Florida’s inlets are vital to the health of our ecological community. They provide replenishment of clean, fresh ocean water. The inlets are living, breathing entities and ways for the oceans to breach into our shallow water community. But for our purposes as anglers, inlets provide constant change.
Most of the inlets near the ocean access bottleneck at some point. This forces strong currents and rushing tidal waters, then the waters recede for a transformation. The sand, seagrass and mangroves act as a nursery for fish and birds to live among the most diverse ecological systems on earth.
The clean waters produce an oxygen-rich environment and thus an abundance of opportunities to catch a variety of fish. The bait fish are ample, and the catch can be bountiful. The salinity is always in flux, and the sand is constantly removed and replaced.
The only downside to our inlets is their popularity. For one, they are the main access points to our deeper Atlantic waters. That means a concert of continuous inboard and outboard boat engines. So, be mindful of the times you fish. I prefer the off times when boat traffic seems to be at a minimum.
Another good rule of thumb is that as much as the water changes, so do the species of spawning fish. Whether using artificial or live bait, cast a lot and do it as if your standing on a clock face. With each cast, I like to think of my movements like clock hands. I’ll begin at a positioning of one o’clock, then two o’clock and so forth, so as to not cast in the same spot each time. At some point, you will fish in an area where the action just doesn’t stop. It’s fishing the inlets after all—you can never go wrong.