The silver-side minnows and mullet are schooled up on the beaches with endless snook and tarpon, and jacks feeding on them. We mostly throw artificials when walking the beaches such as MirroLure Mirr-O-Minnows and Yo-Zuri Crystal minnows, DOA Baitbusters and Jigs. For flies we throw Puglisi Ghost Minnows, Gummi Minnows, and clousers. The key is finding the schools of bait on the beaches. When cruising the beaches by boat or on land, look for diving birds and surface action. Once the sun is up, the bait schools will look big dark spots 10-50 feet wide pushed up against the shoreline. Earlier the better to find the tarpon feeding on the bait schools. For tarpon, it can often help to use bait or lures that stand out more amoung the thousands of mullet. We’ve hooked them using fresh dead mullet and dead ladyfish on the bottom near the outside edge of the bait schools. For lures that stand out, try topwater plugs or injured twitch baits such as Rapala XRaps. For fly fishing, I prefer using an intermediate fly line that gets my line under the bait and avoids getting caught in the breaking waves and dragged to shore.
The mullet run brings lots of other opportunities than only fishing the beaches. The tarpon are feeding big back in the St. Lucie River in the North and South Forks mostly between 7am-9am. In the North Fork, we cruise both sides of the river looking for rolling tarpon. In the South Fork, they can be in Round Bay or back by the 95 & Turnpike bridges all the way back to the Locks. Pitching live mullet and slow-trolling them with the trolling motor works well while casting lures such as DOA TerrorEyz, Hogy’s, and Rapalas.
Snook season is now open and slot-sized snook can still found cruising the beaches and pitching baits along the inlet rock or “jetties”. The faster the current is moving, the closer the snook will be hiding in the rocks. Enjoy the mullet run!