Pompano. That has been the leading question. There are a few, but not the run anglers are looking for. Water temps are the key and it has just not been cold enough long enough to cool the water. Yes we have seen them on the surf, in the river, but with a very short bite time and only a few to keep you fishing.
In the surf it has been north one day and south the next with bite times just as far apart, up close and far out no pattern.
River anglers have had the same luck. Incoming water or outgoing, just no pattern and then when they do find them it is but a few, just enough to keep you coming back. So even though Fred and Kelsey caught theirs mid-morning at County Line Beach using clams she insists there are no pompano at county line. Would Kelsey mislead us? So if you are spending time at the surf start early using cut bait for the blues, macs and jacks then switch to clams and shrimp for some really big whiting and maybe a pompano or two, just not at county line.
River anglers have seen some real good red fish and trout from north to south, mix in a few flounder and add the blues and jacks, a guaranteed rod-bending day.
If the reds are the target fish early, fish shallow. Look around the docks north of County Line Road all the way to Midway Road. Dock pilings make for great ambush points.
Over to the east side of the river, fishing the mangroves and shaded areas we have had some real reds reported, 25-pound reds, how nice is that? Most interesting about these reds is that they are eating everything but early is the bite time.
Trout have been in the deeper water and like all fish, they will school by size. If you are catching small fish moving 10 yards will make all the difference. Problem is the blues and jacks don't care. They are there to eat anything that moves, shallow or deep and time means nothing to them. Second problem is bottle-nose dolphins. When they show it is time to go, even the blues leave. They are very effective hunters and don't care what time it is, either.
Bridge anglers had the best catch list with everything from black drum, sheepshead, macs, blues and yes a few pompano were on a long catch list. Times varied with species, but the rods were bent.
Offshore it was a hard week, not sure if the reason was the bonita were thick eating any and all baits. Heard about a few sails and few dolphin and a king fish or two but the bonita were out of control and in my favorite trolling depth, 150 feet. But the cool thing was the cobia in 15 feet to 30 feet from north of Fort Pierce to the House of Refuge and jigs were the baits of choice.
So if that was not enough how about 100-pound tarpon? Let's see, bonita or cobia and tarpon. Lots of boats played up close. Yes the Spanish macs are out of control south of the St. Lucie Inlet. Set your boat limit. Someone will have to clean all those fish when you get back and if it is green throw it.
Pompano just do not like this warm weather but I do.
Henry Caimatto is the owner of the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle shop in Jensen Beach.