Our Treasure Coast waters, tranquil and teeming with life, have diverse areas to wet a line. With a climate unmatched to South Florida the when to fish is yearly; the where to fish is a question often asked. My go-to answer: pick a bridge.
The water flow is constant, the currents can rip and the water quality surrounding bridges is always changing. Those conditions make for a constantly renewed fishery. Whether fishing from the top of a bridge or underneath one, fishing can be productive—you just have to carry the right tackle for the job. Using light inshore equipment can make for a hard day’s work; you will break it. Bringing heavy tackle makes it much easier to bring up a fish from the depths, and your fear of losing the fish diminishes with sturdier equipment.
Once you spot the bridge and you’re confident that fish are waiting for your ambush, pick a spot that isn’t right on top of another angler. The best side to choose is the outgoing tide side. You want the currents to work for you—not against you. From the top of a bridge, choose the side that has your bait or floats moving away. You can’t react to a bite when your bait or bobber is out of sight.
From under a bridge, utilize the same current philosophy and be aware of shadow lines. Like you, fish are waiting to ambush their prey. The fish wait at shadow lines, mostly congregating in the shade. By presenting your bait in the proper spot, your strike will invariably take place around or right on those shadows projected from the bridge.
Even in overcast conditions, in both day and nighttime fishing, the shadow line is the best place to let your bait hang. Be keen to where the bait is balling up around the pylons and always remember if you’re jig fishing, most bridges have a rocky bottom, which may lead to snags.
From the bridges, I find live bait works best, but plastics, jigs and topwater lures also tend to find a hungry predator. Last, have a net ready to help bring up that trophy fish and don’t let the rod do all the work, especially when the fish is out of the water.