Sebastian Inlet, FL – We visited Sebastian Inlet State Park last weekend and enjoyed the calm seas and warm sun, we arrived in the early morning and were almost alone on the beach except for a few surfers who were catching a small break.
Later in the morning about a dozen skimborders showed up and gave us a great show, so I whipped out my video camera, you can see the video here.
After a walk on the north jetty we headed over to the catwalk under the bridge that spans the inlet. There we saw a manatee swimming out the inlet with the outgoing tide. The water was fairly clear considering that the tide was falling, the incoming tide offers cleaner water. We also saw a small pod of stingrays coming into the inlet, as well as a few small mangrove snappers caught that were destined for the dinner table.
Sebastian Inlet is home to many surfing tournaments that take place throughout the year, the north jetty and inlet cause the waves to break perfectly and whenever there’s a north swell the place packs them in. Another hot surf spot is Monster Hole, located about 1/3 mile off the beach, on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. The contour of the ocean floor rises up and when the surf is big, the waves form long lines, giving a long ride.
Snook fishing at Sebastian Inlet is very popular, with possibly more snook landings than any other single place in Florida. The north jetty which extends into the Atlantic offers shore bound anglers the best opportunity. The south side of the inlet has a much shorter jetty but this allows you to climb down to the rocks and get closer to the fish. Also on the south side is the infamous cleaning table as well as a small pier that locals refer to as the L-Dock, there anglers cast jigs to the channel and bump the bottom to entice a snook to strike. Snook season is currently closed and they must be released, however other summertime fish include mangrove snapper, sheepshead, croakers, jacks, ladyfish and tarpon.
Swimming and Snorkeling
Sebastian Inlet has a few places you can swim and snorkel depending on your level of experience. Swimming on the north jetty side is only advisable further north of the inlet outside where surfers gather. South of the inlet is sheltered from many of the breaking waves and is typically un-crowded. The tidal pool on the north side and west of the bridge is a great place for small children and families who just want to stay wet and keep cool. The southwest side of the inlet is also good for small children.
Snorkeling the inlet offers the best chance to see fish in clear water this far north. During slack tide, many snorkel just outside the tidal pool and under the catwalk. There you can see many fish under the pilings and around the rocks.
For the advanced swimmer, calmer days allow you to snorkel the inlet itself and let the current carry you along. This is somewhat risky so be sure to use a dive flag and watch out for fishing lines and boat traffic. Snorkelers should be aware of tide changes and currents, being negligent may cost you your life.
Other Park Features
Sebastian Inlet State Park has camping facilities, a bait and tackle shop that sells fishing licenses, The Sebastian Fishing Museum, The McLarty Treasure Museum, a boat ramp, the mile-long Hammock Trail, picnic areas, a restaurant and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Admission Fees – $5.00 per vehicle for up to 8 people; $3.00 for a single occupancy vehicle or motorcycle.
Sebastian Inlet State Park near Melbourne, Florida has so many things to do it sometimes it’s hard to decide, luckily the park offers more than you can do in one day.
Originally Published on July 19th, 2007