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Week of October 2: Windy week ahead, but North jetty the best bet for Spanish macks, snook, jacks, drums, others

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Angler of the Week: Our fishing guide, Snookman, sent us a photo of an angler named Brian, who caught this redfish at the tip of the north jetty on the outgoing tide. The fish was netted, de-hooked, and returned to the water quickly. Nice job, Brian.

Today's forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, a high of 83 degrees, NE winds at 18 mph and four to six-foot seas.

“Good morning to all you Sebastian Inlet fishing friends; I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend despite the rain. It's time again for that all-important fishing report that everyone looks forward to, so here we go! 

Our weekly fishing report from "Snookman" Wayne Landry:

"Greetings. To begin, Sunday was a total blown out, rainy mess. The NNE winds were blowing 20 to 30 mph,  swells were 6 to 7 feet and the inlet was one huge washing machine. The bad news: this week’s forecast shows the same. The bright spot: this weather will bring more mullet along the coast and water temps should drop back down to get things fired up. October has always been my favorite month to fish. Lots going on. Before all the Sunday mess, Thursday through Saturday when I was at the inlet, the fishing was getting fairly good. There were plenty of mullet around the jetties and inside the inlet. There were small fingerlings, bigger 10 to 12-inch mullet and predator fish to feed on them. There were plenty of snook, redfish, big jack crevalle, tarpon, sharks, black drum, sheepshead and big Spanish mackerel on the north side! I even got a report from one of my guys of pompano caught north of the inlet. So yeah, there were fish everywhere, and when it calms back down and cleans up, expect the same to continue. Here's the breakdown:

North jetty: This was the hotspot for fishing Thursday through Saturday. There were hordes of mullet coming down the beach and big tarpon, jacks and sharks were just blasting them all over. Was cool to watch. It was mostly all about the big mac attack. I'll call it that because almost all the Spanish mackerel caught were in the three to four-pound range. Monster macks for sure. The fish were measuring anywhere from 24 to28 inches. Live greenies and the small finger mullet were the baits of choice for them. It's been a couple years since we had Spanish that big. It was cool to see them just ripping through the schools of finger mullet like laser guided missiles, so neat. The fish were being caught on the beach side of the jetty, and on the early high tide, once the tide dropped off too much, and the water dirtied too much, they were gone. I did see several anglers with anywhere from five to eight fish each. The other fish playing nicely were the snook and redfish. Again, the early high tide on both sides of the jetty was producing fish. The predominate bait was live shrimp, but the reds were also keyed in on the finger mullet. Live pig fish and pins got the bite on the beach side of the jetty fishing way out over the sandbar. Also, I saw snook and red fish caught in the surf pocket area; live mullet is what they like in that area. One of my friends on his first bait out got a nice fat 32-inch slot! Can't beat that. The other species I saw caught were black drum and sheepshead, a bit early for them as they like the cooler water. Dead and live shrimp do the trick for them. Outgoing tide at the tip there have been some big jack crevalle caught on just about anything you fish with, along with some small bluefish as well. They are showing up early, too. Usually don't see them until November/December. There are still some really nice cubera snapper being caught on live baits at the tip. I saw a pic of one angler who caught two in the 20 to 24-inch range, the perfect size for eating. Also, there have been a few snook and reds caught at the tip. On the outgoing tide they move away from the jetty, rendering them more difficult to catch. Along the rock seawall between the catwalk and jetty there are mangrove snapper being caught on live and dead greenies, but not in the numbers as before. There have also been redfish and snook caught there. Live shrimp and pigfish seem to be the baits working well. The incoming tide is the tide to fish. 

South jetty: Rough condition have slowed the fishing. Big waves coming in the inlet make it very tough to fish the rock wall, especially on the incoming high tide. It gets wet and hard to fish, plus the water dirties up quicker here because it is so shallow. However, there are small to slot-sized snook being caught on all live baits and swimbaits. On the outgoing tide at the tip there are big jack crevalle, bluefish, black margates and blue runners being caught. Cut baits of shrimp and greenies are the baits to use. Just hasn't been particularly good over here. 

T-Dock Area: It’s slow here as well, in part due to the lack of greenies and other baitfish. Small mangroves are still being caught, along with a few mutton snappers and the pesky puffers around the dock pilings. On the incoming tide you might encounter some of those nice Spanish mackerels that are around the inlet, along with some of the big jack crevalle that are chasing the schools of mullet coming in the inlet. Either tide is good for fish. One of my friends told me that Thursday and Friday night the mullet came in in droves and the huge jacks were just chasing them everywhere!! He didn't see any snook caught, but that doesn't mean that they weren't there! 

Surf Area, both sides: Before the North side got wiped out, there were many mullet schools coming down. Snook, tarpon, redfish and big jacks and sharks were everywhere. All you had to do was go find your favorite beach spot and walk the beach with a swim bait and look for the bait, or catch some mullet in your net and fish them. I also received a report of pompano being caught in the north surf before it got roughed up, around Bonsteel park. Cut shrimp and fish bites got it done. As the water cools down, and it cleans up, we will start seeing more of them show up. Usually, in November we see them in numbers. South side surf, same thing. If you find clearer and calmer water – and mullet - anything is possible. Snook, reds, jacks, tarpon and sharks, and quite possibly some of those pompano!! 

That’s it. Like I mentioned earlier, it's going to be a rough week,  but if you find calmer, cleaner water and bait is around, you just might catch some fish. You have to work at it to get them. Have a great week!” — Snookman.