September 2018 Fishing Report

Cobia Fishing Charter Stuart

Inshore, Nearshore, & offshore Report. Click to read full report with photos.

Fishing inshore this week has been stellar for snook(28″-32″ slot size. 1 per person.). Clients this week have all been targeting & catching personal best snook. Mostly fishing larger live baits around our St. Lucie inlet. Biggest caught by clients this week is 43″ so far. Keeper size fish have also been plentiful. Again using live bait near structure has been an ideal way to target these keeper sized snook with great success. Redfish are lingering around if you know where to look. Fishing a shrimp on a jig head is your best bet. Snapper fishing has been steadily improving with snappers commonly being legal size to keep(5 per person, 10″ min size when fishing inshore). Mullet are starting to make an appearance but the run is not in full swing yet, in the next few weeks we can expect the annual migration of large schools of mullet through our region.

Nearshore action should start to heat up soon. North winds will start to drive down lots of Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Jack crevelles, & ladyfish. Nearshore reefs are great spots to stop and bend the rods with steady fish catching action. Nearshore wrecks will still be holding some kingfish, cobia, snapper, and a few goliath groupers. Tarpon will be along the beaches chasing schools of mullet as the annual mullet run starts this month.

This week offshore the main focus will be snapper & mahi. Snapper fishing around 6 & 8 mile reef has been excellent for mutton, mangrove, lane, & vermillion snappers when bottom fishing. If trolling is more your speed then zip out to depths of 120′ or greater and set out a nice ballyhoo spread around or along a nice condition such as a weedline, current edge, and or color change. Trolling at 4-6 knots is ideal for covering ground and catching mahi. If you come across a large school of mahi simply stop the boat and cast at the school & keep one mahi in the water close to the boat to keep the school of mahi near the boat until you have caught your limit. You can also expect a few Sailfish, kingfish, wahoo, & blackfin tuna in the mix as well while trolling.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan

August 2018 Fishing Report

August Fishing Report Stuart, FL

Fishing this week has been excellent for Large breeding snook near local inlets and surrounding bays. Live bait fishing is going to produce the most fish & bigger fish. Tarpon fishing remains steady in beds in channels bays etc. Fishing larger live baits or dead cut bait on the bottom for desired results. Heavy leader & stronger circle hooks recommended when targeting tarpon in late summer & fall. Snapper fishing has been ok fishing around structure. Limit 5 per person and a 10″ min size limit for mangrove snappers when fishing inshore. Big jack crevelles are roaming around our inlets an bays. Large topwaters will make for an explosive topwater bite from these ferocious predators. Again make sure you beef up your tackle, these fish are 10-40lbs on average during summer months.

Fishing local nearshore reefs & wrecks this week we can expect to see plenty of Cobia, bonita, kingfish, snapper, progies, almaco jacks, sharks, & goliath groupers. Fishing live greenies will ensure plenty of kingfish & bonita bites. Keep a cobia jig handy just incase one of those tasty brown critters swims up boat side. Drop a bonita down to the bottom on heavy tackle for some goliath grouper action. Remember these fish are protected so it is illegal to take them from the water(catch & release only). Bottom fishing with chicken rigs is a sure fire way to catch some lanes, vermilions, grunts, porgies for the dinner table.

Fishing offshore has been steady for sailfish, blackfin tuna, mahi, bonita, & kingfish. Slowtrolling live greenies or bluerunners has been you best shot trolling this week. trolling dead ballyhoo is a close second if you don’t have the time or cant find any live bait for the day. Trolling in 90-280′ has yielded the best action over the past few days. if your mahi fishing you may have to run 15-30 miles out to find any concentrations of mahi during summer months. Sailfish have been steady in 90-160′. Kings are all over 70-90′ depths. Bottom fishing in 70-140′ will produce plenty of food for the dinner table. Grouper, snapper, porgies, ajs have all been plentiful if you are marking life on the bottom. Chicken rigs and fish finder rigs will ensure plenty of bites from the bottom.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan

July 2018 Fishing Report

Tarpon Fishing Stuart, FL

Fishing inshore in July is always an excellent month to target trophy sized snook, large tarpon, big jacks, & black drum. Trophy sized snook fishing near local inlets will be best using live bait. Heavier tackle is suggested. A short quick fight on these large breeding fish will ensure a safe release. Try to avoid using to light of tackle. Light tackle wears the fish out, once they become to exhausted they tend to float away & get picked off by sharks. Keep this in mind when targeting snook during the summer spawn. Tarpon are holding in good numbers along local beaches & in the river around large schools of bait. Trolling baits around the edges of bait fish schools is an effective way to target these inshore giants. Black drum are holding around any of our local bridges. Shrimp on a jig head worked along the bottom is a great way to bring a few home for dinner. Also Sheepshead & tripletail now have updated regulations. Tripletail- 18″ min size. Sheepshead- same size (12″) lower bag limit 8 per person.

Fishing nearshore has been excellent this week. Mahi, Kingfish, Snapper, & cobia are lingering around schools of baitfish. Lots of greenies are along local beaches, which is a good sign for fishing nearshore. Cobia, kingfish, mahi are all holding around nearshore wrecks this week. Snappers are on nearshore reefs. Bottom fishing with cut bait is a sure fire way to bring a few home to the fryer. Tarpon & permit are roaming the beaches too. Freelining crabs or greenies will give you ample opportunity to catch a few of these prized fish along the beach & on local nearshore wrecks.

Mahi fishing remains strong in 1500′. Trolling inshore in 150-300′ you can expect plenty of bonita, sails, kingfish, & blackfin tuna. Smaller tuna are holding good in 300′. Bottom fishing remains steady for snapper, grouper, seabass, triggerfish, & porgies. Bottom fishing 70-180′ should produce a variety of species. Keep a cobia jig onboard as well. A few have been roaming in 70-90′ over the past few days on the 6 & 8 mile reef system.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan

June 2018 Fishing Report

Amber Jack Fishing Stuart, FL

Fishing this week we can expect to catch lots of snook & tarpon locally near & around our St. Lucie Inlet. Remember, snook season is now closed and will remain closed until September. Harvest prohibited, but none the less fishing live baits is a great way to ensure a successful day on the water for snook & tarpon during summer months. Fish near or around structure for snook. Tarpon tend to hang out further away from structure in open bays, channels, river bends, etc. I typically suggest fishing mullet or crabs for tarpon & sardines, pilchards, & or greenies for snook this month. Bottom fishing for flounder, snapper, croaker, sheepshead is a good option if you just feel like tossing some shrimp out on the bottom, you should catch a few of these species.

Fishing nearshore has been tough this week. We still have cold water lingering around but it also means more snapper will be closer to shore. They will take more convincing to get a bite but they will be larger on average. Bigger vermillion snapper have been in good numbers in 55′ of water around structure. Also mixed in are mutton, mangrove, lane, & even red snappers this week. Cobia fishing has been hit or miss. Dirty water has made sight fishing very difficult at best. Goliath groupers are starting to show up around local nearshore wrecks as well. Some tarpon can be found along the beach throughout the day along with jacks & permit.

Again cold water has made fishing somewhat difficult this week when fishing offshore. Strong currents should remain for a few more days then slow down to a fishable pace. Trolling has been fair for mahi, tuna, & sailfish lately. Mahi are ranging in depths from 180- 350′ & 700-1100′, tunas in 300-500′, & sailfish in 70-180′. Bottom fishing has been decent for amberjacks, grouper, larger vermillion, mutton, & mangrove snappers. Live & dead cut bait have been your best bet with a fish finder rig and ample weight to hold on the bottom.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan

May 2018 Fishing Report

Mahi Offshore Fishing

Snook continues to be the primary target this week. Keeper sized fish will be most prevalent this month as we approach the seasonal closure for the summer spawn. Areas near local inlets will have large concentrations of snook during spring & summer months. Live baits like mullet or pilchards are a sure fire way to catch plenty of snook day or night around structure. Jacks continue to roam open water along with bigger tarpon. Large topwaters or divers is a great way to target either species if live bait is unavailable. Seagrass is starting to show up in areas around the St. Lucie power-plant, this will make for good speckled seatrout fishing with a popping cork & live shrimp. Redfish, snook, jacks, ladyfish, & flounder will be mixed in as well around these shallow grass beds.

Fishing nearshore has been spectacular over the past few weeks for migrating cobia. Along local beaches we can find them free swimming on the surface in schools of up to 40 fish on some days. Sight casting these fish with any artificial or fly is an absolute blast. Be sure to bring a gaff along if you plan to harvest one. Jack Crevelles are also daisy-chaining along the local beaches in St. Lucie county. Nearshore wrecks & reefs are holding plenty of cobia, snapper, grouper, sharks, bonita, & kingfish lately. Live or dead bait spread out throughout the water column will ensure a bite from any fish that passes by.

This week we will predominantly be focusing on bottom fishing due to opening day of grouper season. depths of 60′ or greater will give you good odds at catching groupers this week when fishing live or dead baits on the bottom. Lager baits will produce larger grouper. a grouper rig typically consists of 60 lb. leader 6-12 ft. in length attached to a swivel with a 6-12 oz. sinker attached to our main line. I suggest using heavier tackle to ensure you can keep larger groupers from swimming back into cover on the bottom. Typically in Stuart you can expect to catch gags, blacks, reds, & scamp groupers at the start of season. Moving on to trolling- mahi fishing should heat up any day now. depths of 90′ or greater is always a good place to start around any current edges, weedlines, or floating debris. Wahoo can be caught high speed trolling around the full moon in depths of 160′-240′. Yellowfin tuna bite has been hit or miss roughly about 60-80 miles northeast of the St. Lucie Inlet this week. Lots of giant mahi have taken there place but nobody’s complaining yet. It appears most of the mahi have stayed on the other side of the gulfstream locally so far this season.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan

April 2018 Fishing Report

April Fishing Report Stuart, FL

Fishing inshore this week we can expect to catch plenty of snook & jack crevalles. Live baiting around structure close to shore will give you great odds at many snook & jacks through out the entire day. Moving tides will greatly increase the number of bites when live bait fishing for snook or jacks. Expect a few tarpon to be around in deeper channels bends, inlets, etc. Large mullet or crabs is a sure fire way to catch tarpon during april. Few snappers are being caught locally inshore but most are small, as we get closer to summer we can expect them to reach a larger size better suited for the dinner table. Bottom fishing with shrimp still remains strong with lots of action from sheepshead, snapper, tripletail, flounder, snook, croaker, redfish, & black drum.

Cobia is our main focus this week. clients are catching 2-3 a trip on average during the month of April. fish are generally 20-30 lbs. but expect a few 50lbs or bigger during the spring run. Live bait fishing or sight casting with jigs is an excellent way to target cobia with great success. If your not sure the cobia is leagal size,(33″ to the fork of tail) then use a landing net to ensure a safe release if not legal size. Snapper fishing has been steady over the past few trips with lots of nice lanes, mangroves, & mutton snapper being caught regularly when bottom fishing nearshore reefs & wrecks. Kingfish & bonita are very active lately so soak a surface bait with wire for kings or a circle hook rig with mono leader for bonita & cobia.

Fishing offshore in April can be very hit or miss when trolling. With that being said, I always have some cut bait or vertical jigs as a back up if the trolling just isn’t happening. If the trolling is hot expect good action from Mahi as we typically get a good migration of them during April & May. A few wahoos are being caught high speed trolling around push button hill. Vertical jigging around push button hill will also produce nice blackfin tuna this time of year when the conditions are right. Also, kingfishing with planners & wire rig ballyhoo is an excellent idea if the surface trolling bite looks bleak. Bottom fishing deeper wrecks & reefs will produce good numbers of amberjacks, grouper, & cobia this time of year so make sure your tackle is adequate size.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan

March Fishing Report

Grouper Fishing Stuart, FL

Snook fishing will be our main focus this week. Bait fishing will be your best bet around local bridges & structure. Sheepshead, black drum, flounder, triple tail are all still readily available when fishing shrimp in our very own beautiful Indian river. Big jacks are also cruising local seawalls so use heavy tackle with larger baits to target trophy sized fish this time of year. Pompano fishing has been hit or miss around the st lucie inlet when fishing bottom rigs or jigging the flats. bring a few extra jigs due to heavy concentrations of bluefish, ladyfish, & spanish mackerel.

Fishing nearshore this week our main focus will be cobia, snapper, & mackerel. Nearshore wrecks an reefs are a sure fire way to fill the fish box during the month of March. Bottom fishing with cut bait will catch a variety of snappers this time of year. Jigging with 1-3 oz cobia jigs is an excellent way to catch a larger tastier fish for the frying pan. Spanish mackerel fishing remains strong down at pecks lake. Sheepshead are around local reefs so drop some live shrimp down for steady action!

This week lots of boats are reporting good action on blackfin tuna about 10 miles offshore. Mahis are mixed in and also can be found along current edges & weedlines anywhere from 90′-400′. Trolling small feathers will yield steady action on tuna, mahi, & bonitas. Trolling ballyhoo will give you a better shot at larger Mahis & sailfish. Most action has been from 160-200′ of water over the past few days. Bottom fishing remains strong with plenty of snapper & grouper action. Some cobia are being caught on deeper reefs while bottom fishing when using larger baits or vertical jigging as well. Kingfishing has been steady in 60-140′ when trolling planers with ballyhoo with wire leaders an flashy seawiches.

Tight Lines,
Capt. Jonathan