Southeast Florida Weekend Fishing 4Cast

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Includes Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Stuart, West Palm Beach and Lake Worth

January 20-22


The three pound bonefish we caught at the Rybo-Spencer to me was the fish of a lifetime. Certainly reports of them being caught in the flats north of Peanut Island happen from time to time and they are caught with some regularity in the surf north of Jupiter inlet, but to catch one on a live-shrimp tipped wiggle jig on the bottom was truly spectacular. Bycatch has been grunts, lane snappers and blue runners. Spinner sharks should be thick up and down the line, with the epicenter being Singer Island and just south of Palm Beach. I forgot to mention the big sheepshead.

Sailfish season is at peak but that doesn’t necessarily mean the fish will be right “out front.” In fact after cooler weather arrives late in the weekend they very likely will be moving south. In the meanwhile, expect to find fish all the way from Palm Beach to the Hobe Sound. Watch for bait: flyers, bullet bonito and even ballyhoo if you are in close enough. Small dolphin have been plentiful but there larger brothers and sisters have been largely absent. Wahoo were caught in surprising numbers last week, obviously due to the full moon and lots of forage. Small cobia have been around but the larger ones have taken a little more effort.


Speaking of bonefish, they are actually considered a bit of a nuisance for those targeting pompano. Pomps of course are far more abundant up here also. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are here in force but get them in fast before the spinner sharks get wind of them. Roe mullet have been moving both inside and along the beaches. Flounder and pompano will also be present inside the St. Lucie river along with some big sheepshead.

Dredges are vital and an ability to rig a ballyhoo won’t hurt either. We all know how big an area this is to cover but at least the fish are here! Sailfish might be the top draw but kingfish, blackfin tunas, bonito and dolphin will be other likely encounters. Grouper season is closed (thank goodness!) but you can still fish the artificial reefs for lane and mangrove snappers that are literally double in size to what we see off the Palm Beaches. Fish with squid or cut sardines but always have a flat line for any passing cobias. Watch for them around sharks.


Getting out the inlets can be tricky but the fish that have been stuck up north will be pushing south at last. Sailfish and dolphin will be a given and kingfish of various sizes will be widely scattered. Live bait is crucial for standing out from the pack. Goggle eyes, small runners, speedos, even ballyhoo for those willing to put out a chum bag on the patch reefs. Sharks will be moving around and cobia are never far behind so have the big jigs ready!

Pompano and spinner sharks are the superstars and its no secret that they like to hang together. Hard tailed and crevalle jacks are far more likely prospects so keep your tackle light. Live shrimp has been available and is the perfect way to account for a mixed gag including sheepshead, ladyfish, black drum and even the occasional snook or Spanish mackerel.

Bridge anglers will find moving water a must, with the areas around high tide always preferred.




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