January turned out to be very warm with a great bite in Sebastian and along the beaches from Vero Beach up to Melbourne Beach. The action off the beach was very good with Tarpon, Snook, Redfish and Sharks very active. The lack of cold temps for any length of time has slowed the bite for bluefish and Mackerel but we did have a good pompano the last few weeks off the beach and in Sebastian Inlet as well as the Indian River Lagoon from Sebastian north to Palm Bay and Melbourne.
Doc’s Goofy jigs will work well in the inlet and along the beaches and flats of the lagoon from Sebastian to Melbourne for Pompano and bycatch will be jacks, bluefish, trout and Spanish Mackerel as well as a few big Gafftop Sailcats. We have caught a few pompano lately on the Rapala Twitchin Minnow as well fishing the bait pods for Trout and Snook. If you are fishing Sebastian Inlet and the pompano action is slow, you can try jigging the shallow parts of the inlet for flounder using a ½ ounce jighead with a Storm 360 Paddletail or a DOA Paddle Tail with pro cure. Flounder action has been a little slow with the warmer water temps but should be good when the cold fronts arrive.
If the weather stays unusually warm, the snook, black drum and Redfish bite in the inlet will remain strong. Live bait is the key in the daytime and at night artificials will work well. Rapala XRap 14 and the Long Cast 14 are great plugs to fish from the jettys as well as from the rocks along the west side of the bridge. The Tarpon will continue to feed on outgoing tide through February during the strong cold fronts and the above lures will work as well as Hogy Eels and Paddletails and DOA Baitbusters.
The big jacks are up in the Sebastian River as well as Turkey Creek in Palm Bay and Crane Creek in Melbourne. Snook are around the docks and tarpon are far back in the creeks. Live bait is best but the fish will eat soft plastics and some topwater on warmer days.