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Week of February 5: Snook fishing is so-so, but monster blues are biting

A person on a pier holding a large fish, with the ocean in the background.
Angler of the Week: John Madru sent this photo of the sheepshead he caught at the north jetty. A fine specimen!

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Today's (February 5) forecast calls for rain all day, a high of only 64 degrees, ESE winds between seven and 10 mph, and three to four-foot waves. Ick. 

And now for this week's fishing report from "Snookman" Wayne Landry:

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing folks. I hope everyone had a good weekend. Here is what's been going on at the ole fishin’ hole: For the most part, the weather hasn't been conducive to good fishing thanks to winds and dirty, cool water. However, there has been some action. Snook season opened with a lackluster bite; not very many have been caught to date. The water has been too cool for them to be active (62 to 64 degrees along the coast when we need it to climb back up to 70 or higher to get them ‘comfy’ and playful. Most of the snook I saw caught since opening have been either too small, or mid slot, 29 or 30 inches. Keepers must be a minimum of 28 inches with the tail pinched and maximum of 32 inches, tail pinched. The limit is one per day per person. The talk of the town at the inlet the last few days has been the MONSTER bluefish that have made their presence known! They have been abundant, especially on the south side. All the blues I have seen were in the 8 to 12-pound range, and they have been biting just about anything you throw at them! To that end, here is the breakdown: 

North jetty: Several species are being caught here. At the tip on the end of the incoming tide and the start of the outgoing tide, black drum are still biting, but not as well as in the past few weeks. Most have been in the 18 to 24-inch range, with a few over that, and some monsters as well have been caught. Last weekend, I saw two fish caught that were in the 50 to 60 pound range landed! Nice fun catch, great picture fish, but not any good to eat, as these monsters are infested with worms. They are also our breeder fish and should be returned to the water, which both of these were. Thank you! Live and dead shrimp and clams were the baits of choice for the drum. Along with the drum several large redfish were caught as well, same baits. On the high tide beach side, on Saturday, I saw a couple nice pompano and whiting caught on live sandfleas. The sheepshead that were there weeks ago have left the building — all my sheepshead hunters have been striking out. On the incoming tide at the tip, Spanish mackerel bite has been fairly good, but most are kind of small, around 14 or so inches. The snook bite on the incoming as I mentioned earlier has been kind of dismal, not too many being caught, but the ones caught have been on live shrimp. Also around still there are some nice spotted seatrout being caught. Most of them have been in the 17 to 20-inch size. 

South jetty: It has been a bit slower due to the dirtier water blown up from the SE winds we had last week, but there are some nice fish being caught when you can find some cleaner water. Outgoing at the tip, they have been catching some smaller black drum, sheepshead and black margates on cut shrimp. Lots of catfish too are there due to the dirty water. Incoming tide at the tip is when the MONSTER bluefish, 8-12 pounds were being caught, they will bite anything you toss at them. Big silver spoons are the best for them, but jigs work just as well. Along the inside shoreline if the water is somewhat clean, anglers have been catching small snook, with a few keepers mixed in. Live shrimp has been the ticket, but any live bait will work if they’re hungry. There have been big redfish and seatrout here, too. That's pretty much it. No flounder to speak of. 

Surf area, both sides: South side for the most part has been pretty washed out due to the large waves and SE winds we had last week, which muddied it all up, not much except catfish, rays and small bonnethead sharks being caught. 

On the north side, thanks to clearer water north of the jetty, they’re catching pompano, whiting and small black drum on shrimp and sandfleas. Early mornings has been the best time to fish it. 

T-Dock area: Not a whole lot going on back here, either. On the incoming and the very first of the outgoing tide there have been some 12 to 14-inch Spanish mackerel caught on small white jigs, and small silver spoons. Snook fishing back here also has been pretty slow due to the colder water, but some are around on the incoming tide. Live baits of any kind will work. Not much on the flounder here either, except for the boaters, who have been catching a few on the north side of the inlet in the back. 

That’s all for this week. Expect windy, rough and rainy conditions through Wednesday, but improvements Thursday through the weekend. Tight lines!”  Snookman