Family Fun Trips
Although there are numerous options for the serious angler, family fun trips have become Captain Mark’s favorite trips to run. They entail relaxed fishing for the whole family regardless of age or skill level, and are designed to catch maximum numbers, not size (although many larger fish are caught as well). These trips involve primarily drifting shrimp in the Intra Coastal Waterway. From young children to 86-year-olds who have never picked up a fishing rod, Captain Mark can guarantee that everyone will catch fish. These trips are not all about the fishing, as the scenery and wildlife observed on trips is breathtaking. If desired, Captain Mark’s background in environmental conservation can make the trip an eco-tour as well as a fishing trip. His patience with young and new anglers is key and he is referred to as “Cap’n Yeti” by his young nephew. Captain Mark loves to see the excitement on the faces of kids and adults while catching fish, watching dolphins and manatee, and enjoying the wonders of the beautiful Indian River Lagoon!
INDIAN RIVER LAGOON
The Indian River Lagoon is a shallow water estuary that has the highest diversity of fish species of any body of water in North America, with 685 different fish species. The largest sea trout in the world was caught right in Ft. Pierce. Lined with mangrove trees and containing numerous seagrass areas, the average depth is three to four feet. Although there are plenty of shallow water “flats” to fish, the Lagoon also has deeper water areas as well. The “big four” glamour species are snook, sea trout, redfish, and tarpon, but there are many other fish species to catch. Some species, such as tarpon, are seasonal. Whether stalking fish in the shallows, or deeper water, the Lagoon is a year round fishery and can be fished comfortably in almost any weather. Mangrove shorelines, spoil islands, seagrass flats, the intra coastal waterway, docks, and canal systems are all areas that can be fished.
The inlets of the Treasure Coast allow water from the Atlantic Ocean to enter the Indian River Lagoon. The current flow in these inlets often attracts greater numbers of larger fish than are usually found in the Lagoon. Ft. Pierce inlet has good fishing much of the year for snook. Sebastian inlet has large schools of huge redfish in the fall and early winter, with big snook in the fall. Tarpon are present in both inlets mainly in the late spring, early summer, and fall. Much like the Indian River Lagoon, many species of fish can be caught in the inlets year round.
Some of the most exciting fishing of the year is along the Atlantic Beaches, with the largest fish found here. Tarpon, sharks, and Goliath grouper can all top 200 pounds. Often fish caught in our smaller boats along the beach are considerably larger than those caught in large sport fishing boats in deep waters offshore. An area eight miles south of Ft. Pierce inlet, called the “boil”, can be nothing short of world class at times. Migrating tarpon along the beaches in the spring and fall are Captain Mark’s favorite fish to pursue. Shallow reef fishing is also very productive. Most of this fishing is done within five hundred yards of the beach. Additional species not found in the Lagoon can be caught here, such as kingfish, cobia, permit, and even sailfish.
With the exception of cold weather, small tarpon can be pursued in the south fork of the Sebastian River. Although the scenery is fantastic in this protected fresh water river, tarpon is usually the only fish worth targeting here.