Weirdest summer fishing Snookman can recall, but you may hook a Spanish mac or a snapper
And now for our weekly fishing report fresh off the wire from “Snookman” Wayne Landry, the legend of the north jetty: “To begin, not much has changed in the past week from the week before, mostly due to water quality and clarity. Some people will say I'm crazy and that water conditions don’t matter, but I have fished the inlet for a long time and pay attention to the nuances of our inlet and its marine environment. Rain runoff from the intercoastal waterway is mixing with the clean Atlantic water and slugs of freshwater from the Sebastian River. This reduces the presence of baitfish and their predators. The baitfish, greenies and pilchards have thinned out from what they were, but there are still some around the jetty and the inlet. Also, schools of glass minnows have vanished — I have not seen any in a week or so, and the mullet have gone as well. The mojarra are still present in and around the inlet. There are fish around, but you have to hunt them down and find the right conditions to persuade them to bite. Here's the breakdown:
North jetty: About the only thing action here was a decent Spanish mackerel bite last week. Tuesday through Thursday there were several anglers doing well on live greenies and small jigs, but the greenies were the better bait. Most of the fish were in the 13 to 15-inch range — nothing big, but nice numbers. Also, there has been a little improvement on the mangrove snapper bite, but again, most are still too small to keep. Either tide has been good for both species, but incoming being the better tide to fish. Blue runners, skipjacks and jack crevalle round out the other species wanting to play. The catch-and-release snook bite has slowed, mostly due to the huge goliath groupers harassing and herding them! On the incoming tide when the water is clean enough, you can look down along the jetty and see these huge sea monsters just sitting around, or patrolling along the jetty and out to where the schools of snook are. Barracudas are still around. They chase and eat the Spanish mackerel and snappers that folks hook
South jetty: Here, the action is with mangrove snappers, but many are too small to keep; however, the numbers of them being caught has increased. Incoming tide is the better tide because you have more area to fish along the jetty rocks. Outgoing at the tip there have been a few caught in the eddy pool on the northeast and southeast corners — along with black margates and blue runners. Use cut bait for the runners and snappers, shrimp for the margates.
T-dock area: Back here, it is a snapper world! Plenty of small mangroves, some lanes and a few muttons are being caught on cut and live greenies around the dock pilings. There have been some keeper mangroves caught, but most are still small. For those tossing small jigs or free lining live greenies, there are some nice Spanish mackerel being caught as well. Plenty of bait back here to attract them.
Surf area, both sides: I haven't heard very much about the surf fishing. Most of the areas that I know of where the fishing is good have been vacant of any anglers. Not to say that there aren't any fish around. Whiting should be almost everywhere this time of the year and will bite cut shrimp. If you find schools of glass minnows in the surf, snook, redfish, tarpon and Spanish mackerel could be a happening thing. Small swim baits or any live bait could entice a bite. South of the inlet where there are some rock structures in the surf, mangrove snapper and sheepshead are possible. Shrimp, live or cut will do the trick.
That’s it in a nutshell. As I mentioned earlier, the fishing should be better. The water quality and bait situation are the main culprits. Like I said, I have done this a very long time, and this year has been the weirdest/worst summer I have ever seen.” — Snookman.