Friday, May 31, 2024

Snook-Nook Fishing Report

 Summertime Snook fishing has kicked off for us here on the Treasure Coast! As a reminder Snook season just closed in our area and will reopen again on September 1st. June provides us with some of the best Snook fishing of the year. Not only do we see a lot of fish caught, we see a lot of trophy sized Snook caught. If you’re looking to knock a 40” Snook off your bucket list, you’ve got a good shot at it! Please remember to handle these breeder Snook with care as they will be providing us with our Snook population for years to come. Fishing circle hooks, limiting their time out of the water along with reviving them if necessary are all crucial to a strong release of the fish. We will see a lot of fish moving towards the inlet and  schools heading outside the inlet to spawn on the beaches and on some of the nearshore wrecks and reefs. The Snook bite really slowed down for us around the May full moon, but fired back up shortly after the full moon. Keep in mind that the water temperatures are heating up with the summer heat we have had so if you are planning on Snook fishing in the heat of the day, you will want to focus on areas with deeper water and moving current as they will tend to favor those areas to stay cool. If you are fishing live baits, Croakers will be one of your best bets for Snook, we’ve had a steady supply of them here at the shop and will try to have them here every day this summer. Live Pilchards, Threadfins and Mullet are also solid options. 

For our anglers fishing from the boat, areas in and around the inlet have been quite productive. Schools of fish have been spotted at Hole in the Wall, the south side detached jetty and along the north side jetty rocks. Don’t be afraid to head outside the inlet and run the beach either north or south to look for schools, when the water is clear it makes for some great sight fishing opportunities. As mentioned previously, you can also find schools of Snook this time of year at local wrecks such as Bull Shark Barge. The causeways have been holding a good amount of fish too for those fishing the fenders and the concrete blocks underneath the causeways. Bouncing around docks can be productive as well, but you will want to focus on docks with deeper water and steady current, fishing docks with sport fish boats or larger center console boats typically will hold some fish as they will have your deeper water. If you want to head out in the evening or at night, dock light fishing can be really good this time of year as a lot of the fish that stay in the river will be more inclined to feed at night in the lights when it cools down. 

For our land based anglers, the Jensen Causeway, Ft. Pierce Inlet, Indian Riverside Park and the beaches have all been solid choices. If you’re heading to Jensen Causeway, the night and evening Snook bite has been more productive than during the daytime. During the outgoing tide there have been a few crabs and shrimp that have been passing through that the fish will key in on. You can freeline live shrimp or crabs when they pass through to match what the Snook are feeding on. You can also fish artificial shrimp or paddle tails and focus on the shadow lines. Dropping live Croakers down will give you a good shot at getting bit too! If you’re heading to Ft. Pierce Inlet, live Croakers once again will be a great option as the Snook will typically be sitting on the bottom and the Croakers naturally will swim down to their zone, you may need to add a little weight for when the current starts picking up if you are fishing the river side of the jetty, but if you are fishing the beach side, you should be in good shape just free lining them. Live pilchards will also work if you see some bait schools around. Indian Riverside Park is typically going to be a morning bite this time of year, Pilchards and Croakers around the dock will typically lead to some success when the fish are around. The beach can provide some fun Snook fishing during the summer. You can fish artificials such as white paddle tails, Yozuri Crystal Minnows or Rapala X-Raps or twitch baits in the morning before the sun gets high and in the evenings to cover a lot of water. When the sun gets higher in the sky, they will tend to prefer a live bait. There’s been a decent amount of bait on the beaches here lately, you can bring a sabiki or cast net to have handy when a bait school passes by to catch the Pilchards that have been around. You can simply put that Pilchard on a hook and free line it up in the first trough. If you are Whiting or Croaker fishing and catch a smaller one, you can go ahead and free line them as well to give you a shot at a big one! 

Tarpon fishing has been improving for us here as well! There have been Tarpon around Stuart Causeway in the mornings as well as at both the Stuart and Jensen Causeways on the outgoing tides. Fishing live mullets or crabs around the bridges will give you a good shot at one of them when they are around. There have also been Tarpon inshore up by the power plant and cruising the beaches, bigger live mullet will typically be your best bet in those situations. 

We typically get some nice sized Mangrove Snapper inshore during the summer. Look for them around structures like bridges or docks. You will typically need to weed through a lot of the smaller ones if you are fishing with live or dead shrimp, but if you put your time in you should be able to find a few for the cooler. Fishing with a small pilchard, pinfish or mullet with the tail clipped on a jighead or knocker rig can also help you weed through some of the smaller fish and find the bigger ones that are able to eat a bigger bait. 

Surf Fishing Report 

Our Pompano fishing has pretty much come to a close off our beaches, you still may pick one off but the majority of them have migrated out of our area and will be back in the winter. The good news is the summer Whiting and Croaker fishing is really starting to heat up and it can be fun for the whole family! If you want to target them, you will want to focus more on the high tide window more than the morning bite. Fishing the incoming tide, two hours before the high tide has been the most productive window. These fish will all be caught pretty close to shore in the first trough, sometimes even right off the beach. If you aren’t getting bites in close, you can cast out 30-40 yards to see if the schools are out a little further. Fishing a whiting/croaker double hook rig with either pieces of shrimp or FishBites will be the most effective way to catch them. The hot FishBites flavors have been both chartreuse or red bloodworm as well as pink and orange shrimp. You can also target them by casting a small feather jig tipped with shrimp or a piece of FishBites which can be a lot of fun on light tackle. Sight fishing them with a jig can also be pretty cool on calm clean water days. As mentioned in the inshore section, the Snook have begun showing up on the beach. If you’re fishing for Whiting and Croakers and you catch a smaller one, you can free line it for a chance at a big Snook. It is also never a bad idea to bring an extra rod rigged with a sabiki as there have been schools of pilchards and threadfins moving down the beach, just like with the smaller Whiting or Croaker, if you catch them you can flip them back out in the first trough free lined for a shot at some Snook. Fishing artificials like white paddle tails, jerkbaits such as a Yozuri Crystal Minnow or Rapala X-Rap or twitch baits in the mornings and evenings can be productive for Snook as well. We’ve begun to see some Tarpon cruising the beach in the mornings too. Fishing big live mullets or larger swimbaits are both effective strategies if you see them rolling.  

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