The surf continues to be the place to bend a rod. With summer temperatures keeping the water warm, there are lots of fish on the surf's edge. Fishing early will find blue fish, macs and jacks looking for breakfast. Cut bait is preferred, but that big noise top water is getting attention. These fish have teeth. They are meat eaters; they will hunt with their nose and eyes and won't stop till they find the source. The best part is they do not have to be hungry; they will bite to keep the other fish from eating.
As the water warms they will move out to deeper water and in will come the whiting, croaker and even a few pompano. It is an all-day bite. There are good size whiting, big croaker and two-pound pompano eating shrimp, clams and sand fleas, so do not forget the ice.
I had anglers in this week talking about the tarpon... the water must be warm. There are also plenty of sharks to manage your catch. I would say the best thing to do cut them off. They will not bother with you until you take them from the water.
The Indian River has been sort of hot and cold. We have anglers tell us about all the trout and anglers still looking for fish. The hard part is they were fishing the same area. This usually means someone was fishing with a heavy leader. If the water is clear and the sun is bright, try a lighter leader and feel the difference.
From Nettles Island north, in three feet of water, try a slow retrieve across the bottom. There are lots of trout, a few reds, plenty of blues, jacks and those ladyfish to make you crazy. You'll find them all the way to Bear Point. The west side has been busy with blues and they are there all day eating anything that you would throw. I suggest trying a steel leader.
From the bridges this week we saw some limits of pompano jugging with that little spoon. The problem is there's no pattern; anglers just had to be there. But still a good bite of sheephead and black drum and in the mix, and after sun down, plenty of snook.
Anglers are having the same problem with the snook as last week; the fish are over slot. You just have to keep trying.
Off shore, in spite of this nice weather, the radio has been quiet. I know there are fish out there, but anglers are being rather quiet. The southeast wind has pushed a few dolphins in closer and I think that may be the problem. Two weeks ago we had some quality fish in 300-500 feet and the anglers are out there when the fish have moved in.
I would have my baits in the water at 80-feet and would not troll deeper than 150-feet while watching for that weed line or color changes. Macs seem to have moved on, but the cobias are still with us, as are the permit. So with that, most anglers have them on their mind. Remember, live baits are preferred.
With a little luck just maybe next week we will have an offshore report.
Henry Caimatto is the owner of the Snook Nook Bait and Tackle shop in Jensen Beach.