The bait has been insane in Stuart waters this summer! Plenty of pilchards and greenies have been easy sabiki baits to catch at Bull Shark Barge three miles south of the St. Lucie Inlet.
While out there, you can always cast a lure or fly for a bonito or drop a bonito for a goliath grouper. Endless schools of minnows have been showing up and down the beaches. These minnows attract lots of fish such as snook, tarpon, bluefish, and endless jacks. Some great lures to throw on along the beach are spoons, Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, and Giles~Jigs. We should start seeing the mullet-run begin towards the end of August. These massive schools of finger mullet three-to seven-inches long cruise down the beach shorelines, like the minnow schools we just experienced. Simply drive your boat out of the St. Lucie Inlet and cruise north or south along the beach looking for that nervous dark water with birds diving.
Your best chance to find tarpon feeding on them is usually early morning 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. As the mullet run continues, the mullet will move inshore cruising back in the St. Lucie and Indian Rivers. We find lots of snook, tarpon, and big jacks chasing mullet at the Ten-Cent Bridge and North Fork. Again, your best chance for tarpon is early morning when they seem most hungry.
Cast netting mullet can be easy with a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch mesh cast net, bigger diameter the better. Before sunrise, the mullet will school up on the shallow flats to hide where big fish can’t swim. The islands around Sewall’s Point and Sailfish Flats are some good areas to try.
There has been lots of sailfish and small dolphin caught trolling and live baiting at the “Culverts” about 3.5 miles out just past the “Sand Pile.” The flashy ribbon dredges by Fish Razr are a great way to draw fish into your boat and they are easy to use.