Includes Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, West Palm Beach and Lake Worth

June 23-25


Summer may just be starting this week but the sharks and bonitos have been here for some time already. The locals sure may get a bit jaded certainly but for somebody who just wants to bend a fishing rod there truly is no better time of year. The only downside besides the heat is the potential for dangerous lightning, both can largely be avoided with an early start. Anglers looking more for dinner than sport tend to focus on either the king mackerel or the snapper. Kings tend to be just inshore of the boneheads so focus on70 to 120 feet instead of the 150 plus the bonies tend to favor. Sailfish are a daily possibility for those fishing live bait. That’s not so say a few won’t be encountered trolling, which makes it easier to find the widely scattered dolphin and very occasional wahoo and blackfin tuna. Cold water has been a constant issue.

There is a certain cadre of anglers that likes to avoid the spawning snook in the inlets but has no objection to walking the beach with a handful of lures and a light spinning outfit. Early in the morning they can be caught blind-casting but it’s always more fun to see specific fish and then get them to chase one down. Fish the incoming tide for big barracuda with live blue runners or use live shrimp over the deeper holes for lane snappers and the occasional big sheepshead.


Live bait is abundant so it only makes sense to load up before you head out. Sailfish and blackfin tunas are almost impossible to avoid and the same is true for kingfish. This is all assuming you manage to wade through all the bonitos and sharks. Bring along tons of sardines to account for all the trigger and file fish that will constantly be mangling your baits if not consuming them entirely. Wahoo season is fast approaching but be prepared to burn plenty of fuel thanks to the ripping current. Eighteen inches now for the muttons don’t forget. Warn water comes in closer here than anywhere else on this seaboard.

Heavy afternoon rains certainly help muddy up the waters but they also get a heck of a snook bite going at the Boynton spillway. Space is limited but not that many bother with the season closed anyway. Just as many like to walk the beach and fish in a slightly more pristine area. LIve shrimp and crabs are both great jetty baits right now. If you catch a small blue runner, put it out for a big jack or possibly even a huge kingfish or shark that just happened to close to shore.


Sailfish are far more commonplace this time of year than many would ever think. Trolling or livebait, the key in either case largely is to just keep a bait in the water. Dolphin and blackfin tunas will be the bycatch along with the very occasional wahoo. Lane and mangrove snappers tend to be more abundant than the muttons we see to the south and run of larger size. Fines can be ferocious for undersized fish by the way. Cobia and sharks are both around, typically together.

Water quality has rebounded and so has the fishing. Snook and tarpon are the real drawing card and for good reason. Not to mention trout and redfish on the grass beds. Focus on the high tides and get an early start to avoid the lightning that always show by mid-afternoon. Fish a live mullet under the causeways at night or throw heavy jigs and drag them on the bottom when the tide is ripping. Avoid the heat by fishing lights at night.




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