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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
July 7, 2005


There's no better place to watch the sun slowly rise up over the water, than on the Indian River. The rains have somewhat subsided this week and the weather has been fantastic out on the flats in the first light of day. Not sure what this weekend will bring the Treasure Coast with Hurricane Dennis lurking towards the Gulf, but I hope no one goes through anything like we endured last year. Geez...we sure don't need anymore rain or wind right now.

The water is still trying to recover from a very wet June. Freshwater runoff has left the river stained and pretty much a mess. Bass and gar have replaced snook and tarpon on the Sebastian River down to the railroad bridge. The St. Lucie River will take a long time to flush out the foul water running through it. The Indian River is full of algae and floating sea grasses. But despite all the ugliness of the water conditions, the fish are still out there to be caught.

I've been fishing north of the bridges in Fort Pierce this week. South of there seems to be almost un-fishable in many areas like Bear Point and Little Mud Creek due to the water being so chopped up and stained. If you look around, you can find good water to fish. I've been fishing the flats to the north and found many of them pretty clean for the current conditions and full of fish. Most important to find clean water and bait, but it's out there if you look for it. The east side of the river where the islands give it some protection has remained clean enough to fish. Look for bait and you should find decent water to fish.

At first light, snook have been terrorizing the flats. Lots of bait in the river now has created the morning feeding frenzy. Some decent size snook are cruising the flats. Some ranging the 24-30" sizes. Who cares if snook season is closed. They are still great to catch and photograph. Top water is number one in the mornings, followed by gold spoons for the best lure choices. Get there very early for the best fishing opportunities on the shallow waters.

Trout and redfish will also be feeding the flats in early mornings. You will find the fish in 1-2 feet of water at daybreak. Same lure choices will work on these species. There are still some big fish patrolling the flats to be caught. Trout are 15-20" range while redfish have been 24-28" on average this week. Once the sun comes up, most of the fish will seek deeper water for the day.

Most of the redfish bites have come from under the mangroves after sunrise. Find water that is 2-3 feet in depth along the islands and mangroves and use spoons, soft baits like DOA Cal or Cotee jigs and live baits. Trout will be on the deeper flats and will hit live baits during the day. Snook will be under the mangroves along with the reds and will hit the same lures. I tend to favor chartreuse/white color combinations this time of year although red/white combos are always a good options to go with. I slow up my retrieve under the mangroves for my best results.

Jacks and sharks are part of the morning feeding party. I've seen sharks up to four feet this week and been cut off several times. Jacks are tearing up the bait throughout the day and will hit just about anything you throw at them. Lots of fun action to be had by these fish.

Be careful how you handle fish in the summer months. Release them quickly and make sure they are revived in the water first. The heat takes the energy out of fish.....and fisherman so take care of your catch.....and yourself. Keep plenty of water aboard to keep hydrated in the heat of summer.

Tip of the Week:

During the summer months, when fishing is best at daylight. Many of us try to get on the water prior to first light. How often do you check out your navigation lights? It pays to check them out often, even if you are not using them. Nothing can ruin an early day on the water than finding that your running lights don't work. Then it's taking a chance at a citation or waiting for light. Safety and navigation equipment should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that everything will work when you need it. If you are having trouble getting your lights to work....get them fixed! Have a great week on the water!

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

Good Fishing!
Captain Charlie Conner

captaincharlie @ fishtalescharter.com
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