With the surf being really rough this week the bridges and back inshore waters have been the more productive zone, and the weather forecast right now looks like that will remain the story all week. When the inlet is too rough to fish, the bridges are always the place to be. Look for the Snook to be stacked up along the shadow line right now feeding on the last few of the mullet flushing out and the shrimp coming through the lights. If you can see the fish actively fishing in the lights or along the shadow line, pitch a small weightless shrimp and let it flow naturally back through the shadow line just under the surface. If there is no visible action happening around the structure you are fishing, try fishing a shrimp tail along the bottom with a 1 or 1.5 oz jig head. The best action for the Snook has been being reported around the top and bottom of the outgoing tide. The bridges in West Palm Beach have been holding a fair number of resident Tarpon as well during the incoming tide. They are more keyed in on the mullet than the shrimp so larger presentations have been working best for them. With the weather forecasted this week, and the amount of bait moving around in the ICW and backwaters of West Palm Beach, these bridges, sea walls, boat docks and channels will certainly be your best bet at encountering some solid Snook action this week in the wind.
Finally some good weather this past week and the fish were hungry. Every angler we spoke to had found a good bite from nearshore waters to the sword grounds. Wahoo was the big story this week as anglers found them fishing in close high speed trolling as well as out deep under debris. This weekend may not have the strongest of tidal push but those striped monsters are still out there. Early morning is always best to target some wahoo. Use a horse ballyhoo with an Ilander Black Hole in front of it and get it down with a planer or large trolling weight, at least 36 oz. Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) are still chewing well and should continue to do so over the next week. The great thing is that they are in close, at least the smaller ones. If you want to get some meat in the cooler and do not loke to run far offshore then drop a few lines around the ledge and start trolling around. The big Mahi Mahi were our deeper in 800’+. The really clean water was out past 600’ and the further anglers got the bigger the prize. Reports of 40lb Mahi were coming in all weekend and they should still be out there. Finding debris is going to be the best way to easily locate those big ones. The Snapper bite continues to improve and there are some impressive fish being caught lately. Snapper (Mutton), Snapper (Yellowtail) and Snapper (Mangrove) all are hitting the usual bag of sardines and jigs. The big muttons are on the deeper side of the ledge in 150’-200’ still with a few mixed in with the Yellowtails in 80’-90’. Spanish Mackerel were also out in closer to shore in less then 60’ and were attacking anything shiny pulled in front of them. Grab a small prismatic spoon and start casting at any boils you see in the depth this week. Lastly, the Sailfish are moving in and they are a chewin. Many anglers got them on kites but they were also taking trolled ballyhoo and live baits drifting the ledge. The weekend should have them fired up for an excellent Monday bite.
Lots of East North East winds in the forecast this week which should be pushing tons of bait inshore, and getting those fish along the surf, piers and inlets moving well. The inlets and surf will remain pretty much unfishable but if you safely sneak out towards the tip of the jetty, you should find some success with Snook and possibly even get lucky with a big Tarpon this week. Also, with the rough surf, the Mutton Snapper bite should be heating up pretty good. Once this weather begins to lay out a bit, we really should be seeing some quality Mutton Snapper reports from the surf, piers and inlets. The rough surf also has the Pompano bite going fairly well right now, the bite should continue to increase as the east winds persist throughout the week. Sand Fleas, Shrimp, Pompano Jigs and Fish Bites have all been working well for the Pompano recently. You may need to bump up the size of your pyramid sinker when fishing on the beach this week to hold bottom and find those bites.