Fort Pierce Inshore / Nearshore: Sept. 2018

Kendrick Forlifer with a black drum. Photo credit: Capt. Joe Ward.
Kendrick Forlifer with a nice tripletail. Photo credit: Capt. Joe Ward.

As summer is winding down, everyone is looking forward to the opening of snook season on September 1.  Despite all the fresh water runoff we have had this summer, I think that the snook season will be a good one. The Fort Pierce inlet will be good for anglers fishing live baits like greenies, croakers, pinfish and pigfish. You will need to fish these baits on the bottom around your favorite rocks.  I like to use a 24-inch, 40-pound fluorocarbon leader, a 6/0 live bait hook and 6-to-8-ounce weight.

Snook Tips

For snook around the bridges and in the turning basin, I will use the same rig but with a lighter weight, a half-ounce to 3-ounce. The trout bite should still be good at places with grass and sand pockets. Try a live shrimp fished under a popping cork.  For the leader try a 15-or20-pound fluorocarbon and about 18-inches and a #2 Kahle hook.  For the artificials, try a D.O.A, Bait Buster, Zara Spook or a Chug Bug.

Redfish Tips

Look for redfish to be around the docks along both north and south Indian River Drive.  Try a live shrimp on an eighth-ounce or quarter-ounce jig head around the docks.  Bump up your leader to a 30-pound fluorocarbon and about 24-inches.


Look for plenty of big jacks working the Fort Pierce inlet and around the local bridges. They will be taking anything live or shiny.


Around the full moon there should be a good snapper bite along the channel edges with fish going to two-pounds.  They will be taking a live shrimp, small crab or cut baits.  Fish them on a #2 Kahle hook with 24-inches of fluorocarbon leader and a half-ounce weight.

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.