Well, we had a good week of fishing both inshore and off. Weather was less than predictable from wind to no wind, sun to clouds, both warm and cool and then the showers. It was all here this week.
Less-than-polite seas but still fishable, 3 to 5 feet but with some time in-between and if you had the right boat you were in the fish.
North of the St. Lucie Inlet in 150 feet of water was the zone, some scattered weeds and a good color line made it all happen. Plenty of gaffer-size dolphin eating any ballyhoo that the bonitas did not get. Sails were there for the show eating the ballyhoo the bonita and dolphin managed to miss.
Bite time was all day. One just needed to be there. How big is your boat? From 60 feet it was grouper time, reds, blacks and gags made the list with a good catch of all.
Yes, bottom fishing will give plenty to talk about but you have to know who is who. Get out the book. You have to know the difference, minimum length and bag. If that is not enough, you will have to fight your way past 20-pound amberjacks, plenty of action.
Big baits make for big catches when reef fishing. Bigger pin fish are the preferred serving. My arms are hurting just talking about the catch. Capt. Pat Price of Day Maker Carters has invited me to come along but I will wait for summer when I do not have to put a top on my cup.
Surf has been fishable one day and not the next, one hour then not, one of those weeks.
On the catch list it has been blues and macs early for numbers, cut bait has put them on the hook. Pompano for the long cast, small but a lot of them to sort through. Clams and sand fleas preferred. Take your time, the bite has been all day.
Whiting and croaker around lunch time, bring the ice, you will want to keep your catch fresh.
Pick a beach from Fort Pierce to Hobe Sound we have had reports, good fishing, but the conditions are what makes it happen.
River anglers the trout are in 4 feet of water. They prefer water temps that do not change, the comfort zone. Look at the channels, slow your retrieve and you will find them because they are deep. Pick the time and come on down.
Reds like the cooler water and they will be in that 2 feet of water, but then so will the blues and jacks. Slow your retrieve. Blues and macs and jacks prefer faster moving bait. They cannot stand to have something getting away.
Early has been best but with our overcast mornings, you could just about pick the time, but you will need moving water.
Pompano in and out is the best I can do for this species, be the bridges or the crossroads. I give up trying to predict their presence. One thing for sure if you fishing the river or the bridges and pompano is the target that little jigging spoon is the bait -- with the teaser or with a piece of clam, that is up to the angler -- those little spoons just work.
Lots of other stuff at the bridges black drum, sheepshead, snapper, pompano, blues , macs, jacks, lady fish the list goes on. Bridges have been the go-to location for numbers, lots of fish and shrimp will get them all.
Now if this weather will just settle down...
Henry Caimatto is the owner of the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle shop in Jensen Beach.