Fort Pierce Inshore / Near Shore: August 2018

Trevor Walk with one of six catch and release snook caught at the Fort Pierce jetty. Photo credit: Capt. Joe Ward.

August is always a good month for inshore fishing. Let’s start with the catch and release snook action around the Fort Pierce Inlet and the beaches.

In the inlet either drifting or anchoring with a live bait, like a pilchard, pinfish or a mullet, will work the best. Use a medium/heavy action rod and reel with a 30-to-50-pound line and a 40-pound fluorocarbon leader that is approximately 24-inches a 5/0 live bait hook and just enough weight to hold the bottom.

In the surf try fly fishing around the schools of small bait fish along the shore line or use a light spinning tackle set up with either small live baits or a small lure. FYI—snook season opens on September 1st.

The inshore bite for gator trout should be red hot for anglers getting out at first light and fishing with either top water or live baits. The places you will want to try are Bear Point, Herman’s Bay or up around the Harbor Branch area. Light spinning gear will work just fine. Try a top water bait like a Zara Spook, Top Dog or a Chug Bug and a red and white color is hard to beat. If you want to use a live bait, try a small pilchard or a pigfish fished on a 5/0 Kale hook with 24-inches of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.

There should be some redfish on the flats to the north of the North Bridge. They should be taking a live shrimp or crabs fished under a popping cork. If that is not what they want, then try a piece of cut ladyfish on a 3/0 live bait hook and a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.

The tripletail will be sunning themselves during the hot part of the day. Check the channel markers along the Intracoastal. Try using a larger live shrimp on a quarter-ounce Troll-Rite hook. Look for a good snapper bite along the channel edges around the full moon. Use a live shrimp on a 2/0 long shank hook and a 15-pound fluorocarbon leader and a half-ounce weight. Just a reminder that the size on tripletail and bag limits on sheepshead changed July 1.

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