As we approach the Spring, the fishing turns on big time as bait shows up in the river and outside the inlet. Small and medium pilchards can be found in “rain drop” schools early morning before light in the shallows near the causeways and on the Sailfish Flats. When cast-netting these baits, a stealth approach is very important. No trolling motor allowed. First, spot the bait and set up a drift to get within casting distance of undisturbed bait school. If you do it right, it only takes one throw of the net for a full day supply of pilchards.
The early spring pompano bite is lots of fun inshore along the Sailfish Flats. Simply look for deeper potholes and cast a weighted shrimp. For lures, try the DOA 2.75” shrimp. For fly, and white or pink clouser. Some other spots to try are the 4 to 5 foot-deep flats off the Marriot Resort with zero bottom visibility and the unmarked channels close the “Stuart Sandbar” and edges of the channels inside the St. Lucie Inlet.
The cobia are here and slowly making their way closer to the coast. Its time to start chumming up sharks at the “Sandpile” and pitch diving baits out to swing them under the sharks where the cobia hang out.
Snook season is open and the keepers are back in the St. Lucie River along the bridges, seawalls, docks, and spillways. We mostly pitch DOA jigs, Giles Jigs, and Gulp Mullet. The live mudfish baits we sell at Stuart Angler work great as they dive under docks and bridges or swim down seawalls. They have also been working well for bottom fishing the wrecks and reefs for grouper and snapper.
Lots of sand trout, croakers, and occasional redfish are being caught in the Indian River jigging live shrimp along the bridges. Simply set up a drift close to an abutment and drop a shrimp on a 3/8 oz jig head and drag it along.