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Week of May 22: Hit-or-Miss snook action at the north and south jetties

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Angler of the Week: Snookman's friend Robin shows off this gorgeous Mahi Mahi roughly the size of a Buick sedan.  If you'd like to be featured as the Angler of the Week, please send your photos to We love details! Please include your name, hometown, species of fish and (if you want to share) the bait or lure that worked for you!

Today's (May 22) forecast calls for mostly sunny skies, a high of 84 degrees, ENE winds at 12 mph and two to three-foot waves. 

This week’s fishing report, brought to you by “Snookman” Wayne Landry:

“Good morning, fishing family! I hope everyone had a great weekend as it sure was nice out for a change! This week looks like it is going to be a bit unsettled out there with afternoon storms predicted, but the winds are supposed to be down a bit from what they have been. So here we go with the goodies on the fishing.

Fishing in and around the inlet last week was decent in the beginning while the water was cleaner. Then, sargassum seaweed arrived and (what others and I call) ‘snot weed’ started coming from the Indian River Lagoon on the outgoing tide all week from Thursday on. There were schools of small pilchards around the north jetty just outside of the surf line along with small greenies around the jetty pilings until the water dirtied up, then they left. Mullet continue to come down the beach in small schools and go into the inlet. Mojarras are starting to become a bit more plentiful with the warmer water. Here’s the meat: 

North jetty: The snook bite has been hit-or-miss. Most of the action is during the late afternoon/evening high tide. Mojarras have been the key bait, but snook have been caught on  small croakers. Some have been caught on the outgoing tide at the tip, but most have been too big, or the goliath groupers have been eating them mid-fight, and groupers will always win.

Wednesday, when I was down looking around at all the sargassum on the north side, I saw a large school of big redfish around the weed line — probably about 50 to 100 fish in the 15 to 20-pound range, probably seeking small crabs found riding in the weed, but they never came into the inlet, and nobody hooked any either. They weren't there for very long. Also, I saw quite a few nice tarpon coming around the tip and heading up the beach — it is that time of the year for them to do that.  They looked to be in the 30 to 40-pound range. I also saw small Spanish mackerel caught on small white crappie jigs and live greenies. Those fishing cut bait/shrimp caught a few nice whiting and pompano — early in the week before the water dirtied. I did hear of anglers catching small mangrove snapper, but they were too small to keep. However, that's a good sign they are showing up. I saw a friend on Tuesday catch a small mutton snapper, but it was too small to keep. They have to be 19 inches. Along the seawall, between the jetty and catwalk, it has been slow because a sandbar is keeping the water shallow on the outgoing tide. On the incoming tide, when there is more water, anglers have been catching undersized snook on live mojarras. 

South Jetty: Over here, same: hit-or-miss on the snook. Clean water is the key. If you have snook on the outgoing tide, they have been biting on the tip of the jetty, ocean side. Small croakers have been the ticket. Incoming tide, again, cleaner water is better, all along the rock wall, but they are still biting with it being a little dirty. Live croakers and mojarras are both getting fish. A lot of smaller fish over here, but quite a few keepers in the mix. Those fishing cut bait, shrimp, are catching black margates, spot tail pins, blue runners and jack crevalles on the outgoing tide at the tip. When the water was pretty clean at the beginning of last week, there were a few pompano and whiting caught from the beach side area.

South Catwalk: This area has been slow due to dirty water and weeds. During the incoming tide around the pilings, use cut shrimp for black margates and spot tail pins. No mangrove snappers yet. 

T-Dock: Also hit-or-miss here. Snook are biting live mojarras on the incoming tide and the beginning of the outgoing tide. Several slot sized fish have been caught, along with quite a few that are oversized. Jack crevalles are also present as they run in and out the inlet chasing mullet. Look for small undersized mangrove snappers, and a mutton snapper or two around the dock pilings, but everything is too small to keep. The bigger fish should start showing next month, maybe. For those fishing the small white crappie jigs, there have been small Spanish mackerel being caught, along with blue runners and jack crevalles. Either tide will work. 

Surf area, both sides: It has been mostly dirty and weedy, but like always, if you find clean water you might find pompano and whiting or possibly a black drum or two. Live sand fleas for the pomps preferably; cut shrimp for the whiting and drum, but they will eat fleas, too. Some snook have been cruising the beach troughs and also tarpon when the water is cleaner. Live croakers and mullet will entice a bite from them. This action goes for both side of the inlet. 

That's it in a nutshell. Better than it has been, and will only improve when summer weather patterns set in and the water cleans up and stays that way. Lots more action to come, so stay tuned. Good luck, tight lines.” — Snookman