Inshore Fishing Report
Snook fishing is beginning to tick in the right direction with season reopening on February 1st as the water temperatures have been warming up a bit. As the water temperature warms up, Snook will be more willing to go after live baits and larger profile baits. With the cold water temperatures, they become more dormant and don’t exert as much energy to feed as they do in warmer temperatures. Fishing live shrimp and pilchards are great live bait options for them this time of year, for artificials, artificial shrimp and paddle tails will be your best choices. Look for them around the bridges and docks, on seawalls and sitting in deeper holes.
Sheepshead and Drum have been caught around the bridges. You can catch them on shrimp on a jighead or if you are able to get your hands on some fiddler crabs, they have a tough time passing them up. Also if you are fishing docks, look for older pilings or channel markers with lots of barnacles and growth for a solid shot at finding some Sheepshead as they feed off of those pilings. A few Redfish have been caught at the Stuart Causeway on shrimp as well.
The inshore Croaker bite has remained steady as well as anglers have been finding them schooled up around the bridges, on channel markers as well as at the Hole in the Wall. Live or frozen shrimp will get the job done for them. It is also a good time of year to check out the crab trap buoys and channel markers for Tripletail.
The Pompano have started to show up inshore in better numbers. Anglers are finding them on the Sailfish Flats, the deeper cuts around the islands, the Crossroads and a few in the inlet. Those jigging the Jensen Causeway mosquito bridge have also been picking some off. Expect to run into some bycatch such as Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Bonefish, Jacks, Runners, Lady Fish and more.
If you are looking to get into some Trout, anglers wade fishing on the east and west side of the river towards the power plant and Bear Point have been getting into them pretty consistently on DOA Cals as well as artificial shrimp.
Offshore Fishing Report
The offshore action is starting to tick in the right direction for anglers both bottom fishing and surface fishing. For those fishing the surface, we’ve been seeing some scattered Sailfish action between 90’-140’. It has been on the slower side out front, the majority of the action is coming from around the Loran Tower and off of Ft. Pierce. Anglers are catching them both on live bait and by trolling ballyhoo. Bryan with Stuart Live Bait has been in the Manatee Pocket in the mornings with baits, give him a call the day before to reserve some baits as they have been selling quickly, 772-985-0425. The Mahi bite has been anywhere from 160’-220’ caught trolling and on live bait. There haven’t been a lot of big ones, but we should expect to see some larger ones being caught as we near the spring. If you are looking for some Blackfins, they’ve been caught in 180’-220’, anglers are having more success with them on the live baits. The Blackfins have also been out at Pushbutton Hill in the mornings and evenings. Anglers have been catching them out there on live baits, slow pitch jigs and speed jigs. It doesn’t hurt to try to chum them up with cut Sardines. There have also been plenty of Kingfish around in 90’-120’. Wahoo have been caught at Pushbutton out to 650’ and a few have been caught in closer, keep a bait down deep to improve your chances of hooking into one.
On the bottom, there have been plenty of Vermillions caught around the Eight Mile as well as out at Pushbutton. Fishing chicken rigs with squid will be your best approach to target them. A lot of Lane Snappers have been making their way to the fillet tables as well, you can look for them on the nearshore reefs in the 50’-90’ range. There have been plenty of Triggerfish and a variety of other species making the catch list on the bottom to keep you busy as well!
Anglers have been catching Spanish Mackerel at Pecks Lake. Fishing Gulfstream Flash Minnows, Gotcha Plugs and Spoons are all solid options to target them. Definitely bring some Glass Minnow chum with you to get them fired up to increase your chances. You can also throw some lipped plugs out the back of the boat and troll them on your approach to Pecks Lake and potentially run across a school as well as get into some Bluefish. While you are at Pecks Lake, you can also drop some shrimp on a jighead and get into some Sheepshead and Lane Snapper.
Surf Fishing Report
Our surf fishing has been really good here the past few weeks as the cold fronts have pushed a lot of fish into our area. The Pompano bite has been quite productive, however it is extremely important to be reaching the fish as those who aren’t getting into them are most likely not getting their baits out far enough. On the high tides, they have been anywhere from 60-90yds off the beach while on the low tides they’ve been as far as 100yds from the beach. Having an 11’-13’ rod is crucial this time of year if you are really looking to find them and having a long cast reel will get you even more distance. FishBites have been the most productive bait by far, Powerlime Crab, EZ Flea, Electric Chicken Crab and Purple Clam have been the hottest flavors this season. Don’t be afraid to bring a few of those options with you and start with one flavor on each of your rods. When you start getting bites on a certain flavor, switch your other rods to the hot flavor to stay on top of them. There has been plenty of bycatch to go along with the Pompano including Bluefish, Bonefish, Runners, Whiting, Croakers and more. If you get to the beach early, it’s never a bad idea to have a rod rigged with a spoon to find some Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish as there has been a lot of life in the surf first thing in the morning!