As you venture into the pristine Treasure Coast waters, prepare yourself for the catch. It will happen—but only first with one of the most crucial components: the bait.
There are many live and artificial bait options, from lures of every bait pattern, spoons and jigs, to spinnerbaits and plugs, soft plastics and flies. From experience, nothing can top live bait—shrimp and smaller bait fish will be at the top of the food chain—but there have been instances when artificial bait has worked just as effectively.
During a recent fishing venture, I was walking in about two feet of water along a mangrove line in Jensen Beach. With no live bait, I reached for my box of different lure selections and chose a jerk bait. (This is a soft, plastic bait with a very sharp hook hidden within the plastic.) I gently cast my bait toward a large branch lying in the water, and within seconds of landing just in front of the branch, it looked as if the surface of the water came to life. This incredible movement of water is called a “boil.” To see a fish boil the water for the first time will leave an indelible impression.
As I witnessed this boil, I set the hook by motioning my rod in a fast, but not too hard, straight down to upward motion. Fishing line started ripping off my very light inshore reel. The rod had a bend in it that only a “fish-on” can produce. As I reeled the fish to my side, I gently and carefully removed the hook from the Snook’s mouth, keeping the fish in the water. It’s called catch and release.
Even the most experienced anglers can walk away with a day of nothing, but that one catch will keep you going back for a lifetime.
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