More than our share of rain this fall has Sebastian’s inshore waters high and tannin stained and the fish love it. From the freshwater spillways to the mouth of the inlet, the dark waters are the backdrop for the daily interaction of predator and prey.
Snook, tarpon and largemouth bass are holding in the outflows of the spillways looking for disoriented baitfish that are sucked over or caught in the man-made turmoil. Snook numbers will continue to increase in the Sebastian River as water temps fall and the linesiders instinctively work their way into the backwater winter refuges. Jacks and tarpon will continue to follow schools of mullet as they come and go from the river early and late in the day. Sharp November cold fronts, if they occur, will push a variety of species into the Sebastian River; including gator sized trout and even pompano.
Indian River Lagoon
The high water levels left in the wake of Hurricane Irma will allow anglers access to backwater mudflats where redfish, seatrout and snook like to ambush baitfish along the mangroves. Pitching D.O.A. shrimp and jerk baits along the mangroves will draw strikes from snook, as well as trout and reds. Top water plugs, jerk baits, and gold spoons are great choices for open water reds and trout that will generally shadow mullet schools on the shallow flats. If cold fronts push through the Sebastian area and water temperatures dip below 68 degrees, some of the best pompano action of the year can take place along the edges of the flats and channels and the drop-offs of the spoil islands. Goofy jigs in pink or yellow are the best bet.
The inlet will continue to yield snook and redfish to live bait anglers both day and night. Pigfish, pinfish, croakers and shrimp are the baits of choice for inlet snook fishermen. Daytime anglers will find most of the fish along the shorelines and around the jetties. At night, most fishermen drift through the center of the A1A Bridge and have consistent success. The big draw to Sebastian Inlet in November is the flounder run. Depending on water temps, November, especially the week of Thanksgiving, has historically been the time for anglers to target flounder, some exceeding 10 pounds, throughout Sebastian Inlet. Live mullet and mud minnows are excellent baits, and jigs will do the trick as well.
There will be calm days in the late fall, and when the opportunity arises it is worth a ride out the inlet and up or down the beach. Pelicans diving will give away the location of schools of mullet and greenies which could and should be shadowed by tarpon, sharks and big jacks. Diving terns are usually associated with schools of glass minnows a staple of the Spanish mackerel that are passing by on their southerly migration.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Gus Brugger
Pattern Setter Charters