After waiting nearly a month for a decent well-organized cold front, Treasure Coast anglers finally got their wish this weekend. The result will be choppy sea conditions making it uncomfortable for smaller boats to head offshore into blue waters, and possibly rougher conditions along the beaches for surf anglers.
The question for most will be is this cold front or the next one organized enough to move more fish into the area such as pompano, sailfish and mackerel?
Pat Price reefs ready: Two artificial reefs named for Stuart fishing captain to be sunk when seas allow
Closures in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.
Snook: The closure began Dec. 15 and runs through Jan. 31, 2022.
Spotted seatrout: No harvest of trout is allowed in the waters of eastern central Florida, from Volusia to Palm Beach counties, from Nov. 1 though Dec. 31. Harvest will re-open Jan. 1, 2022.
Grouper: Shallow water grouper are prohibited from harvest Jan. 1 through April 30, 2022. That includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.
Hogfish: No harvest of hogfish is allowed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida from Nov. 1 through April 30, 2022. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2022.
For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.
Indian River County
Offshore: If you are in a small boat, avoid Sebastian Inlet the next few days because it will be dangerous. Bigger boats may head out, but the pickings are slim. When seas settle, expect the snapper fishing to be pretty good for mutton snapper, mangrove snapper and lane snapper. Occasional cobia are biting there, too. Look for kingfish in 25 to 45 feet of water.
Inshore: Capt. Glyn Austin of Going Coastal charters in Palm Bay has steered his clients to catches of tarpon this week using live mullet. Why are tarpon here during the winter? No one knows. Maybe it's because water temperatures are warmer than usual, but that is just speculation. Big redfish are also biting. Erin Soltys of St. Cloud caught and released a 31-inch redfish caught from the north jetty deck on a big spinning rod while using a knocker rig and a live finger mullet in the outgoing tide.
Freshwater: Capt. Rob Ward of S & K Fisheries has been slaying speckled perch in area waters. He is using minnows and fishing over ledges and drop-offs. Try using small jigs, 1/32-ounce and 1/16-ounce and fishing around cypress knees or brush piles.
St. Lucie County
Offshore: The Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament is fishing this week, but there are two problems — few sailfish are around and teams think this is a golf tournament where the lowest scores actually win. It was too rough to fish the first day, Tuesday. Two boats fished Wednesday with Marlin Hunter winning the daily award by catching one sailfish. As of press time Thursday, a total of eight sailfish were caught by 17 boats fishing. Phew Better turn in that nickname "Sailfish Capital of the World."
Inshore: Capt. Tim Simos of Hookasnook.com in Fort Pierce steered his anglers visiting from Missouri to catches which included sheepshead and small goliath grouper around the bridges in Fort Pierce. Another day, they fished the Boils off the power plant where there were 80-100-pound class tarpon free-jumping along with free-jumping sharks, probably spinners and blacktips. His anglers hooked a few sharks and had one bitten in half by a large hammerhead shark on the prowl. It just proves the adage that there is always something bigger out there.
Offshore: Recent weeks have seen anglers catch daytime swordfish along the Treasure Coast. Conditions will have to calm down from what they will be the next few days, but fishing in 1,500 feet of water with electric reels has proven to be productive. Some mahi mahi are around providing fun fast action in 120 to 180 feet of water with blackfin tuna out around the deep reefs.
Inshore: Fish the bridges for sheepshead, croaker and whiting using cracked oysters and clam strips or pieces of shrimp. The Roosevelt Bridge is closed to traffic this weekend, but not to fishing. There have been tarpon in the area of the Crossroads taking live mullet and dead mullet.
Surf: So the big question no one on the east coast of Florida can answer is: "Where are the sand fleas?" They seemingly never arrived this year meaning anglers are catching pompano and whiting using shrimp and Fishbites. The incoming tide seems to be a little better fishing, but the next few days may be too rough.
The level of the lake is still on the high side so anglers are finding bites along the vegetation lines on Observation Shoal, at Point of the Reef and near Horse Island. Fish are up in the weeds and can be hard to get to for anglers. Wild shiners are working, but so are lipless crank baits.
Ed Killer is TCPalm's outdoors writer. Sign up for his and other weekly newsletters at profile.tcpalm.com/newsletters/manage. Friend Ed on Facebook at Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: What does a hammerhead shark eat for lunch? How about another shark?