Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sebastian Inlet Fishing Report 1-2010

Whiteys Fishing Report January 2010

Until recently our winter has felt more like summer. The warmer weather has not helped the fishing, but the sudden push of cold fronts marching through have definitely changed that. The colder NE winds brought cooler water and the long awaited Pompano finally came with too. After a slow start in November and December, which historically can be great months, good numbers are being pulled up on the beaches. This should stay consistent throughout January as long as the water stays fishable and clean. Your best bet for catching these fish are a double drop pompano rig, pyramid sinker and sandfleas or clams as bait. High tides in the mornings and evenings are the best times to target them. The by-catch that comes along with Pompano fishing can be just as tasty. Catches can include Whiting, Black Drum, Sheepshead and Bluefish.

The warmer weather has also affected the wintertime Flounder fishing at Sebastian Inlet. With a slow start to the run things have really heated up recently as the temperature dropped. January might turn out to be the better month for the flatfish this season. Slack tides at the inlet are the best to key on if you only have a few hours to fish. Finger mullet, Mud Minnows and Shrimp are the best baits with a sliding sinker rig on 20# leader. The hardest part of flounder fishing can be finding the bait. Finger Mullet tend to disappear once the Flounder start biting so check out your favorite bait spots before you go.

Sheepshead and Black Drum fishing at Sebastian Inlet has been really hot. The jetties and bridge pilings are holding good numbers of Sheepshead. Sandfleas and Fiddler Crabs have been the best baits for the Sheepshead. Black Drum are hanging around the Jetties and beaches around the inlet. Cut clams are the best baits to use to target these fish.

With the opening of Trout season on the first of January it is time to break out the waders or boat to hit the flats. On warmer days the fish will be up on the flats in the afternoons foraging around. Fish the pot holes and drop offs with artificial lures and live baits for some great fishing action. Keep an eye out for tailing reds when on the water. Schools of Redfish will be roaming the flats looking for an opportune bait fish to consume.

With the Grouper and Snapper closures starting this month it is going to be a tough couple of months for offshore bottom fisherman. Staring January 1st all shallow water species of Grouper will be closed until April 30th. Snapper closures will begin on the fourth of January till the second of June. More regulations will be coming during the 180 day closure while federal fishery managers come up with a long term management goal.

On a personal note what in the world are they thinking. In a time of economic despair they are going to put a lot of people out of work. The boating industry and charter fleets are already in a slump and the last thing they need is to make it harder for these people to make a living. The recreational fishing industry is a multi-million dollar industry in the State of Florida and provides millions to the state is sales tax revenue and licensing revenue. Since the state is already broke this can not help. The state will make up for the drop in revenue in higher fees and stealth taxes. Mark my words we are going to be paying more for the right to fish and are going to be allowed to harvest less.

This is a classic example of government getting too big. If you look up the directory of the South Atlantic Fishery Council you will see what I mean. There are so many hands in the pot that they are trying to fund themselves with these closures. We have too many scientists and politicians making decisions to justify their positions to stay on the payroll. No better way to do this than creating studies. A classic example of this is the Goliath Grouper. In the 90's the federal government enacted a thirty year mandatory closure on the species. In that thirty years they are to study the population density. No management changes can be made until that time has expired. What better way to create funding for the next thirty years.

The gun owners have a huge lobby effort in the form of the NRA. It is time that fisherman get their own NRA. I would like to apologize if it sounds like I am going on a Dennis Miller type rant because I am. Weather you are an inshore, offshore or freshwater fisherman these closures might not affect you yet, but they will. Call your congressman, senator, local representative, South Atlantic Fishery Council the governor and tell them how you feel and how it will affect you. It is time we make waves other than the ones from the bow of our boats. Join groups like the Fishing Rights Alliance and donate money to the cause. In my opinion they are one of the few groups that are really fighting these closures. This is just the tip of the iceberg and more closures are sure to follow. This is a call to action and now is the time to speak up before anymore closures take effect. It is time that the fishing community has it's own tea party.

Again I apologize if I am sounding too political, but enough is enough. If my rant can help the cause in any way I am willing to take the heat. If anyone has any questions about this article or would like to discuss it further I can be reached at Whitey's. Good luck to everyone in the New Year and may it be a healthy and prosperous year for all. Check in at Whitey's for the latest fishing reports and get out and go fishing while you still are allowed. Tight Lines!!!!!!!!!!

Whitey's Bait & Tackle
9030 S Highway A1a
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

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