Week of July 18: The talk of the jetty is cubera and mangrove snappers, Spanish mackerel
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Today’s forecast calls for a high of 88 degrees, SSE winds at 14 mph, scattered thunderstorms arriving at about 2 p.m., and two to four-foot seas.
Our fishing guide, “Snookman” Wayne Landry always knows what’s happening at Sebastian Inlet. It’s no wonder: the inlet is his second home. He tells us what’s happening:
“North jetty: Lots of greenies on both sides of the jetty and on both tides, outgoing and incoming, they are everywhere! The talk of the jetty is about the cubera snappers that decided they wanted to make their presence known. Last week, there were several of them caught on live sand perch at the tip of the jetty on the outgoing tide fished on the bottom. On Tuesday, I saw one of my friends, Randy, catch three of these nice fish, and they are really good eating, too. His fish were 24 to 25 inches - the others, I heard, were caught in the same size range, all on live sand perch. Also being caught were some nice Spanish mackerel, which also showed up due to the arrival of the greenies. They’re being caught on live greenies, small crappie jigs and gotcha lures. Most fish were in the 18 to 20-inch range, nice fish! Also, the mangrove snapper bite has picked up a bit along the rock wall and between the pilings around the jetty. Cut bait and live greenies and small mojarra are the baits of choice for them. Most of the mangs are between 10 and 12 inches. Also, another species I saw being caught were the lookdowns. These fish can be caught on small crappie jigs and small live baits around the tip of the jetty on the clean incoming tides. Light tackle is necessary to catch these tasty fish. Big barracudas are roaming around the jetty looking for whatever they can get a hold of, especially YOUR Spanish mackerel you might be trying to land. They like shiny fast-moving stuff, so they will try to eat your catch if you're not careful. They will eat a lively live bait such as a blue runner or mullet tossed out to them, as well as chartreuse and pink tube lures.
South jetty: The water over here has cleaned up some, but the seaweed is still making it a little tricky to fish, but there are fish being caught. I had reports of some nice pompano caught last week on goofy jigs at the tip of the jetty, ocean side, high tide. The outgoing tide at the tip is producing some blue runners, jack crevalles and black margates. Some small mangrove snapper are being caught along the wall/rocks on the incoming tide on live shrimp and small mojarras. I also saw a few Spanish mackerel caught on the outgoing tide on silver gotcha lures at the tip.
T-Dock: Back here are small minnows and greenies all around the dock. The report is that the several different species of snapper are being caught, most being mangroves snappers. I saw several lane snappers caught back there, also. These snappers only have to be eight inches to keep and they have the same bag limit as the mangroves: You can have an aggregate catch of 10 per person per day but mangroves have to be 10 inches. Also, back here at the dock, Spanish mackerel can be caught by tossing gotchas and small crappie jigs to the channel where the fish are in the inlet chasing the greenies. Jack crevalles are possible as well.
Surf area, both sides: On the North side, get away from the jetty and the sandbar that is right in the pocket to find some deeper water. Fish the early and late high tides to find snook, tarpon and possible redfish roaming the trough following the mullet in the surf. Further out, whiting, croakers and pompano are possible on cut shrimp, live sandfleas - if you can find them - and cut bait. Spanish mackerel are also a possibility with all the minnows and greenies coming down the beaches; small spoons and gotchas will entice a bite from them.
Offshore: I don't have an in-depth report this week on the happenings out there, but I do have a report from my trio of friends, Mark, Robin and Joey, who went out last Thursday and returned with a nice mixed bag of fish. They caught three cobia, 35 to 37 inches, two amberjacks, several kingfish, several mahis and some nice mangrove snappers. They didn't tell me what they were caught on or what water they were fishing, but they usually fish 90 to 200 feet with cut and live baits. There are fish out there, but you have to find some activity and fish it.
It’s supposed to be another warm week with afternoon winds and thunderstorms, so get out early and enjoy the Florida beaches, fishing and plain ole fun-in-the-sun. Cheers, Snookman.