February 23, 2006
What a fantastic change in the weather over the last week. Spring crept in early this week and warmed the water along with providing calm winds for great fishing weather. I had to look at the calendar to make sure it was still February! Hope you had a chance to get out and enjoy the water. I don't anticipate enough cold fronts to cool the water enough to slow down the trends we are having. It looks like the mild winter we have enjoyed might bring an early spring and great fishing weather for March and April.
Each day on the flats, we found ourselves surrounded by redfish. Tuesday, Dennis and Pete came up to fish with me and we saw easily fifty reds tailing all around us in groups of 4-6 fish. Most were slot sized and with the warmer water, it reminded me of summertime. The largest red this week was 27" caught on the flats. Jigs, spoons and live shrimp was working this week. Keep quiet and move slowly with the clear water they will torpedo out at the least sign of noise, shadow or unusual movement.
Snook were hitting along the mangroves on live shrimp and jigs. Some reports of both keeper and shorts around the bridges and turning basin this week. Snook and reds are hanging around the docks north of the Fort Pierce bridges. Large live shrimp, when available, has been the best choice in baits along with feather jigs and pinfish. Also look for snook to head up on the flats in early mornings with the tides to feed. Find the deeper cuts along the mangroves for both snook and redfish later in the day.
Trout are still on the deeper flats and will come up on the shallow areas in early mornings. Live shrimp on popping corks has worked best. The power plant flats, Bear Point and Queen's Cove have been some of the best areas to fish for trout. It's still a race against the ladyfish right now and most of the time the ladyfish win. Bert and his wife were out with me this week and we found so many ladyfish, they were rolling like tarpon. Bring along the flyrod one day and have some fun with them. Dennis, Bert and Pete kept busy with the ladyfish on the fly.
Black drum, croakers, sand perch and sheepshead were on the catch list around the bridges. Live or dead shrimp works best off the catwalks. Some flounder and snook have been taken on the jetties. Bluefish, weakfish, whiting and some pompano have been in the surf. Shrimp or sand fleas are the choice baits on the beaches.
Call Clint at the Fishing Center to report your inshore and offshore reports. 772-465-RODS will get you the latest information on what, when, where and how the fishing is in the Treasure Coast area.
Tip of the Week:
Spring is almost upon us here on the Treasure Coast. Not too many cold fronts ahead of us now and most everyone is anticipating great conditions for the coming months. Take a little time during the next front to check your gear. Is it time to change that line? Did you ever fix that broken tip on your fishing rod? Is that favorite top water lure a good candidate for a rust remover commercial? Does your tackle box resemble one of those thousand piece puzzles? Take a little time now and be ready for those great spring days that are coming soon!
Have a safe weekend. Remember, fishing is not just another hobby.....it's an ADVENTURE!
Good fishing and be safe,
Captain Charlie Conner
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