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Week of December 11: Catch a snook before the season closes and the lousy weather arrives

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Angler of the Week: John Entrkin caught this 38-pound cobia last week in a 75-foot-deep ledgge out of Sebastian Inlet. He said he release four more cobias and lost one to a seven-foot bull shark. Sounds like a David Attenborough documentary! e need your fishing photos! If you'd like to be featured as the Angler of the Week, please send your photos to We love details! Please include your name, hometown, species of fish and (if you want to share) the bait or lure that worked for you! 

Today’s forecast calls for a high of only 64 degrees, mostly cloudy skies, N winds of 17 mph, and two to three-foot seas.


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One of several pelicans Sebastian Inlet State Park officials have rescued from hook and line entanglements in recent days.

It’s Monday! Before we get to  “Snookman” Wayne Landry’s amazing fishing report, we ask you a favor: Please take the proper action if you accidently hook birds or other wildlife while fishing at Sebastian Inlet. There have been several incidents of birds hooked or tangled in monofilament at the jetty. If you hook a bird:

  1. Enlist others for assistance if possible.
  2. REEL the bird in slowly and evenly.  Don’t try to shake the bird loose by jerking the line – it will inflict additional injury to the bird.
  3. If fishing from a pier, make sure that the bird remains on the water until a net, such as a hoop net, can be used to lift it onto the pier. Birds reeled up onto piers can be seriously injured, or can potentially damage fishing equipment.
  4. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Take extra care to protect yourself when handling long-billed wading birds and hooked-billed cormorants.
  5.  Firmly grasp the bird’s head behind the eyes.  Then fold the wings up gently but firmly against the bird’s body so that it can’t flap its wings, and hold the legs. Hold firmly but don’t strangle the bird.  If it is a pelican, you can hold the beak but keep the beak slightly open so the bird can breathe. 
  6.  Cover the bird’s head with a towel, hat, shirt, or other cloth. This will calm the bird and make it easier for you to remove the line and/or hook.
  7.   REMOVE the hook by cutting the barb and backing the hook out.  If the barb is imbedded in the bird’s flesh, push the hook through until the barb emerges from the skin and then clip the barb.
  8.  If the bird is entangled in line, use scissors, clippers or a knife to gently cut the line.  Place the cut line in a monofilament recycling bin, or cut the line into small (<3- inch pieces) and place in a lidded trashcan.
  9.  Carefully check the bird over for other hooks or line and remove them too.
  10.   If the bird is feisty, it is likely healthy enough to RELEASE.  Point its head towards the water and step back while you release the bird.  Let the bird take off on its own.  Sometimes birds shake their feathers out, assess the situation, and then are ready to fly.  Other times, they just take off.  Either way, this represents a successful release. 
  11. If you are unable to to assist the bird, immediately enlist a state park volunteer or park ranger for help. Don't be afraid to ask other experienced anglers, either. Many of them have been fishing at the inlet for decades and know a thing or two about rescuing birds.  More info here: Tips for unhooking wildlife

Thank you for taking the time to read the above. And now for the fishing report: 

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet anglers! Happy Monday, and I hope you all had a great weekend! Here’s the report for the week. Last week, again, the fishing started off really well with all sorts of different species caught. The north side of the inlet was again the hot spot,  but the rest of the inlet was kind of dirty and slow. However, the north side was clean until Thursday when the winds switched to SSE, picked up and made it a dirty mess again! Snook, black drum, pompano, whiting, redfish, bluefish, jack crevalle, blue runners and even some sea trout (which are still closed until January 1.) were caught. Weather conditions will deteriorate by Wednesday, with the NNE winds clocking at 20 to 30 mph, and the seas picking up to around 8 to 11 feet. Fighting fish from the jetties could be treacherous, so be careful.

North jetty: Fish are biting on the high tides here. That sandbar on the north side of the jetty  keeps it shallow on the low tide phases. Black drum, pompano redfish and whiting have been caught by anglers using live sandfleas or fresh-cut shrimp on the bottom. Inside the jetty, there have been a few nice keeper snook caught on big live shrimp. Snook season closes Friday (December 15) at midnight. Also, there have been redfish and black drum in the mix, as well. The outgoing tide at the tip has been producing two to three-pound bluefish on silver spoons and cut baits. Blue runners and jack crevalle are in the mix, along with cubera snappers for those fishing big live baits at the base of the rocks at the tip. 

South jetty: Early last week when the water was clearer,  snook and redfish were playing for those fishing live pins and pigs or big live shrimp. Most of the snook were too small to keep, but there were some slots mixed in. Outgoing tide at the tip is still all about the black margates, spot tail pins, blue runners and a few bluefish. Cut baits will do the trick for those species. The flounder bite over here has not produced yet, due to the roughed up and dirty water — plus everyone is still fishing for snook before the season closes on Friday (see above). 

T-dock area: Fish remains slow here. Dirty water and the lack of baitfish have kept the predator fish away. Incoming tide along the shoreline is still producing snook, and catch-and-release redfish for those using live baits. Spanish mackerel and bluefish are possible for those tossing silver spoons and small jigs to the channel area. The flounder bites have largely been from anglers fishing from boats. I did see a few caught over the weekend in the two to three-pound range. Live finger mullet or mud minnows are the baits to use, but they will bite live shrimp as well — as will every other fish in the water.  

Surf area, both sides:  The north surf just north of the jetty was producing decent numbers of pompano, whiting and black drum early last week before the winds and surf picked up, suppressing the action. While the water was calmer and clearer, Spanish mackerel and bluefish were around for those tossing silver spoons into the surf. 

The south surf has been a dirty mess for the most part; it never cleaned up regardless of the tidal direction. So, there wasn’t much happening in this area except for catfish, stingrays and a few sharks to keep things interesting. 

That's it for today. As I stated earlier, fish before Thursday as that's when messy conditions are expected to arrive and remain through the weekend. Stay safe and  be well, everyone." -  Cheers. Snookman.