This month Fishing Capt Gus Brugger with the Pattern Setter Charters has done a great job giving us an outlook of the upcoming Snook Season. Thanks Capt. Gus!
Captain Hiram’s 2011 Fall Season Fishing Forecast
Fall is the one season of the year that seems to have variable start and end points depending on where you live and what recreational activities you enjoy. The family-man may see fall as when the kids go back to school. The football fan associates the start of the regular season with the fall. Throughout the more temperate climes of the world, hikers and hunters anxiously await the turning of the leaves to their autumn hues. Here in Sebastian, Florida the fall season has for many years begun on the same date, September 1st, opening day of snook season.
The common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) is one of the great inshore game fish of the tropical western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The largest individuals of this species, as is the case with many fish species with a wide distribution, are often found along the northern margins of their range. This margin just happens to include Sebastian Inlet and the waters of the Indian River Lagoon in the Sebastian Area. Since a slot limit was imposed by the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), Sebastian anglers have seen the average size of area snook increase dramatically. A twenty pounder would be the talk of the town 15 years ago, but today it barely raises an eyebrow. Thirty pound snook are caught regularly and larger fish have been taken, lost and seen.
The Achilles heel for snook is cold, and over the last two winters Florida has had more than its share of prolonged periods of near freezing temperatures. The effects of the cold on inshore fish populations in general, and particularly snook, statewide were devastating. As far south as the lower keys, fish that couldn’t find their way to the thermal refuges of the Open Ocean, deep channels and freshwater springs were seen floating belly up. Florida’s shallow gulf coast waters were particularly hard hit. This has prompted the FWC to close snook to harvest statewide during the regular spring season (Feb.15-May30) and on the west coast of the state year round. East coast snook populations were hurt by the freeze, but enough adult fish were able to find refuge in the close by deep ocean that the overall population is not threatened. This has allowed the fall season (Sept.1-Dec.15) to carry on as it has in the past. Anglers lucky enough to catch a legal size snook (28-32”) can, if they choose, keep one per day. Captain Hiram’s restaurant offers a cook your catch deal and they do a spectacular job whether it be a fish and chip basket for lunch or a full blown dinner with all the trimmings.
The fall season is “The Time” to snook fish in the Sebastian area. Being the “Summer Resort” for east coast snook, Sebastian Inlet recruits big breeder snook from points south all summer long. After the summer spawning season these snook have one thing on their mind, fattening up for winter. This quest for food can become quite a spectacle for anglers and observers on the jetties at Sebastian Inlet State park where, as if on cue, scores of big snook do backflips after charging through schools of migrating mullet. Day or night, incoming or outgoing tides, snook are always a possibility at Sebastian inlet in the fall. Let’s not forget the other species that also take advantage of the abundant forage in and around Sebastian inlet as day lengths shorten. Bull redfish (10-40#) can on many days be the most abundant species in the inlet. Tarpon to 150# are fall visitors to the Sebastian area, along with jacks, sharks, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. The accessible waters of the Indian River Lagoon, at Captain Hiram’s door step, are also rejuvenated with the coming of the fall season. The shallow lagoon waters are a world renowned destination for record seatrout, redfish, snook, tarpon, flounder and pompano.
All types of anglers will find the Sebastian Area and Captain Hiram’s Resort to their liking. Dockage for all size vessels is available at the first class marina. Seventy plus rooms will accommodate all types of groups and budgets. The Sebastian Areas most experienced and knowledgeable Inshore and Offshore Captains are associated with Captain Hiram’s resort. Sebastian Inlet and fishable beaches are located only minutes away from the resort. Wade-fish the lagoon for trout, reds and snook right off Hiram’s beach. Several tackle shops are within walking distance of the resort. Whatever style of fishing you prefer Sebastian offers it and Captain Hiram’s Resort is the perfect place leave from or come back to after a memorable outing on the areas waters.
Capt. Gus Brugger
Capt. Gus Brugger is a full time inshore fishing guide with 20 years of charter fishing experience in the Sebastian area. He and his 18’ and 21’ Maverick flats skiffs are available for hire by one to Four anglers with reservations. Captain Hiram’s Resort is home base for Pattern Setter Charters and is a perfect get away for serious anglers or family fun. Give Gus a call today and book a trip to east central Florida’s finest fishing destination.