Fort Pierce Offshore Fishing Report and Forecast: July 2017

Lisa and Tracy enjoyed a day of catching. These are some good eating size kingfish and a mahi caught in 80-feet of water out of Fort Pierce Inlet. All fish were caught trolling live sardines. Photo credit: Capt. Danny Markowski.

While trolling, pelagic fish will still be producing – it is cobia time!  This is the time of year that we should see cold water up-wellings, which will push cold water from the deeper depths closer to shore.  With these up-wellings, the cobia will move into shallower waters and all the way onto the beaches. Cobia are a great fighting fish and are great to eat as well.

One of the ways to find these fish is to look for structure or reefs in the areas of the cooler water temperatures and then start sight fishing.  If the water is clean and clear, have someone with polarized sunglasses stand at the highest safe spot on the boat looking for these fish swimming on the surface. Also watch for sharks or rays, cobia will more than likely be following them or under them. If any of these are seen, cast a bigger jig or a weighted grub in their direction to try to entice any cobia that might be around to eat. If there is a cobia that looks at your jig but won’t eat, have a frisky live bait or a piece of squid to pitch to him and it should be game on. If you haven’t been able to sight fish any cobia around structure, it is always a good idea to try slow trolling or drifting live baits around structure. You can also sight fish cobia the same way off the beaches in as close as 10-to-15 feet depths. It is best to use a longer fishing rod when sight fishing cobia for making longer casts.

Cobia will eat most live baits, such as sardines, pilchards, greenies and even mullet.  When using a jig, cobia most likely will go after a bucktail type jig with a grub tail attached or an eel like jig, such as a Hogy jig, being eels are their favorite food.

Please be familiar with the size limit of Cobia at 33 inches to the fork of the tail. Always net a smaller fish if legal size is questionable for immediate release. Remember, these are a strong fish and will cause damage if they get away from you. So, if you know the fish is legal, have the fishbox ready to receive the fish and close the lid quickly.

Keep in mind while sight fishing, if you see any mats of sargassum weed slowly make your way over to them. With pitch rods ready, cast some live bait toward the edge of the mats and see what comes out. If the mats are in a line along a rip, set out your live baits and slow troll along the edges of the mat.  This time of year, you could catch mahi, triple tail or any number of other species.

Be safe and watch the sky for afternoon storms while on the water.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Danny Markowski
LottaBull Fishing Charters
Phone: (772) 370-8329