OFFSHORE- Sailfish action remained fair to good offshore this week. As I write the report (early afternoon on Thursday) 50 boats fishing the Silver Sailfish Derby have released right at 60 sailfish. For the most part the last few weeks have played out at about the same rate...at least a bite or two for most, with a few seeing four or five. The sails have been along the edge in 130-175' of water for the most part from Palm Beach to north of Jupiter Inlet. Best spot on the sails has bounced around a bit; but the Juno Beach Pier to Jupiter Inlet drift day in and day out seems to produce the bites. Mixed in with the sails have been a handful of dolphin, a pretty solid number of kings (maybe just a shade shallower than the sails), some nice Blackfin tuna, and the occasional Cobia or wahoo. The nice thing about the winter time fishing is it is typically best in 150-300ish' feet of water. You may find some fish around a little farther offshore; but for the most part the best action starts not long after you slide off the edge. Bottom fishing was good this week. A nice assortment of porgies, snapper, grunts, and other bottom species in 80-100' of water. Squid and sardines are the top bait choices on the bottom.
INSHORE- Fair fishing inshore this week; with a good little mix of action. A fair scattering of sheepshead around the ICW and Loxahatchee River this week (As well as a few starting to show up in the Inlets as well). Look for docks, seawalls, and bridge pilings with good barnacle growth and the sheepshead likely won't be far behind. Live shrimp remain the top bait choice for the sheepshead, with sand fleas also being a good option. Pompano reports seemed to jump up a bit inshore this week. The Loxahatchee River and ICW (Jupiter Island to Home Sound) both seemed to have a handful of pompano. A pink or orange Doc's Goofy Jig is a good way to go for the pomps. The nice thing about the Goofy jig is it also tends to produce a good bycatch of jacks, ladyfish, and honestly a whole bunch of other species. A 3/8oz Doc's tends to be the right size inshore. Snook fishing was a bit slower this week. Still fair bite on the 3" NLBN or Thumper Shrimp for those really putting the time in at night on the right tides.
SURF/PIER- Fishing was pretty solid again this week along the beach and on the Juno Beach Fishing Pier. Pompano reports jumped up nicely this week; with both some decent numbers of fish and good size fish in the mix as well. Along the beach it's the usual assortment of baits (sand fleas, clams, fresh shrimp, and FishBites) getting the bites. Some pompano (not huge numbers, but more than a few) also coming over the rails at the Juno Beach Pier on both bait and bright colored Doc's Goofy Jigs. Some big schools of BIG bluefish along the beach early in the week. A GT Ice Cream, large swimming plug (Rapala X-Rap or Yo-Zuri LC Minnow), or noisy topwater popper are all good lure choices for the bluefish. Fair number of croaker and whiting around in the first trough. Fresh pieces of shrimp has been the bait of choice for them. About time for the topwater shark bite to get going...won't be long now!
NOAA MARINE WEATHER:
FRI...S winds 20 to 25 kt along the coast to S 20 to 25 kt with gusts to around 25 kt in the Gulf Stream. Seas 3 to 5 ft, occasionally to 6 ft. Period 5 seconds. Intracoastal waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of showers and tstms in the morning.
SAT...SW winds 15 to 20 kt becoming W NW. Seas 2 to 4 ft, occasionally to 5 ft. Intracoastal waters a moderate chop. A slight chance of tstms in the morning. A chance of showers . A chance of tstms.
SUN...E NE winds 10 to 15 kt with gusts to around 25 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft, occasionally to 6 ft. Intracoastal waters a moderate chop. A chance of showers with a slight chance of tstms.
Thanks For Reading,
Joel (IG@ FLswimbaiter.420) with a chunky hybrid...When the freshwater spillways open out west these guys are a lot of fun to catch!