Week of June 6: Mangrove snappers arrive early, along with sheepshead, jacks, spadefish
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Today’s forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms, 10 mph East winds becoming Southeast 4 p.m., a high of 83 degrees and two-foot waves.
Our fishing guide, “Snookman” Wayne Landry shares last week’s highlights and his recommendations for this week:
“Good morning fishing fanatics, and happy Monday to all! The last two days of snook season last week were good. I saw many slot snook taken, especially on the south side on the late incoming tide on mojarras. The nighttime bite was rather good on flair jigs and large grubs. Snook season is closed until September the 1, so you have to release any you do catch. Please don't target snook, as they spawn in the summer.
North jetty: Before the weather conditions deteriorated, fishing here was fairly good early last week, with some nice keeper snook being caught on live shrimp and mojarras on the early incoming tide. I saw several nice fish taken home. I also saw quite a few mangrove snapper caught. They arrived early this year, as last year they didn't start biting well until July. The fish I saw caught were averaging 11 or so inches and have been caught on cut bait. The fish were bigger than last year at this time, which were mostly under the minimum 10 inches. Maybe this year, the fishing for them will be better. Also, I saw some nice sheepshead caught around the pilings on cut shrimp. Atlantic spadefish also have been schooling up around the pilings on the incoming tide, and they will bite cut shrimp too. Big jack crevalles are still roaming around and chasing small schools of mullet in the inlet. They can be caught on large silver spoons and top water plugs, and of course, live baits.
South jetty: Like the North jetty, fishing was going off with lots of keeper snook being caught on the late evening incoming tides on live mojarras, jigs and grubs before the bad weather rolled in. On the outgoing tide at the tip, they were catching black margates, sea bream, blue runners and jack crevalles on cut baits. Also, at the beginning of the week pompano were being caught on the beach side on small ‘goofy jigs.’
T-Dock area: Fishing has slowed a bit, due to turbid water and seaweed. Small mangrove snapper are possible and those pesky ‘puffers’ are always around.
Surf area, both sides: Surf fishing has been hit-or-miss due to winds. While it was calm and clean, anglers were catching whiting, croakers, and a few pompano in the surf. Cut bait, sand fleas and fish bites were attracting them. Also, snook are present this time of year as they patrol up and down the beaches. They can be caught on small jigs, plugs, live croakers and mullet, but must be released unharmed as the season for them is closed.
Offshore: Out here, with good conditions, the bite has been fairly good with several species being caught. Yellowfin tuna are being caught for those wanting to take the long run out 73 to 75 miles. Fish are averaging 20 to 40 pounds, with some up to 70 pounds being taken. The fish are being caught on trolled feathers and islander lures with strip bait or large ballyhoo attached. Cobia are all around out there on the reefs and ledges in 60 to 90 feet, with a lot of them being undersized. Use a landing net to avoid gaffing an undersized fish to boat it. Most fish are between 33 and 40 inches, with a few upwards of 20 pounds or so. Cobia are eating anything you throw at them with live baits being the top bait. The mangrove snapper bite is still happening in the inshore reefs with most of them being caught on cut baits. Average fish are two to three pounds, with some pushing the five-pound mark. The mahi bite is getting better, largely due to the water warming up. The fish are being caught in the 180 to 400-foot range on trolled islander lures, sea witches with strip baits or small ballyhoos attached. Look for weed lines, diving birds and temperature breaks for the mahi. Lot of fish in the three to four-pound range with several upwards of 40 pounds around.
As the water cleans up, fishing will improve at the inlet. The weather forecast is good all week, so enjoy the sun and surf, and of course the fishing! Have a great week everyone.” - Snookman