Fishing Report

Your Guide to Great Martin County Fishing

From the land to the deep sea, Stuart’s inshore and offshore waters offer an abundance and variety of different catches. We’re proud to team with the Coastal Angler to bring you the latest fishing reports to help put you on the fish and keep your lines tight

Offshore - April 2024

April showers bring May flowers? No! More like the contaminated waters of Lake Okeechobee being dumped out of the locks and into our fragile ecosystem starting last month. With salinity levels in the river plummeting to less than 5 ppm overnight, water so dirty that sea grass can’t get sunlight, silt so thick that all the nooks and crannies in the reef are getting filled in out as far as the six-mile reef, and fish already showing lesions more than three miles from the inlet. The fact that the Army Corp of Engineers has the audacity to do this and has been getting away with it for decades is a travesty. For more information on this despicable management of Florida’s waterways you can help, please look into Captains for Clean Water, please join and spread the word.

Fortunately, even with all this going on, when you find the clean water and get out of the freshwater influence, the fishing has been good, and I expect it should remain good offshore throughout the spring and summer. Trolling has been working very well the last few months and when there are not a lot of fish around, covering ground trolling between 4 and 6 knots with a good dredge as a teaser is usually more productive. Blackfin, mahi, kingfish and sails are the main targets for this time of year and as they continue to filter down here and really stack up, we will be switching to live baiting. 20 lb. line, a 50 lb. leader, a 6/0 or 7/0 circle hook, on a light to medium action 15-20 lb. Blackfin Rods is a great all-around set-up. I also like their Carbon E series spinning rods for pitching live baits to everything from snook to sails during these spring and summer months.

A huge tip to improve your ratio, light drags and bridle your live baits! I use R&R rubber bands and an open-end needle to secure everyone. Ideally, this time of year we’ll be kite fishing. We use Tigress kites. They fly in virtually all conditions and can be steered incredibly well to optimize our footprint and presentation. As much as I love teaser bites, there is nothing better than a good kite bite but this time of year there’s not always enough breeze. On days where there’s not a lot of wind, we bump troll out of our extra-long Rupp Marine outriggers giving use the spread and height we need to present the baits properly in those conditions.

April 1st traditionally kicks off the yellowfin tuna season and is the perfect month for Bahamas trips looking for them and blue marlin. The last day kicks off the summer dolphin run and all of April is always a great time to continue your swordfish exploits.

From The Land - April 2024

April brings warmer weather and with this, snook are on the move. Snook will be leaving the river to move to the inlets and beaches. If you like to catch some fish, the best bet will be inlets. Look for moving water. Nighttime is the best for big snook. Can’t beat a live mullet or a threadfin to get a bite. Look for snook to be stacked up on the beaches mostly where there is structure. Walton Rocks Beach being number one on the list with a high tide. Throwing plugs like a Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow.

Tarpon are biting in the inlets too and the same bait you use for snook will get a bite from these fun fish. Look to fish at night to get more hook ups.

Big jack crevalle are still around and will give you a fight of a lifetime, so don’t overlook this amazing fish. Some can be over 40 lbs. I still like throwing spoons off the beach to get these fish to bite. It’s always fun to watch them bust the surface.


Trout and redfish will be on the flats near Herman’s bay on the east side and right up to Bear Point. West side of the river look for them from Walton Road up to Fort Pierce. Wading with a popping cork and shrimp is the way to go.

Take a kid fishing and enjoy the outdoors. Tight lines

Inshore - April 2024

April is a phenomenal month for targeting large jack crevalle, snook, tarpon, redfish, and cubera snapper on the Treasure Coast inshore waterways. Live bait fishing with large white baits, mullet, croakers, or pinfish will produce plenty of action and bigger game fish too. Artificials are working better at first light, sunset, and after dark. Topwaters, subsurface twitch baits, NLBN, flairhawks, and D.O.A. soft baits all work well this time of year.

Tarpon fishing along channel edges has been producing some larger tarpon on live mullet. Heavy leaders and 2x 8/0 BKK circle hooks will get the job done.

Snook fishing around structure with live pilchards is working very well this time of year. Expect some oversize jack crevalle this month while snook fishing. I always keep an 8000-size reel onboard with an 80 lb. braid and 80 lb. leader for these 30-50 lb. jacks. Large live mullet on a 2x 8/0 circle hook should be adequate. Cast out and HOLD ON!! 

Also, we are still seeing a few pompano in the Indian River along the sandy Sailfish flats near the St. Lucie Inlet. Fishing pompano jigs while drift fishing and or anchoring with sand fleas on pompano rigs will produce the bites if you’re in the right area. 

Nearshore fishing remains steady for snapper, cobia, jacks, snook, tarpon, permit, and kingfish. Running the beach early in the morning looking for large schools of tarpon, jacks, permit, and kingfish is a great idea this month. Approach these large schools of fish slowly with the boat and stay as far away as possible while casting to the lead fish. This will prevent you from spooking the entire school and allow you to catch multiple fish.

There are still a few Spanish mackerel around Peck Lake but the Spanish run is at its tail end. 

Deep Sea - April 2024

The local seascape of April will play host to some of the most prized saltwater grocery trophies in the world. Cobia, snapper, mahi, and king mackerel will top this briny hit list and will be found around and atop the renowned reef system, east of our St. Lucie Inlet. The offshore fish hunters of April will delight in engaging in strategies that involve both surface and bottom fishing during open, user-friendly, weather windows this month. April can still be a windy month that produces rough sea conditions, so anglers (as always) will need to continue to monitor daily offshore forecasts.

Cobia typically make a strong showing during the golden days of April and will be found in many dynamic scenarios of the local, liquid playing field. Hungry packs of cobia will be attracted to all types of reef structures, both naturally occurring and artificial, and will fall to live and dead baits presented throughout the water column. Live baits are especially effective and will prove to be irresistible to a cobe in the right mood. Besides being found around bottom structures, cobes tend to follow and swim along with larger sea animals, like manta rays and southern stingrays, turtles, and sharks.

Casting to a cobia towing behind a larger sea creature is best achieved using three- to four-ounce jigs, tipped with a long ribbon of squid. Bottom fishing for the many species of the snapper family will continue to be a go to strategy for Treasure Coast meat hunters in April. Large mutton and mangrove snapper will be available in good numbers along the reef line in 70 to 90 feet of water and allow fishermen to test their angling finesse while attempting to capture these fish athletes of the ocean floor. Wrestling a large snapper to the surface can be a full contact and exhilarating moment, made more satisfying as the filets hit the frying pan.

With this in mind, pack the cooler with plenty of dead bait, catch some “live-ies” if you can, and have an assortment of jigs standing by. And don`t forget to pull out some coastal recipes to fully enjoy the salty grocery trophies of April.