The summer has arrived along with some epic inshore opportunities for light tackle anglers. The tarpon are already showing up back in the St. Lucie River in the North Fork sipping on crabs drifting on the surface with an outgoing tide. Look for current rips with leaves and sticks holding small crabs 1-3 inches wide. We see most of the tarpon rolling between 6-9am. Some good lures to cast at these rolling tarpon are DOA TerrorEyz (Rootbeer & clear holographic colors), and Hogy Paddle-tail jigs.
The snook should be showing up more at the inlet and along the beaches for their spawning season. Season is closed, but they can still be caught for fun by anglers looking for a fight. Early mornings are best for the big females cruising the beach shorelines. This is a great opportunity for flyfishing from shore with flies such as weighted Deceivers, Clousers, and Puglisi Baitfish patterns. Simply walk the shoreline with the current casting out and “sweeping” the trough with your fly. The lures we use are DOA CAL Jigs, Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows, and Giles Jigs. Please be gentle and release the snook in a respectable manner.
The summer months are my favorite for fishing the bridges for black drum, snapper, sheepshead, and more. Shrimp are a guaranteed winner when fishing the bridges using a “fish-finder rig” or “chicken rig.” The bridge abutments fish best when the tide is moving fast, as it draws fish to hide out of the current. The Roosevelt Bridge and Causeways also provide shade from the heat for some mid-day fishing.
Cobia can still be caught at the Sandpile, Bullshark Barge, and other close wrecks 30-50’ depth using pilchards or greenies. We’ve been catching lots of keeper lane snapper there using live shrimp. That’s a great opportunity for easy fishing with kids and beginners.