Stuart Florida Fishing Report
As we head into December, our winter species of Spanish Mackerel, pompano and bluefish increase in numbers. I covered spanish mackerel on my last report so let's talk about pompano and bluefish.
The bluefish bite normally starts in the surf during the mullet run in late September and October and ends in mid April where we normally see the largest blues being caught. You will see a number of species targeting mullet schools as they head south along the beach. As far as surf fishing goes, cutbaits like mackerel, mullet and squid all work great for the bluefish. Stay close to shore in the first trough no more than 30 feet from shore. Surf conditions will dictate how much weight to use. On calm days, two ounces will do. Another option is casting silver spoons at them which is always fun. Inshore bluefish begins to pick up by mid November as temps start cooling down. Casting spoons and shrimp tipped jigs will produce well.
Pompano fishing starts around the same time. Most common surf tactic is casting triple pompano rigs with sand fleas as far out as possible trying to stay away from the bluefish close to shore. Inshore on the bridges, bullethead nylure jigs, bannana jigs and Capt.Joes pompano lures work well. Pompano regulations are 6 per person, 11" to the fork with one over 20 inches.
On a recent charter, I fished with locals Debra Olsczeski, Cheri Mongomery and Ed Palino. We spent most of the trip fishing the St. Lucie Inlet and up the St. Lucie River to the ten cent bridge on an incoming tide. In the inlet a mixed bag of mangrove snapper to 13", sheephead to 15", two slot sized redfish of 24 and 27 inches, mackerel to 3 pounds and assorted rod benders like jacks,bluefish, ladyfish and bluerunners. We hooked several snook in the inlet earlier in the week but no takers on this trip. We were drifting a combination of live shrimp on trollrites, Joe's jigging spoons and brown DOA shrimp. We stayed in the inlet for a while catching the second and third hours of incoming.
When the fishing started to taper off I ran up the St. Lucie River fishing some of my favorite spots. Several decent sized jacks along with a few black drum to four pounds sure made Ed's day!!! A great trip with lots of bend rods. Fish pictures from this trip are posted on my website.
Capt. Bob Bushholz www.catch22fish.net