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Treasure Coast fishing: Pompano and blackfin tuna are migrating south

NewsTreasure Coast fishing: Pompano and blackfin tuna are migrating south

Cool weather is coming again just in time for the weekend, but it should warm up pretty quick, says the Nspantionspanl Wespanther Service. The good news is, seas should be calm enough for most boaters to be able to get offshore. That’s where bluewater anglers will find mahi mahi, sailfish and blackfin tuna in the current eddies of the Gulf Stream.

Don’t forget to check out anything floating for tripletail and smaller mahi or wahoo swimming underneath.

The cool air mass may push more pompano south along Florida’s beaches. These fish aren’t exactly filling up the Indian River Lagoon and in Stuart, where there is poor water quality from recently begun Lake Okeechobee discharges, there are none. Hopefully, the volume of the discharges does not effect the Spanish mackerel bite off Peck’s Lake.

Bridge down?Brightline plspannning three-week closure of St. Lucie River bridge for renovspantions

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This angler proudly displays his fifth snook caught & released Jan. 21, 2023 in Fort Pierce while fishing with Capt. Tim Simos of HookASnook.com.

Closures & regulations changes in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.

  • Snook: Harvest closed from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31, 2023. Harvest reopens Feb. 1, 2023.
  • Grouper: Harvest closed from Jan. 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind & rock hind. Harvest reopens May 1, 2023.
  • Spotted seatrout: Harvest open as of Jan. 1 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach counties. Harvest closes November and December 2023.
  • Flounder: Harvest reopened Dec. 1.
  • Hogfish: Harvest closed from Nov. 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Harvest reopens May 1, 2023.
  • Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1. FWC will re-evaluate later in the year.
  • Alligator: Hunt season open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Lobster: 48-hour sport season (mini-season) open July 26-27, 2023. Regular season opens Aug. 6.
  • Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1, 2022 for state waters. Bag limit is now five fish per day per angler; Vessel limit is now 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit.
  • Tilefish: Harvest is open as of Jan. 1.
  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.

For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.

Chapman School Open House

The Chspanpmspann School of Sespanmspannship is having an open house from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. January 26 at its campus at 4343 SE St. Lucie Blvd., Stuart. Visitors will receive a tour of the 9-acre campus and see training programs in outboard mechanics, marine surveyors, professional mariner and at the helm boating classes. To register for classes or find out more information go to Chspanpmspann.org.

Indian River County

Offshore: Big Easy with Capt. Terry Wildey out of Capt Hiram’s Resort in Sebastian has been guiding his anglers to catches of triggerfish, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, kingfish and cobia. The SISA Reefs and other structure in the 70-90 foot zone have been productive. Watch out for whales and give them 500 yards. It’s the law.

Inshore: Spotted seatrout can be caught around the mangrove points in Vero Beach from Hole in the Wall Island, Jungle Trail and down to Round Island. Use jerk baits on 1/8-ounce jig heads in copper or new penny colors. Flounder fishing has been on the slow side inside Sebastian Inlet. Try fishing the middle of the incoming tide with live mud minnows to get bites.

Freshwater: Headwaters Lake has been yielding good fishing for bass from 2-5 pounds. Use wild shiners or spinnerbaits. When it cools down, try lipped crank baits to get action in 3-5 feet of water. Speck fishing has been pretty good at Blue Cypress Lake on live minnows.

St. Lucie County

Offshore: Lane snapper, mangrove snapper and mutton snapper fishing has been better in on the shallow reefs. Sheepshead and margate are in the same areas. Use pieces of shrimp or cut squid to get hooked up. Sailfish are still being caught & released by anglers trolling ballyhoo in 150 to 180 feet of water.

Inshore: Capt. Tim Simos of HookASnook.com in Fort Pierce said he steered anglers Jan. 21 to catches of snook, snapper, margate and goliath grouper while fishing in the Turning Basin, around the South Bridge and along the first reef just outside the Fort Pierce Inlet. Tripletail can be caught around crab trap buoys in the lagoon or channel markers with a live freelined shrimp.

Surf: Paul Sperco of Capt. Paul Surf Charters in Port St. Lucie said the pompano and whiting on the beaches right now is worth the trip. Incoming tides and Fishbites EZ Flea or yellow crab have been producing bites from the sand bar on in to the trough. This cold front should bring more fish.

Martin County

Offshore: Blackfin tuna and wahoo can best be targeted around sea mounts like those at Push Button Hill. Snapper fishing has still been productive for the party boats fishing in 70 feet of water. Vermilion snapper, lane snapper, mutton snapper and mangrove snapper can be caught. Spanish mackerel fishing is still steady south of the St. Lucie Inlet along the reef.

Inshore: Anglers fishing the bridges like the Ernie Lyons Bridge and Frank Wacha Bridge are catching reliable rodbenders like croaker, black drum, jacks and ladyfish. Use a shrimp-tipped jig to catch all four and others like bluefish, redfish, snook and flounder. Snook fishing is still steady around structure on DOA Terror Eyz in root beer.

Lake Okeechobee

The lake is at 16 feet 1 inch as of Thursday which means there is plenty of water in the northern and western areas of the lake. IT has made for ideal speck fishing. Anglers are getting limits using live minnows and speck jigs. Fish the areas like Tin House Cove, Horse Island and the mouth of the Harney Canal near Lakeport for the best action. Fish are running large, too, upwards of 13 inches.

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