January is normally our coldest month of the year, but the cold fronts will fire up the fishing along the beaches and in Sebastian Inlet, but will generally slow things down in the lagoon due to water temps dropping quickly. If the weather stays warm, the snook and redfish will stay active in the inlet and the lagoon bite will be good, too.
The colder temps clean the water in the Indian River Lagoon quite a bit and the fish will become lethargic. The trout will move to deeper water and even into the inlet to get the bait flushing out along with warmer water. Long casts are the key to success in the Indian River Lagoon as the fish are wary due to the visibility. No need to get out early as the bite is better when the water warms up; we normally fish around the tides.
Anglers fishing the jettys and drifting the inlet on 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 the Long Cast 14 are great plugs to fish from the jetties as well as from the rocks along the west side of the bridge, along with bucktails. Anglers drifting live bait between the fenders will have plenty of snook action as well as some redfish and tarpon. The flounder will still be in the inlet and anglers can catch them from shore and boat with live bait or 1/2- 3/4-ounce jigs with strip baits or soft plastics like the D.O.A. Paddletails or 4” jerkbaits.
If we don’t get much rain and the locks stay closed, the trout, drum and redfish will move into the Sebastian River, Crane Creek and Turkey Creek. Live shrimp and finger mullet are great live baits, or you can fish the Rapala X-Rap 10 or Shadow Rap Shad 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
Capt. Glyn Austin is a lifelong Brevard County Resident and full time inshore/nearshore fishing guide. Glyn runs a 23’ Shoalwater tunnel boat which is comfortable for up to 4 anglers and will let us get shallower than most flats boats for inshore fishing and offers a smooth dry ride when fishing the Inlet and nearshore waters of Brevard County.