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West Palm Beach, Fl Nearshore Fishing


Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach

Before we dive into nearshore fishing in West Palm Beach, it is important to know what is considered nearshore fishing. Since a significant portion of our fishery is relatively close to shore compared to any other location of the eastern United States, the term “nearshore” is relative to West Palm Beach. When speaking to other anglers and you hear the term “nearshore fishing”, this will for the most part be from 80’ of water and shallower. The nearshore waters have all sorts of great habitat for the local fish population. There are manmade reefs, natural reefs and live bottom that creates a safe haven for baitfish and hunting grounds for predatory fish in West Palm Beach.

Types of Fish you will Catch Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach

Ready for some great news… while there are certain species that anglers target when nearshore fishing in West Palm Beach, there is a chance that you will catch any of the pelagics and bottom dwelling species. This does not include those bottom dwelling species that normally reside in depths of 300’+. The species that are most targeted in West Palm Beach are Snapper, Porgies and Mackerel. Snook and Tarpon are also targeting during the fall mullet by boat close to the beach. While these are the targets of local anglers, regularly Dolphin and Wahoo are caught while nearshore fishing in West Palm Beach.

How to Catch Fish While Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach

There are two fishing techniques you will be using while nearshore fishing in West Palm Beach. The first one is trolling. Trolling is quite different nearshore compared to offshore fishing in West Palm Beach. When trolling nearshore, you will not have 6-8 lines out. You will most likely have 2-4 lines out. You will also use lighter tackle than your offshore setups. When trolling lures for inshore species, slow your speed down and only bump up the speed if you are not getting bites. Many inshore species are opportunistic feeders and will not chase baits like offshore species. The next technique you will use and the most popular, is bottom fishing the nearshore waters in West Palm Beach. Bottom fishing can be either drifting baits along the bottom or can be anchoring up current from your target location.

Tips for Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach

There is a lot for anglers to consider while nearshore fishing. Things like tidal outflows, gulf stream currents, color or temperature changes and beach topography. Many factors come into play when nearshore fishing that may not have as much of an impact on offshore and inshore angling as it does for nearshore anglers. The tide outflow from the bays and nearby waterways are an extreme influencer on the nearshore waters. Outgoing tides pull nutrient rich inshore water out into the nearshore zone, where the water quality is always fluxuating. When inshore outflows meet with ocean currents, distinct color changes form that many predatory fish will use as a tool for feeding. On the other hand, offshore and gulf stream currents can push fantastic, clean water into the nearshore zone in West Palm Beach. This can cause large temperature breaks that will draw pelagic species close to shore and into the nearshore zone. Nearshore waters can be one of the most productive zones to fish in West Palm Beach because of the constant exchange of inshore and offshore waters accompanied by the mix of inshore and offshore species.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Nearshore Fishing?

The "Nearshore Zone" here in West Palm Beach includes anywhere from just past the surf break to out just a short distance. Nearshore fishing is always in clear sight of land. We consider anglers fishing towards the surf in their boat to be inshore fishing, but anglers trolling just beyond the break to be fishing "Nearshore"

Can I catch Pelagic Species while Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach?

One of the best features about West Palm Beach is that we get such nice gulf stream water so close to shore. For that reason, many nearshore anglers in West Palm Beach regurlarly report catches of Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Sailfish, Cobia, Wahoo and Kingfish while nearshore fishing in West Palm Beach

What should I look for while nearshore fishing in West Palm Beach?

Look for things like rock piles, artifical reefs on the bottom, temperature breaks or color changes, bait or fish on the surface. The fluxuating nearshore waters will determine what species are around and what you should be looking for. After entering the nearshore zone in West Palm Beach, take note of the water quality and signs of life in the area to help determine what species could be around and the best technique for targetting them.

Why go Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach?

Nearshore fishing is a favorite for anglers in West Palm Beach. Why? Because you can get to the fishing grounds so quickly and catch some delicious and some extremely unique species of fish. You don't burn much fuel in a day of nearshore fishing and you can really load up the box with delicious Snapper, Grouper, Cobia, Mackerel and even some pelagic species if you pick the right day!

What is the difference between nearshore and offshore fishing?

Nearshore fishing is generally considered to be very close to shore. In West Palm Beach, we consider nearshore fishing to be from right past the surf break to about 3 miles offshore. The nearshore zone in West Palm Beach is much smaller than many other areas along the east coast because the Gulf Stream waters push so close to shore here that anything past 3 miles from shore is considered offshore or deep sea fishing for pelagic species.

What should I do if I am not catching fish Nearshore in West Palm Beach?

Move! If you are fishing nearshore in West Palm Beach and are not finding any bites, simply move your boat to a new location. Usually you don’t need to move far. Many anglers will do a short drift for about 10-15 minuites while live chumming to see if they can build a bite. If nothing happens after a short drift, move the boat around to some new or better looking water, or to where you find some marks on your fish finder screen.

What type of lures should I use for Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach?

There are a varitety of different lures, baits and rigs you can use while Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach. However, there are a few things we always like to start with on the nearshore waters. First, is a casting jig like a Shimano ColtSniper or a Got-Cha Jigfish. Whip one of these jigs out as far as you can and skip it back on the surface. These jigs work extremely well as a searchbait and are great for covering water and locating some active fish when you first set up to fish the nearshore zone in West Palm Beach.

What else will I encounter while Nearshore Fishing in West Palm Beach?

Many anglers will fish in the Nearshore Zone in West Palm Beach to catch their live baits. Whether you are using a sabiki rig or a cast net, the nearshore waters in West Palm Beach hold plenty of baitfish so many anglers use this zone as a quick pit stop on their way to deeper water to stop and catch their live baits for the day.

Most Popular Types of Fishing in West Palm Beach, Fl Nearshore Fishing

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