Includes Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, West Palm Beach and Lake Worth
Snook and tarpon fishing continues to improve this week. Snook fishing near local inlets is red hot this time of year. Trophy-sized fish can be caught on either tide throughout the day as they move in for the annual spawn. Please show extra care for a safe healthy release, so these fish can breed and continue to provide a healthy snook fishery for years to come. Live white baits are going be your best bait. Fish near jetties with live baits on the surface and on the bottom. Tarpon fishing is very productive at first light all along local beaches. Find a large school of fish rolling or with your depth finder, then run a 100-yards past them and set out baits for the intercept. Live mullet, crabs, pilchards, greenies are baits of choice. Artificials like top waters, white jerk shads, Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows are all excellent choices if live bait isn’t available.
Kingfish have invaded nearshore reefs and wrecks. Cobia are also making a showing. Live baits on wire will be a sure fire way to catch kings this time of year. Sardines are preferred baits but any white bait will work. As usual, have a cobia jig on a large spinner ready for deployment when a cobia swims boat side. Snapper fishing remains strong. Muttons, mangroves, lanes, vermillions are around in great numbers this week. Cut squid, sardines, mullet are baits of choice when bottom fishing for snapper. Jacks, permit, tarpon, bonita are plentiful along the beach in 10 to 30-feet of water. A few sails have been chasing bait schools off the beach as well.
Fishing offshore has been steady for blackfin tuna this week. Trolling feathers is a surefire way to bring home dinner when trolling in 250 to 400-feet . Mahi are running good in 1200-feet. Trolling ballyhoo is an excellent idea if your willing to make the run to deeper water. A few marlin are mixed in such as whites, blues, spearfish. Run a larger shotgun just incase big blue pops up in the spread. Bottom fishing in depths of 90 to 250-feet has been red hot for larger snapper, amberjack, grouper, porgies, black seabass. Chicken rigs, long leaders, and fish finder rigs will do the trick, with six to 14-ounces of lead, depending on current. Sailfishing has been very productive kite fishing or slow trolling live baits in 70 to 160-feet this week, as well.
Capt. Jonathan Earhart