Inshore Fishing in a Hurricane


Every cloud has a silver lining. Inshore fishing just before and just after a hurricane can create an exciting fishing experience with a lot of action. A couple theories support this argument. Some anglers believe that the change to barometric pressure is sensed by the fish, moving them in and out of estuaries and enticing feeding behaviors. Another theory is that current, temperature and water levels cause the fish to move into estuaries and shallow water to feed. As long as safety is considered first, fishing before and after a hurricane could be the ultimate inshore fishing experience.


Just before a hurricane, winds pick up and barometric pressure drops, sending some fish out into deeper water. In this case, positioning yourself opposite of the shoreline at the inlet can be a great place to catch those active fish swimming out. After a hurricane passes and the wind settles, fishing might get even better. While no one wants to feel the impact of a hurricane on land, at sea, a hurricane can generate waves up to about 18 meters. Resulting strong currents reach depths of about 90 meters below surface levels. This activity pushes crabs, shrimp, minnows and other small fish to the shoreline, creating a feeding ground for the target fish.


The best places for inshore fishing before and after a hurricane are in estuaries like Mosquito Lagoon, and anywhere the water is shallow and there are underwater structures. While larger fish like sharks and tuna swim out deeper, smaller fish like tarpon, snook and redfish are pushed inward and remain in estuaries. When areas flood, new fish habitats are also created with a fresh supply of shrimp, shell fish and small bait fish that get pulled in with the water. Waters adjacent to the flooded areas become a good fishing spot when water begins to recede.



Mangroves can be an active inshore fishing ground just before and just after a hurricane. Mosquito Lagoon is the nursery of the sea. Very high percentages of fish hatch there and spend a good part of their life there. Estuarine fish within the Indian River Lagoon system are also resistant to the inflow of freshwater. Because saltwater and freshwater naturally mix in estuaries, fish species at Mosquito Lagoon are able to tolerate the fluctuating salinity levels, and are more resilient to the mix caused by hurricanes.

Mosquito Lagoon might be the silver lining. Redfish are shallow water fish that thrive in estuaries along the eastern seaboard and the gulf coast. Mosquito Lagoon is one of the few places where redfish live their entire lifespan. Their natural diet consists of live shrimp, minnows, mullet and menhaden. When the bait is forced in by the storm, these bottom feeders are out for the feed. A hurricane to stir up the water is just the action an angler needs.



While inshore fishing during a hurricane is never recommended, there is an advantageous moment which occurs just before and just after the storm. If you want to live up the ultimate inshore fishing experience, call Captain Matt Lee for a fishing charter at Mosquito Lagoon!


Book your fishing charter by calling (386) 214-3530!


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