Inshore Fishing Report
We’ve been battling some hot summer afternoons as of late, but luckily the inshore bite has been pretty hot as well! Snook, Tarpon and big Jacks have been the main targets inshore. Mornings and evenings have been the most productive as the fish will be moving around and feeding more during these times especially with these hot afternoons. You will still be able to find some fish in the afternoons, you will just want to focus on areas with deeper water and moving current such as the inlet, bridges and deeper docks. For our anglers on boats looking to get in on the summertime Snook action, the inlet has not been quite as productive as it has in years past. The north side of the inlet is not as deep as it used to be due to dredging so the fish have been schooling up in different areas. Areas to look around the inlet include the south side of the inlet, hole in the wall and the nearshore wrecks and reefs as anglers have been finding schools of Snook in those areas. Live Croakers are going to be one of your best bait options along with live Pilchards or Threadfins. You can expect to find more Snook working their way back into the river in August as they return from the summer spawn. Look to fish areas like the causeways as well as docks in the St. Lucie River along Sewalls Point for a good chance at hooking up! For our land based anglers, the Jensen Causeway has been quite productive in the evenings and at night for those Snook fishing. A lot of crabs and shrimp have been passing through so it is best to match your choice of bait to what is flowing through as that is what they have been feeding on there. Artificial shrimp, paddle tails, live shrimp and crabs have been the baits of choice. There have still been plenty of Snook caught on the beaches, fishing white paddle tails, jerk baits and twitchbaits in the mornings and evenings are a great idea. When the sun gets a bit higher, switching over to live baits like Pilchards or Croakers typically will result in a few more fish. It is always a great idea to have a rod rigged with a sabiki or a cast net with you when you hit the beach in case some bait pushes through.
The Tarpon bite has been really productive inshore. A good majority of the action is coming from those fishing the outgoing tides at the Stuart Causeway. A lot of Tarpon have been seen there rolling in the mornings as well. Anglers have also had success in the crossroads once the fish move with the tide away from the bridge. A lot of quality sized fish have been in the mix with several in the 100lb+ class. Live crabs have been the hottest bait choice, you will also have a good shot fishing with live mullet. Those fishing the catwalks under the Jensen Causeway at night have been finding a lot of juvenile Tarpon in the 10-30lb class. Those fish have been primarily feeding on shrimp, crabs and small pilchards.
If you’re looking for a battle, there have been plenty of big jacks cruising inshore. Look to find them cruising the seawalls and channels. If you see them, toss them a live baitfish, top water lure or popper and hold on! We should begin to see signs of our annual mullet run towards the end of the month so buckle up!
Offshore Fishing Report
The surface bite has primarily consisted of Sailfish and Kingfish with a few Blackfin Tunas and Mahis in the mix. The Sails have been scattered and caught anywhere from 60’ out to Pushbutton Hill. Those fishing live baits either kite fishing or bump trolling have been finding the most success. We’ve had some pretty calm days which has made it a little difficult to keep your kite in the air even with helium. There have been plenty of Kingfish around anywhere from 60’-110’, a lot of them have been schooled up as well which can be a bit frustrating if you are fishing a spread of all monofilament leaders. If you’re fishing wire leaders, don’t be surprised if all your rods get hooked up. The Mahi bite has been pretty slow and the majority of the fish being caught have been smaller schoolie sized fish, however we can expect to see more Mahi pushing through this fall as it is typically pretty slow for them this time of year. Some scattered Blackfins have been caught by those fishing live baits and trolling feathers from 120’-180’. Those fishing jigs out at Pushbutton have been able to pick off a few as well. The bait offshore has been a bit inconsistent, it can be loaded up for a week and then disappear the next day. If you want to guarantee your bait, give Mike with Stuart Live Bait a call the day before at 772-985-0425.
If you’re looking to fill the cooler, the bottom fishing has remained hot! Conditions will play a major role in your success. If you’re going for Mutton Snapper, you will definitely want some current as the Muttons will tend to bite a lot better when you’ve got some current. Fishing reefs in 70’-90’ has been the most productive. You will definitely want to fish a long leader in the 40’ range to get the bite along with enough lead to keep your bait on the bottom. We discussed a great example of a Mutton rig in last month’s report if you haven’t checked it out yet. Grunt plugs and live pilchards have been the baits of choice for those targeting the Muttons. The Mangrove Snapper bite has remained consistent for those fishing live pilchards typically on concrete structure. We have seen some quality sized Mangroves making their way back to the dock. There have been some Vermillion Snapper caught out at Pushbutton as well, rig up a chicken rig with squid and send it down to the bottom. There have been a good amount of Red Grouper around, a lot of these are being caught in 90’-110’ eating live Pilchards, live Threadfins and chicken rigs baited with squid. Last year the Red Grouper bite was red hot in late August going into September. Plenty of Amberjacks have been caught by those fishing jigs and live baits on the bottom.
There has been a good Permit bite offshore of the power plant at the boils. When the water has been clear, anglers have been able to locate the schools and sight fish them with live crabs. You can either fish the crab free lined or on a jig head. The Permit tend to prefer the cleaner water, if you’ve got good visibility you should be able to run into a few. We tend to see some cold water upwellings offshore this time of year which is when the water temperature on the bottom gets cold. When we get these upwellings, it is a great idea to run the beach and look for Cobia. You will look to find them on rays, sharks or even just cruising the surface. If you’re able to locate them, you can pitch a Cobia jig or live bait to them.
Surf Fishing Report
The Whiting and Croaker bite on the beach has still been hot. The majority of the fish have been caught 10-20 yards off the beach. For the best results, you will want to plan on fishing one hour before the high tide mark up until two hours after the high tide mark. That window has seemed to be the trend all summer for these fish. Shrimp and Bloodworm flavored FishBites along with pieces of shrimp have been the best bait choices if you’re looking to get in on the action. A few anglers have been able to pick off some Permit fishing the long rods. If you want to try to hook into one, you will want to focus on beaches with clear clean water, you can use a Pompano rig and crab flavored FishBites to entice a bite from one of those drag screamers! There has been a lot of life on the beaches, schools of glass minnows and schools of small pilchards being fed on by Snook, Jacks, Mackerel and a variety of other species, grab a rod rigged with a spoon, jerkbait or paddle tail and fish around those bait schools to get in on the action. You can expect to still find Snook on the beach throughout August, but those numbers will begin to decrease as we get into September. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope for some big schools of glass minnows to come our way followed by some hungry Tarpon this month!