Good morning, all my Sebastian Inlet fishing fans. I hope everyone had a fun and safe Thanksgiving weekend. Now it’s back to the grind and another installment of our weekly fishing report. This one will be better than recent reports because the water conditions have improved. Fishing last week, on Monday, started off with a bang with the cleaner and cooler water and some baitfish still around. I saw some nice snook, black drum, pompano, redfish, lots of Spanish mackerel and bluefish caught throughout the inlet. Then came the NNE winds and big waves from Tuesday through Thursday that pretty much shut that all down. Overnight Thursday and Friday the winds shifted again and the seas calmed a bit. The water cleaned back up and the bite was back on! Here’s the breakdown:
When the water has been clean, the bite has been decent, with several species caught. The big deal and the best action on the high tide has been the ‘mac attack,’ Spanish mackerel. Monday and Friday were banner days for them. Many were caught, with quite a few anglers getting their limits of 15 per person. Live greenies and pilchards were the bait of choice. Small crappie jigs and small silver spoons worked as well, but the live bait was the best. Another species caught were bluefish. Either tide was working for them, but the outgoing at the tip was better. Large silver spoons, jigs and cut and live bait did the trick. Also on the high tide, ocean side of the jetty for those fishing small live shrimp, cut shrimp, there was a rather good pompano bite on Monday and Friday during the clean water event. On those two days I received reports of about 7 to 10 fish being caught in the 12 to 14-inch range. Also, there were some black drum caught along with the pompano, most were in the 15 to 24-inch range. Again, live or cut dead shrimp. Also a few whiting. On the inside of the jetty, incoming tide they had a snook bite on live shrimp, and the small shrimp jigs. Most of the fish caught were undersized, and some oversized, but also quite a few nice 30 to 31-inch slot fish were caught. I also saw a couple of redfish caught at the tip on live baits.
The water has been much dirtier than the north side because all the dirty water coming out of the intercoastal waterway flows south down the beach, and on the incoming it flows back in, keeping it dirty. Outgoing tide is the only time anything is being caught, with black margates, spot tails and a couple sheepshead being the action. For those tossing silver spoons to the channel, bluefish and jack crevalle are hitting them. The snook bite has been pretty slow during the dirty water periods, but if it does clean up, expect some to want to play. Live baits work the best on the incoming tide along the entire shoreline.
Here, the action has been all about the snook! During the end of the outgoing tide and the first of the incoming — after the water cleans up — the fishing has been on fire, off and on, for the boaters tossing live baits. Pinfish and pigfish are the key baits. The shoreline guys have fished live baits and the shrimp jigs have also been getting in on the action and getting some nice fish too! Some big redfish have been caught as well. The bluefish and Spanish mackerel have also been biting back here for those tossing small jigs and spoons to the channel area.
Surf, both sides
The area south of the south jetty has been slow due to the dirtier water. Catfish and stingrays have been a problem, but also there have been a few hit-or-miss pompano and whiting caught. On Sunday I saw a couple small snook caught over there too. Live finger mullet. Flounder may be present this time of year. The season for them opens back up December 1. I was talking to one of my friends who fishes them and he caught one the other day measuring 22 inches! Nice fish. Remember they have to be at least 14 inches to keep, and can only harvest five per person per day!
The surf area just north of the north jetty has been producing a few different species. Black drum, pompano, and whiting have been biting dead and live shrimp and fish bites. Snook are still being caught as well on medium-sized swim baits and live baits, mullet and shrimp. Most of the snook have been too small, but a few have been of slot sized to keep. Those fishing silver spoons should look for bluefish and Spanish mackerel. If there are any bait fish in the surf you might run into some tarpon and blacktip/spinner/bull sharks, too.
That’s a wrap. The week will start out on the windy and cool side, but will warm up after Wednesday (see forecast at the top of the report).
Have a great week everyone and stay safe!