In 1984, my family returned to South Florida following eight years of hopping from Alabama to Ohio to North Carolina.
This period is known as my "winter of discontent." This distance made my heart grow fonder and allowed me to gain perspective on what defines "home."
The taste of food, gentle ocean breezes, the familiarity of the local lingo, the warmth of the sun and the most beautiful beaches in the world are what I found identified home.
There are a few places here locally that truly pack all of these gems into their ambience. As we approach this weekend I encourage you to get out and experience a few of my favorite things for yourself.
Visit Jupiter Lighthouse, have a cocktail at the Square Grouper on Jupiter Inlet, take a walk out on Juno Pier and see what their catching, visit Sailfish Marina in the afternoon and ask the captains how the sailfish are biting, take a boat ride to Peanut Island or simply take some time to lay on the sand at your favorite beach.
The heat of the summer is certain to be here before you know it. This is the time to enjoy our natural wonders and outdoor attractions. The next two weeks will get busy as tourists are spending thousands of dollars to experience a few days of what you have at your fingertips. If you happen to meet someone from out of town, share your Florida with them to ensure their vacation delivers a true representation of what we are really all about here in Palm Beach County.
Offshore report: Next weekend is shaping up to be a good weekend for the offshore angler. Wind and swell forecasts are conflicting at this point. You will have to play the weather by ear. The good news is that dolphin, sailfish and cobia are sure to be in the area. A weak low-pressure system will pass through on Wednesday, moving even more fish into the region from points north of us.
Several anglers have reported seeing sailfish in as little as 20 feet of water. This means you will need to run out early and start setting kites, tossing flat lined baits and trolling skirts as soon as you exit the inlet. Preparation might yield you a bite within a few minutes of setting your lines. Grouper seem to be the most likely bottom bite this week. Try trolling Bombers, X Raps or Yo-zuri lures on planners 10 feet above structure for some amazing action.
Inshore report: Snook season is open and it is a great time for the inshore angler to get into the action. Fish are holding around the inlets with a few fish on the beaches. The warmth of the water will have these fish turned on like it was November. I would try Jupiter Inlet during the first two hours of outgoing tide with live mullet. You may also try seawalls in the Intracoastal Waterway using live shrimp, DOA shrimp or Berkley Gulp shrimp in the Lake Worth Inlet area.
Pompano are still trickling through, but the reports are scattered. It is a tough bite, but worth all the effort if you manage to bring two or three fish to the table. Use a two-hook rig with a sand flea on one hook and shrimp on the other.
Tight lines, crystal clear waters and sunny days to all.
Is there something more you would like to see in this article? Send me an e-mail with your suggestions.
Rob Fielding is an addicted angler and the owner of Sharkey's Tackle in Jupiter. For more information call (561) 630-3100 or e-mail Rob.Fielding@SharkeysTackle.com.