Inshore Fishing Report
June provided anglers fishing inshore opportunities at Snook, Tarpon, Jacks, Black Drum, Snapper and more! The Snook action has been hot and they should continue to bite throughout the summer. Anglers fishing from boats can expect to get in on some action in the St. Lucie Inlet. The south side of the inlet seems to be holding more fish due to there being some deeper holes for them to school up, don’t be afraid to shoot out the inlet and fish some of the nearshore wrecks and reefs this time of year as they will commonly be found there. Fishing bridges and docks in both the St. Lucie and the Indian River should result in a few fish as well. The concrete blocks underneath the causeways have been holding some big fish, be sure to have some heavy tackle if you plan on going to battle there! Keep in mind that when we get the high afternoon temperatures that the water will heat up a good bit as well. When that water heats up you will want to focus on areas with deeper water and moving current as the fish will move to those areas. Live baits such as Croakers and Pilchards will be the go to options for Snook. We’ve been getting a steady supply of Croakers and should have that supply consistently coming in throughout the summer. Anglers fishing from shore can look to get in on some Snook action on the beaches, at the Jensen Causeway, Ft. Pierce jetty and wading north of the power plant in the mornings and evenings. At the causeway they have been feeding pretty consistently on shrimp and crabs that have been flowing through on the outgoing tides in the evenings. Free lining crabs or shrimp as well as fishing a shrimp on a jighead will give you a good shot at hooking up. If you are looking to fish artificials, NLBN paddle tails, Vudu Shrimp and Yozuri Crystal Minnows have all been solid choices.
Tarpon fishing continues to heat up for us inshore and will continue to improve as we approach our annual minnow run which usually starts up towards the end of July. Fishing live crabs or live mullet around the Jensen and Stuart Causeways has been the most productive for anglers due to the crabs that have been flowing through on the outgoing tides. There have been Tarpon caught in both the Crossroads and Inlet as well. We’ve had plenty of big jacks inshore, if you’re looking to hook into one of these ‘River Tunas’, look for them cruising the seawalls. Pitch a live mullet or pilchard up against the wall and hold on!
We’ve been seeing some steady Black Drum action on the catwalks underneath the Jensen Causeway. Fishing crabs either live or dead along with fiddler crabs or shrimp will be your best bait options. There have still been some Sheepshead around as well, look for them in areas with heavy barnacle growth and pitch a fiddler crab to them to get the bite. There have been plenty of Mangrove Snapper inshore, look to find them on any structure as we typically have an abundance of them in the river throughout the summer. Live or frozen shrimp will typically always get bit, if you want to weed through the smaller fish, try using a small pilchard to get some keeper sized fish.
Offshore Fishing Report
We have been greeted with a lot of favorable weather windows for boats of all sizes to be able to get offshore over the past few weeks. For our anglers fishing the surface, the Sailfish have been caught in really strong numbers anywhere from 70’-140’. The majority of the sails have been caught by those fishing live baits such as Pilchards, Threadfins and Goggle Eyes. Live bait has been pretty hit or miss recently, we’ve had days where it is abundant and other days where you could be spending hours trying to find enough. Bryan with Stuart Live Bait has been traveling up and down the coast on a daily basis catching bait, if you would like to purchase some, give him a call at 772-985-0425 to reserve your bait for the next day. We have a lot of offshore tournaments coming up this month so his bait will be selling fast. If you’re out bottom fishing, it is definitely a good idea to have a live bait out on a flat line as a lot of sails have been caught by those waiting on a bite from a Mutton Snapper. Anglers who have been kite fishing have put up the best numbers when it has come to the sails here recently. You are able to provide the fish with an excellent presentation with a bait on the surface that is trying to dig down causing a lot of commotion, you are able to cover more water and you are able to fish more baits flat lined on the drift side of the boat. We’ve had a few Wahoos make an appearance caught by those trolling, kite fishing and live baiting. We’ve got the July full moon coming up shortly here on the 3rd so expect to see a few more caught. Some larger Blackfin Tuna have been caught in 120’-160’ while some smaller football sized Tunas have been caught out at Pushbutton Hill. Mahis have been a bit difficult to come across recently so if you aren’t finding them, don’t be discouraged. We’ve seen some scattered Mahis caught in 120’-180’ as well as some caught out in the deep water around 1000’. If you’re hunting for the Mahis, it is crucial to your success rate to look for signs of life before putting your lines in. Running and gunning looking for color changes, temperature changes, weedlines, debris or birds will give you a better chance of hooking your targeted species. Kingfish have been caught steadily in 60’-90’ with some bigger fish in the mix.
Bottom fishing has been red hot over the past few weeks. The Mutton Snapper bite has been epic, coolers are getting loaded up with quality sized fish a lot of which have been in the 10lb + class. The majority of the action has been taking place in the 70’-90’ range. You will want to fish a long leader typically between 30-40’ in length as they do tend to get line shy and you don’t want them to see your sinker. One of the easiest and most effective rigs would be a three way swivel that you will tie your main line to, a short piece piece of heavy mono tied off the branch swivel to connect your weight to and then the 30-40’ of leader, either 40 or 50lb and a hook of your choice to the bottom part of the swivel. You will want to make sure that your bait is holding to the bottom so don’t be afraid to use a heavy lead. Popular baits have been live pilchards, grunt plugs, butterflied ballyhoo and bonito bellies. Grunt plugs can be one of the most effective baits for Mutton fishing, you will want to cut the head off the grunt, then cut all the fins off the fish including the tail and then hook the bait right by where the tail was. Along with Muttons, we have seen some steady Mangrove Snapper action, look to find them on concrete structures on the bottom. You can use the Martin County public numbers chart to look for spots and it will tell you what kind of structure you are fishing whether it be steel, concrete, etc, https://mcgov.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=7d2270f27b174d8693b60e22f3db958e. Some nice sized Vermillions have been caught out at Pushbutton along with a lot of Amberjacks on the bottom. Grouper fishing has been steady and we’ve seen a few Cobia making their way in as well. The Atlantic Red Snapper season will be open for us July 14th and 15th allowing anglers to harvest one fish per day per angler. Remember to have a descending device and venting tool on board if you are planning on bottom fishing especially during the Red Snapper season as they are required and FWC will be checking boats. We have both available here at the shop.
Surf Fishing Report
The Whiting and Croaker fishing has remained steady off of our local beaches. The majority of these fish have been caught right in the first trough so you don’t want to cast out too far. Your best window to target them is going to be one hour before the high tide through two hours into the high tide. Pieces of shrimp, Orange Clam FishBites, Bloodworm FishBites and Shrimp FishBites on a double hook rig have been getting the job done. There has been a lot of life on the beaches in the morning, Snook, Tarpon, Jacks, Lady Fish and Blue Runners have all been cruising the beaches in the mornings and evenings. Look for schools of pilchards or glass minnows with birds diving on them and you should be able to find some fish. It is always a good idea to bring a rod rigged with a sabiki or a cast net to the beach with you this time of year in case some bait shows up. You can also fish live croakers, mojarras or whiting freelined in the first trough for a chance to hook into a nice sized Snook. If you are looking to fish artificials, white paddle tails and Yozuri Crystal Minnows are great choices for Snook in the surf in the mornings and evenings. We should continue to see some more Tarpon show up as we begin to see more glass minnows off the beaches.
Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report – Capt. Angie Douthit
The lake has been fishing well for both bass and bream. Early morning timeframe is best to
beat the heat and afternoon rains and thunderstorms. Live bait and artificial lures have been
catching some nice quality bass. For the lure bite, popping frogs, swim baits, slowly working
top water lures, worms, senkos and swim jigs in colors white; Junebug; red shad; watermelon
red; tilapia and black. Fishing with live-shiners on a free line tipped with just a pegged bobber
has been producing some great fast action around the bluegill beds. For bluegill fishing, both
live red worms and crickets have been producing limits but I prefer fishing with crickets vs.
worms only because I seem to catch less catfish; gar and etc. If you’re targeting shell crackers I
use both crickets and worms but the key to getting them to bite quicker is to hook the worm so
that both ends wiggle and catching them when the moon phase is just right. Areas on the west
and north side has been the areas to fish, the water may be to stained on the outside/middle
areas so try the middle to inside areas where you’ll find the break in the color line, that is a
good starting point then work some inside key areas then on out in some key areas like Lilly
pads mixed with Kissimmee grass or reeds. When looking for bream they like a sandier type
bottom and shell crackers prefer a harder bottom area such as shell rock. Areas to try are
certain areas of the shoal; south/west sides of Dupree Bar; some areas in the Monkey Box;
edges leading into the Monkey Box; around some of the islands on the west side of the Monkey
Box; Harney Pond Canal; Dyess Ditch; Worm Cove; Horse Island; parts of Indian Praire; parts of
Tin House; 2 nd -4 th points and a few scattered areas on Kings Bar and some areas around Grassy.
The Kissimmee River is producing both bass and bream bites and Crappie is still being caught
early around the bridge pilings and on out towards the mouth of the River. I hope this
information helps you to have a better more productive day on the water. To book your next
fun-filled productive day fishing the big O call me at 863-228-7263. I have a new Caymas bass
boat this is fully rigged, top of the line rods/reels, all artificial lures we’ll need for your next fun
day on the water. Check out my website www.southfloridabassfishing.com for past fishing
reports, hotel recommendations and discount on rooms, up-to-date pictures of customers and
their catches, toll free number to purchase your fishing license, guide rates and etc. My
sponsors include: Toho Marine (St. Cloud Florida); Mercury Marine; G-Loomis; Bullet Weights;
Gene Larew; Real Magic; Lews; Maui Jim; Rapala; Gill; Tru-Turn hooks; Trilene; BnM Poles; Mid
South Tackle and Navionics.