Includes Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, West Palm Beach and Lake Worth
Tarpon fishing has really picked up this week thanks to our annual minnow migration. Typically we can expect these minnows by the millions during late summer here on the Treasure Coast. Lots of small minnows, pilchards, sardines, greenies, and even some large mullet schools are all mixed in together on our local beaches right now. It seems like we have a little bit of a mullet run going on. I’ve seen a lot of mullet both inshore an along the beach over the past two weeks. These mullet have been a little larger than average, I’d say 6 to 12-inch mullet. These are perfect size large tarpon baits in my opinion. Fishing fly, artificial, or live baits off the beach by boat or on foot are both great options for the avid angler. Today we saw plenty of small minnows and mullet in abundance along our Hutchison Island beaches both South and North. Look for birds diving in the first trough, and there should be plenty of bait and plenty of predators. Tarpon were as little as five feet off the beach this morning. For the larger tarpon, I typically troll a few live mullet parallel to minnow schools or mullet schools right off the beach while casting artificial around the bait schools trying to increase my odds of getting a bite. Once you get a large fish on, remember to clear all your other lines so not to tangle and lose a good fish. Snook fishing remains steady around our St. Lucie Inlet for large breeder snook. This fishery should remain strong till the end of the month. Take advantage but please do your best to quickly an safely release these large fish so that we can ensure a healthy snook fishery in the future.
As usual, our summer time sailfishing continues to be the main focus this week. Fishermen are reporting as many as six to 10 sailfish per trip here in Stuart. I personally am happy with just one, but for those of you who want to rack up the numbers, this is a great time of year to catch multiple sailfish close to shore with calm seas. Kite fishing, slow trolling, or drifting live baits will be your best bet for summertime sails. You can also expect plenty of bonito, blackfin tuna, kingfish, wahoo, mahi and even a stray cobia while live bait fishing along our Six and Eight Mile Reef system. Most of this action will range from depths of 70 to 150-feet of water this week. I generally look for some sort of condition before setting out my spread of live baits.
Capt. Jonathan Earhart