Offshore Sebastian Inlet -- Exploration Fishing

After spending the night camping with the South Florida Kayak Fishing Club at Long Point Camp Grounds, I awaked around 7 am to a comfortable dry surprisingly bug free climate. I hopped in my truck and headed to the local fishing store (Whitey’s) to possibly ask for some advice. There was a long line of customers waiting to buy shrimp. Seeing that it was going to take too long, I got back in my truck to scout for a good place to launch off the beach. I investigated some beach areas North and South of the Inlet which had free parking along the road, but the waves were big. The best location as recommended was next to the South Inlet Jetty. The area had very small waves because the Inlet’s jetty break waters block the sea and swell from the North. Inlet State Park parking was $4 which was well worth the it to avoid the risk of flipping in the surf.

After waiting awhile to see if any of the other South Florida Kayak Fishing Club members wanted to join me, I launched solo off the beach around 930am. The area around the Jetty is known to have fantastic fishing and was lined with fishermen. It would have been ideal to try to fish this area just out of the casting range of the jetty fishermen, but the waters were turbulent. There is a large sand bar just south of the Inlet that had frequent of waves breaking on it, and the current was setting 1kt towards it. It was a situation where one would have spent more time avoiding hazards than fishing, so the safest move was to get out of this area. I headed North ¾ of a mile off the beach in about 40-45ft of water. As I peddled, I slow trolled a yozuri crystal minnow on one rod, and a 1 oz USB shrimp on another, while casting and retrieving a Gotcha lure. Although I missed a couple of strikes, I had no luck on the artificial lures. I metered a lot of schools of bait, and easily blacked out my hobie livewell multiple times with pilchards and a few herring, croakers and small weakfish.

Predator fish were quick to attack the bait loaded sabikis as I reeled them up -- loosing 3 rigs during the course of the day. After filling up the live well, I slow trolled 1 pilchard on the surface, and 1 just off the bottom with a downrigger while continuing to cast and retrieve the Gotcha lure. It was steady action on sharks striking the live baits. I caught sharks all day long, and even had a double strike. I worked my way 2 miles North of the inlet, and fished for a little while off a house with 3 half round roofs. The beaches were lined with surf fishermen -- never seen so many. I tried to fish in shallower, but there was a pretty good swell building in towards the beach, and I did not feel comfortable going in any shallower than 30ft. I spent the whole day offshore hoping to find a black drum, redfish or flounder, Instead I caught small croaker, weakfish, lizard fish and sharks. It was steady action, just not what I was hoping for, so I headed in around 5:30pm.


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