Happy August everyone, I hope everyone enjoyed mini lobster season and the red snapper season. If you were not able to partake, I hope that next year you will get to! Fishing along the Treasure Coast is RED HOT right now! We have been catching large numbers of snapper, mahi-mahi, cobia and kingfish.
Nearshore Fort Pierce (6-10 Miles)
Right now, nearshore the live bait bite is on. Mahi-mahi are being caught anywhere from 60-to-90 foot of water using live greenies and pilchards. The most effective way to catch them has been to anchor up on the reef (60-to-90 feet) and run a flat line on top out of the back of the boat. The mahi have been cruising by and smashing the flatline while we are bottom fishing. The same tactic has been working for the cobia and kingfish as well. I like to fish a wire kingfish rig on my flatline in case of a toothy bite. The mahi will not shy away from this rig and you will still be able to land a kingfish or wahoo bite as well.
The snapper bite on the reef in 75-to-85 foot of water has been spectacular as well. There have been multiple mutton snapper over 10 pounds caught in the last few weeks and many days of limits of mangroves in excess of 25 fish a day caught. When fishing for mutton snapper, we have been using 50-pound braid mainline with a 6-ounce weight, to a swivel and then 10-to-12 foot of 60-pound fluorocarbon leader. The bait of choice has been a live pilchard or a live sardine. When fishing for the mangrove snapper we are using the same rig and leader length but with 30-pound fluorocarbon leader. The baits of choice are cut grunt, shrimp, cut greenies, cut pilchards, and also live or frozen sardines. If you can find some cigar minnows, they also are working great. The grounds directly off of the Fort Pierce Inlet and then north off of Vero Shores in 80 foot of water have been the most productive. If you find yourself not catching any fish, just move north or south of where you are fishing, the reef runs for miles and the current/conditions will change every few miles up or down the reef. The bite has been best once the sun is up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Offshore Fort Pierce (10-25 Miles)
Offshore there have been reports of a few mahi caught when trolling current edges or weed lines. There have also been reports of multiple wahoo caught from 80-to-120 feet of water. These anglers have been slow trolling live bait as well as trolling ballyhoo and wahoo lures 8-to-10 knots. This time of year, the bonito and speedo schools move up to the north off our inlet and into the shallower water (80-to-90 feet) which attract the wahoo. The water has gotten very warm, so the trolling bite is slowing down very quickly. However, there is still a chance to catch a few fish if you’re willing to put in the time. The grouper have been biting as well in 120-to-200 foot of water. A live Blue Runner has been the bait of choice for those bottom dwellers.
Good luck and tight lines!