Friday, June 7, 2024

Sebastian Inlet Report with The Snookman


Fickle fishing conditions with the close of snook season

“Good morning, Sebastian Inlet fishing fanatics! The weather sure was good, but not so much the fishing, again. As you should know by now, the conditions and the fishing at the inlet can change very drastically from day to day, as it did this past week/weekend. Last week, from Tuesday through Thursday, the snook bite on the north jetty on the incoming tide on live shrimp was really good, with quite a lot of fish being hooked, but most were lost due to breakoffs and the ever-present and hungry goliath groupers. I did see a few nice slot fish caught and kept but several undersized fish had to be tossed back.

Conditions during that period were good: clean, warm water (83 to 84 degrees, which snook prefer, and light winds). Then came Friday, the last day to keep a snook, and it all changed for the worse! ENE winds began blowing at 15 to 25 mph, the seas picked up, and the sargassum weed along with the ‘snot weed’ increased and made it difficult to fish. Water clarity disappeared and cooled down to 80 degrees. I only saw three or four snook hooked that day, early into the tide with only two landed that were too small to keep. In contrast, earlier in the week, at least 20 to 25 fish were hooked daily.  Around the rest of the inlet, baitfish are showing up; small greenies were caught on sabiki rigs and cast nets on the north jetty, along with finger mullet that are still around. The mojarras are still hard to come by; they are around, but you have to work for them. Remember, snook season is closed until September 1. It’s catch-and-release only (along with redfish). 

Here's the breakdown:

North jetty: Before the water clarity and temperature dropped, the mangrove snapper bite was turned on, and about a month early! Last week,  I saw many nice ones caught around the rocks and pilings on both tides. They’re generally small when they arrive, but these fish were in the 11 to 12-inch range! Pretty nice fish. Live shrimp and small greenies and cut baits are getting the bite. I saw a few mutton snappers caught, but too small to keep. They must be 18 inches. Anglers were also catching cubera snappers. Live mullet and chunk baits fished around the rock pile and pilings just might get you hooked up with one. Most of them being hooked have been lost to the rocks, as they are a pretty tough fish to get them out of the rocks where they hang out.

This time of the year when we have cleaner and warmer water, look for permit and the tarpon. Last week while I was down fishing I saw many tarpon heading out of the inlet and heading north up the beach. Most of the fish I saw were in the 30 to 50-pound range, but a couple of times I saw a few that would be over the 100-pound range. Redfish are a possibility also this time of the year on the outgoing as the small, silver dollar-sized blue crabs are coming out of the inlet, and they along with the permit are feeding on them. 

South jetty: Last week the snook bite was also impressive until Friday, when conditions declined similar to the north side did. The wind blew all the muddy water and weeds over here as well. Small croakers were the baits of choice on this side. Most of the fish were caught on the incoming tide and were undersized, but I did see when one of my friends and his group of 3 anglers have their 3 slot fish in the 29 inch range. Also, mangroves are around as well, and again they are on the 11 to 12-inch range. Same baits for the bite: live bait and cut baits are working. On the outgoing tide at the tip, they are catching black margates, blue runners, small jacks and an occasional pompano or two when the water is clean, along with the ever-present catfish and puffers

T-dock: The snappers are around the dock pilings and being caught on small live baits, and cut baits like shrimp and greenies. Most are smaller than what is being caught on the jetties. Mangroves, muttons and lane snapper are the species being caught. For those fishing with large silver spoons and the bigger bucktails, there are quite a few large jack crevalles in the channel area follow the schools of finger mullet in and out of the inlet. Small greenies are showing up around the dock, but it hasn't attracted any Spanish mackerel yet. 

 Surf Area, both sides: The surf has largely been blown out — rough and dirty due to the ENE 15-25 mph winds that persisted all weekend. Nobody fishing the beaches around the inlet, so no report on that this week. 

That's it for this week’s installment of ‘what's happening at the inlet.’ Expect calmer winds this week and, hopefully, clearer and warmer water to turn the bite back on! You never know unless you get out there and try. Have a great week.” — Snookman.

No comments:

Post a Comment