The Icebreaker Arrives in the Steamy South! Pompano, croakers and droves of bonefish make the first inshore journey of the Summer. Baits of choice include blanched fleas, brined fresh shrimp and Fish Bites (clam and sand flea flavored in orange color). Fluorocarbon leaders in crystal clear waters are imperative. I suggest 1/0 offset circle hooks and 30 lb. rated terminal tackle. To increase the bite potential, downsize to 20 lb. fluoro on the stem leader. Another favorite leader arrangement is the “Earl Brinn” dropper system. This system is incorporates a single-strand dropper design, which is solely designed to catch pomps in high-clarity water. Just Google his name. He passed years ago but his legend lives on!

Early very dim light bites on any tide is important. It’s not about cast distance. It’s more visual. Seek and pursue pockets of minnows and greenies. Target the distance on the outside of the perimeter of the bait mass. Don’t cast into the bait because this generally results in a fast catfish. The distance will change as the bait moves offshore as the sun rises.

Currently, Hobe Sound Public, Hobe Sound Federal Beach, Tiger shores (Stuart), Normandy, Middle Cove and Blue Heron in Ft. Pierce have been quietly reported. “Casual secrets” is indicative of the nature of folks that become animated when they are discovered. Truth be told, search the bait visuals and you will triple your location log. Desire that deep, any tide, structure-enticing beach. Google “John Brooks” Ft. Pierce and slowly drive that bumpy shell rock to a massive reef system with wonderful openings of pretty natural sand. The rest is up to you!

Two weeks ago, I got a great call from Captain Al from Man Overboard Bait & Tackle in Indian Harbour Beach. Al placed a really large pompano jig/quill order in 3/8 and ½ ounce sizes. I asked, “What’s going on Al?”

“Pompano Smackdown at Eau Gallie Bridge! You know what that means,” he said.

Nodding my head in agreement, I said, “The fish are 30 days early and the turtles are nesting up at the berms. Yes, a potentially tough hurricane season ahead.”

When Depression Barry just recently passed us, the the fish schooled up, and today, Al reordered my “Pompano Catcher Rigs.” Find them at Man Overboard Bait & Tackle — a great shop, with quality service and totally fresh bait. Oh, and the prices are choice!

Simultaneously, the Hutchinson Island bites commenced when Barry passed. Look folks — the La Nina pattern replaced El Nino system. If we understood what fish and mammals understand, we would be the best anglers in the Universe! The surf legends had this sixth sense… I have learned a few things from them but have such a long way to go. Tight Lines!