Week of September 7: Snook bite slow at the North Jetty, but plenty of snapper, mackerel and jacks
Today’s forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds midday with possible thunderstorms creeping in at about 4 p.m. Highs in the mid-80’s and east-southeast winds 7-9 mph. Seas 1 to 2 feet with a dominant period 15 seconds. A light chop on the intracoastal waters.
Our illustrious fishing guide “Snookman” Wayne Landry reports that the daytime snook bite wasn’t happening on the North Jetty last week (even though snook season opened last Wednesday). The fishing was better for boaters working the tip of the North Jetty, with fish of all sizes being caught on live baits, croakers, mojarra, pigfish and pinfish. Meanwhile, the land-bound crew switched to a late evening incoming and nighttime bite with fish being caught on flair jugs, swim tail grubs and live pigfish.
“There are still plenty of finger mullet and pilchards around the jetty attracting the normal cast of characters: mangrove snappers, Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle,” Wayne tells us. “Some redfish are possible as well. The water temp is coming down a bit from 85 to 79, which in time will turn on the bite even better — if the finger mullet keep coming.”
The water clarity has improved at the South Jetty and snook are being caught on live croakers, pigfish and mojarras on the outgoing tide at the tip and alongside the rocks west of the bridge. Small mangrove snappers — some being keepers — are also being caught on small live baits as well.
Surf fishing has been less than ideal because the waves we had a few days ago muddied the surf. You’ll likely hook catfish in the silted waters, but Wayne says that if you find a clean spot, whiting and croakers are out there. Should you find finger mullet running in the surf — which they are now — cast net and fish them because snook, redfish, tarpon and Spanish mackerel may be chasing them.
This is the time of year when our fall mullet run starts, and when that happens and picks up a lot, all kinds of good fishing happens,” Wayne says.
Offshore, kingfish are still a good bet on the inshore and offshore reefs in 60-130 feet, using trolled plugs and live baits. Amberjacks are still a good bet in 180-260 feet using vertical jigs, live pins and grunts. Fish are averaging 20-25 pounds. Bring some heavy gear to "man up" on them as the sandbar sharks are still hungry! Wayne also received a report of some gag grouper being caught out around the Oculina Ridge on grunts and pins.
This week's fishing photo features this smiling young lady who caught this jack crevalle using a pigfish. We've asked her to send in her name and hometown and will add the information if she sends it to us.
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