aneary

Figuring things out

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Hey Folks, Thought I'd "introduce" myself to the Florida group. Moved down here from CT about 3 months ago. I had fished a few times down here previously but with the move I have been spending my non-work hours pounding the surf. I have to say I'm starting to learn a bit, finally.

 

Back in CT, I pretty much used the fly rod in the ocean, we don't have much surf and very little concern with wading cause, we don't support a  large population of sharks. So I picked up a few spinning outfits and have been walking the beach in the Vero area ,throwing plugs, metal and some plastics. The water has been pretty dirty with weed lately, but I found some glass minnows this past weekend that seemed to hang around the heavily weeded areas. I had to wade, in so I could get to the cleaner water and not have to retrieve the lure through the weeds. If your not careful you can, and do, end up with a ton of weed on your line. Anyway, finally was rewarded with a nice Snook that measured out at around 33 inches. My second snook off the beach in 3 months of fishing. I had been rewarded with some good catches previously,when there was more bait around, but the past month or more things have been pretty quiet on the coastal side.

 

I have some access to the intercostal and have caught some trout and some ladyfish , I think I hooked a small tarpon on the fly as well but it didn't stay on for long. Anyway, just stopping by to say hello, not seeing a lot of posting going on now but if anyone lives and fishes near Vero maybe we can dip a line sometime. Interested in hearing peoples thoughts on wading the beach, safe, not safe, don't do it, don't be a P*&$y?   

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get connected with Paul at Bass Pro shops  PSL, he posts on facebook and has seminars at the store. Ed Killer also has good reports. I'll be down in early December, maybe we can meet in FT Pierce  

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Been here a year, from DC. I'm a little North of you just past Sebastian inlet. I did fly fishing in Scotland where I grew up but no spinning until my wife got me a rod and reel a few years ago for Delaware fishing.

 

Anyway it's worth noting that you came at the slowest time of year - and even so I find it's maybe three or four billion times more productive than Delaware! It'll get gradually better over the next few months and November will blow your mind when the mullet run is in full force. Oh and the weeds come and go. Right now they seem to be receding, i bet they will be gone soon. 

 

Im seeing bait balls and exploding (jacks?) and tarpon tantalizingly close the last couple of days. From my log of last year there will be some very good days, and some awful days, seemily at random, not correlated to tide or moon phase before things get consistently great, so fish every day, you never know.

 

Good luck!

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I moved down to Vero 2 years ago from CT/MA area.  Fly fishing is my preference but I use spinning tackle in the surf, leaving the fly rod mainly for the intracoastal.   Did hook up to tarpon on light spinning tackle in the river 3 days in a row this week, landing 1 about 80 lbs yesterday and losing a very crafty one this morning after about 35 minutes.  Right now they're too deep for fly tackle with the surface water temps so high.  My surf fishing is typically just north of Round Island State Park.  What part of Vero do you fish?

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Icarussound  and Fllbeachbum  - thanks for the reply's and reports, all good. Was up in Jacksonville over the weekend fishing with a buddy chasing reds and trout from kayaks, limited luck but pretty cool area kayaking some tidal waterways, very cool scenery up there, totally different than where I fish down here.

 

I live close to the beach so I'm fishing the south beach area, I'm above round island park to south beach. Good to know about the tarpon hunkering down deeper due to the water temp.  I'll be hitting the beach tonight if the weather allows.  

 

 

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Quick update to my quest. Walked the beach last night and saw a school of bait fish heading south towards me. Turned out to be lots of 6 inch mullet with some greenies mixed in.  The Tarpon were on them for about an hour or more, till it got dark. Tossed spoons, a Zara spook and some plastics. Landed a few good size ladyfish and  a small Jack but couldn't find any love with the Tarpon. I had foul hooked a couple mullet, I need to make sure I bring some hooks to live line, next time. Any recommendations on plugs for Tarpon would be appreciated. 

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I'm in Fl for 3 weeks.  there was a big school of mullet off south Hutchenson island near the Stuart- PSL town line with tarpon, snook and jacks right behind. 

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Well how did you make out lurejunkie00, hook or land anything? Saw Ed Killer report and he said the same thing, starting to see some mullet on the shore. Could be the start of the run?

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2 hours ago, aneary said:

Any recommendations on plugs for Tarpon would be appreciated. 

I've had good luck hooking up tarpon on the beach (not necessarily landing them) with pencil poppers (Gibbs, Cordell), 1 - 2 oz silver spoons, and Bomber badonk-a-donks.  Darters and winners would likely work as well.  

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Tarpon have been showing along the Sebastian and Vero beaches for the past two weeks. They are hard to hook with lures. I cast to schools of breaking fish and hook a Jack nearly every time.

I did manage to land two last year off Bonsteel Park (Melbourne) on swimmers. With Tarpon any lure may work, most casts are ignored. A spoon is always a good option. Either  #2 Hopkins, 1oz KastMaster, or Krocadille. Chrome is the best bet.

Bring the cast net and a 5 gallon bucket. If you net some bait, use a suitable sized hook for the bait, 5/0 and up (circles are fine). Use a heavy fluorocarbon leader (60-80lb) of about 30 inches with a half to one ounce egg sinker that will slide the length of the leader from the hook to your swivel. Cast it out near the school of bait or the distance that they are schooling. Let it sit and hold onto your rod. Tarpon feed actively on injured bait fish near the bottom. Just like Stripers under a school of blues. If you get a pick up, spool him out for a couple of seconds and engage the drag. This should result in a YAHOO! moment. At least for a little while.

If you are serious about catching a big Tarpon, you'll need about 300-400 yards of braid, and a 9ft to 10ft medium action rod. If you hook a big shark. hold on for the fun and break em off when you loose your nerve. Check out the Sebastian Fishing Club on FaceBook. Lots of good local info available.

John J Caprice

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Thanks guys, some great information that I will use, appreciate the information. I had a feeling I was using plugs/lures that would work, just haven't yet. John great info on live lining bait, I just started carrying some 4/0 hooks with me in case I hook a mullet and will live line.

 

Just took a quick look at the beach, water is again dead flat and there were a few pods of bait cruising around. Buddy I fish with just landed a big jack, about 20lbs on a pretty light rod.  Hopefully the conditions will hold till tomorrow, when I can get out.   

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I've been out every morning this and last week just before dawn till 9ish. Looks like finally the weeds have receded. Still nothing much biting though. This week I've also gone out in the afternoon at high tide. Lots of bait explosions a little too far out to cast to, I haven't seen any big fish this week except far out. The end of last week I caught a medium and a very big (38") snook - the later surprised me hitting a spoon with a dressed hook about 20 meters out. All the snook I've caught have been right at the beach lip expect this one.

 

last night I finally got to bend my rod - ladyfish hitting a gold spoon. 

 

Nothing this morning, but I'm going out again at high tide later this afternoon. Still hoping the tarpon will get within casting distance...!

 

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Icarussound, The snook I landed a couple weeks ago was pretty far out, but I figured it was because it was chasing bait that was using the weed as structure and cruising on the outside weed line. 38 is a really nice Snook! 

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Spooltek Extra Heavy and the Longcast Xrap are both good lures to use during the mullet run and get good distance with. Hogy type soft plastics with heavy jigs heads, bigger swimbaits, and kastmasters are good options as well. Fish can be in the trough or over 150 yards out on the bait pods, so being able to cover water is very helpful. Mullet Run as mentioned is upon us, and will last the next few months with Tarpon, Sharks, Snook, and Jacks being the main course followed by heavy doses of spanish mackerel and bluefish later in the run. Find the bait, find the fish and particular areas like those just North of Sebastian Inlet where the mullet tend to stage longer waiting on the tide phases to migrate are hotspots during the run. Can be all day action but dusk and dawn hours are prime time. Goodluck and welcome to the forum. I primarily fish out of Sebastian inlet and that keeps me spoiled enough to minimize my beach fishing anymore, but it can be very productive for the coming months

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