Over the past few weeks, I took the boat out the inlet and along Treasure Coast beaches looking for tarpon, jumbo jacks, permit and cobia. Water temps have hit that magic 76-degree mark, so I was pretty sure the fish would be there.
Once water temperatures rise into the low 70s, forage species, including threadfin herring, horn bellies and menhaden, swarm the beaches, nearshore reefs and other relatively shallow bottom features. I think they move out to spawn. Regardless of why the bait shows up and sticks around, ravenous predators are in hot pursuit.
Imagine a day where you're sight fishing to cobia following swimming stingrays and manta rays, presenting flies and soft-plastic baits to laid-up tarpon, teasing 30-pound jacks into range, and tossing crabs at permit. It’s the unofficial Treasure Coast spring slam, and it happens, a lot, between the last two weeks of March through June.
You can intercept these fish out of Jupiter, Stuart, Fort Pierce, Sebastian and Port Canaveral. Toward May, they show up from New Smyrna on up through Jacksonville Beach. There aren’t too many coasts with more spectacular sight fishing.