Stuart Inshore – Nearshore: Sept. 2020

Susan McCarthy caught this 30-incher on fly with Capt. Giles back in the St. Lucie River. Photo credit: Capt. Giles Murphy.

September is a big month on the Treasure Coast for the “mullet run,” as these 4- to 8-inch baitfish start to show up along Stuart, Fla beaches as they migrate south from the Carolinas. One big factor is the WIND being calm enough for boats to cruise the beaches while looking for the large dark nervous water with birds diving. These are the schools of mullet getting pushed ashore by snook, tarpon, jacks, and sharks.

September last year was very windy making it hard to cruise the beaches by boat, and the mullet seemed to stay scattered or move inshore to hide from rough seas with poor visibility. Either way, the mullet can be found along the beaches and in the river. The best feeding occurs early 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. when the fish are hungry, especially snook and tarpon.

When fishing the mullet schools, one good method is putting mullet on a ¼- or 3/8-ounce  jig head to get it under the mullet and make it stand out. For monster snook, we also use mullet heads around sunset in some areas 3 to 5 feet deep near the flats and islands. Simply cut a fresh mullet head off just behind the gills and hook it with a circle hook through the back severed meat and come through the top of its head with thick cartilage.

There has been lots of keeper snapper caught at Peck Lake Reef day and night on live bait, squid, and sardines. Full moons are September 1 and October 1, so that is easy to remember.

Hopefully, the water temps cool down soon because fishing the flats has been slow with the water reaching 90 degrees. Either way, make sure you have a good cast net ready for the mullet run and stop by Stuart Angler Bait Shop for more info and all your fishing needs!

FORECAST BY: Capt. Giles Murphy
Stuart Angler Bait & Tackle
(772)  288–1219
Fishing Charters: (772) 475–4857

Capt. Giles caught a redfish casting a ZMan rubber crawfish lure while visiting St. Augustine. Photo credit: Morgan Murphy