juno Beach Pier did have a handful of kingfish around this week. 

Snook-Nook Fishing Report

 It’s September 1st which means Snook season has reopened for our area! September not only brings us Snook season, it means we should begin to see signs of our annual fall mullet run. We haven’t seen the big pods of mullet showing up quite yet, but the trend this year with bait has been that it has been showing up a few weeks later than years past so no need to panic. However we have begun to see some pods along Indian River Drive north of the Jensen Causeway in the mornings and there have been large pods of mullet in Cape Canaveral and north of there and all those baits will have to start moving south towards our waters. The Snook fishing has remained steady inshore, a lot of the fish have begun to move away from the inlet and have been caught at the causeways, underneath docks and on seawalls in both the St. Lucie and Indian River. When we get the schools of mullet, you will want to match the size profile of your bait whether it be an artificial or a live bait to the size of the baits being fed on. It can be quite frustrating at times if you are fishing a pod of mullet with Snook actively feeding on them due to the amount of bait around. One of the best techniques you can try out in these circumstances to make your bait stand out while maintaining a natural presentation would be to use a small float on your line. The float will provide enough resistance for your bait to slow it down and give it more of an injured presentation making it a much easier target to get hit. You can also fish a bait on the bottom with a lead or even a dead bait underneath a pod of mullet as a lot of times you will see Snook cleaning up on the bottom. You will have plenty of opportunities for an artificial bite throughout the day if you are able to stay with the bait pods. Top waters, swimbaits and jerkbaits are all great options. Fishing your lure on the edge of the bait pods can result in more bites as well. Fishing at night in the shadow lines at the causeways and in dock lights will present plenty of opportunities as the Snook will wait for the mullet to come into the light and ambush them. 

Snook won’t be the only target for anglers when the mullet run begins, plenty of guys will be out chasing Tarpon. We’ve had a really good Tarpon bite over the past month and we should expect that to continue. Anglers have been fishing outgoing tides around the causeways and in the crossroads free lining live crabs, mullet and throwing swimbaits to get the bite, don’t be surprised if you hook into a big one as there have been plenty of triple digit fish around. Anglers fishing the Jensen Causeway at night have been on a steady juvenile Tarpon bite on live pilchards, crabs and shrimp. When the mullet schools are on the beach it’s never a bad idea to grab your favorite swimbait and take a walk to try to hook into one! Along with the Tarpon and Snook, you will be greeted by plenty of Jacks inshore patrolling the seawalls and channels searching for schools of bait. 

Aside from the upcoming mullet run action, we’ve had steady reports of Black Drum, Mangrove Snapper, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel and even Permit inshore. Some nice sized Drum have been caught at the Roosevelt Bridge along with a few picked off at the Jensen Causeway. Live crabs, fiddler crabs and chunks of crab on the bottom have produced the majority of the action however they will have a tough time passing up a shrimp too, you will just have to get through some bycatch. Mangrove Snapper have been caught around the bridges and on channel markers, live shrimp on the bottom or on a jighead will get you the most bites and you can try a small mullet, pinfish or pilchard on the bottom to weed out some of the smaller Snapper. We’re still seeing some Pompano being caught by those jigging at the Jensen Causeway Mosquito Bridge. We typically don’t have this kind of Pompano action there this time of year so anglers have been capitalizing on the opportunity to catch them. Along with the Pompano there have been Spanish Mackerel feeding on schools of glass minnows and small pilchards. You can free line pilchards, shrimp or throw spoons to get the bite. We’ve oddly enough had an inshore Permit bite at the Mosquito Bridge, these Permit have been caught by those fishing crappie jigs tipped with shrimp. We typically don’t see this consistent of a Permit bite inshore so give it a shot while you’ve got the chance! 

Surf Fishing Report

We had a solid Pompano bite on the south end of Hutchinson Island before we were greeted with the wind to close out the month. The majority of those fish were caught by those fishing the long rods in the deeper troughs on Powerlime Crab FishBites. Along with the Pompano there was still some Whiting action up in the first trough on pieces of shrimp and shrimp flavored FishBites. Once the water clears up we hope to see the same activity in the surf as you won’t find great results for Pompano or Whiting in churned up water. The Sandfleas have been caught in really solid numbers if you’re looking to stock up for our winter Pompano season. The upcoming mullet run will typically provide some excellent fishing off of our beaches when bait is present. The schools of mullet will be pushing south down the beach followed by Tarpon, Sharks, Snook, Jacks and more feeding on them. Bring your cast net or some artificials and be ready for a battle! 

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 Hurricane Idalia didn't impact the Space Coast and the full moon Wednesday will still be impacting tides through Sunday.

Snook harvest season opens Sept. 1 and it could not come soon enough for avid anglers. Snook are one of those catches that rewards every angler with the combination of what happens after the fish takes the bait or lure and what happens if the fish makes it to the dinner table.

I know many anglers who release all their snook, even when in the slot, and that's great. But for those of us who like to take a couple home each harvest season, they're fantastic fried with cheese grits and green beans, or baked with buttered red potatoes and cauliflower.

In any case, the mullet run is beginning with this week's blue supermoon and by next full moon, Sept. 29, it will certainly be well underway along beaches and in the Indian River Lagoon. Good luck out there.

Florida fishing regulations and fishing season opening and closing dates:

  • Snook: Harvest reopens Sept. 1. One fish bag limit, 28-32 inches, snook stamp required.
  • Blueline tilefish: Harvest closes Sept. 1 in state and federal waters of the Atlantic. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2024.
  • Golden tilefish: Harvest closed July 17. Harvest re-opens Jan. 1.
  • Alligator: Hunt season opens Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Lobster: Regular season opens Aug. 6-March 31, 2024. Bag limit: 6. Lobster stamp required.
  • Flounder: Harvest closes Oct. 15 to Nov. 30. Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person.
  • Hogfish: Harvest closes from Nov. 1 to April 30.
  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest closes November and December in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens Jan. 1.
  • Grouper: Harvest opened May 1. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind. Harvest closes Jan. 1.
  • Cobia: New bag and size limits for state waters. Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length.
  • Redfish: Harvest of redfish has been banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon since Sept. 1, 2022. FWC will reevaluate in the future.
  • Dolphin: Bag limit is 5 fish per day per angler. Vessel limit is 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit. These fishing regulations began on May 1, 2022, for state waters.
  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.

For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering new fishing regulations to protect snook from environmental and human factors. The agency has proposed 10 management regions with different regulations instead of the current two. A virtual meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 7 to discuss:

  • Making snook catch-and-release only in the Tampa Bay region beginning 2024
  • Adding September to the closed season for the Southwest region
  • A statewide two-fish vessel limit
  • Mosquito Lagoon

    Fall is the best time to target fishing this area. Tarpon, snook, speckled trout, redfish, black drum and jacks are all energized by the beginning of the fall mullet run. Fish the flats around the islands and along the east shoreline for action. Use live mullet or mullet-patterned topwater lures.

  • Surf

    It's going to be sloppy at area beaches for the next few days. Expect to have to make long casts with a lot of weight to hold bottom for a few whiting. Snook will be in the trough as the shorebreak calms down. Fishing will get better as it calms Monday and beyond.

    Sebastian Inlet

    The snook will probably be feeding aggressively at the end of the jetty and sea conditions will be such that boats won't be able to fish that spot. That leaves it for jetty anglers through Sunday. Use sliding sinker rigs and live croaker and be ready to release overslots as plenty will be caught.

    Indian River Lagoon

    South winds will be prevalent until Hurricane Idalia moves farther offshore, then the wind will shift. Try to find water that has not been muddied by the winds. That's where fishing will be best for snook and speckled trout. Fish docks and seawalls in protected shorelines with mullet or live shrimp. Shrimp are like candy to fish, even during the mullet run.

  • Freshwater

    Bass fishing should be picking up since winds and shorter days are creating cooler water conditions. Try topwater frogs and spinnerbaits along the edges and near hyacinths and water lettuce.

The Snookman's Sebastian Inlet Report

 The water is warm and the bite is hot for snapper and others

And now for an uplifting fishing report from our favorite fishing guide, the legendary “Snookman” Wayne Landry:

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fanatics. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! As I predicted, fishing at the inlet has picked up again! The water temp is back up to 83-84 along the coast. In the inlet, baitfish are back and plentiful, along with more mullet appearing around the jetty and in the inlet. Fishing in the entire inlet has heated up! Most of the bite, however, has been on and around the high tide periods where the water is clearer and not full of the tannin-colored runoff  on the outgoing tide. The first hour or so of the outgoing will be good until that dark water arrives and quiets the action. Here is the breakdown:

North jetty: This side has been on fire with the mangrove snapper bite on the incoming tide and the first of the outgoing. The bite has been everywhere from the catwalk, along the rock shoreline, all the way to the tip of the jetty and pilings. Live greenies and shrimp are the key baits for them. I talked to one of my friends who fished all last week and he sent me pics of everything he caught. He caught his limit of snapper each day along with quite a few lookdowns from the jetty — at least 6 to 10 per day on the lookdowns, also caught on live greenies. The lookdowns have no bag or size limits so you can keep what you want or need. Not much to them, but VERY tasty to eat! On the snapper bite, he caught at least 20 to 30 snapper daily, but most he threw back because he doesn't keep anything under 11 inches. Also, here around the jetty – again, high tide - the tip way out on the outgoing, the snook bite has picked up. The fish are biting live croakers, pigfish and live shrimp. Remember, they are still closed season until Sept. 1. (It is a holiday weekend and the opening of snook season. If you plan to go snook fishing, have a lot of patience and be courteous to everyone. It's only a fish, and not everyone knows how to fish for them. I saw a few Spanish mackerel caught on live greenies. Mullet are attracting big jack crevalle and a few nice catch-and-release redfish. Any live bait will work for them. 

South jetty: Over here the water has been a bit dirtier, but still warmed up. The snapper have been doing very well over here, too. Incoming tide as well has been the best as you have more area to fish them, not just at the tip like the outgoing tide. Live or dead greenies are the best bait, but small live shrimp also work. Live croakers, pigsfish and live shrimp are producing some nice catch-and-release snook over here, too. Incoming tide is best. Catch-and-release redfish are also being caught over here too. On the outgoing at the tip, they are catching the normal cast of characters: black margates, blue runners, jack crevalle, catfish and some mangrove snapper. Live or dead greenies and shrimp for the margates. 

T-Dock area: Back here the action has been pretty good with the mangrove snappers. Lots of smaller ones, but also plenty of keepers as well. The fish are being caught around the pilings and all along the rock shoreline as well. Incoming tide has been the best time to fish them, but if you find a spot with some slower water on the first of the outgoing tide, you possibly could find them there. Baitfish back here attract them and keep them here. Also, Spanish mackerel are being caught on the incoming tide. Small white jigs and live greenies work the best. There have been some nice jack crevalle caught as well. Jigs, spoons and live mullet tossed out to the channel area are catching fish. Haven't heard much on the snook bite back here yet, but that doesn't mean they aren't around. Nobody is fishing for them yet. 

Surf fishing, both sides: Still mostly blown out by 15-20 mph NNE winds and the larger waves coming off the storms out in the Atlantic. The surf is expected to increase to 4-5 feet by Wednesday, meaning rougher waves are forecast.