The winter months favor the backcountry angler in the Sebastian area. The Indian River Lagoon is home to many species in January and offers plenty of protected areas for anglers to pursue them on even the blusteriest of winter days. Lose yourself back in the mangroves and you may find some great fishing.
The protected waters of the Sebastian River are a thermal sanctuary for manatees, fish and fishermen in January. Ladyfish and jacks school up in the Sebastian River this time of year. Bucktails, goofy jigs, small plugs and flies are all great lures for anything in the Sebastian River in the winter. Gator trout and redfish can be found around oyster bars and docks. Snook and baby tarpon winter in the Sebastian River and will bite during warm spells.
Indian River Lagoon
The lagoon offers some excellent light tackle 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. Techniques vary from sight fishing the shallows with a fly rod to soaking a live shrimp on a float and everything in between. Many lures can be productive in the lagoon in the winter and catching fish on a variety of makes and models is part of the fun, however a D.O.A. four-inch C.A.L. Jerkbait fished on an eighth-ounce head is my go-to for trout and reds. The other winter go to lure is a quarter-ounce pink goofy jig. Pompano love them, ladyfish wear the paint off them and everything else will hit them.
A few nice flounder will remain around the inlet throughout the winter. Bluefish, jacks, pompano, redfish, black drum, and Spanish mackerel will keep jetty anglers busy throughout the day. Bouncing a goofy jig on and around the flats immediately behind the inlet will give anglers their best chance at a pompano.
Near Shore Atlantic
Pompano and whiting are the mainstay of 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 fishing along the beaches are apt to find blues, mackerel and some pompano on the calmer days. Goofy jigs, spoons, and bucktail jigs fished from the beach or toward the beach from a boat are good ways to catch pompano and blues on calm days.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger