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Week of October 15: The chatter is all about Spanish mackerel at the North Jetty

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Keone Daley, our stellar Angler of the Week, submitted several photos of the  four Buick-sized redfish  he caught over the weekend at the inlet. His largest was 38 1/4". You can see that fish in the photo carousel at the top of the page.

Today’s (October 18) forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 79 degrees, east-southeast winds winds at 9 mph and 3 to 5-foot seas.

Our stalwart fishing guide, “Snookman” Wayne Landry, reports that the water has cleaned up at the North Jetty and the ocean has calmed down from what it looked like a week ago. The water is cooling down and fishing has improved, he says.

“This past weekend, and all last week, the talk was all about the Spanish mackerel,” Wayne says. “The bite has been off the charts great! Lots of fish being caught on small live baits: pilchards, greenies, small finger mullet, spoons and tiny jigs. Most of the fish I saw caught were averaging about three to four pounds, with still quite a few still pushing that five-pound range!”

Many anglers reached their limits of 10 of Spanish mackerel, with the bite best in the morning tides on the ocean side of the jetty, he says.

“As long as the schools of finger mullet kept coming down the beach, mackerel would stick around all day,” he reports. “Also in the mix were a lot of really nice bluefish averaging two to three pounds on the same baits. Ladyfish and jack crevalles were also being caught. The other cool water species I saw were black drum and sheepshead being caught on cut shrimp and live shrimp on the ocean side of the jetty, high tide periods.”

A few small mangrove snapper are still lingering, Wayne says, and a few mutton snapper were being caught, most of them undersized. There was a good snook bite last week on the jetty by those using live finger mullet, as well as pompano and whiting caught on cut shrimp.

Vast schools of finger mullet are hugging the South Jetty on incoming tides, with quite a few ladyfish being taken. Quite a few small snook are also being taken, but most were too small to keep, Wayne says.

“Redfish, ladyfish and jack crevalle are a possibility as well, and although I hadn't seen any lately, it doesn't mean they aren’t caught,” Wayne says. “Small mangroves and black margates are being caught on the outgoing tide at the tip of the jetty, along with catfish and yucky blowfish.”

At the T-dock, fishing is slow but with mullet coming in the inlet, anything is possible. Wayne says you might get lucky and hook snappers, snook, jacks or those Spanish mackerel that are ripping through the water like torpedoes with fins.

Along the surf, look for nice pompano, along with whiting and black drum as the calmer, cooler water arrives (and hopefully sand fleas for bait). Look for birds diving into the surf, a sure sign that Spanish mackerel and bluefish are around, he says.

“Go fishing and catch ya something nice,” Wayne implores. “As long as the weather holds out as anticipated, more species should show, including sea trout and winter flounder. Enjoy this awesome mild weather, wet a line, and get out and enjoy the ride! Tight lines everyone and hope to see you there!”

If you'd like to be featured as the Angler of the Week, please send in your photos. We're also looking for folks to submit photos for our new "commonly caught fish" page. If we use your photo, you'll receive a stately illustrated hardcover book highlighting 100-plus years of Sebastian Inlet history. Check out this new feature on our fishing page.