Friday, September 1, 2023

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! 

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