Sebastian Area Inshore/Nearshore Fishing Forecast – April 2012

Gary Beach and Capt. Gus Brugger pose for a photo with Gary’s 31”(79cm) pending I.G.F.A. All tackle length record spotted seatrout before release. Photo credit: Pattern Setter Charters.

Variety is what makes April a great month to fish in the Sebastian area. With this year’s warm winter, that will definitely be the case again. The inshore and near-shore waters of the Sebastian area become a maelstrom of fish activity as water temperatures and day length increase. The month of April has accounted for the majority of East Coast Slams (trout, redfish, tarpon) and Grand Slams (add a snook) that my clients have taken in the last twenty years.


This is where you come to soak in nature’s beauty and have the opportunity to hook into some of the largest gamefish Sebastian has to offer. Snook and tarpon are the quarry, and artificial lures and bait will both do the job sometimes. The fish of the Sebastian River can be fickle and at times down-right stubborn, but if you are patient and put forth a good effort, the rewards of the overall experience can be extraordinary.


April’s list of available species is the most extensive of the year. The techniques used to catch just about all the species can be as simple as bait and a float or bouncing a D.O.A. jig. These techniques are so universal that you never know what’s on the end of the line until it’s at the boat. April is family vacation time and the fishing in the Indian River Lagoon is tailored perfectly to anglers of all ages and skill levels.


During the day I target the schools of sizable jack crevalle that station themselves in the inlet’s swift current looking for a meal to float by. Live pinfish are a sure thing most days. I also have consistent success with big D.O.A. Terror-Eyz and Bait Busters rigged with heavy jig heads. At night things get serious, as snook and redfish get active. Anglers in boats prefer drifting live baits, while shore-bound fishermen throw bucktail jigs, soft plastics and diving plugs. Sebastian Inlet is no kiddie pool; it deserves its reputation as one of Florida’s most dangerous inlets. “Local knowledge necessary to safely navigate this inlet” just like the sign on the bridge says.


Light tackle or heavy, there can be something for everyone on the days boaters can gain access to the ocean. The waters within a couple miles of the beach can boil with schools of Spanish mackerel and bluefish making their way north for the summer. Big tarpon, cobia, king mackerel and sharks are often close by. Jigs and spoons catch the Spanish and blues, while live baits, plugs and swim-baits get the attention of the larger predators.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger
Pattern Setter Charters
Phone: (772) 589-0008


Capt. Gus came to the Sebastian area in the mid 1980s and has been a full-time guide since 1992. You can reach Capt. Gus at (772) 589-0008 or by email. To learn more visit the Pattern Setter website.