LOOKING FOR A PROFESSIONAL FLY FISHING OR LIGHT TACKLE FISHING CHARTER IN SEBASTIAN, VERO BEACH OR FORT PIERCE?
Captain Steve Beare with On Island Time Charters offers you a professional fishing guide service that specializes in Fly and Light Tackle Shallow Water Angling along the biologically diverse waters of the Indian River Lagoon and Treasure Coast. Our inshore and fly guide services operate in Sebastian, Vero Beach and Fort Pierce.
Whether you are a novice or an experienced angler, if you have the desire to pole the grass flats and back country potholes silently stalking Redfish, Snook and Speckled Sea Trout, pushing into a stiff breeze chasing tailing Permit, fishing the beaches for migrating Tarpon, or trolling for a chance with a trophy game fish, join us at On Island Time Charters and let us guide you to your next fishing adventure.
October we generally start to see a drop in the temperatures and an uptick in the winds, as Florida transitions to its fall weather patterns. The overwhelming winds over the last couple of weeks have kept us from fishing the beaches but as the fall migration continues we've seen the push of larger fish into the flats. The fall mullet run has been inconsistent at times but like last year appears to be a late bloomer with some of the best fishing happening over the last couple of weeks. Between a healthy population of Snook, Jack Crevalles and Tarpon, the mullet run has been nothing short of entertaining with most of the action taking place around docks, seawalls and mangrove shorelines. The Trout bite has been consistent when fishing top-water along the flats in the early morning. Its another great month to fish along the Treasure Coast.
There are several things you can count on along Florida's Treasure Coast in August. Afternoon thunderstorms will remain the norm, we will continue to see temperatures surpass 90 degrees, you'll see more boats on the water chasing Florida Spiny Lobsters and it will cause some turbulence along the waterways. Remember to obey your boating laws regarding divers for those who will venture offshore and near shore. Safety is paramount! Snook, SeaTrout and Snapper have been the best bites from Vero Beach south the Jack Island. Top water lures at first light have been productive, followed grubs or jerk baits in shad or mullet colors. The water quality continues to get better but water temps have been higher than normal. Round Island, Queen’s Cove and Harbor Branch are usually active with schooling Redfish, Jack Crevalle and SeaTrout. At first light your best areas will be the shallow flats. As the sun comes u and temperatures begin to rise move to the deeper water surrounding the flats to keep a steady bite. Docks along the Moorings and South Indian River Drive in Fort Pierce have produced good numbers Snook and Sheephead. Find the shady areas around the mangroves for some of the over slot snook lazily awaiting a passing meal. Snook will be more active around the Ft Pierce Jetty and South Bridge of the river. On the rainy days we have heavy run offs, head to the spillways to capitalize on Snapper, Snook and juvenile resident Tarpon. When the water temps get to high, try working the channel edges with live shrimp or small pilchards and wait for the Snapper bite to turn on. If you're not sure what to do, check out or reservation page and book your next adventure.
July means our summer is in full gear with higher water temperatures and afternoon thunderstorms. Like most warm days the mornings at first light provide the best opportunity for tailing Redfish or bedded SeaTrout on the flats and Snook along the mangrove protected shorelines. As the water temps rise, the fish will seek deeper water searching for cooler water. Fish the mangrove shore lines. using a EP Baitfish on fly, Jerk baits and/or top water of your choice. Pigfish is the go to live bait for bigger trout but Live shrimp, greenies or pilchards fished under a popping cork will be hard to beat for the trout if you can keep it from the big jacks that are roaming the flats. Pole quietly, or drift across the flats and you will find some big fish sitting in the sand pot holes waiting on a free meal to drift by. Redfish will continue to hold up on the flats around Round Island and the Moorings. During the full moon this month try using mojarra, greenies, pilchards or a live shrimp on nearby bridges for a stellar Snapper bite. Use a #2 hook with a 20lb flourocarbon leader and a half-ounce split weight and get ready to work. As always, if you're not sure what to do, check us out on our reservation page and book your next adventure!
If neither your calendar nor the soaring temperatures tipped you off, I'm here to tell you Summer has arrived. June is time for calm moorings of glass along the lagoon and red hot fishing. First light provides ample opportunities on top water and scenery that can't be duplicated with a Treasure Coast Sunrise. Like every year in Florida, summers bring afternoon thunderstorms so watch the weather carefully. The Flats will provide numerous opportunities for Redfish, Snook and SeaTrout. Top water lures such as the Rapala skitter walk will entice explosive bites in the shallows. Bring a cast net as passing bait schools can provide the perfect bait for tailing predators. Due to rising water temps, look for fish to feed shallow at dawn and move to the deeper edges of the flats as the sun rises. Pot holes on the flats will hold Trout and Redfish who are lazily awaiting for the tide to bring them food. Redfish have been plentiful around the grass flats near Round Island. Most of the fish we have seen have been over slot but are an absolute blast to sight fish. Trout will also be on the grass flats and feeding on the same food out there. Move depths out to three feet or more as the day heats up to continue your action. Round Island, Harbor Branch, Queens Cove and Bear Point will all be hot spots all summer long.
May is a great time of year along the Treasure Coast. As the water temperatures rise, we can expect the fishing to improve. Water temps in the mid- 70s will entice the bite. May is a well known time to target Redfish. Large schools of slot sized redfish will be found roaming along the flats. Pilchards will be plentiful, and for the fly I like to use a shrimp style fly or gurgler. For artificial, I like to use a DOA Shrimp under a popping cork, jerk bait of your choice (I prefer the Down South Lure in "Kickin' Chicken"), a Skitterwalk V and the ol' reliable Gold Spoon. Most of the flats from Wabasso south to Harbor Branch have been holding redfish so keep a weary eye out for the pot holes holding fish. Flounder should start showing up along the river banks and flats while Jack Crevalles continue to provide explosive hits and valiant fights. Ladyfish will continue to provide bent rods and aerial displays only over shadowed by returning Tarpon. Tarpon will start to show up around the turning basin during the incoming tide and by the power plant. But they will be a little feisty and most likely shy away with out live Pilchards. Snook fishing first light, or early mornings on the tide, will prove to be worth waking up so early. Snook will be out roaming the flats in search of a free and easy meal. While Pilchards and Shrimp are the best live baits this time of year I know we have several who prefer arti only. For the fly, small baitfish patterns or seaducer patterns have provide the most opportunities for my clients. For night fly fishing I like the small clouser pattern in gray/white with a lot of flash or shrimp pattern. Artificals that have been the most productive for us have been the Down South Lure in "Blue Smoke", "Purple Rain" and "Magic Grass" jerk baits rigged on a 3/8 oz jig head or rigged weedless. MirrOLure Greenback Mirrodone's and Rapala Skitterwalks are also great lures to entice a Snook bite. Target the Mangrove Lines, docks and seawalls for the most action. Don't forget...Snook season closes May 31. The big Sea Trout have been feeding at first light and as the sun and temperatures rise, they will head off the flats to deeper water. There are still some gator trout hanging around. We been the most successful using pilchards or live shrimp. Your favorite jerk baits and DOA's Deadly Combos are solid performers also. As always, if you're looking for your next adventure feel to visit our reservations page.
Prepare for our windy conditions to continue through the Thanksgiving Holiday and beyond. If you are looking to beat the winds, the mornings have been offering lighter winds. But as the days progress, the winds will continue to build in true fall fashion so look for the leeward areas providing protection. Along the Treasure Coast we are starting to see a decline in water temperatures and cleaner water.
Snook fishing has been very productive in and around both the Ft Pierce and Sebastian Inlets. Hit the late incoming or early outgoing tide with a live Mullet or Pinfish rigged on a 6/0 circle hook with 50# leader. Attach a sliding weight or some pinch weights to the main line. For the artificial angler, hook up a First Light jig, or jig of your choice.
Snook, Mangrove Snappers and big Jack Crevalles have been hanging along the seawalls from Queens Cove north to Johns Island. Live Mullet on a 4/0-5/0 circle hook with 30-40# leader have provided our most success with Rapala Skitterwalks and MirrOlure Mirrodines also drawing some explosive bites.
Seatrout have been aggressive along the grass flats adjacent to deeper water in the pre-dawn hours. Put on your favorite top water and walk the dog for some explosive bites.
Redfish have been found holding close to the mangrove shorelines and with the cleaner water showing up, this presents anglers with great opportunities to sight fish. For sight fishing our Lagoon Reds, I prefer a Tuscan Bunny fly or any fly that provides substantial undulation. If you are a light tackle connoisseur, use a paddle jig of your choice rigged on a 1/8 oz Weighted Swimbait Hook. We've been using a Down South Lure Super model in Frozen Smoke rigged on a VMC-HDWSB.
Spanish Mackerel have become a common catch along the flats this past week along with an increase of larger Jack Crevalles that are always a worthy adversary.
While it appears that the remnants of Hurricane Matthew are slowly subsiding there are still plenty of damaged docks and floating debris along our ICW so be vigilant. I'll end with a friendly reminder that November 15th marks the start of the seasonal manatee zones in our area so be cognizant of your locations and boating laws in your area.
November got off to a great start buy bringing some welcomed fall weather. As with every November, anglers along the Treasure Coast will prepare for easterly winds, short blasts of cooler weather and a drop in water temperatures. We've been experiencing higher and dirtier water levels then usual due to Hurricane Matthew and there are still ruminants of damaged docks and debris in the water so stay alert while you're underway. As water levels fall we should start to regain some water clarity providing for better site fishing conditions.
Snook fishing remains the hot bite in our region with the most success being reported from the Ft Pierce and Sebastian Inlets, as well as the area bridges, on the outgoing tide using live Mullet, Pinfish or Jigs. When fishing the inlets I prefer to drift a live mullet on 5/0 VMC 7381 Sure Set Circle Hook rigged with 3' of 40# fluorocarbon leader weighted with 1/2-2 ounces of split shot weights rigged just below the leader connection. Smaller fish are being caught along the seawalls, docks and Mangrove shorelines using live mullet, Shrimp and Jigs.
Over the last week we've found some Redfish schooling along the grass flats. Use live Shrimp under a popping cork or a paddle tail grub of your choice. Down South Lures Super Model in Texas Roach and Plum Chartreuse have provided the most hook-ups. Look for these schooling fish early in the morning working around the shallow flats.
The Trout bite has slowed a bit with most fish being caught during low light conditions. Live Finger Mullet and top-water lures such as the Rapala Skitterwalk or Heddon SuperSpook will draw the fierce Trout bite we all love to witness. With water temperatures staying in the low to mid 70's, look for Trout to remain in ambush points along the shallow edges of the grass flats as long as the bait is there.
Our area never ceases to amaze me with the mixed bag of Black Drum, Sheephead and Mangrove Snapper
that can be found along the channel edges and bridge pilings. Use live Shrimp under a popping cork or free lined on a 1/8 ounce jig head or circle hook with a small 1/8ounce split shot weight.
Surprisingly enough, while fishing the seawalls for Snook and Jack Crevalles, a client hooked up to a nice 28" Spanish Mackerel on a live mullet. With the multiple inshore catches recently, I think its safe to say that they have begun their migration along the Treasure Coast. The strong winds and higher tides are most likely the culprits that are pushing these tasty critters into the deep shallows of the Lagoon. Spanish Mackerel are schooling fish, so if you catch one get a bait out there quickly as more are always around. Spanish Mackerel have a minimum size limit of 12" fork length and a 15 fish bag limit.
After much concern and countless hours of preparation at 11:38pm, shortly before the storm was supposed to make landfall directly on the Treasure Coast, Hurricane Matthew "wobbled" along an easterly path taking the storm 30 miles east thereby sparing our coast. With minor roof and landscape damage, we were quickly able to get back open for business. While we originally thought that there would be a problem with the fishery due to the storm surge, the fishing has remained consistent over the past 2 days with multiple Snook landed, including some over 40". Sea Trout were the best bite with a top water working along the choppy pre-dawn water providing the most aggressive bites. We are back open for business so book your next trip using our reservations page at the top right.
The first day of October brought a welcome feeling of cooler air as we ventured out onto the Indian River Lagoon. This delightful change was quickly interrupted by the news of Hurricane Matthew. As everyone along the eastern shoreline of Florida is paying close attention to Hurricane Matthew, just as many are taking advantage of the weather and paying homage to the phenomenon known as the Mullet Run. Nothing rings the dinner bell now better than couple hundred supple finger mullet making their way along the beach, across a grass flat or around a mangrove’s edge. Both the beach and the ICW have been home to spectacular sights of soaring mullet as they get ambushed by waiting Snook, Jack Crevalle, Snapper, Tarpon, Bluefish and Trout. The Snook fishing is going to remain solid while fishing the seawalls, mangrove shore lines and deeper holes in and around the inlets. Use stout rods with 30-50# fluorocarbon leader rigged with a 3/0-5/0 circle or live bait hook when fishing the inlets and turning basin and make sure to bring enough lead to hold bottom or you could miss the bite. Mullet and Croakers will provide your best opportunities at securing the bite. For the artificial angler, use feather jigs, a Vudu Mullet or MirrOlure MirrOdine to garner the best results. You’ll find a mixed bag of Mangrove Snapper, Sheephead, Black Drum along the channel edges, docks and bridges. Use a live shrimp on 20# fluorocarbon leader with a 1/0-2/0 hook or a DOA Shrimp on a popping cork. The Sea Trout bite will continue to offer some exciting action on top water lures along the deeper flats. As the sun and water temperatures rise, switch to a D.O.A. Shrimp or Down South Lure paddle tail jerk bait of your choice.
Hot Spots: Harbor Branch and Middle Cove
Best Days to Fish: Oct 15-17
The mullet run is in full swing. This famous yearly occurrence means one thing and that is it is time to fish. The mullet are being fed upon by many predatory species.
The Snook are targeting the mullet on the beaches of the barrier islands and the seawalls. Live mullet will be the most effective rigged up on a popping cork with about one foot of 30-pound leader. If artificial baits are your thing you can try a Rapala Skitterwalk in the gold chrome color.
Jacks are feeding on the mullet in the deeper water and channel edges. These fish don’t really provide any table fare but they are an absolute blast to catch. Live mullet are going to be your best bait again but if you like to throw artificial baits use something that mimics a mullet. When the jack get fired up they will hit just about anything.
Tarpon are feeding in the deeper channels. You can free line a live mullet on 50-pound fluorocarbon leader if you are a live bait angler. If you like to throw artificial baits you can get hooked up with a Hogie in pink or chartreuse.
Redfish are going to be found feeding around the potholes on the grass flats. Live mullet are going to be the bait of choice here again since that is their number one forage right now. If you want to try your hand with some artificial offerings, give a gold spoon or a paddle tail in a ¼ ounce jig head a try.
Remember; always check with the FWC on fish harvesting regulations before hitting the water so you know what you can bring home for dinner.
September brings smiles to angler’s faces for many reasons. Whether its the opening of Snook Season, the fall bait run, Tarpon showing their shiny faces along the beaches, Pompano in the surf or the surreal displays of nature as the Mullet Run goes into full affect. Either way, it’s hard not to be excited about September.
This first week of September for the Treasure Coast had many of us dodging storms and focused on finding those leeward areas to escape the Northeast winds. Schools of bait continue to move along the beach from the Vero Pier south to the Cove. Get ahead of the baitfish schools and let them work their way to you; fishing the outside edges. Snook fishing off the beach has been solid over the last week and will only improve as the mullet run commences. Snook Season opened on the 1st and those who braved the storms were rewarded with a majority of slot fish being caught at the Ft Pierce Inlet or off the Beach. For those fishing from the Jetty, with the imposed closure of the Sebastian Inlet North Jetty expect the South Jetty and the Ft Pierce Jetties to become more crowded.
The water clarity in portions of the lagoon have begun to clear up and displayed some healthy Shoal and Widgeon Grass which was sight for these sore eyes. With the cleaner water, being closer to the inlet, site fishing has produced most of the Redfish bites for us along the southern portion of the lagoon. Most hook ups have come while using a Down South Lure Super Model Grub in Magic Grass on a 1/8oz Chartreuse Jig Head or a Gold Spoon.
Even with water temperatures in the mid 80's, the early morning and dusk Sea Trout bite on topwater is still our best bite. Fishing the deeper edges of grass flats, our largest Sea Trout have been caught using the Rapala Skitterwalk in Shad Translucent or Gold Chrome; both of which produced several double-digit release days.
The Mangrove Snapper bite has also started to heat up with some larger fish being caught. Live shrimp fished along the deeper channel edges.
As we continue to near the fall bait run we will continue to see increasing numbers of glass minnows running along the beaches and along the deeper channels in the intercostal.
For the artificial anglers that still want to fish these large schools of glass minnows try to match the hatch. I really like the Rapala Skitter V in Glass Ghost for topwater and the Down South Lures 4" paddle-tail shad in White Ice on a 1/4 oz jig head. For those targeting these large schools on fly, I always go with the trusty Clouser Fly in white/chartreuse bucktail with some silver Krystal flash. Fish these baits properly along the bait schools and beaches, and you will have opportunities at a mixed bag of large Snook, Tarpon, Jack Crevalle and Sharks.
On the flats and channels in the ICW, you will have opportunities for a mixed bag of Snook, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Jacks, Ladyfish and more.
The Sebastian and Fort Pierce Inlet's have also seen a number of quality Snook, Tarpon and other fish being caught on Firstlight Tackle jigs and live bait on the outgoing tide.
No matter if you fish from land, pier, catwalk, wade or by boat keep a steady eye out for those frisky mullet that should be showing up soon.