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July 21, 2005

INSHORE:

What a wonderful week to enjoy the waters of the Indian River. The weather has been fantastic and the fish have been all over the flats. The water has cleared up nicely in spite of a little rain and continues runoff into the lagoon water system. Bait is crowding the flats while the predators are cruising them in search of a meal. Gorgeous sunrises and light winds have made each day a welcome sight. Hope you had a chance to enjoy the river!

Redfish have been out in record numbers on the flats. James and Marji from Port St Lucie were on the boat when we encountered a school of reds that was easily over a hundred fish. We had a lot of good hookups they doubled up with a 24" and 29" redfish. While poling across the flats for redfish, we witnessed a five foot bull shark attack a school of reds, leaving only the head of a 20+ inch redfish behind. Dave had a nice hookup with a redfish this week from one of the schools. Look for them in one to two feet of water on the flats from sunrise to noon. Top water has worked great along with the ol' standby....gold spoon. You can also try soft plastics and live baits. A red/white Chug Bug has worked very well this week. Look for clean water and lots of bait. It sure is great to see so many redfish in Fort Pierce this year.

Snook have continued to cruise the flats in the early mornings. We have caught some nice snook on top water just after sunrise. Again, red/white combinations have worked the best. Chug Bugs have been our go-to top water all week. Soft plastics are working well on snook along the mangroves after the heat of the day sets in. A lot of cloud cover some days have allowed the fishing on the flats to continue well into the morning. Use live bait along the mangroves for a chance at snook and redfish when it gets too hot on the shallows. Mangrove areas that have deeper water during the day. Round Island has some great mangroves areas to fish.

The trout bite has continued to be good in two to three feet of water. Around the Harbor Branch area has been the hottest area this week. Les, Dave and Luke caught a number of trout. Les topped off the day with a nice 27" gator trout to give the guys a lesson in fishing. Live shrimp when you can get them are good on popping corks. Soft plastics have worked the best for some good trout action. A number of colors have been working great. White, chartreuse and gold have all been producing good trout bites.

Ladyfish have been scattered on the flats and hitting just about anything. There have been some good size fish in the schools. Jacks have also been terrorizing the flats. Some nice 7-8 pounders have been cruising and feeding on the bait. Some big sharks are patrolling the flats. We had one six footer swim right next to the boat in two feet of water. If you have a stout rod and some cut bait with you, cast it at one of these big boys for some rod bending action.

Not a lot of reports on the tarpon biting as of yet. Look to Big and Little Mud for some tarpon in the deeper cuts. Top water early and live bait are your best chance at a hookup. You have to be there early to have try to take advantage of them.

Have you stopped by the Fishing Center of St Lucie lately? You can get all the lures that I use there at great prices. Just let Clint or Kelly know what you are fishing for and they will gladly help you select the best lures for your adventure. Live bait, ice and a vast array of tackle and gear can be found there. Stop by and tell them that Captain Charlie sent you.

Tip of the Week:

What do you keep on your boat for emergencies? Do you remember where it's kept? When is the last time you checked all your emergency gear? Hope I got you thinking..... First of all, the Coast Guard has required emergency equipment that must be kept on board at all times. Life preservers, flares, distress signals and fire extinguishers are among some of the required equipment depending on the size of your vessel. Be aware that some of these items have expiration dates and must be changed out when it expires. Condition of your equipment is also a necessity. Due to dampness, some items will mold and rot if not cared for properly.

Do you have a first aid kit on board? It can save the day if an unforeseen accident should occur. There are lots of sharp, pointy things on most boats that could lead to an accident when least expected. Rain gear is another piece of equipment that could come in very handy during an afternoon squall. Not that Florida ever has afternoon squalls...... Sunscreen and sunglasses can make a hot day less miserable.

While some equipment is required and some is more for convenience, make sure you check it several times a year. A wet flare will do you no good during an emergency. Check with the Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary for the required equipment for your boat. Make sure you have it on board and take care of it.....it's meant to take care of you!


Fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!

Good Fishing!
Captain Charlie Conner

email me at: [email protected]
visit my website at: http://www.fishtalescharter.com
 
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