The weather is getting hot and so is the fishing as we get into July! The baitfish greenies are schooled up just outside the St. Lucie Inlet, Bullshark Barge, and Sandpile. The pilchards are showing up more along the beaches and under the greenies. Simply look for birds on the beaches, move in fast, and throw the cast net. I use a ½” mesh 9 foot cast net. The pilchards can also be found early morning near the boat ramps and causeways.
The tarpon bite has been steady back in the St. Lucie River every morning. We use live mullet 5-10” long or DOA Rootbeer TerrorEyz. Some mornings they prefer live mullet, and some mornings they prefer small rubber lures. We always cast both until we see what works. July is also a great month to try for tarpon at the “Crossroads” and St. Lucie Inlet. We do best at the Crossroads with an incoming tide between 5 and 7am. The inlet fishes best with outgoing tide early morning and near sunset. Live 8-12” mullet work best with 60-80 lb. fluoro leader.
The snook have moved out near the inlet for the summer months. There’s many options when fishing for them throughout the summer depending on what baitfish they’re feeding on. Hopefully, we see the massive schools of silverside minnows, but they don’t always show up. We always see the pilchards throughout July. You can’t go wrong with using live pilchards at the “Rock Piles”. We also throw them near the docks of Sailfish Point and along the bottom near Hole in the Wall. And of course along the beaches. Some redfish and trout can also show up near the inlet throughout July. When using artificials, we do best with DOA CAL Jigs, Giles Jigs, Yo-Zuri crystal minnows, and split tail Jerk Baits. I’ve started seeing lots of glass minnows in the river, so hopefully the silverside minnows show up. If not, there’s plenty of pilchards.
We’ve seen the live 2-3 inch crabs drifting out of the St. Lucie River with a morning ougoing tide. They also show up at the causeways with tarpon rolling on them. Look for small “buzz spots” on the surface and use a dip net to pick up the crabs. You can also bring the crabs to some nearshore wrecks to try for permit.