Surf fishing charters were put on hold for a few days last week due to the wave heights, wind and king tides. While the surfing was exceptional and enjoyed by us locals, the conditions for fishing left little to be desired. Improvements in the fishery came towards the latter part of the week when anglers had an effective opportunity to hit the sand. Pompano, whiting, bluefish, blacktip sharks and black drum made an impressive showing once the ocean settled.
As forecasted, these cold fronts are dropping the water temperature in a hurry. Throughout the week each day had a little more chill on the water, and now we’re reaching the ideal temperatures to see the real action. Pompano continued to be caught in both northern and southern regions of the county, but without the big numbers. If you have the patience, it surely will pay off with single-digit keeper pompano while releasing the numerous smalls. With this being said, the pompano that do measure are real winners and a satisfying achievement with current fishing conditions.
The top baits of choice have been clams, sand fleas and shrimp. Specifically the clams have performed very well in contrast to the shrimp and sand fleas. Not to mention, any of these scents can be utilized with Fishbites product to substitute for the scent profile you may be missing with your bait of choice. Pompano rigs with white and chartreuse floats seem to be particularly effective as of late. With the northerly winds forecasted for the early part of the week, expect water clarity conditions to continue to improve and adjust the color combinations as correlated. This method will be the most productive for pompano, whiting and black drum.
While the above mentioned tactics prove best for the higher pedigree table fare species, there’s plenty of opportunities for bluefish and mackerel as well. These toothy critters have been a constant available option no matter the surf size or winds present. Chunked baits or rapidly retrieved spoons will be the ticket to hook into bluefish and mackerel in the surf. First trough and slightly beyond seem to be holding the steady numbers with ladyfish and jack crevalle in the mix also.
The shark fishing has yet to diminish, and I don’t see an immediate end in sight. Multiple species of sharks with black tips being the main attraction have bent rods producing blistering runs for shark fishing enthusiasts. The transition period as the water temperatures drop have left vibrant waters teeming with sharks and fish alike. Beef up your tackle or expect plenty of breakoffs while targeting other species. The surf fishing waters encompassing the Space Coast are a competitive arena currently with a high probability of opportunistic sharks taking advantage of a hooked fish. So get out there, bait them up and reel them in quick!