Our mullet run is coming to an end here on the Treasure Coast as we are seeing fewer and fewer schools of them inshore. We will begin to transfer into our fall and early winter bite as the water temperatures begin to cool down a bit which can be really good for the fishing. The fish will tend to feed a little bit more and you will get more opportunities at getting on a bite throughout the day with the cooler temperatures. Those looking to target Snook and Tarpon will still have plenty of opportunities and we will begin to see more of our fall/winter species moving our way with each cool front such as Black Drum, Redfish, Sheepshead, Triple Tail, Croaker, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish.
Snook fishing has still been pretty good for us and as we are greeted with some cooler temperatures, they will begin to be more inclined to go after baits with a slower presentation such as a shrimp. If you are out early before the sun rises fishing the dock lights or out late at the causeway fishing the shadow lines, don’t be afraid to tie on your favorite artificial shrimp and give it a few casts. Thumper Shrimp and Vudu Shrimp have been some of the go to choices lately. Slow rolling paddle tails and fishing jigs will work as well. On the warm days and as the sun gets a bit higher on the cooler days, they will still be willing to feed on live bait with no hesitation such as Pilchards, Pinfish, Croaker, Mullet, etc. A good majority of the Snook have moved away from the inlet and can be found throughout both the Indian and St. Lucie River around structures such as docks, bridges, sea walls and mangroves. There have also been Snook caught by those fishing the flats north of the power plant and the numbers of fish in that area will continue to increase. Snook season is still open all month if you are looking to harvest a slot size fish between 28-32”, the season closes on December 15th.
If you’re looking to hook into a Tarpon, there have been some north of the Jensen Causeway around Nettles Island, around the Roosevelt Bridge with a few fish still showing up around the Jensen Causeway. Live mullet or crabs will get the job done for you on them!
A lot of anglers look forward to this time of year for our Sheepshead and Black Drum fishing. The Black Drum bite is starting to heat up around the bridges and at the power lines that go across the river from the power plant. You can fish live shrimp, pieces of shrimp or chunks of crab on a jighead or knocker rig to target them. The Sheepshead will typically be found in some of the same areas that you will find the Black Drum. Look for structure with heavy barnacle growth on them and you will typically find some Sheepshead crunching on those barnacles. The same baits and presentations will work for Sheepshead, but Fiddler Crabs are one of the best baits you can throw at them and we should have a steady supply of them throughout the season. Fishing the channel markers is also a great strategy to catch Sheepshead, Black Drum, Triple Tail, Croakers and more. Bouncing from channel marker to channel marker with a shrimp on a jig head can lead you to a variety of fish to put in the cooler and can be fun for everyone on board. Some channel markers also have debris that has gotten stuck around them such as lost crab traps that make for excellent structure to fish. While you’re checking out the channel markers, don’t be afraid to look at the crab trap buoys to see if you can spot some Triple Tail floating in the current.
Some Spanish Mackerel have begun showing up around the Jensen Causeway already, anglers have been catching them on small pilchards, shrimp and spoons. We can expect to see more showing up with more cold fronts and you will be able to find them inshore around the bridges and in the inlet. We typically get into our better numbers of Spanish Mackerel towards the end of the month and into December as you will see anglers heading to Pecks Lake to fish the schools of Mackerel there. Similar to the Mackerel, there have been a few Pompano showing up inshore but we will need more fronts to see larger numbers of them in the area. When they do show up, expect to see them caught in the inlet, Sailfish Flats and on the Jensen and Stuart Causeway relief bridges.