18. July 2012
Here is the September Fishing Report for Sebastian, brought to us by Capt Gus Brugger:
As of August the Indian River Lagoon is still devoid of sea grass beds in the Sebastian area. Without this keystone lagoon habitat, some questions are sure to be on the minds of inshore anglers; will the masses of finger mullet that make up the annually anticipated “Mullet Run” find their way into the lagoon without the cover and food provided by the grass beds?; will the late summer mullet run alone be enough to draw migrating gamefish into the relatively desolate lagoon?; will the resident populations of trout and redfish suddenly swim out from wherever they’ve been hiding and begin to feed ravenously on anything approximating the size and color of a finger mullet?
My answer is yes, with limitations. We will see an increase in the types and numbers of gamefish in the lagoon and trout and redfish will magically appear to terrorize the schools of finger mullet. The extent to which this will happen will be helped by late summer rains that will raise water levels and moderate the temperatures of the backwater bays that provide a good secondary habitat, in lieu of rooted sea grass, for the mullet and their predators. I believe we will see a repeat of last winter and spring, where the large open water flats most anglers are accustomed to drift fishing will not hold predators or prey without the protection of the sea grass. Trout, reds and snook will have to seek ambush spots further up in the mangrove lined bays and coves, where they themselves are less likely to become prey for dolphins, ospreys and anglers without flats boats and trolling motors.
Sebastian Inlet will be the big focus of Sebastian area anglers with the start of snook season September 1st. Cold water upwelling along the Treasure and space Coasts has made catch and release snook fishing unproductive this summer, but those willing to snorkel the 68 degree waters of the Sebastian Inlet on August incoming tides report that the numbers and size of the snook are impressive. The upwelling cold waters have never lasted into September in my recollection, but until the summer weather pattern is broken the possibility exists. I am hopeful that bunches of big redfish will follow the mullet down the beaches and take up residence in the inlet through the fall. Spanish mackerel, jacks, bluefish and tarpon also give inlet fishermen a passing shot at them as they follow the bait down the beach in the early Fall. The Sebastian River will spark back to life as the finger mullet enter the estuary. Snook and tarpon are both available throughout the river in September and finger mullet or something resembling them is sure to draw strikes.
I have always enjoyed fishing the late summer season in Sebastian. The swiftness of the changes can be reminiscent of how quickly life appears with the coming of spring in the northern climes. A tropical storm in September or a cold front in early October and viola you’re fishing what seems to be a whole new place. The Indian River Lagoon is one of the most delicate ecosystems in the U.S. and the pleasures gained by living near it’s shores will be short lived if we take it for granted.
Capt. Gus Brugger 772-589-0008
For more Sebastian Area fishing info or to book a charter with Capt. Gus check out the frequently updated videos on my website homepage at www.sebastianfishingguides.com