If the passing of 2020 wasn’t enough to celebrate, the fishing that will kick off 2021 should be. The winds have switched, and frequent northwesters have already started pushing our favorite gamefish back to our Treasure Coast. Sails, mahi, blackfin tuna and the occasional wahoo are what we’re targeting now, and whether you opt for live or dead bait presentations you should be rewarded for your efforts.
The main areas to focus on are our Six- and Eight-Mile reefs, local seamounts, like Push Button Hill, Peanut Reef and any of our artificial reefs or wrecks in the 65-to-250-foot range. That being said, over past years it’s not unusual for bait schools and sailfish to move right into the beach. There have been many years where double-digit sail days have taken place within a mile of the St. Lucie Inlet in mid-January. If the bait schools show up on the beach it would be worth checking it out.
The ideal set up this time of year is a 6.5-foot Blackfin circle hook rod paired with a small high-speed reel like a Fin-Nor Marquesas or a Shimano BFC spooled with 15-to-20-pound line. Circle hooks ranging from 4/0 to 8/0 depending on the size of your bait and a good teaser or two to attract the quarry.
Using a Canon downrigger is ideal to present your teasers. They offer programmable deployment features as well as a cycle feature and an auto up which makes clearing and storing your teaser effortless and out of the way while you are fighting a fish.
Fun fishing is usually rather good in January also so check out Capt. Rocky’s report for more detailed info on that aspect of things. Whatever style of fishing you decide to do this 2021, I hope your bites are off the chain and I wish you a very happy new year.