Fort Pierce Inshore Fishing Report and Forecast: March 2017

John Gilson with a croaker. Photo credit: Capt. Joe Ward.

The inshore fishing should be red hot this month with plenty of snook action around the turning basin and the north and south bridges. Live baits like a greenie, pilchards or pinfish fished on the bottom with a 2-ounce weight and 24-inches of 40-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 5/0 live bait hook will be the set up to use. In the Fort Pierce Inlet, look for plenty of action with the bluefish, Spanish mackerel and big jacks. These fish will be following the schools of bait fish as they move in and out the Fort Pierce inlet with the tide. Just look for the birds diving on the baits and you will find the fish. Try fishing with spoons, Gotcha Jigs or just about anything shiny and even free lining a live shrimp or a live bait. Fish the baits on a 1/0 live bait hook and a short piece of 7-pound wire for your leader. The bottom fishing for sheepshead and black drum should be good around just about any structure in the river.  Your best bet for these fish will be live shrimp, fiddler crabs or clams fished on a #2 long shank hook, 1-ounce weight and 12- to 18-inches of fluorocarbon leader.  The redfish and trout should still be on the deeper side of the flats and in the deeper cuts between the islands. Try using a live shrimp trout and crabs for the redfish.  You can fish the bottom the same way using a popping cork, 18-inches of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader and a #2 Kahle hook. There should be a good number of pompano in the river to the south of the south bridge and up on the flats.  The best bait will be sand fleas but they will take a small live shrimp and use a pompano jig.

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.