Hurricane Nicole is a distant memory by the time you read this. As the storm winds its way up into the northeast, the waters will slowly calm and clean in its wake.
Look for snook fishing to be great right away. Snook like it when the water is a little roiled and dirty. Freshwater coming out of the C-44 Canal, C-23, Canal and C-24 Canal will lower the water quality in the St. Lucie River, but snook will bite anyway behind bridge pilings and around structure.
The Stuart Air Show this weekend also serves as a time stamp for those looking to cash in on Spanish mackerel at Peck’s Lake.
Redfish release:Redfish spanre cspantch &spanmp; relespanse only in IRL; Snook sespanson is open for Trespansure Cospanst spannglers
Flounder closed:Flounder sespanson closes for 6 weeks while snook, tspanrpon fishing stspanys hot
Sunken vessels:Bospants sinking spant Fort Pierce mspanrinspan spanfter unexpected high wind gusts from Hurricspanne Ispann
Closures & regulations changes in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.
- Flounder: Harvest closed from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30. Harvest re-opens Dec. 1.
- Hogfish: Harvest closed from Nov. 1 to April 30, 2023. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2023.
- Spotted seatrout: Harvest closed from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach counties. Harvest re-opens Jan. 1, 2023.
- Snook: Harvest closed from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31, 2023. Harvest re-opens Feb. 1, 2023.
- Grouper: Harvest closed from Jan. 1, 2023 through April 30, 2023. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.
- Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1.
- Alligator: Hunt season open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
- Lobster: Regular season opened Aug. 6.
- Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1 for state waters. Bag limit is now 5 fish per day per angler; Vessel limit is now 30 fish per day. Captain & crew may not be included in limit.
- Tilefish: A commercial fishing closure is in place beginning July 6 until Dec. 31, 2022.
- Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch and release.
For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.
Indian River County
Offshore: The National Weather Service is calling for calmer seas by the weekend. That should allow anglers to get offshore into the bluewater and troll for dolphin, blackfin tuna and wahoo. Use ballyhoo and work along the current edges indicated by color changes and temperature breaks.
Inshore: Sebastian Inlet State Park is closed until inspections and cleanup can be completed. Hurricane Nicole made landfall a few miles from here and park officials want to make sure its safe for anglers to return to the jetties or other fishing areas.
Freshwater: High water will be the operation mode here for the next few weeks, but bass fishing should be good with shorter days and cooler nights.
St. Lucie County
Offshore: The fall migration has begun followed soon by winter sailfish. Kingfish will be in 60-90 feet of water on the reefs until the beaches clean back up again. Mangrove snapper and mutton snapper fishing will be decent in 80 feet of water.
Inshore: The best bite going will be snook. Officials said St. Lucie County parks and beaches will re-open Friday. Trout fishing isn’t bad on the grassflats on the east side of the lagoon between Bear Point and the Power Plant.
Surf: As seas calm down and water cleans up, good pompano fishing should return to the beaches. Use Fishbites or Fish Gum to catch them since no sand fleas are available anywhere.
Offshore: The Spanish mackerel bite should be fairly good at Peck’s Lake once the seas calm down a little which is the forecast. Use Gotcha plugs or Diamond jigs and reel fast. When the jig looks like its getting away, the mackerel become even more fired up.
Inshore: Snook fishing will be good around all the docks and up into spots where the waters have been higher. Use caution because many docks were inundated with high water. The river will have debris and a lot of freshwater in it for the next few days but that should not bother the snook.
The big lake received rain from Hurricane Nicole. The Army Corps has said it may discharge lake water, but it is took early to tell. Bass fishing is good along Observation Shoal in 2-3 feet of water with spinnerbaits and lipless crank baits.