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Week of October 9: The weather is cool and the Spanish mackerel are hot!

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Our Angler of the Week: Harold, a Cocoa resident,sent a number of photos from an inlet fishing trip over the weekend. He writes; "Went out to the inlet on Thursday and Sunday. On Thursday I caught blues, jacks, and two Spanish mackerels on live mullet. On Sunday my parents and I caught a total of nine Spanish mackerels, all on live finger mullet with one being on a Gotcha lure. Our 2 biggest from yesterday were 22” and 22 1/2” each, both caught on live finger mullet. Everyone was catching Spanish’s on the beachside of the jetty when the tide became outgoing, and the best bait was either a live finger mullet or Gotcha’s. They were blasting out of the water chasing mullets. We also caught a decent amount of jacks and two bluefish. The rig of choice was free lining the mullet with the current/waves, or using a Carolina or Knocker rig for the extra weight to keep the mullet in place on bottom."

Today's forecast calls for cloudy skies and a high of 77 degrees, three to four-foot seas, and NNE winds upwards of 20 mph.  Look for cloudy skies on Tuesday and rain or thunderstorms throughout the week. 

“Snookman” Wayne Landry, our fishing guide, always provides an accurate fishing report for Sebastian Inlet, even when conditions aren’t ideal:

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing friends. I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. It's time again to let loose with the what's happening — or what's not happening — at the inlet. As I stated in my last report, the inlet was going to be a big mess all last week, and it was! Big swells and blustery NNE winds put a damper on all the fishing, even inside the inlet. The water got dirty and a BUNCH of sargassum weed showed up again. Not like before, but enough to be a problem with cast netting and getting on your line. The north side was worse than the south side. There were a lot of mullet in and around the inlet, but not like it should be this time of year. We aren’t the only area suffering a dismal mullet run. I read a couple reports that it’s lousy along the east coast, from New Jersey to all along the Florida coast. Anyway, there have been a lot of small finger mullet keeping the predator fish around. Here’s the scoop: 

North jetty: Over here like I said, the weeds have been blanketing the water, making for a tough time fishing ‘cleanly’ as they tangle lines and cast nets. The fishing picked up Thursday when the winds abated and the swell dropped - the fishing picked up as the water clarity improved. There were a lot of the smaller finger mullet all around the jetty, and some very small greenies as well. The hot topic here was the Spanish mackerel bite, it was really good from Thursday through Sunday, with Sunday being the slower of the days. A lot of really nice Spanish were being caught for those using live greenies and the smaller finger mullet.  Several anglers had the knack for them and were catching fish upwards of 24 to 28 inches long. Several anglers also got close to their limits on these big macs!! Very nice, fat macs. Also, I saw quite a bit of bluefish, many two to three-pound fish showed up Friday and Saturday and were biting just about anything you tossed out! Also, jack crevalle and lady fish kept things interesting for all. All of this action happened on the high tide, ocean side of the jetty. I saw quite a few redfish caught on both tides and on both sides of the inlet. Live baits of any kind worked for them. Remember, redfish are still CATCH-AND-RELEASE ONLY. The snook bite was mostly quiet, a few were caught on the incoming tide at the rock pile on live shrimp. Most were too small, but I did see a few 29 to 30-inch fish caught. Outgoing tide at the tip was producing some redfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish and small snook. Live baits of any kind was the key. Also, I did get a report of one lucky angler that had caught a nice cubera snapper about 28 inches, about 10 to 15 pounds. So, they are still active. Live mullet was the bait for that fish. Along the wall from the jetty to the catwalk on the incoming tide, there have been a few snook and redfish being caught on live baits, mullet, pins and pigs. Most of the snook are small, and the reds were 25 to 30 inches. 

South jetty: Over here the fishing has been a bit slower due to the freshwater flowing through inlet from the rain runoff from Sebastian River. It flows out and south down the beach, then it flows back in on the incoming tide. Not an ideal fishing scenario. When it does flow back in and some cleaner ocean water from the north side mixes with it, there has been a pretty decent snook and redfish bite all along the shoreline, incoming tide. Most of the snook have been small, but there were quite a few keepers caught. Live pinfish has been the bait of choice. Also, anglers were catching two to three-pound bluefish. Outgoing tide has been a disaster due to the tannin-stained fresh water, with only puffers and catfish being caught! Occasionally you might see a black margate or two being caught. Cut shrimp for them. Also, there are jack crevalle to play with. 

T-Dock area: Like other areas, stormwater runoff has slowed the fishing. It doesn't get much of a chance to clean out. Plenty of mullet around, but no predators chasing them. The only thing I saw caught back here over the weekend were puffers and very small mangrove snapper and mutton snapper, too small to be kept. Talked with one of my friends that fishes at night back here and he said even the nighttime bite was lacking. Plenty of mullet he said, but no snook or reds, just big jack crevalle. 

Surf, both sides : The south side surf has been a mess due to stormwater runoff coming out of the inlet and flowing south along the beach. Nobody has been fishing it. The North side, on the other hand, has been a lot cleaner with the NNW winds we had over the weekend. The surf has calmed a bit and cleaned up somewhat. Look for schools of mullet and you should find the snook and tarpon, redfish and blues. Fish live mullet or the medium to larger swim baits to entice a bite. Oh, and watch out for sharks, they will also be around looking for a handout. One of my friends that fishes the beach just north of the jetty took home a keeper snook two days in a row! Live mullet. Keep an eye out, as the water cools down more and cleans up the pompano should arrive. I did receive reports of some being caught a week or so ago when the water was cleaner. Cut shrimp or fish bites will work. Plus, there should be some nice whiting as well.

Well guys and gals, that's it. The wind and wave report looks pretty good for the entire week and the water has cooled to 80 degrees. Fishing should improve through the week as we don't have anything out there to make it worse. Grab your gear, drinks, some bait and get out to your favorite fishing spot and see what you can catch. Get out and enjoy the Florida fall weather.” – Snookman.