January is normally our coldest month of the year, but the action can be red hot in the south end of Brevard County. The cold fronts will fire up the fishing along the beaches and in Sebastian Inlet, but will generally slow things down in the lagoon. The cold temps clean the water in the Indian River Lagoon quite a bit and the fish are lethargic as well as wary due to the visibility. Long casts are the key to success. No need to get out early as the bite is better when the water warms up, and we normally fish around the tides. Fish the deeper areas for trout, snook and redfish. There should be plenty of action with jacks, ladyfish and bluefish as well.
Anglers fishing the jetties and drifting the inlet the outgoing tide in the evenings during or after a strong NE coldfront should have steady action with snook, jacks, bluefish, sharks and tarpon. Lures like the Rapala X-Rap 14 and Long Cast 14 are great plugs to fish from the jetties as well as from the rocks along the west side of the bridge. Hogy Eels and Paddletails will work well also, as will D.O.A. Baitbusters. Anglers drifting live bait between the fenders will have plenty of snook action as well as a few redfish and the occasional tarpon.
The flounder will still be in the inlet, and anglers can catch them from shore and boat with live bait or 1/2- to 3/4-ounce jigs with strip baits or soft plastics like the D.O.A. paddletails or 4” jerkbaits. Bluefish, jacks, mackerel and pompano will be in the inlet as well and can be caught on a number of soft plastics. Work your baits deep and look for bait pods while drifting the inlet for the best success.
If the rains aren’t strong and the locks stay closed, the trout and black drum will move into the Sebastian River, Crane Creek and Turkey Creek. Live shrimp and finger mullet are great live baits, or you can fish Rapala’s Twitchin’ Mullet or Shadow Rap Shad hard baits or D.O.A. 4” jerkbaits on light jigheads around docks and oyster bars to catch some very nice trout as well as snook, jacks, ladyfish and the occasional redfish or tarpon.
Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters