[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he fishing in the Sebastian area in August can be some of the best of the year. The catch and release snook and redfish fishing at Sebastian Inlet are at their best in August. The crowds are light since the snook season is still closed until September 1st. We must be diligently careful when handling these large game-fish at boat side. Have the camera ready so as to only have the fish out of the water for a few seconds, and if you don’t want a picture, release them without taking them from the water. A lip grip tool like a BOGA-GRIP does much less damage than a net, just be sure to support the belly of the fish when taking them from the water for a photo. Revive the fish until they swim free of your hands, as an early release can result in a tired fish floating belly up away from you on the strong current of Sebastian Inlet.
Traditionally, the latter part of August sees a surge in the inshore fishery. Increased rainfall cools the lagoons waters and mullet and other baitfish become more plentiful, putting the inshore predators on the feed.
Tarpon will continue to be the main target for anglers fishing the freshwater rivers and creeks along the Treasure Coast. The north fork of the Sebastian River is usually the place to look for tarpon in the early morning and evening. Flies, plugs, D.O.A. Root Beer TerrorEyz and finger mullet, when they become available, will all catch these backwater tarpon.
Indian River Lagoon
Things will stay status quo in the lagoon until the finger mullet show. Trout will remain available early and late for anglers using artificials, while live pigfish will catch trout in deeper pockets throughout the day. Redfish can be a daily occurrence on the flats, where top-water plugs, D.O.A. C.A.L. jerk-baits and gold spoons will usually get their attention. Snook fishing should pick up steadily throughout this month inside the lagoon, as post spawn fish begin to ambush finger mullet along shorelines and creek mouths.
In years gone by, August was my favorite month to fish “The Inlet”. The snook will be stacked on top of one another and the big reds will be wherever they can find room. Live bait, including croakers, pigfish, greenies, pinfish, shrimp, in that order, will be the key to daytime inlet action. Fish outgoing tides east of A1A and incoming tides west of A1A is a general rule for daytime snook fishing. Night fishing can also be great, whether you drift through the bridge with live bait, or chuck plugs or bucktail jigs from the rocks. If you catch and release these inlet snook as I do in August, please handle them with care.
Weather permitting, August should still find kings, Spanish and occasional cobia and dolphin not too far off the beaches. Resident tarpon schools will also be a good bet over the reefs just off the beach. As mullet and other baitfish begin their southern trek late in the month, the near-shore can come alive. Big tarpon, kings, Spanish mackerel, bonito, sharks, snook, and jacks all chase the bait south and unlike the spring run they tend to stay within surf casting distance of the beach where the mullet like to swim, so surfcasting for fish weighing in the double and even triple digits is possible.