Fort Pierce Inshore: Dec. 2017

Karen Wongken with a big sheepshead. Photo credit: Capt. Joe Ward.

The inshore fishing in December should be red hot as the macks, bluefish, pompano and croakers start working their way in the inlet. For the macks and blues, try trolling or casting a small shiny jigs or spoons.  These will be your best choice to use, just remember to use a small piece of wire at the end of your leader to prevent cutoffs.  Just look for the birds diving on the baits and the fish will be close by. For the pompano, you will want to use sand fleas and a pompano rig or if you are in the deeper water, try using a pompano jig.

The bottom fishing around the bridges and in the Fort Pierce Inlet should be good for anglers using live shrimp for croakers, sheepshead and black drum. Try using a one-ounce weight, 18-inches of 20-pound fluorocarbon and a #2 long shank hook.

The docks along Indian River Drive will also be a good place to catch the sheepshead and black drum, as well as a redfish or two. For the redfish try a live shrimp and ⅛- or a ¼-ounce Troll-Rite hook and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.  Fish under the docks on the high tide.

The trout fishing should be good on the flats at Bear Point, Harbor Branch and at Herman’s Bay.  Live shrimp fished under a popping cork is one of my favorites but, you can also try a soft plastic bait and fish it a little slower as the water temps start to drop.

Snook season closes on the 15th but until then the bite should be good around the Fort Pierce Inlet and the bridges.  Use a live bait fish and a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader with a 5/0 live bait hook and enough weight to hold the bottom. At night, try throwing a Flair Hawk around the bridges or in the inlet.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Joe Ward
Capt. Joe’s River Charters
(772) 201-5770 or (722) 461-1335

Capt. Joe Ward has been fishing the inshore waters of Fort Pierce for over 50 years. He provides guided fishing charters on the Indian River Lagoon in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jensen Beach, Port St. Lucie and Stuart, Florida. In his "spare time", Capt. Joe and his wife Cammie dedicate their time to running Capt. Joe's Bait & Tackle (located on the Fort Pierce Inlet at the Dockside Inn and Resort) and Treasure Coast Casters, a 501(c)(3) that teaches youth about fishing and the importance of marine conservation. To reach Capt. Joe, call (772) 201-5770 or visit his website.