Well, July certainly was a rain filled month. Despite all the wet weather, fishing has still been pretty good.
It's that time of year when the bait begins to cover the beaches and the big fish follow.
Snook, tarpon, big jacks, bonita and Spanish Mackerel will all be on the catch list.
Fish early or late in the day... the key is to locate the bait and then fish around it. Hordes of silversides and glass minnows will begin to form in what appears to be a large black cloud on the surf's edge. That's where you will find the fish.
The best way to do this is to go from one access point to another. Walk up the dune and look, if there's no bait, move on the next beach until you find it.
Tiger shores, Walton Rocks and the House of Refuge are all good locations to start. For the live bait fans, bring your sabiki rigs to the beach with you and the pilchards should be close enough to catch. Try a small whiting/croaker... that will get the job done, too.
DOA bait busters were red hot last year and I don't think that will change. The color is your choice, but make sure it's a deep runner. Spoons and jerk baits work well when the fish are honed in on the smaller baits.
The river has been plagued with dirty runoff from Lake Okeechobee, however, the area from power plant north has still held a lot of fish in somewhat nicer water.
With the tannic color of the river, darker baits work best. Root beer is my top choice. Trout and reds can be found in 1- 3 foot of water. Start with the top water plugs and move to a suspending bait as the sun goes up.
Catch and release snook fishing has been excellent at both the St. Lucie and Fort Pierce inlets. If available, use live bait.
Offshore, activity has been better over the last few days. Dolphin has been reported from 180- 220 feet out, as well as an excellent wahoo bite. We weighed fish here at the shop from 20- 40 pounds. Always, have a bait down in your spread, whether it by a planer, cigar lead or downrigger. Split tail mullet and large ballyhoo are excellent baits for the wahoo.
The cobia bite has tapered off considerably, but a few small fish are still hanging around the bull shark barge and the sand pile. Make sure that fish are 33- inches before you gaff it.
The only bait to speak of has been north up the beach. Look for the birds and you will find the bait.
I'm hoping for a little less rain in August.... What about you?
Henry Caimatto is the owner of the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle shop in Jensen Beach.