Stuart Florida Fishing Report: 5-25-11

Fishing along the Treasure Coast in recent weeks has been quite productive in most areas. The Chabis family cruised down from the Orlando area and fished a 3/4 day trip. James Chabis mentioned on his last trip aboard Catch 22 they caught several tripletail among other species and expressed interest in doing the same so we fished north of the Jensen Causeway targeting crab trap floats and channel markers. We ended up with a nice mixture of 2 tripletail to 5 lbs, 2 flounder to 3 lbs, 9 sheephead to 3 lbs, assorted jacks, snapper,and trout. A nice fish list to say the least but the catch of the day was a 20 pound black drum who enhaled a live shrimp. This fish hit and took off like a rocket peeling out a good 75 yards of line on the first run. After 3 or 4 similar runs the fish finally tired out and after a good 20 minute battle on ten pound test line we landed this huge drum. Jasmine did a great job on her first black drum and is now a member of Catch 22's two to one club catching a fish twice the weight of the fishing line used. Jasmine's wrists were a little sore after the 20 minute fight but handled it like a pro!!!

A few days ago I fished with Mike Monahan and family down from Pompton Lakes, N.J. This was an afternoon trip and Mike mentioned they were interested in catch and release action so we started out in the Sailfish Flats casting shrimp along with Capt.Joe's pompano jigs. Some decent ladyfish action along with a 18 inch bonefish. Many anglers are suprised to hear of bonefish this far north but we have been catching them here for years. We start seeing these bones around April catching around 50 a year until the water temps start cooling off in November. I've found the best places to encounter these scrappy fighters are in the Sailfish Flats and in the crossroads area of the St. Lucie Inlet. Most bonefish here run 16 to 22 inches. After playing in the flats we headed up the St. Lucie River to the ten cent bridge. Fishing along the bridge structure we encountered several mangrove snapper but no black drum or croaker which we have been tearing up the past month. All of a sudden Mike hooks into something big along the bridge pilings. The fish manages to wrap itself in the bridge structure so I have Mike give the fish some slack and we simply waited it out for about 5 minutes. Finally the mystery fish unwinds itself from the bridge and starts running towards the channel. We still have not seen the fish yet so I'm guessing a large black drum or goliath grouper. After a couple nice runs this huge snook comes flying out of the water. We are all excited but I'm more concerned about the leader and main line which was rubbing against the razor sharp barnicles and oyster shells. We are fishing with 10 pound test mono and a 30 pound leader. After a good fifteen minutes and 6 or 7 runs we finally get this beautiful snook to the boat for a few quick pictures and release. This snook was 40 inches and fat!!! Estimated weight around 25 pounds. Mike did a great job catching his first ever snook and is another new member of Catch 22's 2 to 1 club.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to fish with Bob Gillen and his party. While drifting the inlet, Bob hooks into a four pound permit which we released along with some sea bass, mangrove and lane snappers and a few porkfish. One of the porkfish was close to 2 pounds and 4 ounces shy of a world record. Heading over to the dime bridge we boated several mangrove snapper along with a 3 pound flounder and two black drum close to 5 pounds each. Decent action along with a nice seafood dinner to go with it. Check out my website for some cool fish pictures posted on my reports page.

Capt. Bob Bushholz

www.catch22fish.net

(772) 530-1496