Week of October 18: Jetties closed for inspection, but here's what's biting
Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 80 degrees, winds whipping out of the northeast at 12 mph and waves chopping at 3 to 4 feet.
First, the bad news: As we’ve reported on our main webpage, the north and south jetties at Sebastian Inlet are closed to the public today through Friday, October 22, while engineers conduct their regular biennial inspection of the two structures. We realize this is an inconvenience — even mildly frustrating— to folks who use the jetties for fishing, photography, and sightseeing, but this necessary inspection involves removing grates and is, hence, a public safety issue.
However, our illustrious fishing guide “Snookman” Wayne Landry continues to let us know what’s biting at the Inlet, and not just at the north and south jetties. Perhaps this could be a good time to try surf fishing or chipping in gas money to join that pal with a boat?
Anyhow, Wayne says fishing at the North Jetty started off with a bang as hoards of mullet ran along the beach.
“We had lots of finger mullet and tons of large silver mullet and also tons of the larger black mullet all mixed in as well,” he says. “Large snook and big jack crevalle were being caught on the bigger mullet in the pocket area of the jetty. Just a couple slots were taken. I also saw large redfish in the schools of mullet, tarpon and several quite large bull sharks chasing the large black mullet as well.”
Elsewhere on the jetty, Spanish mackerel were being caught and some nice mangrove snapper were still being taken, Wayne notes, “but not in the numbers we were seeing earlier as the water has cooled down from the 85 it was now down to 81 degrees it is now. The mangroves like the warmer water temps.”
Although it is a bit early in the season for black drum, Wayne observed one lucky angler catching a couple of them.
Fortunes shifted Wednesday when the winds changed, the surf picked up and a large mass of sargassum weed — a type of brown seaweed — flowed in and along with the dirtied water shut the fishing down. Wayne quips: “It was like fishing in the produce department at your local Publix. The finger mullet were still there, but hard to cast net because of the weed. Fishing is still slow as of this past Sunday.”
At the South Jetty, Wayne reports seeing anglers using live bait to catch small snook, slot reds and mangroves on the incoming tide. There’s plenty of finger mullet as well
“At the surf, if you can find clean water and baitfish you should still see snook, jacks and now some redfish being taken…along with a possible bluefish,” he adds. “Folks are catching some Spanish mackerel here, as well, on Gotcha lures and Diamond jigs. There’s no pompano yet: the water is too churned up for them. They like clean, cool water with temps below 75 for them to show up.”
At the T-dock, look for small snapper of various species and slot-sized snook along the shoreline (use live baits). Also, at night the snook are hitting Flair jigs and grubs, along with live pigfish and pins.
“Go out and wet a line and enjoy the cooler fall temps we are having right now,” Wayne says. “The fish and bait are there; you just have to hunt them out. Tight lines everyone!”