I have always believed that the most rewarding part of fishing is taking kids out on their first adventure. Watching their faces light up when they catch a fish really makes your day. I had the pleasure of having a young man on the boat this week that did just that! Eleven year old, Sam Van Ornam, was on the boat this week with his dad, Tom Van Ornam and Pam Hargrove. You could see the excitement in Sam on the way to the first fishing spot of the day.
Sam with his first fish....
We were fishing with live shrimp and Sam caught his first fish in a matter of minutes when we arrived. While it was only a large pinfish, he was so excited at that first catch and I could see the determination that he wasn't done for the day. He was rewarded a short time later with another fish on and I told him it was a large fish this time. Sam fought and battled the fish all the way to the boat. He was astonished when he saw a 29" spotted seatrout that weighed 9-10 pounds. Sam became a veteran angler after that and caught a number of fish the rest of the day, even giving dad some pointers before the day was finished. Congratulations Sam!!
Sam holding his 29" gator trout he caught this week!!
Trout and snapper were our targets this week. The heat and water temperatures have kept the shallow flats on the quiet side, so we have fished the edges and drop offs recently with some good results. Live shrimp on corks have produced some nice trout for us in the 20" range. Pigfish or pinfish can also bring you some good catches. I fished both north and south of Fort Pierce with good luck. We caught fish during the mornings into the heat of the day. Pam Hargrove managed to get a 20" trout to the boat while a four foot shark chased it and almost had it for lunch. Jerry and his sons also had some good luck with trout this week.
Sam also caught a nice jack crevalle and Pam Hargrove with one of her trout...
Snapper have continued to bite along the channel edges. Jerry Lyman and his two sons, Joe and John, caught dinner in a short time along the channel. Most have been 1 to 1 1/2 pounds this week. Black drum were also biting, but were just short of slot size. Live shrimp, again, was the best choice of baits.
I fished the flats a few hours at first light this week and found snook and trout chasing bait until the sun came up. A five pound pompano hit a jerk bait early one morning this week along the edges of the flats. Top water is always productive in the early hours. Once the sun rises, head to the edges in deeper water for the best results.
Tip of the Week:
Kids! They are our future and the future of fishing in the area. They're eager to learn and the rewards far exceed the effort you put into teaching them fishing skills. Young Sam made my week and I still smile with pride at his success. This sunday will be the first Teen Anglers Tournament of the new school year and I am anxious to begin the new season with them. If you want to see what it's all about and have a boat, contact Capt. Joe Ward at 772-201-5770 if you would be interested in volunteering to help take the kids fishing. It's a great time and you can help nurture the future of fishing on the Treasure Coast!
As always, remember, fishing is not just another hobby....it's an ADVENTURE!!