August offshore of Sebastian can be a great month to fish. Hopefully this August will provide another good run of cobia. The cobia run seems to coincide with the cold-water upwelling that occurs unpredictably in the summer. When there is cold-water on the bottom the cobia will rise to the surface. Look for the fish cruising along the 60 feet and 90 feet reefs or any inshore weed lines. Have your favorite cobia bucktail or a good-sized swimbait ready to cast. If that doesn’t do the trick, follow up with a whole squid or a chunk of fresh cut bait. If your lucky enough to find the reef holding giant bull sharks, the cobia will be with them. This mass of fish will show easily on your depth finder and may include other species like amberjack. Try sending a jig down and test the bite. Anchoring up and chumming these areas will produce some great action. Mangrove and red snapper will be fair game too in the chum lines this month. For the mangroves during daylight, use less than 30-pound flourocarbon leaders and bury that hook. Freeline the bait as natural as possible for these smart rascals.
Trolling this month can be hot too. We get a lot of pelagics in as close as 50 feet this time of year. Fifty-feet depths aren’t just for kings this time of year. Dolphin, sails, barracuda and even cobia will jump on a trolled bait. Try putting more naked ballyhoo in the spread when the water is calm and blue. I think a “sneakier” presentation is necessary under these conditions with less need for flashy trolling feathers and bubblers.
Remember that lobster season starts August 6, so watch out for divers in the water and stay 300 feet away from a deployed dive flag per state law. If you’re a diver, get out there with your friends and grab a few of those big Sebastian “bugs”. Be safe and always put good diving practices first.
Near the end of August, the first of the mullet run starts. Run the beach and look for big boy tarpon showering the mullet. An artificial will draw a strike when they’re fired up but a live mullet on a big circle hook will seal the deal. Use at least seven-feet of 60-pound leader and a rod with backbone. Great fighting blacktips and spinner shark will be in the mix too. Snook will be on the beach near the mullet pods also. First light and afternoon dark clouds are good times to get into some hot action.
Best of luck out there!