The New Year has arrived with some fun fishing opportunities for light tackle anglers in Martin County. The Spanish mackerel are in full swing at Peck Lake Reef. Just simply head out of the St. Lucie Inlet and head south until you see 50-to-100 boats. Glass minnow chumming while casting glow tube jigs will catch more than enough. My favorite lures for the Spanish mackerel are Gulfstream Flash Minnow jigs bright green.
The snook and some trout have made their way back in the St. Lucie River after they reduced the Okeechobee runoff. The Roosevelt Bridge and nearby parks have some deep holes that can hold both. We mostly use soft plastics like D.O.A. TerrorEyz and Curly Tail C.A.L. Jigs slowly jigging along the bottom with a quick lift and two-to-three second pause. In the winter, we typically find most of the decent snook, and occasional trout and redfish in deep water near structure like the bridges, docks, and marinas.
The Jensen Beach Causeway has been fishing well for snook, black drum, sheepshead, and pompano. Most common rigs are a single or double hook “chicken rig” using shrimp and sandfleas. Anglers also use ⅛ or ¼ ounce jig heads with a shrimp casting up-current and bouncing it slowly towards them on the bottom. Pompano jigging has been productive on both Stuart and Jensen Beach causeways. The area between those two causeways offers some other opportunities for shallower water, such as the oyster bed along the channel and mangrove shorelines on the east side of the river.
The pompano on Sailfish Flats continues as an option through early spring looking for skipping pompano between Boy Scout Island and the House of Refuge. Also drifting the little channels between there and the sandbar while throwing pompano jigs down-current. Sometimes, we do best in the late afternoon when trying for pompano with outgoing tide. Another good area to try for pompano is inside the inlet along the edges of both channels. Here, we also catch lots of sheepshead and croakers while jigging or using “chicken rigs” with sandfleas.