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Week of July 31:  It's snapper city at the T-dock

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Angler of the Week: This is Zach and this is his snook. Thanks to our fishing guide, Snookman, for sharing. 

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Today’s forecast calls for cloudy skies and scattered afternoon thunderstorms, a high of 89 degrees and winds shifting from WNW in the morning to E in the afternoon. Waves are only 0-1 feet, so forget about surfing.

 Good morning, Sebastian Inlet lovers; I hope everyone had a great weekend! Here we go with the happenings of this past week at the inlet and surrounding beaches. Again, not much has changed from the previous week; it has actually slowed down slightly. My take: Late last week the W/SW offshore winds had turned to SE each afternoon, 10 to 15 mph, and silted up the water again. Also, water temps keep fluctuating from the 82 to 86 range, then down to 82 or 83. When that happens, it affects the fishing and the bait situation. There are fish around, but you have to put in time and be at the right spot when they decide to bite. Also, the webcam is still down, the malfunction due to an electrical storm on July 17. Anyways, here is your fishing outlook for the week! 

North jetty: It’s been hit-or-miss. We had low water all last week and early high water in the mornings and late evenings. Fishing action was mostly at the tip and around the rocks and pilings because a long sandbar on the beachside of the jetty is keeping that side shallow.

Mangrove snapper are the target species this time of year, with quite a few showing up to the party, but many are too small to keep: 10 inches is the minimum for them. Live and cut dead greenies and pilchards are the bait of choice, or small mojarra if you find some, cut of live. Live shrimp will work too, but all the little bait stealers love shrimp, too! Also, I heard that some nice cubera snappers have been hooked up on live croakers, but in trying to get them to the net, the monster goliath groupers had other plans and ate them mid fight, and they ALWAYS win. So, they are there, the cubera, but none landed. Another species being caught are the Spanish mackerel — some are being caught on mostly live greenies; others, on small white jigs. While fishing for them, watch for barracudas. They will try to steal your catch if you don't get your fish to the net quickly. Barracuda can be caught on tube lures fished quickly along the top of the water. Green or pink are the preferred colors. 

South Jetty:  Over here, the mangrove snapper bite has improved, but again, still a lot of shorties are being caught. Some keepers, though, just enough to keep you interested. Live and cut dead greenies are the baits. Incoming tide is the best to fish for them as you have more area to fish for them along the rocks. Outgoing tide at the tip they are catching some as well, along with the black margates and blue runners. Cut shrimp for the margates. For catch-and-release snook, the nighttime bite has been rather good using artificials,  swim baits or live bait are working the best. Fish the last of the incoming, and the first of the outgoing tide along the jetty rocks. One of my friend’s son and a couple of his buddies fished last Thursday and landed several snook, a couple tarpon and lady fish. I haven't heard any more about the summer flounder we see sometimes this time of year. But that doesn't mean that aren't there. 

Catwalks remain closed.

T-dock area: Back here it is still snapper city, with several different species being caught: mangrove, mutton and lanes. Fish live or dead greenies around the dock pilings for them. When the water is clear, look for Spanish mackerel. Small white jigs, either feather or rubber along with live greenies will attract a bite from them. Also, there should be jack crevalle and blue runners to keep it interesting. 

Surf area on both sides: Winds switching from offshore to onshore (SE and 10 to 15 mph) has silted up the water again. Along with the low tides in the morning all last week, it has been pretty slow. The pesky catfish have been around for those fishing shrimp and cut bait. My surf fishing buddies said the bait schools have been largely absent and not too much happening with predator fish: snook, reds, and the Spanish mackerel and tarpon. If you find baitfish, you could have some fun. This week promises early morning high tides. That should improve the fishing. 

That's all I have for this week. Expect another hot one, so make sure you bring plenty of water to hydrate and wear sunscreen. Be on the lookout also for afternoon thunderstorms — they can be intense. Enjoy the ocean and outdoors!” — Snookman