Sebastian is fairly typical of Florida’s Treasure Coast, with sandy beaches, warm weather, and easy access to Orlando. But don’t let the sleepy seaside image fool you, Sebastian fishing charters are about as active as you can get. Big bull Redfish and huge gator Trout patrol the strong currents, searching for baitfish struggling in the shallows. Head out past Sebastian Inlet, and you can fish wrecks, reefs, and even hit the Gulf Stream on a day trip.
And that’s just the daytime angling. Sebastian fishing gets even better after dark. Stalk the shallows in search of super-sized Snook, or enjoy some good ol’ fashioned Flounder gigging. If Sebastian seems like a sleepy beach town, it’s because everyone’s exhausted from all the action!
Sebastian fishing guides are pretty lucky when it comes to the local fishing grounds. Head any which way but west, and you find awesome flats fishing with enough secluded spots to host the town’s many charter boats. If it’s deep seas you’re after, Sebastian has some of the easiest access to open water for miles around, allowing you to get into the Atlantic in no time. Every spot has some serious sportfishing potential, and you don’t have to travel far to fill the freezer, either!
Sebastian Inlet State Park
Just a mile from the dock, Sebastian Inlet is the place to go for big fish on a tight schedule. From battling bull Reds on the changing tide to dropping baits for southern Flounder on a calm winter’s day, you’ll never be short of action. Sebastian Inlet night fishing is also incredible, especially in the summer. This is when the biggest Snook are in town, and it also lets you beat the heat. You’ll need a skilled guide to navigate the area’s strong currents and uneven bottom, but experienced charter captains aren’t hard to come by here.
Running for over 100 miles down Florida’s Atlantic Coast, the Indian River needs no introduction for inshore anglers. What makes it special here is the addition of the rich, fresh waters of the Sebastian River. Large Trout and Black Drum spend their summers gobbling up the river mouth’s ample supply of bait fish. Of course, no river mouth is complete without some monster Snook. You’ll find plenty of them snoozing the day away, waking only to snatch at a well-placed cast or fly.
Head out into the open waters of the Atlantic, and you’ll find a dozen reefs within 10 miles of shore. Bottom fishing favorites like Snapper, Grouper, and Triggerfish make their home here, giving you some great food fishing. Time your trip right, and you’ll find Cobia and King Mackerel around the deeper reefs, and lots of big, mean, Tarpon in the shallower Atlantic waters. All of this can be reached on a half day trip, but the sheer variety of species makes full days well worth it.
Blue Waters & the Gulf Stream
Sebastian may not have the immediate drop-offs you’ll find further south, but you can still hit 100 feet of water within an hour of leaving the dock. Head out 40 miles or so, and you reach the Gulf Stream, everyone’s favorite big game playground. Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Wahoo, and Yellowfin Tuna tag each other out as the seasons change, making for year-round deep sea fishing opportunities.
How much will it cost?
Most of Sebastian’s charter fleet is made up of small center consoles and flats boats. Sebastian is also a bit too far from Orlando for most (about two hours by car). What this means is that you’ll pay a lot less than you might expect. Inshore trips cost around $350 for a half day, and just over $500 for a full day trip. Head offshore and things aren’t much more expensive. You can reach bluewater for $100 an hour here, which is what you’re looking at for a bay trip in most places.
You won’t need anything more advanced than an 8-foot spinning rod for most inshore species, but you need to time your trip carefully to bring in the biggest fish. For Redfish, that means casting Croakers, Crabs, or fingerling Mullet on an outgoing tide. Local Redfish gorge on Crab riding the tide out to sea so lures and flies that imitate this will get a lot of attention. Snook will take just about anything you throw their way when they are hunting at night, but are more likely to spook than bite during the day.
Head out past the bay, and it’s normally a choice between trolling a bottom fishing. Slow-troll live Mullet for Tarpon near the beach or fast-trolling spreads for Wahoo and Tuna offshore. Sailfish are the exception and are usually caught on kites. The added bonus to kite fishing is that you’ll be driving right into the wind, avoiding the worst of the winter squall.
Need to Know
Fishing licenses are covered by the boat on all licensed Sebastian fishing charters, and live bait is supplied pretty much as standard. You’ll find fly fishing specialists running trips both inshore and offshore, so you can pack light without missing out on all the fun. All you really need is your standard tick-list for any fishing trip: sunscreen, shades, an extra layer of clothing, and sea sickness tablets if you tend to suffer offshore.