Fort Pierce Inshore/Nearshore: March 2018

Capt. Joe Ward with a black drum. Photo provided by Capt. Joe Ward.

The inshore bite for redfish should be good in the deeper holes up around Jack Island and Queen’s Cove.  Try a D.O.A. Bait Buster or a live shrimp fished under a popping cork.  As the day warms up, redfish will come up onto the flats and take the same baits.  Trout fishing should remain good, as long as the water temperatures don’t drop too much more.  For trout, free line a live pilchard or again a live shrimp under a popping cork.  The snook action in the turning basin and the Fort Pierce Inlet will be good when using pinfish or pigfish and fishing them on the bottom. The tackle for snook should be a medium to heavy rod with a reel with at least 30-pound test line and a 24-inch leader of 40- to 50-pound fluorocarbon leader and enough weight to hold the bottom.  In the Fort Pierce Inlet, it may take as much as five- to eight-ounce of weight and one- to 2-ounce around the bridges.  I like using a 5/0 live bait hook. The tide changes will be your best time to fish. Around the local bridges, the snapper, black drum and sheepshead are all taking live shrimp, clams or a piece of cut bait.  There should still be plenty of mackerel, bluefish and jacks working their way in the Fort Pierce Inlet as they follow the bait schools. The pompano bite should be good in the surf when using clams or sand fleas along with some whiting and croakers.

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

Capt. Joe Ward with a catch and release snook caught by the north bridge. Photo provided by Capt. Joe Ward.
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.