Sunday, January 21, 2024

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman

 Anglers of the Week: We received a submission from "Justin and Jaden,"  who  corroborated Snookman's claim in this report that this is the best black drum fishing in many years. The note accompanying the photo reads, "Drove here from Orlando in the morning, fished high tide, everyone was hooked up on drum on shrimp bounced on the bottom! Beach side or inlet side, they were biting everywhere! Probably one of the best drum fishing days I have personally had!" 

“Good day, Sebastian Inlet fans and fishing fanatics! I hope everyone had a great weekend despite Monday’s bad weather. Unfortunately, this week isn’t expected to improve. We’re in for another roller coaster ride due to the weather patterns. According to my research, El Niño  lasts on an average of 9 to 12 months and it is due to return to normal patterns around April through June. La Niña patterns last an average of one to three years. Let’s hope we return to normal soon. The good news is that the fish have been biting well the last four days. I'm not going to offer a breakdown because there are only two areas producing fish at the moment. The north jetty and the south jetty. Now, for my report:

North jetty: HOT, HOT, HOT! During the last four days, the black drum have finally made an appearance and stayed around. There have been a LOT of really nice fish caught on BOTH tides, both sides of the jetty, with the tip being the hot spot on the outgoing tide beachside, and the inside of the jetty on the incoming tide. Most of the fish I saw or heard about when I wasn’t there were in the 16 to 20-inch range, with a lot of fish pushing the 24 inch max limit as well — and quite a few over slot! Remember you can only harvest five per person per day, 14 to24 inches. Of the five you keep, one can be over the 24-inch max. On average, it would be safe to say that about 100 or so fish a day have been caught and kept in the last four days. Also, I didn't see or hear of any undersized fish caught. One of my friends and his buddy said, and I agreed, this has been the best black drum bite we’ve seen in about the last 8 to 10 years! A drum bonanza for sure. All of the caught fish were biting shrimp — live or dead — sand fleas and fresh clams. Regarding the clams used for bait, remember, live clams in the shells are not allowed to be brought onto the jetty, shucked/smashed on the concrete out there, which leaves a mess of shells on the deck. Rules number six  seven on our rules sign asks that you shuck them at the cleaning station before taking them out on the jetty. Thank you.

Along with the black drum there are big redfish being caught on the same baits, as well as big jigs and silver spoons on the outgoing tide. They are still catch-and-release. Angler are also catching sheepshead around the pilings, but not in the numbers they were weeks ago. I did see a few nice pompano caught as well on Saturday at the tip. Also, whiting were being caught on Sunday, same baits as the drum.  That's pretty much all for over here. 

South jetty: Not so hot! But there are some fish over here, just not in great numbers. Outgoing at the tip are the normal cast of characters: black margates, spot tail pins, some sheepshead, a few black drum and pompano, and lots of catfish. Live shrimp, dead shrimp and fleas are the baits of choice. On the incoming tide with some cleaner water the drum bite has been better along the shoreline. Also mixed in with them are some pomps and catch-and-release redfish. I did hear of a couple nice flounder caught in the surf pocket on mud minnows. That's pretty much all that is happening over here. 

The T-dock area has been really dead, and the surf areas, both sides have been a dirty mess, especially the south side. North side, if you catch the high tide and clean water, you just might catch a few drumpompano and whiting. Use cut shrimp and sand fleas for bait. But it's been tough.

That's all I have, folks. Like I said earlier, it's going to be another roller coaster ride in the weather department this week, so if you do go out, prepare for rain and wind, with cooler temps arriving by the weekend! Get out and catch those black drum before they disappear.” —Snookman

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