Fishing the offshore waters of the Treasure Coast during our summer months can be challenging. Since weed lines and temperature changes are infrequent or non-existent, summer fishing has everything to do with bottom structure or bait pods and little to do with surface conditions.
Trolling out to 1000 feet of water may seem daring but it’s often a long shot and a potential waste of fuel. The dolphin bite is erratic at best and the sails are more apt to ‘air it out’ and disappear in the distance than jump on your baits with any aggression. The good news is that slow trolling for kingfish on the bar or at any of several strategic locations puts you in the neighborhood of an incidental bite from dolphin, sailfish & cobia that often frequent the same areas as kings. The commotion caused by a good kingfish bite can be just the thing to attract the attention of other species that might otherwise be difficult to find.
This methodology can also be utilized when bottom fishing in the vicinity of a kingfish bite. Those of you who ‘anchor up’ on a regular basis know that cobia often follow baits or other fish up from the bottom and that float lines trailed down current (even with dead sardines as bait!) are prime targets for both kings, dolphin and even a wayward sail now and then.
More often than not the live bait you catch will determine your success that day, so have a bait plan. Check with your buddies or one of the local tackle stores the night before and find out where the bait has been. Are the threadfin on the beach to the north or south, or maybe just out front at the sea buoy? Are there sardines, cigar minnows or blue runners at one of the offshore buoys? Developing a rapport with your favorite tackle store is also essential for productive fishing! Don’t discount their potential for sharing valuable information.
They are one of the first places fishermen go to brag about their catch and some of that info gets passed along to the rest of us. Check to see which of your local tackle stores has a website with daily posts to help you keep tabs on the fishing in your area. More fishing and more catching results in more bait and tackle sales. That good information is available for a reason!
We’ve had a great summer thus far with full cooperation most days from both kingfish and amberjack.
Limits of both these species and as well as a nice cobia on every trip aboard the Last Mango have been the norm throughout June and July. The dolphin bite has been spotty and sails uncooperative but tomorrow is another day. The snapper bite has been ‘going off’ along the Treasure Coast with good catches of genuine reds, vermilions and mangroves both north and south of Ft Pierce Inlet in 60’-90’.
Most of this action should continue into August. If we ever get some good easterlies again I look for a better dolphin bite and a light chop might just fire up the sail bite as well.