The Fall fishing has been great with lots of options to try in the river and along the coast. The pompano bite has started inshore close to the inlet and the Sailfish Flats. For bait, we use sandfleas on a double hook chicken-rig with a 2 oz pyramid weight. While our baits are out, we also cast 3/8oz pompano jigs and bounce them along the bottom. I’ve done best with outgoing tide, but still catch them with incoming tide. It’s fun to drive the boat 5-10 mph circling around Sailfish Flats in 3-5 feet of water looking for “skipping pompano”. Basically, the boat makes them jump next to your boat, or behind your boat, sometimes on their side like a skipping rock thrown on the surface. When you see this, immediatly turn off your motor and throw your bait and jigs.
There is lots of Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish in the river and along the beaches right now. Walking the beach and casting a ½ oz Gulfstream Flash Minnow Jig (chartreuse) is always fun on a decent day with clear skies and winds 10-15 mph or less. Some other good surf lures are Kastmaster Spoons, Giles~Jigs, and Got-Cha 1 oz Plugs. Surfcasting from the beach with bait is another option for pompano. We use 10-12 foot rods with a 2 or 3 hook chicken-rig baited with sandfleas, clams, or Fishbites Flavored Artificial Bait. Your rig should have a 3-5 oz pyramid weight or “spider weight” (very useful). Incoming tide is always best for surfcasting pompano.
Snook season ends December 15th and there has been lots of keepers caught in the St. Lucie River near the bridges and docks. The winter is a great time to cruise the mangrove shorelines of the North & South Forks casting DOA CAL Jigs and Giles~Jigs. We’ve also been catching occasional big jacks and Spanish mackerel back there. Enjoy your holidays everybody.