Thursday, December 15, 2016


As the weather gets colder, the fishing gets hotter! Following the reviews about fishing Inshore / Nearshore on the Treasure Coast, its seems to experience a lot of changes for fishing. 

The snook have moved back up river where they stay for the winter in more salty water. They can be caught fishing bottom baits along the bridges and deep channels. Lots of big snook are caught using First Light Jigs. The technique for using these 1-to-2-ounce jigs involves casting up-current and retrieving down-current at a speed that keeps your jig very close to the bottom. These snook will sit belly-down on the bottom where the water is usually warmer during the colder months.
The snook will usually be close to the bridge supports to get out of the current. We also find snook sitting along seawalls that face the sun in the morning back in the St. Lucie River. For those snook, we use top water traps and flies to simply cast close parallel and pop down the wall.
Snook season will soon end but you still have time to catch some big ones and possibly a keeper or two. When it rains, the locks must open and this is the place to be when they are opened. You can catch over 30 snook a trip. Just being there at the right time is all the battle.
The pompano has started showing up along the beaches for surf-casting using 9-to-12-foot rods. For attraction, we use sand fleas, clam’s meat, shrimp, and flavored fish-bites artificial bait strips.
Incoming waves is much preferred with fishing from the beach for pompano. The pompano will also come inshore and school up on the flats. Inshore, we use jigs, sand fleas, and shrimp.
Pompano guys, if the wind stays strong like it has been, look to the river and bridges. Jigs will be your best bet. Jensen Beach and Little Jim bridge are hot spots. You can’t miss where it is because everyone will be lined up jigging. Look for Walton Rocks Beach to be the very best place if the wind lays down. River and wading will be hot for trout and red fish. You also can’t beat the places north of the power lines. Shrimp under a popping cork is the way to go but top water and plugs will work great.
The Spanish mackerel are also showing up along the beaches and the well-known Peck Lake Reef where hundreds of anglers and commercial fishermen can be found throwing jigs and gotcha lures. It’s a great type of fishing for family members and inexperienced anglers to easily get hooked up!

When fishing from the coast, the fish hang out there when the water is flowing to eat all the little baits that come over it. Look for pools of calm areas. I use plugs that look like mullet to get best results. Swim attractions like storms work well, but if water is running hard, it is better to use plastic to get the bite.

Bridge fishing will be good, but you must get deep to get where they are feeding. Skill Hawks will help here. Waterfronts will also hold some snook.
Bluefish have moved in and the best place to get these guys is Hobe Sound Public Beach on cut bait like mullet and spoon lures. Tie a 50-pound mono leader on and then hold on. There will be plenty of sharks in the area, so get the blues in quick.
December is here and it’s not just the holidays that we have to look forward to. With every cold front this month, a new body of fish should push down the beach in search of warmer water and a constant food source. Blackfin tuna, sailfish, dolphin and everything else will migrate south along our reef systems and current edges.

Focus around faint temperature breaks and color changes with both dead or live bait for success. That being said, this is my favorite time of year to troll.

Naked ballyhoo rigged on 6/0 mustad circle hooks are my bait of choice and I definitely like to have a squid chain out there as well. A lighter set of poles will increase your hook up ratio, which is key to a successful day of catching. Blackfin Rods makes an off the chain sailfish rod that is great for both trolling and live baiting.

When weather permits, this is also a great time of year to go swordfishing. Over the last 10 years, daytime swordfishing has become extremely popular and the Treasure Coast offers great opportunities at catching these gladiators. Fishing dead baits a quarter-mile below the surface can provide one of the most exciting days of fishing you’ve ever had when it all comes together.

These fish are sometimes more than 500 pounds and will test every aspect of your fishing game. Whatever it is you decide to do this winter, I hope your trip is off the chain. Enjoy this time for fishing and spoil yourself with stuffed salty presents in the form of the many offshore species of fish that inhabit the coastal waters of Martin County. Local anglers will be able to enjoy the seasonal excitement of being able to intersect and catch an all-star lineup of offshore game fish like sailfish, dolphin, king, spanish mackerel, grouper, and snapper. Florida`s winter weather will be in full swing this month, hosting the typical procession of cold fronts that will pass over our peninsula with fresh breezes.

These fronts and the winds associated with them, will directly determine offshore conditions and force anglers to plan their ocean fishing trips around daily weather forecasts and the sea states they encounter. While there will be many rough ocean days this month, there will also be many favorable weather windows for fishing in between the arrival of cold fronts.

Locating bottom structure to employ one’s fishing strategies upon, will be the key component to catching success during the month of December. Trolling, drifting, and anchoring strategies for deploying baits is always enhanced when doing so around and over top of some bottom (reef structures). Grouper will be at the top of the holiday fish wish list, as December will be the last month of an open catch and keep season that will close at midnight, December 31.

Lane, mangrove, and mutton snapper will also be high on the wish list and will be found in good numbers from 50 to 90 feet of water, especially around artificial reefs just east and northeast of our St. Lucie Inlet. So, in December, make your fish wishes come true by fishing around “bottom” and post up on one of the many “honey holes” that make up the reef system, offshore of Stuart.

Whether by land, air or sea, you can reach Whiticar Boat Yard for all of your boat repair, maintenance and yachting needs. Stop by. See for yourself what Stuart, FL and Whiticar Boat Yard can do for you.  

We are conveniently located from I-95, only one-half mile from Witham Field Airport, and just west of the Intercoastal Waterway at marker 13A

 Wishing you Happy holidays from all our team!