Fishing Forecast: Jupiter Inlet Inshore

by Craig KorczynskiContributing Writer

February has arrived and with it signifies the opening of snook season. Snook will be highly sought after by anglers. If you plan on keeping a snook, you will need a snook stamp and slot regulations are enforced, 28 inches minimum to 32 inches maximum, 1 fish per angler.

The cool fronts will continue to migrate south pushing cooler air and windy conditions at times. Snook anglers this means target deeper holes, bridges, channels, and sea walls. The snook will be holding near the bottom and tight on structure. High noon look for snook laying up on sand bars basking in the sun. The snook are willing to take any live bait or artificial lure like a DOA C.A.L. 3-inch paddle tail or DOA 3-inch shrimp crossing their path.

Night fishing offers great numbers of snook on fly and live baits; be sure to work the shadow lines and stay quiet. Always be courteous to other anglers fishing docks; etiquette goes along way.

Shawn Mahoney with a snook | Photo courtesy of Craig Korczynski

The tarpon fishing in the bays and canals offer great shots with the fly, bait and artificial lures. Keep an eye out for rolling fish on the surface and work the area thoroughly. Deeper passes hold bigger fish up to 60 pounds. Anglers using live baits will have plenty of action but artificial lures like a MirrOdine and DOA 3-inch shrimp and DOA C.A.L. 4-inch jerk bait in glow and gold rush belly are great baits to hook up with the silver king.

The ICW will be teeming with life as anglers can target jacks, snook, tarpon, sheepshead, and pompano. Seawalls and docks are great areas for jacks and snook during the day and at night. Live shrimp, mullet and DOA C.A.L. 3-inch Shad tail rigged on a 1/8 jig head produce many strikes. Top water Heedon spooks early morning and late in the afternoon provided explosive action for top water strikes.

The grass flats are another great spot for anglers to take the kids after a cool front. The flats will be full of ladyfish, jacks, pompano, bluefish, black drum, sheepshead, snapper, Spanish mackerel and trout. The best techniques to use on the flats are bucktail jigs tipped with shrimp, popping corks rigged with a live shrimp or a DOA 3-inch shrimp in glow color and a DOA C.A.L. 3-inch Shad rigged on a 1/8 jig head bounced off the bottom. When working the grass flats look for potholes and drop offs for areas to target. Always remember to use the wind and tide to your advantage. Look for signs of life like birds, bait schools and remember those manatees usually have a few surprise fish trailing behind.

Well that is the fishing report for the Palm Beach County. I hope you all enjoyed so get out there and get hooked up. Tight Lines!