Inshore Fishing Report
May typically brings along with it some of the best Snook fishing of the year for us here on the Treasure Coast. The Snook are getting ready for their summer spawn and start showing up more around the inlets. This is the time of year where you have a great shot at catching your personal best Snook! Live Croakers are hands down the best option to fish with when targeting Snook this time of year. A few things that make them such a great bait option are; they are extremely tough and can last multiple casts, they typically will swim right to the bottom and hang out towards the bottom of the water column making them a great option for fishing around bridges, deeper docks and deeper water in general and they are a predator to Snook’s eggs. Croakers will eat Snook’s eggs during the spawn so Snook will attempt to protect their eggs and try to kill the Croaker either by eating it or just crushing it. You will notice that sometimes you are having a hard time hooking up on Snook while fishing Croakers because they are just picking the bait up, crushing it and spitting it back out as a defense mechanism when they aren’t feeding. You can expect us to have a steady supply of Croakers here at the shop throughout the summer. Live Pilchards, Mullet, Sand Perch, or shrimp will also get you a bite. Along with in the inlets, you can expect to find Snook out on our local beaches and even on some of our local reefs and wrecks typically from May-August. You will find plenty of action in the St. Lucie River around Sewalls Point and the 10 cent bridge along with around the Stuart and Jensen Causeways in the Indian River. Snook season closes on June 1st so you have another month to land that keeper!
We start to see some more Tarpon action around this time of year as well with more bait showing up in the river. You can expect to find them feeding on glass minnows, pilchards, mullet and crabs. A lot of anglers will try to time their Tarpon fishing to either morning or evening outgoing tides. We have crabs and shrimp that will drift through areas such as the causeways, the crossroads and inlet on the outgoing tide and anglers will post up in those areas targeting them. Hogy Pro Tail and Slow Tail swimbaits are great options for those looking to trick them with an artificial.
Over the past week, we have been hearing steady Pompano reports inshore from the Jensen Causeway mosquito bridge. Anglers are catching them mainly on both Pompano jigs and even Crappie jigs. Some decent sized Pompano up to 4lbs have been in the mix there. Along with the Pompano, anglers have been catching Spanish Mackerel, Croakers and even some Whiting there on the jigs.
For those looking to fish with shrimp, there have been Mangrove Snappers caught around the causeways and other structures such as docks and channel markers. We begin to see more and larger snapper inshore this time of year and throughout the summer. Shrimp on a jig head is a great way to target them, fill up the cooler and catch a number of other species. Other species that have been caught here consistently fishing the shrimp and jig method include Flounder, Trout, Croakers and Bonefish.
For those looking for a battle, there have been plenty of big jacks cruising the sea walls, toss a live bait or top water against some sea walls and hang on!
We see a lot of life inshore starting around May, buckle up and hold on for some great fishing!
Offshore Fishing Report
April definitely didn’t provide us with the best weather to get offshore. However, when boats were able to clear the inlet, the fishing was pretty solid. We had a little break in the wind the week of 4/25 and heard some great Mahi reports with fish up to 51 lbs. Some quality sized fish have definitely been around with some peanuts in the mix as well. We heard a solid Mahi report in 170’ north east of the inlet as well as some reports in 200’-220’. Boats have been producing results by both trolling and fishing live baits by either kite fishing, bump trolling or drifting. If you are looking for live baits on the water, reach out to Bryan with Stuart Live Bait for some high quality baits. He typically has Pilchards, Threadfins and Goggle Eyes. Give him a call at 772-985-0425 to reserve your baits. Along with Mahi, there have been some Blackfin Tuna and Sailfish caught fishing live baits. Look for color changes, current edges, temperature changes, weedlines, debris and birds for a better shot at finding some fish.
The Kingfish bite has been steady here lately with some smoker sized kings in the mix. We’ve seen a couple fish caught in the 50+lb range over the past couple of weeks. Trolling or live baiting around reefs and wrecks in the 60’-90’ range should give you a good chance at finding some.
Cobia fishing hasn’t exactly been stellar here, but there have been a few fish around. Areas in the 60’ range such as the Sandpile and Pipe Barge are good places to look. Some boats have found Cobia fishing deeper wrecks in the 90’-110’ range as well. Look for Sharks, Turtles and rays as they may be holding a Cobia or two! You can also look for them at the boils up by the power plant. Some Permit have been showing up around the boils and on some of the nearshore spots closer to the inlet such as the Sandpile. It is pretty tough for them to pass up on a nice crab!
Bottom fishing should start to pick up for us here, expect to see more Mangrove and Mutton Snapper making their way back to the docks. You can look for them in areas such as the six and eight mile reefs and at the Loran Tower. If you are targeting them, it is always a good idea to use a good bit of leader as these fish can definitely tend to be line shy at times. Fishing live baits or larger dead baits such as grunt plugs or butterflied ballyhoo will give you a good shot at a bite. You can also expect to find Lane Snappers, Vermillion Snapper, Rudderfish, Jacks and a variety of other reef species fishing chicken rigs with squid. May 1st also means Grouper season has re-opened so we can expect to hear some Grouper reports when conditions permit!
Surf Fishing Report
Similarly to offshore fishing, we haven’t had the best opportunity to hit the beach in April. Fishing the beach has been productive when conditions have permitted. Anglers have still been picking away at Pompano on the long rods 60-90yds off the beach and the bait of choice remains to be Electric Chicken Crab flavored FishBites. Pair them up with a Capt. Paul Sperco electric chicken Pompano rig and wait for that bite! Whiting and Croaker fishing continues to pick up right in the first trough with some quality sized fish in the mix. Pieces of shrimp paired with Pink Shrimp or Bloodworm FishBites have been the bait of choice for anglers targeting them.
There has been a lot of bait that has been showing up right on the beach, it is always a good idea to bring a smaller rod rigged with an artificial to get in on some light tackle fun. You can expect to find Snook, Jacks, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, Lady Fish and other predators chasing these baits right up to the shoreline. Also if you catch a smaller Whiting or Croaker, it is a good time of year to start throwing them out on another rod and free line them for the chance at a trophy sized Snook.
We hope you all have a great month and hope this wind calms down! We are here to answer any of your questions. Catch ‘em up! We have also included May’s tide chart. The tides are based off of the St. Lucie Inlet, if you are fishing the Jensen Causeway for example, you will need to add three hours to the time listed to determine the tide there.