The March winds have moved on, the rain has stopped and it almost seems like summer is finally here. It sure took a while.
Fishing is heating up across the board, on beaches, inlets, offshore and in the river, with the ever-elusive tarpon making a showing already, to the gator trout lurking amongst the docks.
Of course, with snook being out of season for the next three months, you can bet there has been plenty of them, too. It is hard to fit all the great fishing going on in one report, but I will do my best.
Offshore was a little shaky to start the week. The cold water moved in and the bait disappeared, and it seemed that all we heard about was a few Bonita. The last few days, however, have been a different story. We have seen cobia, Wahoo, dolphin, mutton snapper, and kingfish.
Mind you, that's just what was brought into the store over the weekend by multiple anglers: Wahoo up to 65 pounds, Cobia up to 35 pounds and some beautiful mutton up to 7 pounds. Most of the action was in 80- to 120-feet of water.
The bait has made a showing again, with the majority of it north of the house of refuge, and a few showing at the Bull Shark as well.
Rule of thumb; don't ever leave fish to find fish. Make sure at some point in the process you get a couple baits in the water. With all that food there, you can bet something is underneath.
The beaches have settled down after all the wind, rain and "renourishment." With whiting and croaker at the top of the list, small pieces of frozen shrimp and fish bites pitched into the trough will get dinner. Catch one too small for the table? Put him back on a hook for a catch and release.
As for other fish, Snook has been spectacular. Big Jacks have also been cruising the beach in the early morning. The big chugger top water baits make for an explosive bite, but you're in for a long ride if a tarpon beats them to it.
The river has been loaded with big trout, big jacks, redfish, flounder, Sheepshead and Drum. Summertime fishing is early in the river, where you go out before sun up and you're back in time for breakfast.
The flats on the east side of the river north of little mud creek have been great. There's top-water action early, then just switch to a live shrimp, suspending baits or soft plastics as the sun gets up. Flounder have been caught along the power lines and around the docks on the west side using shrimp on a jig head or gulp baits.
The docks along the St. Lucie River are producing great Snook fishing, with live baits being the favorite. Remember, handle with care as Snook are out of season till Sept. 1.
Tight lines, everyone!
Henry Caimatto is the owner of the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle shop in Jensen Beach.