Friday, October 27, 2023

Getting Close To That Time Of Year


Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area


I did a little traveling around today and started out up by Fort Pierce Inlet in the gray light this morning . The color of the water was less than ideal when the skies lightened and after the second catfish I packed up and headed back towards Jensen Beach . The water was 100 percent better from Herman’s Bay to Stuart . Although I didn’t put any keeper pompano in the cooler I had a great morning catching short pompano, lady fish of all sizes, some nice sized bluefish, 2 small black drum ,and a few jacks . It was definitely great practice for the upcoming pompano season and it’s great to see some life in the water . I definitely went through a lot of bait today as the total catch had to be somewhere around 40 fish . When you are catching doubleheaders of pompano and ladyfish the quantity builds quickly . There were numerous pompano in that 10 inch range so the throwbacks are getting bigger from the size of the ones I caught this past weekend. Electric chicken Crab Fishbites were on fire again today just like the were this past weekend and last year in the beginning the season . Distance was a key today as most of the bites came in the 80 to 100 yard distance . The bigger pompano are coming so get your tackle , bait and equipment ready . Conditions look pretty good for this week and weekend so get out and get your “practice “ in . Good luck and catch ‘‘em up .

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

 INSHORE-  Snook fishing reports remain good inshore. Windy conditions should have the snook fired up through the weekend.  Look for the morning topwater bite to pop off back in the river, especially early in the morning.  Ambush points, seawalls, and boat docks with some current flowing around them will be the ticket for finding the snook.  A few little tarpon around, along with a few jacks.  Still a fair scattering of finger mullet around, though not in huge numbers.  Finding those small late season pods of finger mullet can lead to some really fast action.  

SURF/PIER-  Conditions have been pretty terrible along the beach and at the Juno Beach Pier this week; with strong winds, rough seas, and dirty water all but shutting the fishing down.  At time of writing it looks like cleaner blue /green water is trying to push back in.  As soon as the water cleans back up a bit, look for the fishing to fire back off.  Early in the week, before conditions went south, the bluefish bite was absolutely on fire.  The blues were chomping topwaters, spoons, and cut bait with reckless abandon along the beach and at the pier.  Pompano, mostly small with a few keepers mixed in, bite was decent as well early in the week.  Look for them to bite well when water conditions improve.  Dirty water has largely pushed the Spanish Mackerel out; but look for them to show back up in good numbers when water conditions improve. 

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report


There isn't a very favorable marine weather forecast for the weekend. Easterly winds 15-20 mph. Waves 5-7 feet and occasionally 9 feet. This will probably create pretty rough conditions along the shore break, too, making it difficult to fish along the beaches. It's going to be a good weekend to fish inshore and freshwater spots.

Too bad, too. There has been a good bite from Spanish mackerel and bluefish in the surf and near the inlets. Pompano have been scarce, but they're probably coming soon. Fish the lee of the east shoreline of the lagoons this weekend until winds calm a bit and open up more fishing zones.

Florida fishing regulations and fishing season opening and closing dates:

  • Flounder: Harvest closed Oct. 15 to Nov. 30. Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person.
  • Gag grouper: Harvest closes for both recreational and commercial sectors on Oct. 23. Re-opens May 1, 2024.
  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest closes November and December in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens Jan. 1.
  • Hogfish: Harvest closes from Nov. 1 to April 30, 2024. Season re-opens for harvest May 1, 2024.
  • Snook: Harvest opened Sept. 1. One fish bag limit, 28-32 inches, snook stamp required. Harvest closes Dec. 15.
  • Blueline tilefish: Harvest closed Sept. 1 in Atlantic state and federal waters. Season re-opens for harvest May 1, 2024.
  • Golden tilefish: Harvest closed July 17. Harvest opens Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Lobster: Regular season opened Aug. 6-March 31, 2024. No egg bearers, 3-inch minimum carapace length. Lobster stamp required.
  • Alligator: Hunt season opened Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits 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. 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.
  • Mosquito Lagoon

    Capt. Jon Lulay of 2 Castaway Charters in Titusville has been steering clients to catches of redfish, black drum, speckled trout, jacks and ladyfish along the lagoon shorelines and around the islands. He is using live shrimp freelined or under popping corks, or having customers sight-cast with jerk baits.

  • Surf

    Anglers were finding good action from Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks and more during the incoming tides. As the water level rises over the sand bar, fish come over it and will run down the inside of the bars so cast pieces of shrimp, sand fleas or Fishbites there. The weather will force anglers to hold off for a few days, but look for action to resume, maybe with pompano, by Monday or Tuesday.

  • Sebastian Inlet

    Jetty anglers have been catching Spanish mackerel and bluefish using spoons or diamond jigs. Boaters drifting live baits during the outgoing tides had shots at snook, redfish, tarpon, big jacks, black drum and sharks. Use caution near the entrance of the inlet the next few days with the wind-driven waves.

  • Indian River Lagoon

    Try casting plugs around Fishermen Point, Mangrove Point, Bagger's Point, Bird Island, or the island west of the Canaveral Barge Canal to get bites from speckled trout. The best action is early in the morning at first light. Schools of redfish have been in the No Motor Zone and can be cast to with small crabs or shrimp.


    Some of the best action has been along the edges for bedding bass. The full moon will have fish moving to the beds to spawn. Use lipless crank baits to get reaction bites.

  • Ed Killer covers fishing for TCPalm. Email him at

Sebastian Inlet Report with the Snookman


Fine weather for bluefish, redfish, Spanish macs, sheephead, black drum and more

“Snookman” Wayne Landry’s auspicious report for this week:
Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing fanatics. I hope everyone enjoyed the fine weather last weekend. Last week, Monday through Wednesday, fishing was awesome! The water was the right color (bluish), relatively clear, water temps were around 78 degrees and everything was biting at the inlet. There were many baitfish as well: finger mullet, greenies and pilchards. I saw all these species being caught: Spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, sheepshead, black drum, pompano, redfish, snook, mangrove snapper, small mutton snapper and flounder, (which are closed until December 1. EVERYTHING we can catch at the inlet was being caught. The north side was the hot spot. Then came Thursday and Friday; the water cooled down and we had a green alga bloom, ( which turns the water that funky green color) due to the water temps changing so drastically — from 78 down to around 70 to 72 — and that pretty much shuts everything down until it normalizes again. Did some research on it. Microplankton and the phytoplankton absorb carbon dioxide in the air and create chlorophyl which makes them green, turning the water green. A little ocean education for you, in case you ever wondered why it does that. Saturday and Sunday the water cleared and warmed up, and had a bit more blueness to it and fishing picked up a tad, not like it was, but they did catch some fish around the inlet.  The breakdown: 

North jetty: It was hit-or-miss. Saturday and Sunday began slow, but when the tide came in  and the water cleared, snook bit on live shrimp and the small ‘thumper shrimp’ jigs. I saw a lot of snook being caught, but most were on the short side. However, I did see several nice slot fish caught. There were also some nice catch-and-release redfish caught on either live mullet or shrimp. Also, there was a nice Spanish mackerel bite on the beachside of the jetty on live pilchards; they didn't want the small greenies this time. I also saw a couple of mangrove snappers caught, too. Their numbers are dwindling because the water is getting too cool for them. Atlantic spadefish and sheepshead round out the bite on the jetty. 

South jetty: Saturday and Sunday on the incoming tide there was an awesome snook bite mid tide! Lots of fish were being caught on live baits, small croakers and pigfish were the baits of choice. Most of the fish I saw caught were again undersized, but there were plenty of slot fish caught. In watching the guys and gals on Sunday — which was the better day — it was what we old-timers refer to as combat fishing. Stuff was flying everywhere! In 20 minutes, I must have seen 10 to 15 hookups with fish, but most were either lost or were undersized. I didn't see much else caught over here on the incoming tide, no reds or blues; it was all about the snook. Outgoing tide there were some jack crevalle and small bluefish caught on live and cut baits. A couple black margates, which are always around the tip were caught too, along with catfish and puffers. That's pretty much it.  

T-dock: Back here there wasn't much action. There was plenty of bait around the dock, but not much being caught. I did see one undersized mutton snapper and an undersized mangrove caught. Most of the action was the pesky puffers that are always around when the water is dirty. Incoming tide I chatted with a couple of the guys fishing snook, and they said they hadn't even had any bites. The water on the incoming tide was not very conducive to good fishing, despite the plentiful bait.

Surf area, both sides: South side surf fishing over the weekend was  hit-or-miss. If you could find clean water like a couple of my friends did, you could find some action. They were fishing at the state park's day use area just south of the inlet and caught some nice bluefish, Spanish mackerel, a couple of pompano, mangrove snapper and jumped a big tarpon on a live mullet. The other fish were caught using live shrimp. Pretty good morning of fishing I'd say! At the north side you can expect the same thing: some clean water, and you could find some fish biting. Same species. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

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

INSHORE-  Snook fishing remains very good inshore.  Still a fair push of mullet coming through, and the snook are keyed in on them.  Mixed in with the snook should be a few tarpon and big jacks as well.  The snook have been biting well around the bridge at night.  Flair hawks and bigger swimbaits remain the top lure choices.  The top of the outgoing tide remains the best bet, but with dirty water around they will bite on incoming as well.  A few redfish around inshore: Hard to target the redfish, but if you're going to catch redfish in Palm Beach County; now is the time.  

SURF/PIER- Rough surf had the surf action slowed down for most of the week.  Still a fair amount of mullet pushing through; but it has slowed way down.  This weekend will likely be the last good push of mullet coming through.  Still a good number of tarpon in the mullet schools along with some bruiser jacks.  Best action will no doubt be first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon.   No pompano reports this week; conditions do look good going into the weekend for them to bite.  Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel have started top show up in little better numbers.     

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla.

Mosquito Lagoon

Snook, trout, redfish, tarpon, black drum and jacks have all been on the catch list in this zone. Use live mullet, live shrimp or jerk baits to get bites either freelined or under a popping cork. Fish
the shorelines of the lagoon or of the islands to have shots a sight fishing opportunities. Fiddler crabs fished around Haulover Canal can catch sheepshead.


On days where the shorebreak allows people to fish, there have been whiting, jacks and snook, tarpon and sharks in the mullet schools. Look for incoming tides in the coming days to bring pompano and better fishing for whiting inside the sand bars at many beaches.

Sebastian Inlet

Mullet have been pushing south along the beach and cross the mouth of the inlet. As a result, action has been good at the jetties of Sebastian Inlet for tarpon, snook, redfish and black drum with live mullet or croaker on the bottom. Sharks, Spanish mackerel and bluefish can be caught inside the inlet and around the T Dock. The mullet run will be winding down soon, but bluefish, mackerel and pompano will replace them in the coming weeks.

Indian River Lagoon

Water levels have been higher than normal in the lagoon due to king tides. The fish will be pushed up into area where they typically never get to feed, so make casts into mangroves, along shorelines and near the foot of docks. Speckled trout can be caught on topwater lures during low light. Use mullet-patterned lures for best results. Small tarpon, snook, redfish and black drum can be caught around some of the spoil islands.


The St. Johns River system and all of its connecting lakes and water management areas are swollen with September rainfall. Alligator hunting has been difficult because the gators have more room to roam and are ranging far and wide. Bass fishing is best along the edges on topwater frogs and other offerings that look like they got washed in by rains.

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report


Snook regulations changes: What did FWC decide to do with Florida's most popular fish?

Proposals included stopping harvest in Tampa Bay and reducing harvest limits statewide

Snook regulations changed slightly for some Florida waters, however changes to bag limits including harvest closures for some regions of the state will hold off at least until next summer, according to the state fishery management officials Wednesday.

Four changes to snook management in Florida were proposed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff. Of those, two changes were adopted:

  • State was divided into nine snook management regions
  • September added to closed harvest season for Charlotte Harbor and Southwest Florida which includes Collier, Monroe and part of Miami-Dade counties

Snook fishery managers now are able to be more flexible in decision-making when red tides, fish kills or other factors impact local fisheries, the FWC said. The seven member board of commissioners voted on the proposals Wednesday in Jensen Beach, the first of two days of scheduled meetings.

The board decided to table until a future meeting:

  • A proposed 2-snook vessel harvest limit statewide
  • A harvest closure for the Tampa Bay region that was to begin in 2024

The proposals were developed with concerns for declining water quality, loss of habitat and increased fishing pressure by residents and visitors, FWC marine fisheries manager Erika Burgess said. A yearlong process of 12 public in-person workshops, two virtual workshops, the distribution of an angler satisfaction survey combined with fishery dependent and fishery independent research methods provided the data FWC staff used to craft the proposals.

The board's decision followed impassioned pleas from several of the 20 speakers. Some supported staff recommendations to enact the harvest closures. With the 2-snook vessel limit, seven spoke against it and three spoke in favor of it. Four spoke out against closing snook harvest in Tampa Bay.

Snook regulations could become a topic discussed every year at FWC meetings, Burgess told commissioners. Chairman Rodney Barreto said that will allow them to change regulations quickly if needed.

"Our fishery is great here. I don't see any need to make any further regulations at this time. If a problem crops up that we aren't having now, it can be dealt with. Hold back on the 2-fish limit right now," Capt. Mike Maher of Vero Beach asked of the commissioners before they voted.

"Snook fishing is in decline in Stuart. In Sebastian and Fort Pierce, there is more habitat and deep water for snook. We have no seagrass meadows in Stuart anymore and an increase in fishing effort. I support a 2-snook vessel limit," said Capt. Mike Holliday of Stuart.

"I was surprised the commissioners decided to drop the 2-fish vessel limit, Now, I'd like to see them increase the harvest slot limit from 28-32 inches to 28-34 inches," said Greg Simmons, a Fort Pierce angler.

Commissioners also directed FWC staff to look at the possibility of creating a 10th snook management region by splitting the 156-mile Indian River Lagoon into two different regions.

Of the 1.4 million saltwater fishing licenses sold in Florida this year, more than 540,000 of them have purchased the $10 annual snook stamp including more than 93,000 lifetime fishing licenses.

The snook regulation changes will go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Go to FWC meeting in Jensen Beach for more information.

Ed Killer covers fishing for TCPalm. Email him at

Sebastian Inlet Report With The "SNOOKMAN"

 Windy week ahead, but North jetty the best bet for Spanish macks, snook, jacks, drums, others

Our weekly fishing report from "Snookman" Wayne Landry:

"Greetings. To begin, Sunday was a total blown out, rainy mess. The NNE winds were blowing 20 to 30 mph,  swells were 6 to 7 feet and the inlet was one huge washing machine. The bad news: this week’s forecast shows the same. The bright spot: this weather will bring more mullet along the coast and water temps should drop back down to get things fired up. October has always been my favorite month to fish. Lots going on. Before all the Sunday mess, Thursday through Saturday when I was at the inlet, the fishing was getting fairly good. There were plenty of mullet around the jetties and inside the inlet. There were small fingerlings, bigger 10 to 12-inch mullet and predator fish to feed on them. There were plenty of snook, redfish, big jack crevalle, tarpon, sharks, black drum, sheepshead and big Spanish mackerel on the north side! I even got a report from one of my guys of pompano caught north of the inlet. So yeah, there were fish everywhere, and when it calms back down and cleans up, expect the same to continue. Here's the breakdown:

North jetty: This was the hotspot for fishing Thursday through Saturday. There were hordes of mullet coming down the beach and big tarpon, jacks and sharks were just blasting them all over. Was cool to watch. It was mostly all about the big mac attack. I'll call it that because almost all the Spanish mackerel caught were in the three to four-pound range. Monster macks for sure. The fish were measuring anywhere from 24 to28 inches. Live greenies and the small finger mullet were the baits of choice for them. It's been a couple years since we had Spanish that big. It was cool to see them just ripping through the schools of finger mullet like laser guided missiles, so neat. The fish were being caught on the beach side of the jetty, and on the early high tide, once the tide dropped off too much, and the water dirtied too much, they were gone. I did see several anglers with anywhere from five to eight fish each. The other fish playing nicely were the snook and redfish. Again, the early high tide on both sides of the jetty was producing fish. The predominate bait was live shrimp, but the reds were also keyed in on the finger mullet. Live pig fish and pins got the bite on the beach side of the jetty fishing way out over the sandbar. Also, I saw snook and red fish caught in the surf pocket area; live mullet is what they like in that area. One of my friends on his first bait out got a nice fat 32-inch slot! Can't beat that. The other species I saw caught were black drum and sheepshead, a bit early for them as they like the cooler water. Dead and live shrimp do the trick for them. Outgoing tide at the tip there have been some big jack crevalle caught on just about anything you fish with, along with some small bluefish as well. They are showing up early, too. Usually don't see them until November/December. There are still some really nice cubera snapper being caught on live baits at the tip. I saw a pic of one angler who caught two in the 20 to 24-inch range, the perfect size for eating. Also, there have been a few snook and reds caught at the tip. On the outgoing tide they move away from the jetty, rendering them more difficult to catch. Along the rock seawall between the catwalk and jetty there are mangrove snapper being caught on live and dead greenies, but not in the numbers as before. There have also been redfish and snook caught there. Live shrimp and pigfish seem to be the baits working well. The incoming tide is the tide to fish. 

South jetty: Rough condition have slowed the fishing. Big waves coming in the inlet make it very tough to fish the rock wall, especially on the incoming high tide. It gets wet and hard to fish, plus the water dirties up quicker here because it is so shallow. However, there are small to slot-sized snook being caught on all live baits and swimbaits. On the outgoing tide at the tip there are big jack crevalle, bluefish, black margates and blue runners being caught. Cut baits of shrimp and greenies are the baits to use. Just hasn't been particularly good over here. 

T-Dock Area: It’s slow here as well, in part due to the lack of greenies and other baitfish. Small mangroves are still being caught, along with a few mutton snappers and the pesky puffers around the dock pilings. On the incoming tide you might encounter some of those nice Spanish mackerels that are around the inlet, along with some of the big jack crevalle that are chasing the schools of mullet coming in the inlet. Either tide is good for fish. One of my friends told me that Thursday and Friday night the mullet came in in droves and the huge jacks were just chasing them everywhere!! He didn't see any snook caught, but that doesn't mean that they weren't there! 

Surf Area, both sides: Before the North side got wiped out, there were many mullet schools coming down. Snook, tarpon, redfish and big jacks and sharks were everywhere. All you had to do was go find your favorite beach spot and walk the beach with a swim bait and look for the bait, or catch some mullet in your net and fish them. I also received a report of pompano being caught in the north surf before it got roughed up, around Bonsteel park. Cut shrimp and fish bites got it done. As the water cools down, and it cleans up, we will start seeing more of them show up. Usually, in November we see them in numbers. South side surf, same thing. If you find clearer and calmer water – and mullet - anything is possible. Snook, reds, jacks, tarpon and sharks, and quite possibly some of those pompano!! 

That’s it. Like I mentioned earlier, it's going to be a rough week,  but if you find calmer, cleaner water and bait is around, you just might catch some fish. You have to work at it to get them. Have a great week!” — Snookman.