Sebastian Inlet is reknowned for some of the best snook fishing in the continent of the United States. Federal and State laws have protected the snook from overharvesting with managment and enforcment as numbers are close to their natural condition prior commercial harvesting in the 1950's and early 60's. Snook have become the highest ranked and most prestigious inshore gamefish in Florida as a difficult quarry and a tasty set of fillets over other several other inshore species like sea trout, redfish, tarpon and jacks. During the year you'll find anglers drifting baits and lures in the inlet current from the rocky and mangrove shorelines to jetties and catwalks. Angling from a boat in Sebastian Inlet is the preferred method for guiding on the inlet and night drifting is often very productive way to catch world class snook and tasty seafood for the table.
Every angler wants to know the answer to this question and the answer lies in the season, water temperature and food source for these gamefish. Sebastian Inlet itself is a gateway between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Knowing when are where the snook spawn is a major step in the right direction for an angler to find fish. Snook spawn on the beaches near and around the mouth of inlets. Some snook will find solitude miles from an inlet or Port but the lionshare will not stray too far from the inlet mouth. Snook spawn during the summer months of June thru August and then rush to the nearest food source to catch up on the fall bait runs before hunkering down in the leaner winter months. With this information at hand, anglers can often predict and follow the movements of snook in their seasonal places. Sebastian Inlet is known for fall snook fishing from September to December. During the summer you can often catch them around the mouth of the inlet and beaches. Wintertime is a tough time for snook at the inlet itself and it's often better to fish the Sebastian River.
The best time to catch a Sebastian Inlet snook is from May till mid December in the Inlet itself. Snook are tropical and barely sub-tropical fish that have difficulty surviving water temperatures less than 60° and often have to migrate southward toward Jupiter Inlet eighty miles south to the Loxahatchee River or milder temperature Intracoastal Waterways and inlets to combat the colder Central Florida winters. Other snook seem to tough it out in the Sebastian River and are difficult to target during the winter unless the temperatures are mild. The "short of it" is that snook in the Sebastian area are targeted mainly in the warmer times of the year late spring thr the mid to late fall depending on the approaching winter temperatures.
Snook eat anything when the moment's right! In many of Florida's inlets you'll observe large schools of snook laying headlong in the current waiting for the right moment to feed. When snook want to be finicky it can be frustrating and unrewarding for anglers, but a knowledgeable snook expert knows that it's just the matter of timing and often waits for that certain time period and tide that will turn them on. Casting from the shoreline with bucktail jigs or large swimming lures is very productive in the fall and knowing how to present a jig is deadly during the early falling tide. Drifting in a boat with live bait is extremely productive but experienced local knowledge is required to do night drifts in the swift inlet currents with multiple boats around. One of the best baits to use during the day for inshore of the inlet is the abundant pilchards that can be used to chum up even the finickiest snook often.
During the fall snook seek out inlets, port & bay mouths to fatten up before leaner times in the deep winter months. Sebastian Inlet in our area is a great place to pursue snook from late September thru mid December. As the temperatures get colder look for some snook to head south toward Fort Pierce Inlet, St. Lucie or possibly as far south as Jupiter Inlet and the Loxahatchee River. Some will seek shelter in the Sebastian River directly across from Sebastian River as the winter matures. You also might consider Port Canaveral during the cooler fall months at night.
Fishing Locations (Where to meet your guide)
NO FISH NO PAY (warning)
Not less than 28" or more than 32" Atlantic - Not less than 28" or more than 33" Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades Nat. Park
Season Closed December 15th thru January 31st & June thru August on the Atlantic Coast.
Decemeber thru February & May thru August on the Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, Everglades National Park