Stuart Fishing Report: 01-17-12

Fishing has been good both in the Indian River and the St. Lucie Inlet areas. Starting around the Stuart Causeway look for the pompano bite to start increasing with the cleaner and cooler water we have seen the past few weeks.Best time is last hour of incoming to the second of outgoing tides when the cleaner water reaches the bridge. We are also seeing some black drum, mangrove snapper, flounder, sheephead, small goliaths to 10 and a few snook. We are bouncing Capt. Joe's pomp jigs in solid pink along with yellow/white and rainbow. For the other species my homemade trollrites with shrimp as normal.

In the Sailfish flats, a few redfish along the docks off McArthur Blvd along with ladyfish, a few flounder and very few pompano in the flats. Like I said before, expect the pompano bite to increase in February and March. In the inlet we have seen a big increase in sheephead best off the north side off Sailfish Point on outgoing tide. Last trip we bagged 17 up to 3 pounds along with some mangrove snapper and our first 5 bluefish of the year to four pounds. The water temps have dropped a few degree's the past week which is more favorable for the blues. I remember 2 years ago in early January we had cold fronts pushing through dropping the water in the upper 50's and the blues were all over the place. One trip we landed 117 of them!!!

Just outside and south of the inlet, the mackerel will be here till late March or early April. Green is the color in both jigging spoons and tubelures. The mackerel started out small in December but the ones caught lately have avereged 2-4 pounds and let me tell you, fishing with 10 lb mono they will get your attention. I tell everyone, when the bite is sometimes slow prior to 10:00 am, try jigging shrimp and trollrites on the bottom. Can't tell you how many times out there I'm watching everyone casting and retrieving doing squat while the jigs and shrimp on the bottom are kicking butt!!! Also when the bite is close to shore, also look for pompano.

Have been staying away from the 10 cent bridge area in the St. Lucie River for the past few months but did drop by a few days ago on a charter catching a few drum. With the water really clearing up, this area should pick up soon. Don't forget the past few months were on the wet side sending runoff into the river which dropped the salinity to 20%. When water is this fresh, I stay away. We did well on one trip in the flats off Willoughby Creek catching a mix of pompano and ladyfish and expect more of the same in Feb thru April.

Just decided I gotta fish tomorrow, so I'm gonna run north of the Jensen Causeway and do some recon. Plan on trouting early with flounder, sheephead and tripletail later. Will post pics on my site if I do actually go !!!

Capt. Bob Bushholz

(772) 530-1496