It’s snook season, so have you got yours yet? Anglers all over the Treasure Coast have been working hard this past week to catch some slot-sized fish, and many have been successful. Also a good time. Just as the mullet begin to move into the zone, the snook are in position to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Tarpon were also in the mix. They can be caught on the beaches, in front of Sebastian Bay, Fort Pierce Bay and St. Lucie Bay, as well as in the lagoon and rivers. They appear to be following minnows—anchovies, often called silversides—that congregate just before the mullet begin their migration.
With no storms this year and dry weather, the clear water means the bait will be more visible than some years. Use the tides and phases of the moon to get the best of the action.
Changes to closures and rules apply: We remind fishermen about the cessation of fishing, which will now begin and end.
- Red snapper: Fishing for redfish in Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon has been prohibited since September 1.
- Alligator: The hunting season is open from August 15 to November. 1. Necessary permits.
- Snook: The season opens statewide on September 1.
- Lobsters: The regular season opened on August 6.
- Dolphin: New rules for fishing in state waters came into effect on May 1. The bag limit is now 5 fish per day per angler; Now the limit per vessel is 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in the limit.
- Perch: The shallow water bass season is open from May 1 to December 31. This includes bass, red snapper, walleye and six other smaller species.
- pig: Swine fishing is open from May 1 to October 31, 2022 in the Atlantic Ocean waters off the coast of Florida.
- tile fish: A commercial fishing closure is in effect from July 6 to December 31, 2022.
- Bass: Bass on Headwaters Lake will soon be catch-and-release.
For complete Florida fishing regulations, follow the link MyFWC.com.
Indian River County
Offshore: On the reefs in 70-90 feet, walleye fishing has slowed somewhat. You can catch kingfish, cobia and dolphin. The best action has been in 20 feet of water just off the beach outside of Sebastian Bay for tarpon. Use live sardines.
Coastal: Trout and redfish fishing in the southern part of the county is slow. Snook seem to be everywhere and can be caught along the mangrove banks on topwater plugs and live bait. The beginning of the outgoing tide was the best time to target them.
fresh water: The action on Headwaters Lake picked up a bit this week. Fish are still in the 2-3 pound range and biting on a variety of offerings. Use a lipless lure to get bites.
St. Lucia District
Offshore: Fishing for mutton and mangrove snapper has been steady but not great this week. Fish in 80 feet of water with dead sardines and cut bait to get bites. Amber jacks and bass can be caught in 150 feet, current permitting.
Coastal: Redfish in the entire lagoon system must be released under the new FWC regulations (see above). Snook have been caught around their bridges, docks and along the shoreline around the islands. Tarpon were in Turning Basin.
Surfing: There are still some beaches affected by sargassum algae. Along the sand bar you can catch whiting and grayling. Snook are in the gutter and will take a big swimbait or live whiting.
Offshore: Fishing in this area has slowed down a bit this week, but will pick up soon as the dolphins begin to move back south along the edges of the Gulf Stream. Blackfin tuna will also be available. Sailfish have been in good supply in waters about 90-110 feet northeast of the bay. Use live bait.
Coastal: Snook season is getting everyone’s attention right now. Anglers are working docks, shorelines, mangroves, seawalls and bridges for snook in 28-32” slots ready to be mined. Tarpon have been caught at the Crossroads and up the St. Lucie River near Lighthouse Point.
The lake is below 12.5 feet and is in the water scarcity management zone. While this means nothing to anglers, it does mean that in some places boaters have to be careful how they steer their vessels to avoid running into submerged objects.
Ed Keeler owned by TCPalm in the open air writer. Subscribe to his and other weekly newsletters at profile.tcpalm.com/newsletters/manage. Friend Ed on Facebook at Ed Keelerfollow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email firstname.lastname@example.org.