Friday, April 12, 2024

Simple Way To Catch Pinfish And Snook (Beach Fishing With KBO K1 Ebike)

From Todd @ Juno Bait Crew-Juno Beach

 INSHORE-  A little quiet inshore this week.  Snook fishing remains fair, and should continue to improve over the next few weeks.  The night snook bite remains fair around the bridges.  A little more bait around (mixture of pilchards and a few mullet) this week helped the bite as well.  Top of the outgoing tide tends to be the best bet for the snook, but don't overlook late incoming if the water is a little dirty.  The Loxahatchee River has been producing some snook during the day.  Boat docks and seawalls with some current flow and proximity to a little deeper water are great starting spots.  Mangrove snapper bite continues to improve around the bridges as well.  It's still early, but more and more little choppers making their way inshore.  Live shrimp and pilchards are the top bait choices for the mangroves.  Sounds like the tarpon bite in Palm Breach Inlet picked up a bit this week.  


SURF/PIER-  Another good week of pompano action along the beach and at the Juno Beach Pier again this week.  For the beach the usual assortment of baits (sand fleas, clams, fresh shrimp, and FishBites) have all been working well on the pompano.  On the Juno Beach Pier the same baits work well; with the jig bite (Doc's Goofy Jigs and jYG Pro Mycro's) also firing off too.  Depending on conditions the pomps will bite throughout the day; but early morning and late afternoon do tend to produce the best results.  Another good push of late season bluefish again this week.  Every time I think the blues are just about gone, a good push of them makes another showing.  GT Ice Creams, diamond jigs, and swimming plugs will all work well on the blues.  Spanish Mackerel action was a bit slower this week, but still a fair number around.  White crappie jigs and smaller size 8 and 10 X-Raps are a good way to go for the Macs.  With all the pomps (and other species as well) finally seeing a few more blacktop sharks along the beach.  A pretty good number of croakers and sand perch around in the first trough this week.  Small pieces of fresh shrimp will be the bait of choice for them.    

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman

 More turbid, chilly water,  but a few blues and Spanish mackerel caught

“Good morning, all you Sebastian Inlet fishing fanatics. Happy ‘Solar Monday’ to you all! Unfortunately, this is going to be another short report, as it was a slow weekend at the fishing hole, largely due to the chilly and sandy/silted water. Temperatures remain at 71 degrees along the east coast from Canaveral to Wabasso, where it should be in the 75-76 degree range for this time of year. There is also an absence of any bait fish.

 Last week began with a good pompano bite on the north side. Monday and Tuesday, anglers were catching quite a few from the north jetty and the beaches just north of the jetty — sand fleas were the bait of choice. On Wednesday, fishing went downhill, with not much being caught on either side. Some bluefish and Spanish mackerel were caught at the jetty tip on silver spoons and small white jigs on the tide changes, but that was pretty much it through the entire weekend. Sunday saw a couple nice snook caught on the early morning incoming tide on live shrimp and mojarras. South side has been a hit-or-miss  due to dirtier water flowing out of the inlet, pushed by NNW-WNW winds. The winds churn the intercoastal waters, send it out of the inlet, then back in on the incoming tide. That scenario makes it tough for the water to clean up enough for the fish to want to bite.

Small bluefish and jack crevalle at the tip on the outgoing, and catfish were all that were being caught. The water over here was too dirty for the pompano. Incoming tide early, and late evening produced a few snook on live baits, but most were under the 28 inch minimum to be harvested. But there were a couple slots caught. The remaining inlet spots were slow, unless you were in a boat drifting the inlet channel catching big jacks and leftover monster bluefish.



Saturday, April 6, 2024

Snook-Nook Fishing Report

Inshore Fishing Report 

Snook fishing is starting to heat up in our area with the numbers of fish caught by our local charter captains increasing by the week. Not only have there been more fish around, but we are starting to see some bigger Snook caught. The Snook fishing will continue to improve throughout the spring. The water temperatures have been warming up which has made them more eager to feed on live baits such as croakers, pilchards or mullet. For those fishing from a boat, look for them on seawalls in the mornings and evenings as well as around docks in the St. Lucie and Indian River. The causeway bridge fenders at the Stuart Causeway and 10 cent have been producing some quality action and there have been a few Redfish mixed in with the Snook at the Stuart Causeway. It’s tough to beat a live croaker for bait if you are fishing the bridge fenders, just be ready for the thump! A few fish have also started to show up around the inlet and at hole in the wall; we can expect to see bigger numbers of Snook in those areas in May. For those fishing from land, the Jensen Causeway has been producing some steady action in the evenings and at night. There have been a good amount of shrimp flowing through on the outgoing tides that they have been keyed in on. You’ll want to try to match the size of your shrimp to the size of the shrimp that are flowing through for best results. One of our employees, Noah, was fishing a 3” Vudu Shrimp and wasn’t getting much action and noticed that the shrimp flowing through were a little bigger than the presentation he was throwing and switched to the 4” Vudu Shrimp which made a big difference and started catching. The Vudu Shrimp and Thumper Shrimp have been our most popular artificial shrimp choices here at the shop. The dock at Indian Riverside Park typically starts providing some good Snook fishing in the spring for us as well. For those wade fishing, we’ve heard solid reports from both the east and west side of the river north of the power plant. Snook, Trout and Redfish have all been in the mix. Topwater baits, 3” paddle tails and artificial shrimp have been the go to baits if you’re looking to head that way. If you prefer fishing with live bait, you can’t go wrong with a live shrimp on a jig head or on a popping cork.

A few Tarpon have been around inshore and we should start seeing that bite picking up as we get deeper into the spring. We typically have a better flow of crabs flowing through the bridges on the outgoing tide this time of year, but we really haven’t seen a lot yet. If you’re looking for Tarpon, focusing on the channels around the Stuart and Jensen Causeways will be one of your best bets. If you can get your hands on some crabs, that will be your best bait option, larger live mullet will work as well. There have been a lot of big jacks cruising the channels and hitting the seawalls if you’re looking for some screaming drag action as well. 

The inshore Pompano bite is starting to pick up again for us with steady reports coming from the Jensen Causeway Mosquito bridge. Over the past two years, April has provided us our best inshore Pompano action of the year and it looks like it is shaping up for that to be the case again this year. The chartreuse/orange and chartreuse/pink jigs with a pink or gold teaser has been a favorite for anglers jigging the bridge over the past few weeks. Anglers have also been picking off some Pompano jigging from the east side relief bridge on the Stuart Causeway. Those fishing from boat have found some on the Sailfish flats along with some on the flats around the power plant. We’ve heard about a lot of fish that are still to the south of us that will be migrating back north over the next few weeks. 

Those fishing live shrimp around structure have found a variety of species including Triple Tail, Flounder, Snapper, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Croaker and Bonefish. There have still been a few Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish around the inlet and causeways as well.  

From Todd @ Juno Bait Crew-Juno Beach

INSHORE-  A little slim on inshore reports this week.  Snook fishing was a little off, but a few around for those really putting in the work.  Fair snook fishing around the bridges at night, with outgoing tide producing the best results.  Flair Hawks and bigger swimbaits are starting to produce better and better for the snook.  During the day best bet for the snook is mullet along the seawalls.  A few snook biting topwaters in the river early in the morning.  A few more mangrove snapper showing up in shore.  Live shrimp and small pilchards are the top bait choice for the mangroves.    


SURF/PIER-  The spring run of pompano is in full effect right now!  Really good numbers of pompano coming in this week both at the Juno Beach Pier and along the beach.  On the beach it is more of a bait bite; with sand fleas and FishBites catching the best.  Shrimp and clams are also good baits to have (Pompano are funny fish, and will bite one bait better than another from day to day).  On the Fishbites chartreuse and electric chicken colors have been the hottest, with flavor not mattering as much.  On the Juno Beach Pier the pomp bite is split evenly between bait and jigs.  For bait sand fleas, fresh shrimp, and Fishbites (like the beach) will be top bait choices.  No super hot jig color, but chartreuse and pink seem to have the slight edge. Doc's Goofy Jig and JYG Pro Mycro have both been working well.  Good number of Spanish Mackerel around the Juno Beach Pier as well.  Depending on conditions a white crappie jig or size 10 Rapala X-Rap will be solid lure choices for the Macs.  Still a little scattering of bluefish around.  Are cool front will likely keep a few more around through the weekend.  A diamond jig or GT Ice cream is a good lure choice for the blues. 
  

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman

 


 Cooler, cloudier water persists, but Spanish mackerel, black drum and pompano possible

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend - the weather was sure impressive! The fishing, ehh, not so much. Cooler and dirty water is still playing a big part in the activity at the inlet, plus the absence of any bait fish to speak of. But there were some fish being caught, just not anything to write home about. The last four days I've been down have been pretty slow, with a little more action this past Sunday. so here we go.

North jetty: Fishing on the jetty picked up a bit on Sunday with a smattering of different species being caught. The species most frequently caught was Spanish mackerel on small white jigs and gotcha lures. The end of the outgoing and the beginning of the incoming have been producing  nice fish. Just enough to keep you wanting to make that ‘last cast.’ On the incoming tide, there were small black drum caught, 15 to 18 inches along with a few nice pompano that I saw as well, 14 to 16 inches. All were caught on cut dead shrimp. There were also some of the smaller bluefish caught at the tip on the outgoing tide for those tossing big silver spoons to the channel. Didn't see any of the monster blues over here over the weekend. No snook or redfish to speak of during the daytime, but I did hear from one of my FWC officer friends that they have been catching a few at night on jigs. 

South jetty: Fishing this side has been slower, but there are fish being caught on the incoming tide. They’re still catching monster blues over here on big silver spoons and live and dead baits tossed out to the channel on the incoming tide. Snook fishing on this side has been slow due to the big blues and jacks in the area; they don't want any part of that, so they lay low. But a few have been caught on live mojarra fished on the incoming tide. Most have been small undersized fish, but a couple slots were caught over the weekend. On the beach side of the jetty there have been many small flounder caught on small rubber swimbaits bumped along the bottom. The outgoing tide at the tip has been all about the regulars, black margates, blue runners and kittyfish.

T-dock area: Back here the snook have dropped off a bit. Again, cooler and dirtier water has shut it down, and the absence of the mojarras that were here didn't help. Not much else,  except for a few giant jack crevalles for anglers tossing big silver spoons to the channel area. Some jacks are in excess of 30 pounds or so. That's pretty much it. 

Surf area, both sides: There’s not much surf fishing action due to the dirty, sandy water on both sides. South side has been really bad with mostly catfish caught, and a few whiting. On the North side the water tends to clean up better. Find some deeper, cleaner water and you might find pompano swimming the trough areas. Cut shrimp, small live shrimp and sand fleas are the best baits. Fishing the beach with silver spoons or any artificial bait might land you a bluefish or Spanish mackerel

That's all I have for this week. There are fish around, but you just have to visit your favorite spot, hang out and see what comes up. As I have mentioned in my previous reports, we need warmer and cleaner water for fishing to improve. Several weeks ago, when the water temperature was up to 74, it was getting good. Good luck everyone, and have a great week!”  

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

 

If you have been waiting for the spring run of pompano to start , wait no longer . After having a great few days of fishing with my grandkids that ended up with us putting around 40 nice pompano in the cooler I went out solo yesterday morning due to a rescheduling of the charter I had and managed to catch another 29 of these great fish . My son Randy only had a short window to fish yesterday morning and managed to put 5 nice fish in his cooler too. The bonus to this bite right now is the average size of the pompano . There are lots of 2 1/2 to 3 pound fish being caught and after getting my slip yesterday from New England Seafood my catch totaled 71 pounds . The beauty of our activity right now is the spread of fish . The pompano are being caught from Juno to Sebastian Inlet in great numbers . In my case the Pink/ Flesh Crab Fishbites has been accounting for 3/4 of my fish . EZFLEA is also producing some fish but not like the Pink/Flesh Crab . There are fish being caught all day in most cases but the afternoon action from 2 to 6 has been exceptional. It’s the typical spring bite pattern so grab your gear and put some pompano in the cooler. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Good luck and catch em up .

Friday, March 29, 2024

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area


It’s the end of March and as we approach this holiday weekend we might get a window that will allow the surf to calm down , the water to clean up, and hopefully give us more than one or two fishable days in a row . April is my favorite month to target the pompano as it is traditionally the time of year when you expect to put a good number of pompano in the cooler . I love a high tide in the afternoon during April and the beginning of May and remember last year when we were straining our eyes as it was starting to get dark to see the rods bend . There are still plenty of sandfleas showing so make sure you bring a rake with you if you are going to make trip . We caught some pompano over the weekend but unfortunately none of the fish that Brett, Randy, and I were big enough to place in the IRK tournament . We added some nice whiting too and Brett was on the board until late Sunday . Congratulations to all of the prize winners . All of our fish bit on Electric Chicken Crab and EZFlea Fishbites . A few of the fish were on sandfleas tipped with those Fishbites also . April is always a busy month and I will be involved with the Sailfish Point Fishing Club Surf Tournament and then doing seminars for the Savanna Club and the Ballantrae Fishing Club . Let’s hope Mother Nature turns off an extended period of her wind machine and we get more days to fish this month . We will be celebrating Easter early and Passover late this month and I hope everyone has a great holiday . Pompano, whiting, and croaker should all be on your catch list during April so stock up on your Fishbites and enjoy some great weather, hopefully!! Good luck and catch em up .I forgot to add an important date coming up as April 27 is the date of Fishbites first leg of their Shoreline Showdown Surf Fishing Tournaments . Their format of having tournaments in different locations and dates is unprecedented and provides an opportunity for surf anglers from the Panhandle , Jacksonville/St Augustine area, Melbourne, and Jensen Beach. Log on to the Shoreline Showdown website to register and get additional information.

From Todd @ Juno Bait Crew-Juno Beach

 INSHORE-  Inshore reports have been a bit slim this week.  Snook fishing has been fair for those really putting the hours in on them.  A few more mullet moving around inshore has them popping off a little on the bigger baits.  Pretty standard pattern on the snook right now.  During the day it's going to be live baits under boat docks and along seawalls.  At night look for the snook to be lurking along bridge shadow lines and on the outside edges of docklights.  Best luck (In most places) is going to be the top of the outgoing tide.  However, with some cloudier water this week incoming tide is producing as well.  

SURF/PIER-  Pompano fishing has been pretty solid this week both on the Juno Beach Pier and along the beach when the weather allows.  On the beach it's the usual assortment of baits (sand fleas, clams, shrimp, and Fishbites) doing the trick on the pompano.  On the pier they are catching them on bait, and also pretty well on Docs Goofy Jigs.  No hot color on the jigs tho speak of; but orange and pink do seem to be doing pretty good.  Typically the best pompano bite is early and late in the day; but don't overlook high tide as well even if its in the middle of the day.  Still a decent scattering of Spanish Mackerel around, along with some late season big bluefish.  About time for some big jacks to come cruising down the beach as well.  Decent amount of wind in the forecast for the weekend so stick to good casting lures (like GT Ice Cream, Rapala X-Raps, Diamond Jigs, Yo-Zuri Hydro Monster Shot) for best results.  

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman

 


Messy condition may land you a catfish but not much else, says Snookman

 Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing fans. I hope you had a great weekend despite all the wind. This report, once again is going to be short due to the weather conditions spanning from Friday through the weekend. Wind-driven seas and surf in the inlet and its surrounding beaches turned into a giant dirty mess. Also, water temperatures have dropped back down to the 65 to 69-degree range from the 74 it was two weeks ago. Over the weekend, I visited all the fishing areas, but the only thing I saw caught were catfish and more catfish, and a lot of smaller ‘schoolie’ bluefish, and that's about it!

When I was at the inlet on Thursday, even the boaters fishing around the tip of the jetty for snook didn't fare well, either. I didn't see a single fish caught in the hours hours I was there. On Saturday, about the only action I saw was a six-foot bull shark fought and landed properly on the beach by an angler. The shark was released unharmed after the hook was removed. That was the highlight of the weekend!

Before  this mess blew in over the weekend, there were some black drumpompano, Spanish mackerel and big bluefish caught, but the water was a bit cleaner and warmer. This week, expect another week of high surf and winds to keep water conditions churned up and messy. In checking the coastal surf reports for the week, it appears that things will settle down by the weekend. 

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report



Mosquito Lagoon

The fishing in this zone has been pretty steady for speckled trout, black drum, redfish and snook. Anglers can catch any of these by tossing a freelined live shrimp or rigging the shrimp under a popping cork. Working the popping cork will mimic the sound of trout feeding which always get other fish in the area excited.

Surf

Fish the last hour of the incoming tide and the first two hours of the outgoing tide to catch whiting, pompano and croaker between the trough and the sand bar. Longer casts will yield bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Use sand fleas or Fishbites in the EZ flea flavor.

Sebastian Inlet

Bluefish, sharks, jacks and Spanish mackerel are being caught as most of these species are migrating back north. Casting out large topwater plugs or chrome jigs will get bites from the blues and macks. Live bait like croaker and mojarra fished on the bottom during the outgoing tides will get bites from snook and redfish.

Indian River Lagoon

Sheepshead can be caught using shrimp-tipped jigs and casting around dock pilings, bridge pilings, piers, seawalls or catwalks. Black drum schools are moving around the northern Indian River and Banana River lagoons. Cast split blue crab to them. Redfish and snook will also pick up a split crab.

Freshwater

Bass fishing is at its best right now. Fish the edges of ponds, lakes and canals around the new and full moon phase to get reaction bites while fish are on the beds. Bluegill and shellcracker fishing has been better as temperatures warm up. Use live crickets and red worms for best action.

  • report courtesy of Ed Killer  TCPalm's outdoors writer. 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman

 


Unseasonal conditions have tempered the action, but snook are possible

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing fans. Here’s the latest of what's happening at the inlet, and again, it will be brief as it hasn't been all that good. As long as these fronts move across the state and impact water clarity and temperature, fishing will be hit-or-miss.

Last week, mid-week, it warmed up to 71 degrees and we had a pretty good snook bite on the north jetty during the incoming tide and the last of the outgoing tide. Wednesday and Thursday there were quite a few  snook caught on live shrimp — most were over slot, but several were keepers. I also saw a few black drum caught as well on the same tide phases, live and dead shrimp for those. Outgoing tide was all about the blues and jacks, many caught on silver spoons at the jetty tip. Spanish mackerel were there, but were a hit-or-miss; one day there, next few days gone. Small jigs and gotcha lures for them.

The south side has been slow, the water on that side dirty from the SSE winds. Incoming tide was producing small snook on live baits and artificials. Outgoing tide at the tip was producing jacks, blues and black margates. Dead shrimp was the ticket for them. Over the weekend it was pretty calm, but NO fish were caught to speak of. It was crowded, but the water has cooled back down to 69 degrees this morning. The water is sandy/murky and shut everything down, again. The surf fishing on either side has also been slow due to silty, cool water conditions.


From Todd @ Juno Bait Crew-Juno Beach

 INSHORE-  Snook fishing improved a bit more this week with the warming weather.  Bigger baits and lures are starting to get more attention from the snook as well as their metabolism speeds up with the warming weather.  During the day it's a live bait bite around boat docks and points with current.  At night the snook have been biting well around bridges; especially on the top of the outgoing tide.  Outgoing tide is not as important as you move away from the inlet: With dirtier water both tides will get bites, it just needs to be moving.  Sheepshead action has pretty much dried up inshore.  A few mangrove snapper have started to show up inshore.  Live shrimp and small live pilchards are the top bait choice for the snapper.  Sandperch bite has also been pretty good inshore this week.  


SURF/PIER- Pompano fishing improved this week along the beach.  Ideal looking conditions going into the weekend so hopefully the pomps continue to roll through.  Reports seem to be a bit better off of Hobe Sound Beach; but a decent scattering of pomps up and down the line have been coming in.  The usual bait assortment (sand fleas, clams, shrimp, and FishBites) continues to do the trick on the pompano.  Not as many pompano on the Pier this week, but a handful have been caught on Doc's Goofy Jigs.  The Juno Beach Pier has had a pretty solid number of bluefish around the past few days.  Heavier metal lures (diamond jigs, Yo-Zuri Monster Shots, etc) have been the best bet on the blues.  A swimming plug like a Rapala X-Rap will also do the trick on the blues.  A scattering of Spanish Mackerel around the Pier as well, but not in the numbers of the past few weeks.  Spanish Mackerel action at Peck's Lake improved this week.  Croaker bite has been decent in the first trough; with fresh pieces of shrimp being the bait of choice.  



Sunday, March 10, 2024

From Todd @ Juno Bait Crew-Juno Beach

 INSHORE-  Warming stable weather has the snook biting better this week.  It's not full on yet by any means for the snook, but it is starting to get better and better.  With warming temps the fair hawk and big swimbait bite continues to improve; though the shrimp jig bite remains pretty good as well still.  Other inshore action is a bit slower.  Sheepshead action sowed a bit more this week.  Still some around; but no doubt slowing down on the sheepshead.  Wind out of the south will hopefully get a little push of springtime mullet coming through...will see what happens! 


SURF/PIER- Conditions have looked really good all week along the beach; unfortunately the fish have not really seemed to get the message!  A scattering of pompano around, but not big numbers.  Seems like the best pompano bite has been first thing in the morning.  Nice looking conditions headed into the weekend so hopefully the pompano reports improve.  A few scattered bluefish around, including some large ones; but not in big numbers.  A good number of Spanish Mackerel scattered up and down the beach.  The Juno Beach Pier has also been holding a decent number of Spanish Mackerel.  Fair bite on the croaker and whiting this week, with small pieces of fresh shrimp the top bait choice. 

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 

Florida fishing regulations and fishing season opening and closing dates:

Snook: Harvest opens Feb. 1 along Florida's Atlantic Coast. Bag limit: One snook per day per angler. Size limit: No shorter than 28 inches and no longer than 32 inches. License: Anglers must have a valid Florida saltwater fishing license and $10 snook stamp.

  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest re-opened Jan. 1. Central East region regulations — Bag limit: 2 per harvester, zero captain and crew bag limit when on a for-hire trip. Slot limit: More than 15 inches and less than 19 inches total length. May possess one over 19 inches per vessel or, if fishing from shore, one over 19 inches per person, included in the bag limit. Harvest closed Nov. 1-Dec. 31.
  • Grouper: Harvest closed Jan. 1. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind. Harvest re-opens May 1.
  • Hogfish: Harvest re-opens May 1.
  • Cobia: Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length. No closed season.
  • 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.
  • Lobster: Harvest will close March 31. No egg bearers, 3-inch minimum carapace length. Lobster stamp required. Sport season (mini-season) will be July 24-25, 2024.
  • Alligator: Hunt season opened Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Flounder: Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person. Harvest closed Oct. 15-Nov. 30.
  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.

For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.

Mosquito Lagoon

Sight casting opportunities exist for speckled trout, black drum and snook. Use caution when handling trout for release because this is spawning season and many of the females are full of eggs. Use live shrimp, jerk baits or artificial shrimp for best results

Surf

On beaches undisturbed by nourishment projects there has been a good number of sand fleas which lends itself to good fishing for whiting, pompano and croaker. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel can be caught on longer casts with jigs or chrome plugs.

Sebastian Inlet

The north jetty is open to anglers. Threadfin herring (greenies) are schooling around the jetties. Snook, redfish, black drum and jacks can be caught during the incoming tide around those schools. There have been some snapper caught around the T Dock.

Indian River Lagoon

Thousand Islands have been a good place to catch redfish and black drum along the mangrove shorelines. Toss live shrimp or topwater plugs early in the morning to get bites from speckled trout, small tarpon, snook and jacks.

Freshwater

There has been good fishing for speckled perch in many ponds and lakes. Use speck jigs with or without live minnows. Bass have been bedding along the edges. Use lipless crank baits or topwater frogs to get reaction bites.

  • report courtesy of Ed Killer  TCPalm's outdoors writer. 

Snook-Nook Fishing Report

 

There have been plenty of slot sized fish caught over the past few weeks. The water has been warming up a bit with some warmer weather in the afternoons so the Snook have been a bit more active and we have seen more productivity from anglers fishing live baits such as Croakers, Pilchards and Threadfins. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more productivity later in the morning as the weather and water temps warm up. If you’re fishing right around sunset on a chilly morning, start out with your slower presentations such as live shrimp or work some soft plastics to increase your chances. We’ve seen some slot sized and over slots caught around the causeways and there have been some schooled up around docks in both the Indian and St. Lucie rivers. Those fishing the Jensen Causeway for Snook have still been doing well in the evenings focusing on the shadow lines. Artificial shrimp such as Thumper Shrimp and Vudu Shrimp along with paddle tails and flair hawk jigs have been getting thumped for anglers fishing lures. There have been some Snook and Trout caught north of the Jensen causeway on both the east and west side by those wading. There have also been some Trout mixed in with Snook in some of the dock lights. 

You can expect to still find some Sheepshead around inshore and on some of the nearshore patch reefs. Live shrimp or fiddler crabs on a jig head will get you the bite when they’re around. You will want to look for them around structure as they will be feeding on the barnacle growth. Typically the more barnacle growth you find, the higher the chance of some Sheepshead being in the area. We’ve been still seeing some Black Drum caught around the bridges on shrimp, fiddler crabs and cut pieces of crab. There have also been some nice sized Redfish that have been caught at the Stuart Causeway. Season is closed on Redfish in our area, but we have been seeing some solid upper slot and over slot sized fish. The Redfish can be caught on live shrimp, croakers, cut bait such as mullet or lady fish as well as crabs. 

The inshore Pompano fishing is starting to pick up for us here in the river which is similar to last year’s timing. There has been a good amount of them caught in the inlet over the past week by those both fishing jigs and those fishing bait. Those fishing bait are using a Pompano surf fishing rig with a pyramid sinker baited with either pieces of shrimp, sand fleas, clam or FishBites. You can also look at different style jigs such as the Gulfstream Redfish Jig as they have been working for the Pompano as well. If you are skipping Pompano and not getting bit on the jig, it’s never a bad idea to try bait fishing. There have been Pompano caught on the Sailfish Flats as well as by those jigging from the Jensen and Stuart Causeways. If you’re looking for them on the flats, look around in some of the deeper cuts around the islands as sometimes they will get up in those areas looking to feed. Those Pompano fishing are also running into Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Jacks, Bonefish, Ladyfish and more to stay busy. There have also been some schools of big jacks inshore cruising the channels and sea walls looking to feed if you’re looking for a battle!

Surf Fishing Report 

The Pompano fishing has remained steady and it seems more fish are starting to hit our beaches. Over the past few years, the March through April stretch has provided us with our best Pompano bite of the year. As we get into the spring Pompano bite, sometimes the afternoon bite can be more productive than the morning bite. So don’t be afraid to hit the beach in the afternoon if you can’t get out in the morning.  FishBites have remained to be the most consistent bait this year if you are targeting Pompano. The majority of the fish have been in the deeper troughs 80-100 yards off the beach. The hot flavors have consisted of Powerlime Crab, EZ Flea, Electric Chicken Crab and Pink/Flesh Crab. The Permit bite off our beaches has slowed down over the past month, but we really haven’t had the proper water color for them due to some of the swells we have been getting. The Permit will be more likely to be found when we have cleaner, clearer water conditions. We can expect to see the Whiting and Croaker bite to improve as we get into the spring months as well. Pieces of shrimp as well as Bloodworm and Shrimp FishBites will get the job done for them. There have still been some Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish caught from the surf by those throwing spoons in the morning. If you’re looking to get in on the surf fishing action and learn from a true pro, you can book a charter with Capt. Paul Sperco, you can give him a call at 609-903-8243.

Don’t forget, the 4th Annual Sand Spike Shootout is scheduled for March 23rd & 24th and the headquarters and weigh station for the event will be right here at the Snook Nook. The Sand Spike Shootout is a two day Pompano and Whiting tournament benefiting the Indian Riverkeeper and presents opportunities to win some great prizes. If you’re interested in signing up you can visit the following link to get registered, https://www.theindianriverkeeper.org/sand-spike-shootout/

Beach Fishing With Paul Sperco Palm Beach/Martin County Area

Throwing my 13 foot rods and pushing and pulling my loaded beach cart was not an option due to the the effort and chance of popping all of the stitches from my procedure area . However the motion of holding and reeling a 7 foot light action rod with a 3/8 ounce goofy jig on the end and standing in one position fit within the parameters of my restrictions . I hit the river this morning around the change of the tide and managed to put a few pompano in the cooler . Two of the fish were absolute studs and the fight they can give you on light tackle is definitely a thrill . The water on the beach cleaned up here on South Hutchinson Island and although the bite was slow today for a few of my friends there were a few fish taken . This is only going to get better as we near daylight savings time this weekend and both the surf and the river will be producing fish . I put the jig and teaser combo that worked today in the picture. Randy and I caught a ton of pompano last spring on that tri colored jig with the gold teaser . These tri colored jigs and the hard to find gold teasers are available at the Snook Nook in Jensen Beach and to be honest with you I have never seen them online or in any other tackle store that I have been in . I want to add some information about the jig . That is a Gulfstream Lures Jig . Corey Pagano , who is the owner of Gulfstream Lures reminded me of that as well he should have . His jigs have the best hooks of any pompano jig I have ever used and the hard finish keeps their appearance great . Snook Nook always has an inventory of all sizes . .

Friday, January 26, 2024

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 



Florida fishing: Snook harvest season is about to open. Are you ready to take one home?

The wait for snook season to begin is almost over. A week away, depending upon when you read this, and we'll be able to invite home one of our favorite fish.

Feb. 1 will be the start date for snook anglers fishing along Florida's Atlantic Coast to begin keeping one a day. Season's end will be May 31. Note: Snook regulations are different for the Gulf Coast so be sure to check MyFWC.com for complete results.

To start the season, water temperature is still a little cool at many of the well-known snook spots. That will require using slightly different techniques. Here are three things to remember that might help:

  • Slow down one's presentation. Fish are cold-blooded and snook are tropical, so they're moving more slowly when they feed.
  • Fish deeper spots. Snook will seek deeper water to avoid more rapidly changing temperatures in shallow water.
  • Use jigs instead of topwater. Snook will be around bridge pilings, deep cuts near seawalls and at the foot of spillways. Jigs will get in front of snook. Fish the bottom of the water column.
  • Indian River County

    Inshore: Fishing at Sebastian Inlet features snook (all release until Feb. 1), black drum, flounder, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Diamond jigs and Gotcha plugs will work in the upper part of the water column for macks and blues. Jig along the ICW channel in Vero Beach for pompano.

  • Freshwater: It's been very busy at Headwaters Lake for bass anglers, although the fish have not been cooperating. Vegetation is plugging the route into the south part of the lake. The road in has been a washboard, too.

    St. Lucie County

  • Inshore: A few boats have caught pompano south of South Bridge down to the Power Plant by drifting and jigging with Doc's Goofy Jigs or similar types of jigs. They are typically 1/8-ounce or 1/4-ounce in chartreuse or white. Snook anglers will target the Turning Basin and South Bridge with live mullet when season opens.

    Surf: It looks like the marine weather forecast for the weekend will lend itself for good fishing from the surf zone. Hutchinson Island beaches should have plenty of anglers fishing. Will there be whiting and pompano? Probably with the best fishing during the outgoing tide. Use Fishbites in the EZ Flea or crab flavor.

    Martin County

  • Inshore: Black drum, croaker, sheepshead, jacks and ladyfish are being caught around the bridges on cut shrimp.

    Lake Okeechobee

    It's been a good time to catch limits of speckled perch (specks or crappie) on small jigs and live minnows. This weekend, Major League Fishing will be hosting a bass tournament, so expect company in your favorite fishing spot. Weigh-ins and take-offs will be out of Clewiston.

    • report courtesy of Ed Killer  TCPalm's outdoors writer. 

From Todd @ Juno Bait Crew-Juno Beach

 

INSHORE-  Some pretty good sheepshead reports coming out of Palm Beach Inlet.  Small to medium sized live shrimp remain a top bait choice for the sheepshead.  With a smaller shrimp they don't have as much of a chance to nibble it off; they just have to go ahead and eat it.  Jupiter has been holding a few sheepshead as well, just not in the snake kind of numbers.  Inshore pompano reports were slow this week in Jupiter; with a few still being caught inshore in Stuart.  Snook season opens back up a week from today.  It's been a little slow on the snook, but warmer temps this weekend (ahead of a cold front coming early next week) will likely have them biting a little better.  The shrimp jig bite remains good at night around the bridges for the snook. 

SURF/PIER-  Overall the surf fishing has been good this week.  Early in the week with the wind blowing like crazy, the big bluefish came through the Juno Beach Pier and proceeded to just chew their faces off!  Any swimming plug, topwater, spoon, diamond jig, GT Ice Cream, etc that hit the water was promptly destroyed by a hungry bluefish.  Unfortunately it was a small window that only lasted a day.  Southeast winds have (likely) pushed them up north.  When the wind comes around and blows north look for some of them to end up back here again.  Still a decent pick on the pier of smaller bluefish, jacks, and the occasional Spanish Mackerel as the week has gone on.  Pompano reports were a bit slow this week, but a few were caught locally.  With ocean conditions calming into the weekend (and some really nice looking water on the beach right now) look for the pompano to make a little showing.  Plenty of spinner sharks along the beach right now as well.  Yes the sharks are a pain in the butt...BUT watching a spinner blow a topwater into the air is pretty entertaining.  A pretty solid pick of whiting and croakers along the beach.

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman

 

                    In a word: Dismal

 “Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing junkies; I hope everyone had a great weekend despite the chilly winds. This report is going to be brief, thanks to cold weather, very brisk winds and rough seas. All which makes for lousy fishing, especially at the inlet!

Since Thursday, when the weather took a turn for the worse, the ocean has been rough and dirty — especially the south side of the inlet — and water temps from Canaveral to Wabasso have been in the lower 60s. From Wabasso south it is 74 degrees. So, not conducive for fish wanting to play. Not many folks fishing. Prior to the poor weather conditions, anglers were catching nice numbers of black drum, some pompano and whiting on the north jetty on dead and live shrimp, as well as cut clams. The tip of the jetty, both sides, was the place to be. Also, I noted when I was there before the weather set in, we saw some schools of the big bluefish swimming around the north jetty. Large spoons and cut baits will work for them. The south side and the surf area were messy due to the outgoing tide carrying runoff down the beach, which just shut everything down except for catfish and stingrays. Not much else to report. 

For the remainder of the week, look  for SSE winds at 10 to 20 mph and three to four-foot seas this week. This pattern will allow the water to slightly warm up, but unfortunately will also dirty it up more, especially the south side; the north side may stay pretty clean, and that might be the place to be. I wish I had better news, but that is it in a nutshell. I have to keep reminding myself that it's wintertime. If you do go out, good luck, and I hope you can find a nice spot to fish and catch something.” — Snookman

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Ed Killer / tcpalm South Fla. Report

 




Florida fishing: Bluefish, sailfish, pompano on the move with winter cold fronts


“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” — John Steinbeck, “Travels with Charley: In Search of America”

Steinbeck must have loved catching bluefish because they're running right now from Sebastian to Vero Beach to Fort Pierce to Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound. In fact, you may not know this, but the Florida record bluefish was caught in 1973 in Jensen Beach by Liz Yates and it weighed 22 pounds 13 ounces. That's a whopper of a chopper for sure.

The winter cold fronts are fish pushers. Sailfish, blackfin tuna and dolphin are migrating south with the cold air masses. Along the beaches, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and pompano are moving, mostly. Maybe the mackerel movement has stalled north of Fort Pierce Inlet according to condo owners reports from North Hutchinson Island.

Florida fishing regulations and fishing season opening and closing dates:

  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest re-opened Jan. 1. Central East region regulations — Bag limit: 2 per harvester, zero captain and crew bag limit when on a for-hire trip. Slot limit: More than 15 inches and less than 19 inches total length. May possess one over 19 inches per vessel or, if fishing from shore, one over 19 inches per person, included in the bag limit. Harvest closed Nov. 1-Dec. 31.
  • Snook: Harvest closed Dec. 15. Catch and release until Feb. 1.
  • Grouper: Harvest closed Jan. 1. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind. Harvest re-opens May 1 in Atlantic waters.
  • Hogfish: Harvest re-opens May 1.
  • Cobia: Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length. No closed season.
  • 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.
  • Lobster: Harvest will close March 31. No egg bearers, 3-inch minimum carapace length. Lobster stamp required. Sport season (mini-season) will be July 24-25, 2024.
  • Alligator: Hunt season opened Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Flounder: Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person. Harvest closed Oct. 15-Nov. 30.
  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.
  • Indian River County

    Offshore: It's been worthwhile to run north of Sebastian Inlet if you want to catch sailfish, blackfin tuna and dolphin. These fish have been in 120 to 180 feet along current edges. Look for color changes or slight temperature changes.

    Inshore: Black drum, sheepshead, pompano, bluefish and mackerel can be caught around the ends of the jetty. Fish with cut shrimp or sand fleas to catch drum, sheepshead and pompano. Use chrome jigs, Gotcha plugs or Mylar jigs to catch blues and macks on fast retrieves.

  • Freshwater: Crappie (specks or speckled perch) can be caught on tiny jigs and minnows in canals, ponds and lakes in the western part of the county. Blue Cypress Lake is a good place to catch specks in limits when the water cools down.

    St. Lucie County

  • Inshore: Snook — catch and release only until Feb. 1 — can be caught under docks and around the points of mangrove islands on live sardines or mullet. Pitch to docks with live shrimp for shots at sheepshead, croaker, flounder, jacks, ladyfish and bluefish.

    Surf: Paul Sperco of Port St. Lucie and Capt. Paul's Pompano Rigs said it was a good week to be out on the beach. One day, he and his son Randy Sperco caught and released a few permit while also catching bluefish, whiting and a couple of pompano. Fish the falling tide. Look for the right color green water. Use sand fleas or Fishbites.

  • Martin County

    Inshore: Pitch docks and fish the bridges with shrimp-tipped jigs to catch sheepshead, croaker, black drum, jacks and ladyfish. A few people are catching pompano while drifting and jigging the Sailfish Point Flats.

    Lake Okeechobee

    Crappie fishing continues to drive the majority of the angling activity on the lake. Anglers are using small jigs and live minnows and fishing from pontoon boats in the Kissimmee River, around King's Bar, Tin House Cove and near Harney Pond Canal to catch limits. Next week, the MLF Phoenix Boats series will fish out of Clewiston for $75,000. Be ready to share your favorite fishing spots.

  • report courtesy of Ed Killer  TCPalm's outdoors writer.