Week of August 8: Blues and jacks at the North jettty, despite cold-water upwelling
Today’s forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies, a high of 87 degrees, ESE winds at 10 mph, and two to three-foot seas. Similar conditions will prevail throughout the rest of the week.
Our venerable fishing guide, “Snookman” Wayne Landry, gives us the scoop at Sebastian Inlet:
“Good morning, fishing fanatics. I hope everyone had a great weekend! The weather was hot, but we did have a good breeze off the Atlantic keeping it kind of bearable. Cold water upwelling has made for slow fishing lately. It usually happens every year around July or August and just shuts the bite down everywhere, even offshore. I had reports from some of my friends who dive and they recorded water temps as low as the mid-60s to 72 in 65 feet of water. The good thing: It will warm back up and fishing will improve and the baitfish will return. Inshore temps have warmed back up to 80 to 82 in some areas already.
North jetty: The only thing I have seen over here being caught in any numbers are the blue runners and jack crevalles. They are hitting any live bait, jigs and spoons. A few small mangrove snappers are being caught on small mojarras and greenies. Also, I saw a couple mutton snappers caught last week, but they were too small to keep. Minimum size is 18 inches on them. Large barracuda have been present around the jetty but are reluctant to hit anything. I have seen large schools or Atlantic spadefish hanging out around the tip of the jetty on the incoming high tide on the ocean side of the jetty but haven't seen any caught yet.
South jetty: Over here the water is still very dirty and weeded up and makes it really tough to fish, so it has been ‘lifeless.’
T Dock area: The fishing is pretty slow as well…not much back here for baitfish to keep anything around. The snappers that were here have disappeared along with the baitfish, also due to the cold water. The water back here has cleaned up a lot, but no fish. About the only thing I see caught in numbers were the blue runners, which will bite anything tossed out.
Surf area, both sides: The South side has been pretty dismal due to the weeds and dirty water, not much to report. North side has also been pretty weeded up as well. If you can find clean water that has warmed up some, you might find some whiting, croakers on cut shrimp and fish bites. Also, there are small schools of mullet coming down the beach - if you can net some, snook and possible redfish might be around them to be caught. Last Friday when I was at the jetty, there were schools of 80to 100-pound tarpon rolling and heading up the beach north of the jetty, so they might be a possibility in the surf. They will hit live baits, jigs and large plugs tossed to them.
Catwalks, both sides.: South side the weeds are still too thick to fish, and the water is still pretty dirty as well, so pretty slow over there. North side, the water is pretty clean, but it is still pretty cool, and that has shut things down some. I did see a few small mangroves on Saturday, but they were under the legal size to keep.
Offshore: Not much to report due to the cold-water upwelling that shuts things down. My trio of offshore friends, Mark, Robin and Joey, fished the 60 to 70-foot depths and said the fishing was really slow, with only some small vermillion snappers caught, some AJs and a couple decent mutton snappers in the two days they went out last Thursday and Friday. Elsewhere, I have reports of sailfish, wahoo and mahi being caught in 120-foot depths and in warm water where there is activity around weed lines and floating debris and temp breaks. Those fish are being caught on live pilchards, cut baits, trolled skirts and trolled ballyhoos. Bottom fishing has been slow due to the cold water.
Expect a decent week weatherwise, so go out and find your spot in the sun. Remember to bring the sun block, stay hydrated and enjoy your week! Cheers, Snookman.”