Grouper, mahi mahi & tuna will draw Treasure Coast anglers offshore
Still open with Mother’s Day plans this weekend? It’s a safe bet she’d love a fresh fish dinner.
If she enjoys mahi mahi, grouper or tuna as much as most people, this weekend offers Treasure Coast anglers the best chance to catch all three perhaps since the start of the year.
Closer to the beach, tarpon, sharks and cobia are hanging close to schools of bait, so if trying to get mom hooked up to a great fight, one can do a lot worse than connecting her to one of these top targets.
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Indian River County
Offshore: Capt. Jesse Austin of Going Coastal charters in Sebastian said the kingfish bite offshore has been very good. Fish around bait schools in 20 to 40 feet of water where kings, tarpon, sharks and cobia have been following. Grouper will be in 100-160 feet of water. Use dead sardines for the best bite.
Inshore: Snook has been the prime target at Sebastian Inlet. With the calm warm weekend forecast, expect crowds who will be trying to catch snook for the freezer. May is the last month to harvest snook before the three month summer season closure begins June 1.
Freshwater: Headwaters Lake has been producing some of the state’s best spring fishing for big bass. Capt. Nate Shellen of Okeechobeebassfishing.com steered his clients to 18 bass larger than 8 pounds during the month of April. He said the big fish are starting to run for cover with the heat coming, but using artificials like crank baits will get bites still.
St. Lucie County
Offshore: There are some seamounts and coral heads along the 27 Fathom Curve which will hold big gag grouper up to 40 pounds and greater amberjack, too. How much current there is along the bottom will dictate angler success more than any other factor. Oversized jigs, dead sardines and cut grunts will all be prime baits for gag grouper in these depths.
Inshore: Snook fishing has been steady during the incoming tide at the jetty, South Bridge and around the cuts along Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. Trout can be caught around the points of spoil islands and mangrove islands north of North Causeway and under the docks of St. Lucie Village. Fish with live pilchards during the first two hours of the falling tide.
Surf: There may e too much sargassum seaweed to fish effectively from Hutchinson Island beaches the next few days. If the weeds are clear, expect to catch whiting on pieces of shrimp or Fishbites.
Offshore: Dolphin fishing has been excellent along the current edges. Look for color changes and temperature changes to find the currents. Sargassum mats are also providing good fishing for dolphin. Fish to 58 pounds, like one caught this week aboard Salty Daze fishing with Capt. Rich Dubord have anglers excited about it.
Inshore: Spring time snook fishing is very good around the bridges in the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. Night time fishing has been better with the fish ambushing prey from the shadow lines near docks and bridges. Fish with swim baits or jigs to get bites.
With high heat forecast for the weekend and going forward into the summer, expect to find the best fishing early in the morning before the temperatures climb. Use spinnerbaits, topwater plugs like spooks and frogs, then switch over to jigs, worms and crank baits. Fish will be heading for deeper water once the water warms up. Try fishing Taylor Creek, Pearce Canal and Harney Pond Canal where the fish will be deeper.
Ed Killer is TCPalm’s outdoors writer. Sign up for his and other weekly newsletters at profile.tcpalm.com/newsletters/manage. Friend Ed on Facebook at Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him at[email protected].