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Week of August 22: Mangrove snapper is the hot ticket and a message about cast netting wastefulness

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Justin Collett of Melbourne shows off this fine mutton snapper he caught at the north jetty. 

 Today's weather calls for a high of 92 degrees, SSE winds at 7 mph, and one to two-foot waves. 

"Snookman" Wayne Landry shares this week's fishing report: "Good morning, all you fishing guys and gals! Hope everyone had a great weekend. To start off our report today, I need to touch base on a north jetty fishing rule that is being abused almost to the point that it is out of control: Cast netting! Over the past months since the baitfish have been here, people have been cast netting small baitfish to use and taking what they want and leaving the rest to die on the deck and stink it up, not to mention make it look like a war zone! The park management team has seen this, and I have sent them photos. This could lead to prohibiting cast netting altogether. Rule #4 on the big white sign leading to the jetty that states that  this is one of the few jetties that still allows cast netting, so please DO NOT abuse this privilege. The rules also state that ALL unused cast netted marine life must be returned to the water immediately. Please help us protect out marine resources as they won't last forever. If you see someone abusing this rule, say something or report it to a ranger or the entry booth, and help keep our jetty clean and the baitfish alive. Thank you all.. Now onto the fishing.

North Jetty: Fishing on the jetty has picked up quite a bit, but is random. If you are there at the right time, and have the bait the fish want, you'll go home happy. Mangrove snapper have been the hot ticket over the last few days, with fish up to 15 to 16 inches being caught on cut bait and small live mojArras at the tip on the outgoing tide, and along the inside pilings on the incoming tide. I saw and heard of many of the "snapper folks" catching their limits when they went down. Also another species making it interesting is the cubera snapper. I saw a few caught late last week, and heard of some being caught in the evening as well. The fish being caught were anywhere from 24 to 30 inches. I also was told of one that pushed 15 pounds. The bait of choice for them has been sand perch - if you know where to catch some in the intercoastal river -also cut majorras have worked. The fish are being finicky and are kind of leader-shy in the clear water, not to mention they are a tough fight when you hook one. They love to run for the rocks when hooked, so most are lost. 

South jetty: Fishing here has picked up as well due to the cleaner water and fewer weeds. Snook, redfish and mangroves are being caught on live majorras on both tides along the rocks on incoming, and the tip on outgoing tide. Blue runners, jack crevalles and black margates are also possible at the tip on cut baits on the outgoing tide. 

Catwalks: Fishing here is hit-or-missl, with mostly mangrove snapper and black margates being the species caught on but baits. The mangroves being caught are between 11 and 14 inches. 

Surf area, both sides:. The South side surf has been producing a few pompano on cut shrimp and sand fleas, if you can find some. The water has cleaned up quite a bit, and they like that. Mangrove snappers and jack crevalles are running around as well just inside the rock area between there and the beach for those using cut baits and small jigs. Tarpon have been spotted there as well, running along the beaches in search of mullet. North side has been much cleaner with whiting, croakers and some catfish being caught on cut baits. With the bait coming down the beaches now, some glass minnows have started showing up, along with some mullet and the ever present croakers, some large snook, redfish and tarpon are being hooked, and some caught in the surf north of the jetty on any live bait and jigs and rubber swim baits. Most of the fish are being caught in the early morning, or late evening hours, and mostly on the high tide periods when there is more water on the beach. 

Offshore: Not much to report as the water is still pretty cool. The bottom fishing is still slow, but up top and if you do some looking for birds and floating debris, there have been some cobia being caught in the 65 to 100 ft depths. The cold water has brought them to the surface, so scout around. Reports were tough to get this week for out here. 

I hope everyone has a great week. We're expecting rain this week, and it is still a bit warm. So remember to stay hydrated, take your sunscreen and get out and enjoy the outdoors. If you go fishing, good luck and tight lines!! Snookman."