So, you want to catch the BIG ONE?! Vero Beach and the Treasure Coast is a fish hooker’s dream. Whether you want to drop a line in the Indian River Lagoon; surf fish with your toes in the sand; or test your luck & sea legs on a boat: your fish tale is waiting. Pompano, may be the gold star catch in these waters. However, if you listen to the pro and amateur anglers there are plenty of “a-luring” tales circulating about Dolphin, Shark, Tarpon or other “fun fighters” that either were hooked or got away.
More than a dozen different fish can be hooked (or caught) in our waters: Barracuda, Blackfin Tuna, Cobia, Flounder, Jack Crevalle, Kingfish, Ladyfish, Lionfish, Permit, Redfish, Sailfish, Seatrout, Sheepshead, Snapper, Snook, Spanish Mackerel and Wahoo. A friend of mine even caught a Bonefish, from the surf, one day this past summer!
Wabasso Tackle Shop is among the many Bait & Tackle shops indulging fish dreams and providing the provisions for the hunt. Their location on the corner of US 1 and SR 510 makes them hard to miss. What you should NOT miss is a visit and a chat with owner Steve Parsons or the famous Treasure Coast fish reporter, Phil Pederson. Wabasso opened in 1979 and is now supplying third generation customers with the bait & gear to catch the “the big one”. Steve shall permanently “go fishing” after shuttering Wabasso’s doors on December 31, 2014. “It is time”, he says, “to travel, visit children/grandchildren” and to “slow down from his 7 day-a-week job”.
Vero Tackle & Marina, owned by Brian Williamson, has been specializing in everything related to saltwater fishing for over 25 years. They are located right on the Indian River Lagoon, in front of Vero’s Riverside Cafe. Vero Tackle not only outfits anglers but specializes in half-day fishing charters on the Lagoon. “If the tide is moving, so are fish”, says Captain Billy Davenport. A few days ago, two charters left from Vero Tackle and in four hours two guests caught 3 Redfish, 1 Pompano, a handful of Sheepshead and countless Jacks. It is the “big-kid customers who have a ball reeling in the Redfish”! If your catch happens to be a keeper, your Captains will gladly clean your fish and pass it on to Riverside Chefs who will cook it to perfection.
Drive South on A1A towards Ft. Pierce and before you reach the drawbridge, Little Jim Bait & Tackle is another angler’s adventure. Little Jim sits in a quiet cove on the Lagoon, has docking slips and is as casual as it gets. Not only will you find bait, tackle and gear but you may eat, drink and listen to great music on weekend afternoons (certain weekdays too) from 2 to 5. Feeling athletic? Rent a Kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) at Little Jim and explore the Lagoon. How can you go wrong with a place favored by the Navy Seals and Coast Guard trainees?
Some of you may not be old enough to remember one of television’s all time classic shows: Sanford & Son. If you do (if you don’t, Google it), you should NOT miss Discount Tackle, right off Route 1 where Indian River & St. Lucie Counties meet. You will find an incredible warehouse filled to the brim with EVERYTHING an angler might EVER need. Owners Ed & Bev have amassed a selection of rods, reels, lures, hooks, line, sinkers and more items than I could list on ten pages. They are happy to custom build your equipment and truly know fishing. An added bonus there are the Dachshunds that hang out there daily and are willing to hand out wet kisses. Buyer beware, you may find yourself leaving with not only fishing gear but a new pup to boot.
Wabasso Tackle Shop, PO Box 22, US 1 & SR 510, Wabasso, FL 32970, Steve Parsons, 772.581.3474
Live & Frozen Bait; Custom Rods & Components; Rod Repairs; Guide Services; Sebastian Inlet Information
Vero Tackle & Marina, 3321 Bridge Plaza Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963, Capt. Brian Williamson, 772.234.9585, http://verotackle.com/
Full Service Tackle Shop: Live & Frozen Bait; Fishing Licenses; Expert Rod & Reel Repair; Rod & Reel Rental; Fishing Charters
Little Jim Bait & Tackle, 601 N Beach Causeway, Ft. Pierce, FL. Check them out on Facebook.
Discount Tackle, 6745 N. Old Dixie Hwy, Ft. Pierce, FL, 772.216.1987
Custom Rods; Rods & Reel Repairs; breeders of Dachshunds; eBay: Discounttackle2010; click on the “expensive” lures which will take you to their eBay store.
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