nearshore tarpon fishing

It’s been another exciting week here on the Space Coast! The fishing has been about as good as it gets, in my opinion. The lagoon has been producing great numbers of redfish, trout, snook and tarpon of all various sizes, even some real trophies. However, my main focus has been nearshore.

This weeks forecast consisted of west winds and calm seas, which pointed me towards the beach. This time of the year we start seeing lots more bait and different types at that, anything from glass minnows and menhaden to even some mullet. With the variety of bait and plenty of it to go around, the possibilities are endless. Anglers can find massive schools of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and even some large bonito traveling along feeding on the larger pods of glass minnows. Bonito are a great battle on light gear and typically don’t refuse smaller silver spoons, Gotcha plugs, and small Rapala X Raps. Small, shiny baitfish imitation flies have been working great, as well, and these fish sure are a blast on fly!

We have also been seeing greater numbers of large tarpon in the 80 – 150 lb range. Most of these fish have been around the Sebastian inlet area and are feeding on almost any large live bait that you can get past the sharks — which has been a constant battle in and of itself. Look for the fish rolling and blasting bait (it’s pretty hard to miss!), then position yourself ahead of the school and allow them to cross paths with your bait. Try not to land right in the middle of the school! Large swim-baits, lipped plugs, and large white flies have been working well, too, but for the best bet I have been sticking to live bait.