Fishing forecast – Saltwater: Anglers are urged to be careful on the water since thunderstorms have been active not only in the afternoon, but throughout the day and night. Expect fish to react to these weather patterns, often feeding more heavily after the passing of a rain system, especially in shallow water where temperatures and salinity can fluctuate rapidly.
Seatrout and redfish still are the best bet along the Indian River Lagoon system, especially above shallow grass flats early and late in the day. With rain showers and thunderstorms being common throughout the day, anglers are finding active fish when normal June temperatures would be at their hottest. Area culverts, bridges, mouths of canals and other areas of water flow also are good locations to find fish. Jack crevalle, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and schooling trout have been roaming and chasing baitfish along edges of the Intracoastal Waterway Channel between Eau Gallie and Fort Pierce. Most of these schooling trout are undersized and must be released. Mackerel, however, are scaling to 4 pounds. Small jigs, swimming plugs, spoons and Rat-L-Traps work especially well for imitating schooling menhaden and glass minnows.
Sebastian Inlet is producing some tarpon, redfish and Spanish mackerel, especially when baitfish are schooling in or around the inlet. Mangrove snapper and lookdown catches also are improving. Use live greenies, mojarras and shrimp around both jetties, especially during cleaner tides and tide changes.
Freshwater: Water is pouring through narrow portions of the St. Johns River and connected lakes, such as the north and south ends of lakes Washington, west of Melbourne, and Winder and Poinsett, west of Cocoa. Rising water levels are pushing fish back into marshes. Anglers in air boats are finding good numbers of panfish and some bass back in marsh grasses. Most boaters are targeting the areas of strong water flow for schooling bass, panfish and catfish. An assortment of species have been found. Bluegill and crappie often are holding up together along edges of vegetation. They might not stray out into the water too much because of the large number of gar, bowfin and bass that are patrolling the areas. Cast flipping-style with live crickets or small jigs inside vegetation to pick up these panfish. Use Rat-L-Traps, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastic baits along edges of vegetation and eddies in the current for bass. If gar become a nuisance, avoid using top-water baits or bobbers since these surface dwelling fish find them irresistible.
— Beth Sinclair, for FLORIDA TODAY