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Week of December 19, 2022: Catch a “puppy” at the south jetty this holiday season


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Most of the  action is occurring at the south jetty, due to the extremely limited access on the north side. 

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Today’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, a high of 72 degrees, ENE winds at 9 mph and 2 to 3-foot waves.

 And now, behold another insightful fishing report from our own “Snookman” Wayne Landry. He’s forgotten more than you’ll ever know about Sebastian Inlet fishing.

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fanatics!  I hope everyone had a great weekend. I hate to say it, but, once again, there isn't a whole lot going on fishing-wise at the inlet. For the most part, fishing everywhere is pretty slow due to the dirty water, lack of baitfish and the coolness of the water (68 to 70 degrees). Usually, this time of year the flounder are the main topic, but to date they are not. Some are being caught, but most are only a measly 14 to 15 inches long. A few have been caught in the 4 to 5-pound range, but only a couple that I have heard of. We also expect to see bluefish this time of year when the water cools, but the dearth of baitfish has kept the blues away — maybe a couple stragglers if you're lucky. Here is the rest of the report:

North side: Most of the fishing action occurs at the north jetty, which is still closed due to storm damage. The exception: A few decent sheepshead caught along the rocky shoreline on cut shrimp, both tides. 

South jetty: Here, the action is just a tad better, with some small drum being or puppies caught on the incoming tide on shrimp. We call the undersized drum, ‘puppies’. There are still small undersized snook being caught on live baits, also on the incoming tide; however, snook season is closed and reopens Feb. 1. Snook must be released unharmed. Jacks and a possible bluefish may be around as well, but the water is pretty dirty. Catfish, small bonnet head sharks and stingrays are present on the beach side of the jetty. No flounder here yet. 

Catwalks, north and south: The north catwalk is still closed, but the south side catwalk is FINALLY open! The bite so far is mostly sheepshead being caught on live fiddler crabs and cut shrimp around the pilings. One of my friends who fishes for them gets his limit every time he goes. Either tide is good, but incoming is better as the water moves slower and is easier to fish. This side is usually a hot spot for flounder, but since it just opened up last Friday, it hasn't  yet been fished much. Incoming tide is what you want for the flounder. West of the catwalk, along the shoreline, you may catch a flounder on live finger mullet if you can find some - also mud minnows work, too. Most fish are only in the 14 to 15-inch range, but there are bigger ones to be had. Just put in the time and be in the right place. 

Surf area, both sides: For the most part, all last week and the weekend it has been blown out. Winds and big surf have roughed the water, making it hard to fish, but anglers are catching catfish, stingrays and some small bonnet head sharks, not much else. 

T-Dock area: It’s pretty slow due to the cool, dirty water. About the only thing I have heard of and have seen caught were a few undersized mutton snapper. They must be 18 inches to keep. Also, on the incoming tide and the beginning of the outgoing tide, boaters are still catching  small to average-sized snook (as previously mentioned, the season is closed). 

That's all I have until the water cleans up and calms down. Cold weather is coming our way for holiday weekend. If you have time, go fishing and see if it is your lucky day to catch a big one! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fishing friends out there.” -  Snookman.