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Today's forecast calls for thunderstorms, a high of 84 degrees, west winds at 18 mph, and three to five-foot seas.
And now for “Snookman” Wayne Landry’s weekly fishing report:
Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing friends! I hope everyone enjoyed the awesome weather last weekend - and the past week for that matter. Fishing slowed a bit due to the northeast swell that has lingered for the past several days. It churned up the water enough to slow the bite down. However, there are still fish around the inlet wanting to play. The baitfish are starting to show. Cast netters are beginning to catch the mojarras that arrive in spring and the snook and reds are biting them. With the water temps around 76 degrees and the full moon in March, they start showing up. Clean and warmer water is what they like. Here we go with the meat of the story:
North Jetty: It is still all about the snook. Last weekend the bite was dismal due to the dirtied water; they just didn't want to bite. Plus, all the boating activity in the inlet makes them gun shy and they chill out. Last week, when the water was cleaner, the bite was good. Last Wednesday when I was down fishing the high tide the bite was on fire with live shrimp and artificial shrimp jigs. The three hours I fished I must have seen anywhere from 20 to 30 fish hooked up, but many were lost to the pilings and the rocks at the tip, but several nice keepers were caught as well. My second shrimp out I got a 31.25-inch keeper. Most keepers were in that slot range. As mentioned, the incoming tide was the best with fish being caught on BOTH sides of the jetty. Another species I saw caught most of last week when I was down working were the pompano! They are still around and should be through April, until the water gets too warm for them. Catch them on sand fleas and fresh cut shrimp and on both sides of the jetty. There were still a few nice black drum caught - live and dead shrimp enticed them. As waters warm, they will leave and return in late fall when the water cools down. Black drum and sheepshead prefer cooler water. Anglers were also catching whiting; fresh cut shrimp was the ticket for them. The ones I saw were about a pound of so. On the outgoing tide there were still bluefish being caught on silver spoons tossed to the channel along with plenty of jack crevalles to keep it interesting. Along the wall between the catwalk and jetty area there have been some nice snook and redfish caught on live shrimp. Incoming tide and the very beginning of the outgoing is best. Also still there have been some nice redfish being caught on the jetty as well on live baits of any kind, both sides of the jetty.
South Jetty: Here, fishing has been a little better, especially on the incoming tide. Plenty of snook being caught, but most are short of the 28-inch minimum. There are some nice keepers in the mix. You have to weed through the shorties. Also, folks are catching redfish, too. Both species are biting live baits and the artificial shrimp jigs. Caught in numbers on the high tide, beach side of the jetty, were the pompano. Several people had three to four fish in their coolers in the 14 to 15-inch range. Sandfleas were the bait of choice, but they will take freshly cut shrimp as well. The outgoing tide is all about the black margates, blue runners and jack crevalles, and possibly a sheepshead or two. Fresh cut shrimp is the bait for these fish.
Catwalk, south side: The bite has been the sheepshead and sand perch caught around the pilings and along the rocky shoreline. Fresh cut or live shrimp is the ticket for them. The sand perch are in the calmer sandy areas behind the pilings and along the shoreline. Small hooks and a small piece of shrimp will do the trick, and there are no size of bag limits on them, and they are quite tasty.
T-Dock area: The snook are playing off and on. Incoming tide and the beginning of the outgoing are always the best times for them while the water is the highest and the cleanest. Most of the fish are being caught by the boaters, but some of the shore bound guys are getting their share. Live baits of any kind, especially pigfish and croakers will do the trick. Live shrimp and artificial shrimp jigs are working for the shore guys, but the other baits will get bit as well. Most of the fish back here have been oversized and released back to the water. Sheepshead and some small snappers are being caught around the dock pilings on cut baits, also plenty of the pesky puffers!! For those tossing silver spoons to the channel, there are jack crevalles and bluefish hitting those.
Surf Area, both sides: With the water cleaner on the south side, the pompano bite has been pretty good. There are whiting and sheepshead being caught as well. The baits of choice have been sand fleas and fresh shrimp. A rock ledge past the first break keeps these fish in the area, and the water is cleaner than the north side. You might also encounter small bonnet head sharks. They like the south side too. On the north side, you have to go a bit north of the jetty — probably the northern most parking lot — to get away from the sandbar by the jetty to find deeper and cleaner water. Same players over here as the south: pompano, whiting, sheepshead and quite possibly a black drum or two. They haven't left yet because water temperatures are still tolerable for them. Same baits: fresh shrimp and sand fleas. For those throwing silver spoons out into the surf, bluefish and jacks are a possibility, and maybe a big redfish.
And that's all she wrote for this week. It's supposed to be an iffy week for weather and expected to cool down by the weekend. When that happens, fishing can heat up. Anything is possible when the fishing transitions from winter to spring. Grab your gear, bait and snacks, get out and catch a big one!” — Snookman.