Mark Twain famously quipped, “Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” Fabricating fish tales is a pastime as old as the sport itself, and finding fortuitous fishing holes is more bountiful than a pirate’s treasure for saltwater anglers.
Jupiter, Florida, a town that sheepishly smirks when described as a “drinking town with a fishing problem,” offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities for both novice and expert enthusiasts. Stephen Anderson, a NV real estate professional and commercial fisherman, offers a few pointers for hopeful surf casters and trawlers as they try their luck near Jupiter’s tranquil waters.
Best Places for Rod, Reels, & Rigs
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Of course, the first step is securing a proper fishing rod and reel. Anderson prefers Shimano and Penn reels “mainly because they are easy to get fixed if you have a problem.” If you have a certain type of fish in mind, talk to the representatives at the local tackle shops, and they can help set you up with the proper rod and reel. Plus, they will spool it up with a fishing line and give you guidance regarding fishing licenses. Anderson recommends talking to Todd Mitchell at Juno Bait Tackle Shop or Pete or Tom Shultz at Fishing Headquarters in Jupiter.
- , located at 12770 US Highway 1, offers rod and reel repair, line winding, custom tying, lure rigging, apparel, and, of course, premier fishing rods for offshore and inland. The shop also offers local charters and fishing updates. Juno Bait & Tackle
- Fishing Headquarters Tackle and Supply Store is located at 633 Alternate A1A in Jupiter. Here, anglers will find custom tackle and kits, apparel, rods and reels, fishing tools, and accessories. Tome & Pete also offer advice on local conditions, local guides, tactics, and baits available. Fishing Headquarters
Best Places to Fish
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- Edge of Gulf Stream - Located only a few miles offshore and accessible via the Palm Beach Inlet or Jupiter, the edge of the Gulf Stream always has something biting. Typically, the edge is in about 120 feet of water, which is only a mile offshore of the Palm Beach Inlet and four miles out of Jupiter. Here, the warm,clear waters from the Bahamas flow freely with a natural northern current of 3-4 nautical knots. As a result, the Gulf Stream offers a myriad of species including Bonita, Spanish Mackerel, Mahi, Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, Grouper, Angelfish, Trunkfish, Amberjack, Bluefish, Sailfish, Marlins, and many others.
- Jupiter Inlet – The Jupiter Inlet is perhaps the best fishing spot in the world for snook fishing. Additionally, “when the mullet run during September and October, you can catch tarpon, snook, Jacks, Spanish Mackerel and bluefish by casting a spoon off the beach around the mouth of the inlets,” suggests Anderson. One can fish the inlet by boat or land. Dubois Park allows anglers to fish from the new docks near the jetties. The snook tend to congregate along the docks or rocks. However, be careful of climbing on and fishing from the rocks as eels are known to hide there!
- Jupiter Beach - The public beach accesses in Jupiter are ideal for early morning or late afternoon surf fishing. In the early morning or in the late afternoon, folks set up rods on the shore, watch the sun rise or set, and patiently wait for a bite. “This is a hot spot for Pompano from November through the first couple weeks of May,” notes Anderson. Smaller species and sharks can be caught from the white sand too.
- Juno Beach Pier - Though sometimes crowded, the Juno Beach Pier is an easy spot to throw in a few lines and catch tarpon, grouper, sheepshead, and flounder. Mackerel, and Crevalle Jack. The pier is open from 6 a.m. until 8 p..m., and it showcases 990 feet of fishing deck. Managed by Loggerhead Marine Center, the Juno Beach Pier has a full service Pier House with restrooms, gift shop, snack bar, and guest services.
- Loxahatchee River - As Florida’s first federally designated Wild and Scenic River, the Loxahatchee River is ideal for those who wish to stay closer to land. The northern portion of this slow-moving river contains brackish water, a mix of freshwater and saltwater, and it eventually merges into the Intracoastal Waterway and Jupiter Inlet. Meandering through several miles of swampland and widening into a central embayment area, the Loxahatchee River has more than 10 freshwater and saltwater habitats. Anglers appreciate the variety of species, which include red fish, bass, jacks, tarpon, snapper, and snook.
Best Time of Year to Fish in Jupiter
Luckily for residents of Jupiter and Palm Beach, anytime of year is good fishing. The target species may change, however. Sailfish are considered a winter time species but the bites have been good the past few summers as well. Dolphins are typically a springtime catch. The Jupiter Inlet and Palm Beach Inlet make for phenomenal Snook fishing during July and August, but anglers must “catch and release” them until September 1st. Typically, the seas are very calm in the summer, but the heat is intense with little breeze. Consequently, seasoned anglers will head out to sea at dark thirty in the morning. These early birds really do get the worms as bait is much easier to catch at first light. Anderson advises to tune into ESPN 106.3 radio on Saturday mornings at 7:00 a.m. for up to the minute fishing reports from charter captains and commercial fishermen. Local tackle and bait shops will also post reports on their websites.
Best Charter Fishing Trips
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Although Anderson is a commercial fisherman, he does not run charter trips. He recommends Captain Steve Burlington (561 262 7628) on the Top Shelf out of the Jib Club Marina and Captain Tom Schwier (561 262 2301) out of Blowing Rocks Marina. Each trip is around 5-6 hours.
Best Place to Buy Fresh Fish
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Many seafood restaurants in Palm Beach County work with local, commercial fishermen to serve the freshest catch. Captain Charlie’s, Kee Grill, Schooners, Dive Bar, Food Shack, and Hog Snappers are just a few notorious nooks for fresh seafood, creative libations, and Old Florida charm. For those who wish to buy and self-cook their filets, Anderson suggests Pinder’s in Tequesta and Cod & Capers in North Palm Beach. Both establishments purchase from local commercial fishermen.
As the old adage goes, “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” In Jupiter, and surrounding areas, the warm sunshine, turquoise waters, tranquil environment, and teeming marine life, make any day fishing comparable to paradise. From offshore fishing and championship courses to international polo matches and world-class tennis facilities, Jupiter and Palm Beach County are an idyllic place to call home.