The mullet run is here in parts of the Indian River Lagoon system in full swing, but what’s weird is they pop up in random areas at random times before disappearing into the ugly pea soup water we have. I have no clue where they are going at certain times, but I would think if they were down they’d spook leaving sediment or a swirl.
With the ugly water we have on hand, my focus has been tarpon. They can tolerate the lack of dissolved oxygen. There have been lots of 40-80 lb tarpon in the lagoon system all summer that were super hard to get to eat. The mullet pods changed that, and I saw more tarpon attacking bait than rolling. Free-lining a live 8 inch mullet on a 5/0 circle hook is the easiest way to catch them. These fun size tarpon have been wherever there’s mullet. Please be sure to practice catch and release in the lagoon system so we have more fish in the future.
The mullet run is still mainly pre-pods off the beach. Some of these schools of 100-200 mullet are getting hit by tarpon and snook, but it’s scattered and inconsistent. There have been enough fish nearshore that I believe you’d catch something good if you tried. Unfortunately, all the pogies left now.
Offshore has been tough. Let’s start positive by saying the sargassum and current were much less than it has been, and there still is no thermocline. The grouper bite was nonexistent, so our bigger baits were fed to red snapper that were fed to sandbar sharks (thanks SAFMC). We tried chicken rigging, and the vermillion snapper bite would’ve been great had they been just an inch or two bigger. We released like 20 shorts and had 2 make the cut. The triggerfish we were after eluded us, but we still got 2 nice porgies and a stud sea bass.
The fishing will continue to get better as long as long as we don’t get devastated by a major hurricane (way too high of a chance this year). Now until the water temperatures fall much below 70 is my favorite time of year!
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