Cooler water temps should increase the action; look for snook, redfish, jacks, tarpon and more
“Snookman” Wayne Landry, our fishing guide, gives us the scoop: “Good morning, fishing aficionados. The weather was good for a change, except for the sometimes breezy ENE winds.
The fishing has largely been just OK. More schools of mullet are moving around in the inlet and attracting predator fish, but there were no hot spots in the inlet last weekend. The better bite was on the incoming tide — in middle of it — and the first two hours of the outgoing tide when the water was clearer. The incoming tide for both sides has improved, significantly impacting how the bite will be. I saw several different species being caught all around the inlet. Get to your favorite spot and just wait them out: the south side had the upper hand over the weekend. The water temps have finally cooled down a tad, from 85 last week to 83 this morning, which should increase the action. Here’s the breakdown:
North jetty: Here, the action has been mostly on the very early morning and late evening high tides. Snook, redfish and big jack crevalle have been taking live baits of any type. Live pigfish and pinfish and mullet have been the baits of choice. Most of the snook caught were all oversized, but I saw a few nice upper slot fish caught last week. Pigfish were the dominate bait. Redfish of all sizes were caught on live bait and cut bait. Remember, they are catch-and-release only. I saw Spanish mackerel caught on live greenies, a bait getting harder to find. Mangrove snapper are still around and biting on live shrimp and live or dead greenies all along the rock shoreline and the jetty pilings. The outgoing tide has been producing snook, redfish, jack crevalles and bluefish; yes, I said bluefish! Saw a couple of them caught Saturday morning. Also, anglers are still hooking big cubera snappers, but aren’t able to land them. Also, on this outgoing tide, the Spanish mackerel bite was still happening on the beachside. Use live greenies. I also saw sheepshead caught around the rocks and pilings. It's a bit early for them as they seek cooler water temperatures. Cut shrimp is the bait for them.
South jetty: On this side, the bite has been all on the incoming tide, about an hour or so into it when the cleaner ocean water moves in. All along the rocky shoreline it has been all about the snook! Many caught, but most have been undersized. But quite a few slots are being caught! It's not been ‘hot’ by any means, just good enough to produce some great action. Live baits of pins or pigs are doing the trick. Saturday, while watching guys and gals fishing, it resembled what we ‘old timers’ referred to as combat fishing. They were slinging baits everywhere and hooking fish all over the place; tangles and breakoffs were the norm, but many small fish were caught. Along with them, folks were hooking redfish, jack crevalle and small tarpon. Outgoing tide at the tip was all about the black margates, blue runners, mangroves and a couple of nice sheepshead. Live and dead shrimp for them.
T-Dock Area: Back here it has been a bit slower, the outgoing tide has been pretty stained with the brackish water coming out of the river. Lots of puffers being caught around the dock pilings, and just a few small mangrove snappers, all on cut baits. The incoming tide when the clean water finally gets back to the area is producing snook and redfish, jack crevalle and some Spanish mackerel. For the snook and reds live pins and pigs are the go-to baits, the mackerel are hitting small jigs and silver spoons. The nighttime guys are catching snook on the 3-5 inch swim baits, and the artificial shrimp jigs. Incoming tide, and the beginning of the outgoing tide have been the better times.
Surf Area, both sides: The north side of the inlet from the pocket up to the north parking lot in the park has been producing snook and redfish when mullet are present. Also, I have been told that there have been big tarpon and sharks — mainly bulls and blacktips. Live baits, large swim baits will attract a bite from them. Early morning and late evening is the best time to fish. On the south side, same thing, when the water is clear and there are mullet around, snook, reds, sharks and tarpon have been playing. Fish from the south jetty to the day use parking lot just south of the inlet. Again, live baits and large swim baits of any kind should bring some action.
Well, fishing friends, that's it for this week. Rain is forecast this week, but that doesn't stop the fish from biting; they are already wet. As I’ve said, the water starts to cool a bit, mullet should start moving again, and hopefully, fishing will improve. This is the best time of the year to fish, as far as I'm concerned. Get out and to your favorite spot and catch dinner or a catch of a lifetime.” —Snookman