September always brings a welcome change to Sebastian area fishing. The mullet run will help all aspects of fishing both inside and outside the inlet. The brightest spot I see in the fishing future is snook. Although the snook population took a hard hit during the freezes of 2010, snook numbers showed a marked increase in the Sebastian area this summer. Whereas most of the lagoon’s fish species are directly dependent on the now almost nonexistent grass beds for food and cover, snook are happy living around manmade structures such as docks, bridges and inlets. It is around these types of areas, as well as mangrove shorelines, that anglers should focus their attention over the next couple of months. Sebastian Inlet will be the focus of Sebastian area anglers with the start of snook season September 1st. Cold water upwelling along the Treasure and Space Coasts has made catch and release snook fishing lackluster this summer. That will change in September.
The biggest hurdle facing snook anglers right now is obtaining croakers and pigfish for bait. Because these species rely on a healthy lagoon and its grass beds more so than the snook that they are used to catch, they have been in short supply. I have been cast netting bunches of good sized mojaras in the lagoon; they can be a good substitute snook bait. A lack of bait will favor night time snook anglers at Sebastian Inlet, where buck-tails and bombers have always taken their share of snook. It will also be interesting to see if the lack of bait will force die hard daytime inlet anglers to use some of the lures that have proven themselves in other east coast inlets. I myself am guilty of not giving artificial lures a fair shake while pursuing snook at Sebastian Inlet over the years. I have had excellent success snook fishing St. Lucie Inlet using a number of the D.O.A. products. The D.O.A. Shrimp is applicable anywhere you would fish a free-lined shrimp. C.A.L. jerk baits and shads on jig heads are big producers of snook laid up along inlet shoreline dropoffs. Terror-Eyz and Bait Busters can be used in deeper areas of the inlet or where you have to get down through a current.