Juvenile tarpon will continue to be the main target for anglers fishing the freshwater rivers and creeks along the Treasure Coast. The north fork of the Sebastian River is usually the place to look for tarpon in the early morning and evening. Flies, plugs, D.O.A. root beer TerrorEyz, and finger mullet when they become available, will all catch these backwater tarpon.
Indian River Lagoon
Trout are available early and late for anglers using topwater and jerk baits wherever bait schools can be found. Live pigfish, jigs and suspending plugs will catch trout in deeper pockets and drop-offs throughout the day. Redfish have been showing up on any flats that have grass coverage and along shorelines with structure. Top-water plugs and D.O.A. C.A.L. jerk-baits fished on an eighth-ounce head will usually get their attention. Snook fishing around docks and shorelines can keep anglers busy during the day. Skipping D.O.A. shrimp and jerkbaits under cover will produce violent strikes from linesiders of all sizes. You may also find a fair number of trout, redfish and mangrove snapper in the same areas taking advantage of the shade. Residential canals are a good place to look for juvenile tarpon rolling. Drop a D.O.A. tiny TerrorEyz right where the tarpon roll and jig it vertically, allowing it to stay close to where the tarpon rolled for as long as possible.
In years gone by, August was my favorite month to fish “The Inlet”. The snook will be stacked on top of one another and the big reds will be right there with them. Live bait, including croakers, pigfish, greenies, pinfish and shrimp will be the key to daytime inlet action. Night fishing can also be great, whether you drift through the bridge with live bait, or cast plugs or bucktail jigs from the rocks. Catch and release is the law until September 1, so please handle the snook with care. Numbers of giant goliath grouper have taken up residence at the tip of the north jetty and are reported to be eating anything, including big snook, that anglers release. Take care when releasing fish to not get your arm inhaled by one of these brazen predators. Some anglers are catching these goliaths using stout tackle and live five-pound jack crevalle for bait.
Weather permitting, August should find king mackerel, bonito, and the occasional cobia and dolphin not too far off the beaches. Tarpon schools will also be a good bet over the reefs just off the beach. As mullet and other baitfish begin their southern trek late in the month, the near-shore can come alive. Big tarpon, kings, Spanish mackerel, sharks, snook, jacks, and more all chase the bait south. The mullet schools tend to stay within surf casting distance of the beach, so surfcasting for fish weighing in the double- and even triple-digits is possible.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger