The river has come alive! From what looked like a wasteland not long ago to a river teaming with hungry fish. The trout and redfish bite has been outstanding this week along the Indian River. Milder conditions have allowed us to fish just about anywhere on the river and the fish are out there feeding. Hope you get a chance to get out soon.
Mark Amorello was out with me this week. We made it pretty much a DOA day on the water. After catching several trout on Mirrolures, we switched to CAL jerk baits and the trout seemed to be fighting on who would take it next. We caught 25 plus trout and only one was below slot size. Most were in the 18" to 22" range. We fished several spots on the east shore to the south of Fort Pierce and caught trout everywhere we stopped. Three to five feet of water was the best depth and DOA CAL jerk baits in dark colors had them eager to cooperate. Bear Point, Harbor Branch and Round Island will be some good areas to target trout. Adam from the Fishing Center has also reported lots of trout action while wading along the river. It's great to see the river alive and active!
We headed to some flats north of Fort Pierce and found quite a few redfish in the shallows. Mark hooked up on one that would be near the 30" range before losing it, but we managed three other hookups and got two to the boat. Reds will hit DOA shrimp, CAL grub tails or live shrimp. Move quietly and slowly along the shallow flats and watch for any activity that might be some redfish feeding along the grass flats. The Moorings, Bear Point and docks along the river are good areas to try.
Bridges are still producing sheephead, bluefish and black drum. The jetties still have some bluefish and mackerel, but the bite has slowed some recently. There are plenty of jacks and ladyfish cruising the river and crashing the bait schools. The surf has been holding whiting and pompano, but some days are too windy to fish lately. It's been a fantastic week out there.
Tip of the Week: Jerk Baits
Jerk baits are great lures to use during winter months. Trout are feeding and slowly popping them along the bottom will get their attention. I like to use either 1/16 oz or 1/8 oz jig heads when fishing them. It allows the lure to get to the bottom and the lighter weight lets it sinks slower and doesn't dig into the bottom. It takes a little practice to use a 1/16 oz jig on a windy day, but it works and catches fish. There are many colors, sizes and styles of jerk baits on the market. My prefererence is the DOA CAL series in the four inch sizes. The silver mullet and rootbeer are great colors to try. My most productive color is the Arkansas Glow. It is adaptable for both clear or cloudy water and produces fish for me. Work the lure slowly along the bottom. I seldom move it four or five inches as I give it a slow popping movement. Don't drag it, but use short, sharp pops and give it time to settle back on the bottom and sit a few seconds. Most bites occur as the lure sinks down or as it lays on the bottom. Trout have a distinctive bite and it sometimes is difficult to detect. If you haven't tried it yet....it's a good time of year to get out and give it a try.
Remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!
Good Fishing and Be Safe!
Captain Charlie Conner
Some of this weeks action.