Who is ready to catch some grouper? – TCPalm

It was time for the water to turn over. So for the past few days, this unnamed, unwanted and untimely tropical disturbance has been wreaking havoc with anyone’s plans to fish offshore or at the beach. Good news is that will all change this weekend.

Indian River County

Offshore: Bottom fishermen are geared up to run to the Sebastian Ledge, First Peak or the 27 Fathom Ledge to find hungry gag groupers ready to feed. No need to get fancy, but don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. Dead sardines work well as bait. Have stout boat rods and conventional reels rigged up with 80-pound test. Bring enough weight to make bottom in strong current. These big fish will have the advantage, so be ready to reel at the first nibble.

Inshore: This the the time of year to catch large trout. But handle them with care. The big fish are spawning right now. State fishing regulators opted to hold off on a proposal that would have prohibited harvest of trout larger than 20 inches in local waters here, but it’s a good practice anyway if anglers wish to see a healthy trout population in years to come.

Western lakes: It sounds like the best fishing has been in Headwaters Lake and Garcia Reservoir as the Stick Marsh, Kenansville Lake and Blue Cypress Lake have been difficult spots to find biting bass. Use spinnerbaits and topwater plugs to get the best bites along the edges.

St. Lucie County

Offshore: The best grouper action will be on the deep ledges, the 27 Fathom Curve, and near the Mulliphen and Beverly M. Dolphin action is expected to be good, too. Before the winds came up, big fish had been caught in the currents in 200-300 feet of water north and south of this area. More should be on the way, at least trollers hope so.

Inshore: Trout fishing will be best in 2-4 feet of water on any flats still holding a little seagrass. Fish along mangrove shorelines with topwater lures to find snook, trout, jacks and ladyfish.

Martin County

Offshore: From the Eight Mile Reef to Push Button Hill to the Wickstrom Reef and Glasrud Reefs, as well as the Loran Tower Ledge, the grouper bite should be good, if currents on the bottom allow. When the season ended in the winter, the red grouper fishing had been pretty good with bigger fish, 12-16 pounds, than are typically seen in these parts. 

Inshore: Snook fishing is still pretty steady throughout the entire St. Lucie River and southern Indian River Lagoon. One of the best ways to target these fish is to fish structure after dark with jigs. Outgoing tide is often better in the river, but incoming tide is better near the inlet.

Lake Okeechobee

Bass: The level of the lake is at 11.17 feet above sea level as of Thursday. As the water level continues to dip, boaters should use caution when running to favorite fishing spots. Hitting a shoal at high speed can be deadly or strand a boater for a very long time. South Florida Water Management District closed the last lock on the north shore, so the only access to the lake is at boat ramps directly connected like those at Scott Driver, Okeetantie, Lakeport, South Bay, Pahokee, Moore Haven and Clewiston.

Editor’s note: The fishing report in print and online editions of TCPalm and Treasure Coast Newspapers now runs on Tuesday and Friday. Send fishing reports and photos to Ed Killer at ed.killer@tcpalm.com and follow him on social media at @tcpalmekiller on Twitter and Instagram, or Ed Killer on Facebook

Source: https://www.tcpalm.com/story/sports/fishing-boating/2019/05/02/grouper-targeted-weekend/3650443002/

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