I skipped a report (or two) but I didn't skip fishing! We've had great fishing in the ICW as well as the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. I had to wear long sleeves a couple days but at least we've not 6' deep in snow!
As usual I start my trips with a few dozen live shrimp and whatever my cast net brings me, last week the mullet were shy but I had plenty of greenies and sand perch. The baby mutton snapper seem to have moved out of the ICW (only got one last week) and mackerel, croakers, and jack crevalle were plentiful. We brought in a few mangrove snapper but only one was a keeper, the big boys seem to have gone further inshore to deal with the cold weather. We had a school of ladyfish visit but we only kept one for bait, surprisingly we did better with cut ladyfish than we did with the live fish.
The North Fork is holding plenty of keeper mangrove snapper as well as some fat croakers, Sunday one of the croakers my wife filleted plus some steamed broccoli and rice pilaf made a fine lunch. We also caught plenty of jacks which will hit the smoker next week on Thanksgiving, since I'll be home cooking I might as well fire up the smoker. The stinkier the fish, the better the fish dip.
As always we're using 2/0 circle hooks, we miss a few because we don't set the hooks but since so many species are restricted (size, dates, etc.) I'd rather miss a few than release floaters. The law might say I can't keep a small fish but my heart says I should be sure he matures, whether or not I or another angler get to catch him another day.
Captain John Raasch Charterswww.captainjohnraaschcharters.com