Fishing Reports


Sebastian Fishing Report: October is historically the top all-around month to fish the central Indian River Lagoon Area. Water temperatures drop back into the optimum range for most of the resident and migratory fish species. The air temps begin to cool into the preferred range for anglers as well. Baitfish numbers are at a peak and the predators are feeding heavily. High water levels are also a positive aspect of the early fall season. The high water allows anglers and fish to reach backwater areas that in some cases are inaccessible the rest of the year. All these factors should make October’s fishing the best of the past year.

Sebastian Tarpon Fishing Report

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Adam Hansen of Sebastian with a St. Sebastian river Tarpon. Photo: Capt. Gus Brugger

The absence of sea grass in the central Indian River Lagoon has made inshore fishing a daunting task again this summer. Redfish and sea trout rely heavily on the grass beds for food and shelter most of the year, but especially in the summer when backwater areas get too warm and oxygen poor. The coming of fall with its cooler temps and higher water levels will again allow baitfish and predators to utilize the secondary backwater habitats as well as the RECOVERING Indian River Lagoon grass beds as habitat. I have seen significant regrowth of Sebastian area grass beds, particularly those in very shallow areas. This fall should show us if the fish populations will recover quickly in areas where sea-grass has regrown or if there will be a lag time between habitat recovery and the recruitment of baitfish and gamefish into those areas.

The good news is that the overall lagoon fishery seems to be on the upswing. The redfish numbers are good enough that casting shorelines and backwater flats with D.O.A. jerk-baits and shads will result in redfish from 10 inches to 10 pounds. Quality trout and some snook are also returning to the Sebastian area. Topwater plugs and Mirro-lures worked around bait schools in the early morning are sure to draw strikes from some picture worthy specimens. Live finger mullet will be plentiful this month and are hard to beat as bait for just about everything that swims in the Sebastian area.

Sebastian Inlet has been producing slot and oversized redfish and snook both day and night since the season opened September first, and should be even better in October. The ocean, with its fall migration of baitfish and predators, will be a great fishery on the days the winds and seas allow. Lastly, the St. Sebastian River will be home to a large percentage of the local snook and tarpon population and will be a great refuge for anglers during the windy periods associated with the fall season.

As the air and water temperatures cool down the fishing heats up in Sebastian!

Tight Lines,
Capt. Gus Brugger

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