Fishing From Jetties In South Florida

This is where I really keep going back to on a stormy rainy night or when it gets really cold. This is when I know the jetties are going to have a lot of room to go out and play. Even if many go when stormy or cold they still leave because they cannot take what some people like to enthusiastically call “hardcore fishing”.  Like in many piers you can catch several species of fish from a jetty. But is very likely that snappers and small or a legal size grouper if you are persistent and win a grouper lottery can be caught. Some jetties are more famous or infamous than others, some for the great fishing and some for the kind of people that frequent those places.

Herbert Hans Muller at Bal Harbour inlet 80s

Me at Bal Harbour Inlet Jetty during the 80sOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABal Harbour Jetty in 2009

One of my favorite places is Bal Harbour jetty, a dangerous place since it’s walkways  sit very close to the water and are always getting splashed by the waves on the strong incoming tides or when the wind really blows past 20 knots on an Eastern direction. The edges are usually covered with green moss and are very slippery, no matter how many times the city does clean it, it always seems to regain it’s slipperiness. So be careful out there I have already broken my ankles, and torn my foot on a few occasions there. At Bal Harbour jetty you can catch many different species but it does get crowded at times hence why I only go when everyone thinks they should be home. On the full moon nights and just about any other night when the tide is going out you can try your luck at Permit or Snook, in the winter time till the beginning of spring blue fish, sharks, black drums, and sheepsheads are in full force at that jetty. When the Tarpon are there they are there in full force and are great fun to catch if not many boats get on the way and cut you right off. For the permit you can use small less than your palm size blue crabs or a chunk of blue crab, but the mostly used for to catching permits there has always been a “J” or “Kahle hook” with 4 or five nice size sand fleas. I now days use a 5/0 circle hooks for this purpose. You can also catch the sheepsheads with sandfleas but using a 2/0 hook will be more effective and don’t be surprised if a nice size mangrove, cubera snapper, or black drum hits the sandflea as well.

The Port Everglades inlet jetty had been closed down after Hurricane Wilma hit, it took almost 5 years before it was reopened. I must say, it was worth the wait. It is a beautiful fishing space. You can now fish for pompano during the spring and fall runs. And the great thing about this jetty is that you can take you snorkeling gear and have a nice look at the reef close by. This jetty sits on a park called John U. Lloyd Beach State Park so reach out to the park for their hours. You can catch a variety of fish from here including permit, but I only like to go there during the spring and fall if I go there at all.

Port Everglades Jetty

Port Everglades Jetty

Jupiter Inlet South Jetty (AKAJuno jetty), where the Stud Snooks roam the summer mating months. If you want to land a 40″ plus snook, you will have your chance at the Juno jetty. Do not take light tackle, the rocks will not allow for you to land one in. Heavy tackle is what I would recommend unless you are very familiar with the jetty do not take anything less than 40 pound test tackle as the matter of fact 50 pound test tackle is what I would use. Straight through 50  line and the leader. A nice size mullet is what I love to use but if the finger mullet are running then match the hatch so when the croackers are available, toss one out and hang on. When the snook are in their mating season they can gulp just about any bait, I have seen people using frozen thread fin herring form a block and the snook will eat them. Cut pinfish, grunts, blue runner heads, any good size cut bait and fish guts works as well but be ready to get a small or nice size shark with those. The fun way of catching them is on artificial top water lures like wind cheaters, x-raps, small poppers etc.. while casting towards the beach from the jetty’s end and from the beach or with “hawk jigs” (what many call “flares”) you just cast these into the inlet and bounce them on the bottom (but be ready to get snagged on the bottom). Like always watch the ones catching and assimilate. yes, you can also catch other species from this jetty and they are plentiful but it is snook and croacker heaven.

Juno Jetty In 2006

Juno Jetty In 2006

Sebastian Inlet North End Jetty

Sebastian Inlet North End Jetty 2-9-2010 Black Drum and Sheepshead Madness

Another great jetty and the best in my list is the Sebastian inlet jetty, both ends of it, the South and the North end. many people call the North end a pier since the City went all out and constructed a structure that resembles a pier but in reality it does remain a jetty because it sits right on top of one. A regular pier simply protrudes from a beach, this one is on the jetty not on the sides of it.  Sebastian inlet is greatly known and many people travel from all places to get there, I once met a family that traveled from North Carolina to camp at the inlet and fish the jetties. The South side where the camping ground is at is well known for the flounders fishing when they start going to the ocean to mate. Many of those flounders start their move in October but it goes in full force during December. I like to skip that season only because of the crowds. The South side sits low and very close to the water. You can cast top water artificial lures on the outside of moving bait balls being pressured by fish and you will have some real good fun doing so. The North side is more famous for the pompano crowd and you will see the floor covered with clam shell fragments. There are certain times when the crowd get huge like when the Black Drums are running heavy, there is barely a place to cast. I like to move around and unfortunately at Sebastian Inlet jetty a lot of thieves like to make their way into the heavy crowds to see what they can take. A big reason why I only carry minimal tackle there. The biggest attractions at Sebastian are the pompanos, sheepheads, black drums, flounders, snooks, and bull redfish. It gets to be a Big Bull redfish Rodeo at times at Sebastian Inlet jetty, bulls that reach the 40 inch to 45 inch mark are very common and it’s like winning a lottery to get a slot fish for dinner. The slot fish are more common around the Indian River and can be caught wading or from the banks of the river. Not only those species can be caught, as in all jetties snappers and groupers are caught as well as mackerels and many other species. One thing about Sebastian is the culture of people, so many different cultures fishing in the same place is very interesting and you can have awesome great conversations, but keep an eye on your gear at all times since some people can carry on a conversation while someone is having a party with your tackle. I have noticed on some jetties and piers that a certain kind of fish is trash like blue runners and spades, well not at Sebastian, many people actually hope to get a spade from the schools that pass close by the jetty. they say they taste delicious. maybe some day I will try it.

Sebastian Inlet North End Jetty

Sebastian Inlet North End- April 2010 on left and November 2007 on right. Can you tell where the fishing action is?

Off course there are many great inlets to fish at and you will see those as I post them in my fishing reports.


© 2013


2 thoughts on “Fishing From Jetties In South Florida

  1. Hello! We are visiting for a few days and would love to go fishing, but we are in need of fishing gear. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Hi, all partyboats provide gear for s rental fee (some have it included in the fare). All fishing piers in Sourh Florida provide rentals as well. Fishing in the Key’s bridges you will need to purchase some gear.

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