Saturday, September 16, 2023

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.

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    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.

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