Everything has been late so far this year, but the cold fronts and cold weather have arrived. The action in Sebastian Inlet and nearshore action has been pretty good with a lot of Snook (mostly at night), Pompano, Redfish Black Drum and Spanish Mackerel along with some Bluefish and Ladyfish. If the weather warms up, the end of December and January can bring excellent catches of Snook, Redfish and big Black Drum in the inlet. Live Shrimp, Pigfish and Pinfish will be preferred baits in the inlet for the Snook and Reds and the Black Drum will eat Shrimp. You may have to pick through the Blues or the Snook and Redfish though. Along with those guys, we can have some tarpon, shark and King Mackerel action along the beaches from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet and down to Vero Beach if the weather stays warm enough. With the Mullet run we had this year, the Flounder bite in Sebastian Inlet and along the mangrove shorelines in the lagoon had been pretty good so far. Live finger mullet along the channel edges and shorelines around the tide changes have accounted for several fish from 5-7 lbs lately.
If the fronts are strong and you can’t get outside, look for Trout, Pompano, Bluefish and Flounder and jacks in the Lagoon from Melbourne down to Palm Bay and Sebastian. Fish the Spoil Islands as well as docks and shorelines with deeper edges that will hold the bait and the gamefish. I like using ¼ ounce jig heads with soft plastic jerk baits or shrimp imitations. Keep the baits deep in the water column and work them slow along the edges for the flounder and Trout. Pompano and Bluefish will like a little faster action when they ambush their prey.
If the winds are up and you still want to get out, hit the creeks from Palm Bay to Sebastian. Crane Creek as well as Turkey Creek and the Sebastian River will hold Trout, Redfish, Flounder, Snook and even some Tarpon throughout the winter months. Live bait is best but don’t hesitate to work the docks and shorelines with soft plastic baits and you can stay out of the wind and have a great time catching some good fish.