Week of September 19: Mullet, snook and redfish extravaganza!
Today’s forecast calls for a high of 85 degrees, ESE winds at 9 mph (becoming SE in the late afternoon), scattered thunderstorms beginning at about 4 p.m., and 2 to 3-foot seas.
And now for our weekly fishing report, brought to you by “Snookman” Wayne Landry: “Hello, fishing fans and sun lovers! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Here is your lowdown on the happenings at our famous and busy Sebastian Inlet: Last week started off with a bang – mullet, snook and redfish were everywhere, mostly due to the big swell from the offshore storm. The high tide, swell and ENE east breeze churned up the Atlantic surf all along the coastline and brought mullet heading down the beach. Along with them, the snook and reds arrived. Monday through Wednesday was on fire on the North side, with many fish being caught on live mullet. By Thursday, the activity tapered off, with only a handful of fish being taken. We fished for four hours on Thursday and never got a bite, and the snot weed was bad all week as well, making it tough to fish cleanly. The weekend was slow, too, as the mullet have thinned out, but there are still small greenies still to be caught for bait. And just a heads up: We’ll likely see a big swell due to Hurricane Fiona. The surf report showing it to arrive by Thursday.
North jetty: It was mostly slow here last weekend. Anglers caught a few snook in the very early morning hours before after sunrise on the beach side of the jetty using live mullet and plastic swim baits. Redfish are still around. Catch them on live mullet. Remember, they have to be released; they can't be kept anymore. Mangrove snapper are still biting all around the jetty, during both tides on live and dead cut greenies and shrimp. Most are back to being small again, with a few larger fish being caught. The cubera snapper are still biting at the tip of the jetty on the outgoing and incoming tides on the inside, along the rock tip on live baits, mullet, croakers and large chunks of cut bait. They are still averaging 24 to 28 inches. I also received a couple reports of Spanish mackerel caught with live greenies freelined on the beachside of the jetty. The fish were in the 16 to 20-inch range. The water was silted exactly right for them, and the greenies were present to get them active. Big jack crevalles also are around, chasing the mullet schools, and can be caught on anything you toss at them on both tides.
South jetty: Fishing is still decent when finger mullet are around. Many small snook are being caught, including slots. Most are on the incoming tide along the shoreline and at the tip in the eddy on the outgoing tide. Live mullet and medium swim baits are doing the trick to entice them. Also, look for redfish various sizes on the incoming tide; live mullet is the bait of choice. Jack crevalles, blue runners are also being caught on the outgoing tide at the tip on live and cut baits. I also received a report on Friday of a couple flounder caught at the tip on the beach side on live finger mullet. My friend said they looked to be 2 to 3 pounds each.
Catwalks, both sides: Fishing is hit-or-miss because most of the small baitfish usually found near fenders and pilings that attract the snappers are scarce. However, there are still mangrove snapper being caught, but not in the numbers we were seeing.
T-Dock: Mangroves snappers are biting, but most fish are small. You might catch 15 or so snapper, but only five might be keepers. Also, Spanish mackerel being caught here on small jigs and spoons for those tossing to the channel area. Jack crevalles and blue runners as well on those same baits. Snook fishing hasn't picked up yet in the daytime, but at night the jig-tossers are doing well, as they always do this time of the year. The first of the outgoing tide is the best before all the runoff water starts flowing from the C-54 canal.
Surf, both sides: I'm told the algae is thick and is making it a pain to fish on both the north and south sides. On the north side, the snook fishing has been rather good around the schools of mullet when you find some. Cast net and fish them in the mullet schools. Most of the snook are oversized and get released, but keepers are being caught as well. Also, tarpon are still running the bait schools along the coast. This is the time of year for all the mullet action in the surfs. Expect sharks to begin arriving, also, if they haven't already. You can fish large plastic swim baits for action. Snook and redfish action can be had on the south side beaches, just south of the inlet, using live mullet and swim baits. Clean water on this side is necessary, so if you can find some with bait, fish it. Also, if there is clean water at the beach pocket just south of the jetty, look for the possible early arrivals of the flounder. I’m aware of two caught on small, live finger mullet.
Expect storms to subside and temperatures to drop beginning Wednesday, but Fiona may stir up the ocean – and the fish activity - like we saw last week. Get out and enjoy the outdoors. – Snookman.”