Ft Pierce Advice Needed

New guy here so a little background before getting to the questions.  I have been fishing all my life, my wife and I along with our 4 children (3-11yrs old) all have our sea legs and we are no stranger to the water.  We just bought a new boat and we are soon to be visiting Ft Pierce (my wife’s hometown) during the week after easter.  I am very familiar with the Indian River and the FPI area (inshore flats) as we have trailered smaller boats down there for the past decade.  Our new boat is a Sea Born LX24 CC with a zuke 300hp on her. It is loaded with an ulterra riptide trolling motor, 12’ talon, 4G Radar, and 2 9” simrad go9’s.  I say all this because with this boat the plan is to actually break out past the inlet occasionally and that is where my real knowledge starts to wane.  We have fished the flats and ICW for trout, redfish, snook, flounder and the occasional sheepshead.  

Can you guys make some recommendations about some nearshore fishing (with the kids I dont want to venture too far our first few trips so maybe within 10 miles or eyeshot of the shore?). We are semi experienced offshore (been on several charters both private and head boats).  I would like to get into some snapper/cobia/mahi if we can.  I have down riggers and plenty of gear and can either chum up, chase bait, or buy it... the cast nets and sabiki rigs stay on the boat. Any numbers or specific tactics you guys would recommend for this time of year?

I have done a lot of reading on here and searched through the forums, just wanted to ask these specifics. 

-Fross

Replies

  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 723 Officer
    Welcome to the group.  I fish out of the FPI but usually head offshore to the gulf stream so I'm not an expert on the near shore stuff.  That being said here's my 2 cents.....  A lot of people fish the "boil" which is about 6miles south of the inlet in front of the power plant.  It is very close to shore, actually you are fishing like a 1/4mile at best from the shore.  Its easy to find, head out of the inlet and head south...you'll see the 2 nuclear silos and there you are.  There are also a number of reefs to the north, out a little more from shore but still very close maybe a mile to a 1 1/2 miles.  One if is front of pepper park.   People usually fish shrimp or bait fish in these locations.  Another option is to try for king fish.  I've gotten then in 30-60 ft of water.....Most people go to the 90ft ledge but that's about 10-12 miles offshore.  I'm sure others that fish those areas more will jump in and give you some advice as well.   One more idea is to stop at the local bait shops to get some current advice.    There are a few in the area, I go to the Fishing Center on Hwy 1 a lot and they have always been helpful with advice.  
  • frosstyxfrosstyx NCPosts: 3 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info, Im not saying I wont go 10-15 miles out (weather depending).  Id just have to make double sure it was gonna be a flat(ish) day out the inlet.   I just wanna break the wife and kids in easy and Im taking NO CHANCES with the smaller kids on the boat. 
  • GarysmoGarysmo Ft. Pierce, FloridaPosts: 723 Officer
    Totally agree......10-15 miles will give you a lot of options.  People like to look for kings in the 70-90ft area and depending on the stream location and water temps you can pick up mahi in that range.  On calm days there is usually boats in the area.  They maybe a few miles away but you'll be able to see them.  I always do a quick radio check in the morning heading out.
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,148 Officer
    When I leave the lift in the morning I have a plan but that plan can change. So you bring the gear and baits you may need for bottom fishing, trolling, king fishing. Also grab $20 or $30 worth of livies from Dave if he is still selling in the inlet. Lots of chum can save a bad day. There are a generous amount of county artificial reefs which will keep you busy for a couple years and then a lot of natural reefs which will take you a couple years to discover. Dont crowd guys who are already set up on a spot.
  • KnotikoKnotiko Posts: 38 Greenhorn
    One thing you can try...  there is a buoy (12A) south of the inlet in about 60 feet of water (its almost due east of the power plant).  If it is holding bait, you can catch bait there and slow troll or drift those baits around that buoy.  I have had quite bit of luck doing that on days when new comers are not as excited about heading out into the deep blue.  We have caught kingfish, dolphin, sails, and cobia off and around that buoy.  There are also a few wrecks a little farther out from there.
  • frosstyxfrosstyx NCPosts: 3 Greenhorn
    Knotiko said:
    One thing you can try...  there is a buoy (12A) south of the inlet in about 60 feet of water (its almost due east of the power plant).  If it is holding bait, you can catch bait there and slow troll or drift those baits around that buoy.  I have had quite bit of luck doing that on days when new comers are not as excited about heading out into the deep blue.  We have caught kingfish, dolphin, sails, and cobia off and around that buoy.  There are also a few wrecks a little farther out from there.
    Awesome!  Thanks for the info.  I will probably hit this and head to the reefs if it doesnt pan out there.  I really need to move closer to Ft Pierce... a week isn't enough time. 
  • LuckyLucky Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    If you don't mind dragging the boat a little further south one day, the kids would probably have a blast catching spanish mackerel around Peck's Lake right outside and to the south of St. Lucie inlet. Not sure how thick they are, maybe someone who has fished it lately can chime in. Not far from there to the NE is the Sandpile, which usually holds bait and plenty of other fish. I've caught snapper, cobia, and kingfish in that area. It can be sharky, and a bit crowded on a calm day though. Plenty of other shallower public numbers you can try too.
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