January is one of the best months for light tackle anglers in the Sebastian area. The glamour species, such as snook and tarpon, generally migrate to warmer climes or hold up in deep backwaters where feeding takes a backseat to staying warm. Anglers who adjust their methods to target the species that are at home with the winter weather will be rewarded with great action.
The Sebastian River’s most prominent role in January is a sanctuary. It keeps a large number of manatees warm in the north fork’s 15-plus-foot depths. It also keeps a hoard of ladyfish, jacks, an occasional gator trout, redfish, snook, tarpon, and even a few pompano warm on the colder days.
Indian River Lagoon – Sebastian Area
The Indian River Lagoon in the Sebastian area offers some great fishing options for trout and redfish in January. Canals, protected shallow bays, and sunny shorelines are excellent areas to find both trout and reds soaking up the sun’s warmth and sucking up some sluggish baitfish and crustaceans. A good January cold front should clear the waters of the Indian River Lagoon. The immediate benefit will be the ability to sight-fish for reds and “gator” seatrout. Sight fishing along shorelines is a good way to find slot size reds, which will generally eat a properly placed live shrimp, D.O.A. soft plastic or fly. If your boat won’t get you into the backwaters, the spoil islands and deeper areas of the lagoon will be great spots to find action from a number of inshore species and a D.O.A C.A.L. jig or live shrimp will catch them all.
A few nice flounder will remain around the Sebastian inlet throughout the winter. Bluefish, jacks, pompano, redfish, black drum, and Spanish mackerel will be what keeps jetty anglers busy throughout the day. Bouncing a Goofy jig in the western section of the inlet and on and around the flats immediately behind the inlet will give anglers their best chance at a pompano dinner.
Near Shore Atlantic – Sebastian Area
Pompano and whiting are the mainstay of Sebastian area surf fishermen along the Treasure Coast in the winter. Sand fleas, cut clams and dead shrimp on three hook dropper rigs are the baits of choice. Boaters looking along the beaches offshore Sebastian are apt to find blues, mackerel and some pompano on the calmer days. Goofy jigs, spoons, and bucktail jigs worked from the beach or toward the beach from a boat are good ways to search for pompano and blues on calm days.
January offers light tackle action for all skill levels. Have fun with every cast action from jacks and ladyfish or stalk the shallows for a shot at a trophy trout or tailing red.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger