The inshore waterways around Fort Pierce and Jensen Beach, Florida, have experienced some challenging times in recent years — but the fishing here remains quite good.
We just finished up filming what should be a terrific episode of Sport Fishing Television; the team stayed at River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp and fished with Capt. George Gozdz, and we found an excellent snook bite, nabbing fish to close to 20 pounds around the many docks and bridges in the region. We also managed to catch redfish, plenty of big jack crevalle and even tangled with some goliath grouper.
The mullet run was just getting underway, and the fishing will only improve in the coming weeks, as game fish of every species hone in on the silvery, jumping baitfish. We saw plenty of tarpon decimating these mullet schools, as well, and tried hard to catch one but couldn’t quite close the deal.
Still, the St. Lucie River remains under threat. The problem? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to channel polluted runoff water from Lake Okeechobee into the estuary’s western reaches when lake levels get too high.
A group of citizens filed a lawsuit against the Corps several years back, but the U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of the Corps. That means dangerous nitrates and phosphates will continue to be pumped into the estuary during times of high water.
This is bad news for both the fish and waterfront property owners — and while we experienced some terrific fishing recently, it’s a long-term concern that will persist. To learn more about what’s happening, check out www.riverscoalition.org.
Senior Editor, Sport Fishing magazine