So far this has been our coldest winter since 2010 when we had a big snook kill. Fishing has been much different in January and early February with water temps from low 50s in the lagoon to low 60s off the beach. Colder weather has changed our patterns, but let’s hope we have a good warm up in March and our fishing patterns get back to normal.
Inshore fishing should be good as well as our spring mullet run heats up. When the schools of mullet fill inside the lagoon and the creeks from Sebastian to Palm Bay and Melbourne, snook, redfish, jacks and trout will be hot on their heels. I like to fish Rapala Skitter Walk topwater baits and Rapala Twitching Minnow suspending baits early in the morning around the bait pods and go deeper with the Storm Coastal jerk bait or Paddletail bait as the sun comes up. Live bait will also work well fishing the bait pods as the predatory fish are normally below the bait pods.
Warmer weather will also bring the bait inside along the beaches, and the sharks, tarpon and big jack crevalle will be right with them. We have had small schools of tarpon along the beaches from Sebastian to Melbourne a few times in the last few months and the fish are feeding well. There are also plenty of sharks, bluefish and mackerel on the beaches if the weather allows you to get out and fish the ocean. Fish big topwater plugs for the jacks and sharks and scale down the plugs for the bluefish. For the tarpon as well as big jacks, fish the Rapala Long Cast 14, Hogy Pro Tail Eels or the D.O.A. Bait Buster for good success.
The snook and redfish bite in the Inlet had been good on artificials at night and live bait during the daytime, and will improve as the weather warms up. Live bait is the key in the daytime, with shrimp and threadfins being the bait of choice. At night, artificials will work well. Rapala’s X-Rap 14 and the Long Cast 14 are great plugs to fish from the jettys as well as from the rocks along the west side of the bridge, and Hogy Pro Tail 2 and 3 ounce baits along with bucktails are excellent artificial baits for nighttime fishing.
Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters