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Camping at Jetty Park, hoping to fish the Banana River!

I'm taking my wife and 2 kids camping at Jetty Park next week. We've never been and we're hoping to be able to spend some time fishing the lower portion of the Banana or crossing over to the Indian River. The kids are small so this is more of an exposure trip than a hardcore fishing trip, but we'd still love to have a chance to put some fish in the boat. We've got an 18' flats boat that's kinda heavy, I think I'm clear on the boundary of the no motor zone and I've spent some time on the goon (mostly unsuccessful on my own but I've been with other guys and caught fish :banghead). From maps and aerials this area doesn't look much like the southern portion of the goon so I'm looking for any tips or pointers y'all are willing to pass along.
Anybody have a general area we should start looking or someplace we shouldn't waste our time? Any tackle, bait or rig suggestions? I'm more than happy to do some hunting but there's a lot of unfamiliar water down there. I'd appreciate any help.
Thanks in advance!


  • beachside321beachside321 Posts: 371 Deckhand
    If it's calm (which it looks like it will be next week) forget the backwater and target the bait pods on the beach. Banana River fishing has been slow at best, there was a big fish kill a few months back so most people are fishing different areas. Tarpon, big jacks, snook, reds, Spanish macks, kingfish, Sharks, bonita... All frequent the bait schools. Bucktails, spoons, plugs all work and it's easy to net or sabiki bait from the pods. Also makes for a great boat ride with the family when it's flat. Plus the ramp is right by your campsite.
  • Hooked on PonceHooked on Ponce Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    The closer you stick to the inlet, probably the better. Because of the fish kill and excess fresh water run off of late, you will have more success where there is a better water exchange from the tide. Early morning and later afternoon, live finger mullet (up to 6") will do well up near the shorelines where there is overhanging cover. rig to a sliding egg sinker rig big enough to hold the mullet in place, and be patient. From 10am - 4pm get out on the flats and look for holes surrounded by grass. Target the up current side of the holes with shrimp and jigs. Allow baits to drift across the holes and into the grass. Should be some nice trout and reds to have fun with. If it lays down and the kids can handle it, there are some BIG JACKS chasing bait pods along the beach and some tarpon. Good luck!
  • UTsCCUTsCC Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the great advice. Hopefully I'll be able to put it to some good use. Not too sure about chasing those baitpods though, not because of the kids, my wife gets green at the sight of waves! Hopefully I'll be able to post some pics of my kids' first saltwater fish. Thanks again, I really appreciate it!
  • trousertroutmantrousertroutman Posts: 1,363 Officer
    Target the up current side of the holes with shrimp and jigs. Allow baits to drift across the holes and into the grass.

    What is this current you speak of!?
    JK I agree with above, run the beach or fish in the port itself but be sure to check the signage at the ramp(if still there) about the restrictions on how close you can be to certain structures( 150' from docks 200' from vessels 300' from military?)

    Fishing in the port at night is a great way to beat the heat try to net mullet or buy live shrimp and fish the jetties, docks, and drawbridge....if any law enforcement does approach you just be nice, I have been stopped, many times, but being courteous has always got me away with warnings :signs
    Make the forum great again.....consolidate general fishing with for sale or business but keep reports separate!
  • JethroJethro Posts: 409 Deckhand
    Unlike jetty park there is a place 20 miles south you can canp on the water with your boat docked 10' from your tent/camper. Long Point Park near Sebastian Inlet. The tidal current is a lot stronger but the river is calm. Id say its more of an adventure.
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