Sunrise Marina - Port Canaveral, FL

WEEKLY FORECAST

1.12.2020 – 1.18.2020

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

big black drum

Capt. Alex Hughey is putting customers on drum so big it’s hard to believe the pics aren’t photoshopped!

We’ve got some nice weather windows forecasted this week. Find out what our pro contributors are targeting and how they’ve been fairing in this week’s forecast…

Looking ahead to next month, keep note that the Canaveral Lock will temporarily be closed from 8:00am – 12:00pm and 4:00pm – 8:00pm.

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SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

78.34%

INSHORE

77.12%

BEACH

79.35%

WEATHER OVERVIEW: We have firmly settled into our winter weather patterns here in Central Florida. Northerly winds bring the cold fronts through. Within a few days the wind will work its way back out of the south and temperatures will rise and then, our next cold front arrives. It should remain like that for a while yet. This week will be no different but the weather overall looks to be quite nice. We start the week with winds directly out of the W on Tuesday, Wednesday (N), Thursday (NNW) and Friday (W). They all look like nice days to get out and fish. Friday night into Saturday morning the next cold front descends on us. This will have the winds up on Saturday but Sunday they taper off again which could make Sunday really nice as well so grab your gear, pack a sandwich and Let’s Go Fishing!

Click here to check out the marine forecast from the National Weather Service.

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GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

WEEKLY STRIKE-ZONE GIVEAWAY

Every week, we randomly draw a name from our email subscriber list to award a $20 Strike-Zone Fishing Gift Card. Congrats to this week’s winner, Samantha Pringle of Indialantic — Samantha, please email us within 7 days to claim your prize. For everyone else, if you’re not already a subscriber, click here to enter the weekly giveaway!

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CLUB MEMBERSHIP GIVEAWAY

FSFA Every month we’re giving away TWO annual family memberships in the Florida Sports Fishing Association. Membership confers many great benefits, but most of all, a strong fellowship within a diverse, family-friendly and experienced group of anglers focused on “Sport Fishing.” Learn more about the club and membership benefits on FSFAclub.org.

Congrats to January’s winners, Michael Burkowsky and Lucas Breno. Two more winners will be selected next month! For your chance to win a free FSFA family membership, enter the giveaway below.

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FEATURED STORY

BUYING A BOAT?

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Don’t get sunk with the SS Lemon. If you’re in the market for a boat, protect yourself and your investment with a pre-purchase survey from Miley Marine Surveying!

READ THE STORY!

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Fishing Reports

In every week’s Spacefish fishing forecast, we turn to both fishing pros and average joe’s for input on what’s happening in and around Brevard County’s many fisheries. Here’s what people are saying about the bite in the Space Coast this week. And don’t forget — anyone — including YOU, can contribute a report to the list below!

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Coldest Temps in Over A Decade
January 18, 2021

Coldest Temps in Over A Decade

Sebastian grouper

Tristan with a juvenile Goliath Grouper in the inlet!

The water temperature in the Indian River Lagoon remains very cold and it’s the coldest Ive seen since 2010 when we lost a lot of snook. Water temps have ranged from low 50s to mid 60s degrees. These cold temps have pushed a lot of shrimp in the channel and people are putting in a lot of time cast netting the shrimp for dinner. The lagoon bite has been slow for most, but if you put in the time with live shrimp and or baitfish you should be able to get plenty of sheephead, black drum, as well as some snook and redfish. The snook are schooled up in the Sebastian River around the docks and oyster bars, as well.

The inlet bite has been okay when the water is clean. The best bite is late afternoon and evening on the outgoing tides for snook, black drum and redfish. The spanish mackerel have been pushed off the beach a mile or two in deeper water, but there are still some close to shore around the inlet mixed in with the bluefish and a few pompano.

by Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters | (321) 863-8085

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Great Conditions in the Surf
January 18, 2021

Great Conditions in the Surf

beach black drum

We caught multiple black drum in he 14 – 18 lb. range this week.

Guided surf fishing charters had clients reeling in steady numbers of pompano, whiting, bluefish and Spanish mackerel to start the week. The bite remained consistent throughout the majority of Brevard County beaches. Surf fishing Cocoa Beach brought catches of black drum, whiting and pompano, while Sebastian Inlet north to Indialantic saw higher numbers of pompano and mackerel caught. Water clarity proved key once again with the ideal surf fishing conditions being calm seas and preferable wind patterns. Many beaches held optimal conditions for the duration of the week with these factors in mind.

While pompano fishing held steady for a large part of the week, it fell off substantially towards the latter half. It was quite bewildering seeing the bite seemingly stall out with such a distinct drop off. Fishing the entirety of the coast along with an extensive network of skilled surf fishing anglers relaying the same conditions, the bite all but shut off besides a few fish landed here and there. Pompano are still being caught with catches in the southern regions seeing higher numbers currently due to water temps, but there’s still more schools to the north of Brevard County making a push south. I’m optimistic the bite will fire back up this week, so continue to put forth due diligence in getting out there and being prepared for an opportunity that’s near.

Fishing the beach for black drum this time of year is another one of my favorite fisheries. If you’ve ever dreamed of hooking into a drag peeling heavyweight of a fish species, these larger black drums will deliver a battle worthy of pursuing. Multiple catches were landed during our beach fishing charters and private lessons pushing the 14-18 lb range, while others reported seeing a variety of black drum sizes caught along the coast. Pompano rigs should be the go-to rig with Fish Bites, clam and sand flea for bait. Shrimp works well also but seems more fish have come on the above-mentioned baits recently. Work the inside to mid-range casting distances as it seems one may “overcast” these fish while targeting pompano. We’ve seen the larger percentage caught inside of the sandbar in various troughs and sloughs.

surf fishing permit

A beautiful permit caught over the weekend by Dustin on a surf fishing charter on the Space Coast.

Action seeking surf fishing anglers may also choose to take part in the spin casting fishery that’s currently taking place. Space Coast beaches are inundated with Spanish mackerel and bluefish in the first and second trough. Light tackle spinning rods in the 2000-4000 series reels with 7-8 ft. rods. Surf fishing equipment rigged with light braid and fluorocarbon or wire trace leaders will be the ticket for this active fishery. Silver spoons, Gotcha Plugs, or fresh cut bait will keep these toothy predators in pursuit. Work these lures at a 45-degree angle from the shore to maintain presentation in the strike zone longer. Lastly, you never know what’s next to take a bite while surf fishing. Permit are absolutely a trophy species that roam our coastal beaches.

by Capt. Lukas Brickweg
Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters | (321) 205-4672

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Inshore Sight Fishing Opportunities
January 18, 2021

Good Inshore Sight Fishing Opportunities

redfish lagoon

This week, the Space Coast has finally started to see a little change. Cooler water has brought quite a bit better looking water into most areas throughout the lagoon system. The slightly cleaner water we are now seeing has opened up some opportunities for sight fishing, which is what most anglers love about the lagoon.

This week, areas that have large sandbars or flats with deeper edges have all had large redfish, and black drum milling around on warmer blue bird days which are typically days in between cold fronts. Look for these fish finning, or pushing wakes in 1.5 to 2 feet of water anywhere from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. This is when sunlight is best and the water is the warmest.

Artificial enthusiasts can find good success fishing smaller baits in the 2-4 inch range and natural colors, such as pearl, or black and silver, like gulp shrimp, doa paddle tails or natural looking baits like the savage gear shrimp. The longer the cast away, the better, and remember to bring the bait across the fishes nose, but do not cast right on top of the fish! You don’t eat steak that falls from the sky, and fish don’t eat shrimp that pop out of thin air. When the bite is tough or for an almost sure bite, half a blue crab, or a live shrimp simply can’t be beat.

Despite the influx of cleaner water, by no means are the lagoons in great shape. The eco system is in desperate need of help from things like upgraded sewage facilities and infrastructure, elimination of herbicides and pesticides, as well as a better system for routing storm water runoff — which all take many years to be accomplished. Let’s all do our part to help create a better lagoon, an easy start is by simply practicing catch and release. There is plenty of inlets and fish markets that are available which offer much better options for dinner until we can get a handle on our lagoon.

by Capt. Alex Hughey
Coastal Fishing Expeditions | (321) 795-8566

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Fish Don’t Always Cooperate
January 18, 2021

Fish Don’t Always Cooperate

black drum

Captain Justin and I started off this week with an incredible black drum bite in the Indian River. We found schools of 50 to 200 fish each roaming the flats during early morning periods. By mid morning these fish would drop off onto the deeper edges but continue feeding well into the day.

We were using a very simple rig to get these fish to eat. It consisted of a large split shot about a foot above a 3/0 circle hook. For bait we prefer a piece of crab flavored Fishbites tipped with a blanched sand flea. Most of these fish are running 15 to 30 pounds, but we caught a few that were pushing 35 pounds in some of these schools.

One thing we would recommend that you do is to not push the school with your boat and trolling motor. Black drum will stay in an area for quite some time feeding on shrimp, clams, and other mollusks on the bottom, as long as they’re not disturbed by your boat encroaching too close to the school.

Many of you out there may think that fishing guides like Captain Justin and myself consistently catch fish every single time we’re out on the water. I just want to let each of you know that nothing could be further from the truth. I had the second day this year where we didn’t catch a fish on a charter. I don’t usually run charters on Saturdays after my morning live radio program, but this past Saturday afternoon I made a special exception for a long time customer of mine. He had just purchased a new flats boat and was excited about getting out in the Mosquito Lagoon to try it out. We launched out of Riverbreeze boat ramp and ran to one of my favorite spots. We dropped off plane and immediately started seeing good numbers of black drum, trout and a couple of redfish. We cast live shrimp and live fingerling mullet to these fish only to have them either snub their nose at our offering or completely run away from them. Spot number 2, 3, and 4 produced similar results. We also tried cut mullet, cut shrimp, sea shad tails, gulp shrimp, and suspending plugs to no avail. Despite seeing roughly 60 to 70 fish that day we did not get a single hookup. So, the next time you’re out on the water and you don’t catch a fish, don’t worry because it happens to all of us at one time or another.

For anyone interested in booking a charter with Captain Justin or myself you can give us a call on our office line at 321-636-3728. To hear our live radio show, follow our Catch a Memory Outdoors page on Facebook for notification on Saturday mornings from 7 to 9 am or tune in to 1510 am to hear our show. Until next week, do what we’re going to do, get out there and catch yourself a memory.

by Capt. Jim Ross
Fine Line Fishing Charters | (321) 636-3728

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Taking Advantage of Pre-front Conditions
January 18, 2021

Taking Advantage of Pre-front Conditions

inshore pompano

Larry with one of many pompano he caught last year in the same spot where we ended this most recent trip.

We snuck out one day last week to see what was going on in the backwaters nearest the Fort Pierce inlet. This area has a heavy tidal exchange, is well sheltered from most winds and offers both deep water and shallow flats.

We certainly needed the shelter as the wind blew stiffly from the north and the incoming tide helped keep the water temps into the upper sixty degree range. The pre-front conditions we hoped to enjoy did not let us down!

Throwing four inch soft-plastic jigs Larry and I caught little snook and more small jacks and ladyfish than we could count; I also caught a slot trout that I think was lost as I haven’t caught one back here in two months.

While some of all species of fish were caught near the mangroves, the real hot bite came in the deep water runs where the tide flow was ripping through funneled or pinched areas. It was actually tough to make a cast without getting the jigs smacked!

Getting “bit” however did not always mean you’d hook-up. To really take advantage of the hot bite we would have needed to downsize our lures from the four inch Z-Man Diezel Minnowz Larry tossed and the four inch Curly Tailz I threw to either a three inch version of the same, a small spoon or a pompano jig.

We chose to NOT catch a fish on nearly every cast in hopes of maybe getting another decent trout or two with the “full-size” lures we had…

I’m certain if we’d have brought a supply of live shrimp our catch would have included sheepshead and possibly a black drum with mangrove snapper and other species being more than just a possibility. We opted to go without natural bait and still had a fine time!

BTW, if you find yourself fishing this area you’ll likely be shadowed by a dolphin missing most of its dorsal fin. It’s not really handicapped, it maneuvers perfectly fine. It has certainly learned the art of being patient and will do its best to eat every fish you release while mostly staying away from where you are casting. This critter followed us for well over a mile as we worked our way through the maze like area for the four plus hours we fished there!

Sorry, I never snapped a photo during this trip so I’m including a pic of Larry from last year in the same spot we finished this most recent outing!

by Capt. Mark Wright
Florida East Coast Fishing Adventures | (321) 302-3474

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Consistent Whiting Bite
January 18, 2021

Consistent Whiting Bite

whiting

This week the surf layed down and the water got nice and clean. In north Brevard and Volusia County, the whiting bite has been pretty steady with the best bite coming in the late afternoon with the tide change (incoming). Much like it has been, live sandfleas and fresh dead shrimp continue to be the bait of choice. Pompano are still in the area also but have been running deep, so 100+ yard casts have been the key. I did get word that there have been some large schools of pompano in the river and close to the inlet.

The winter flounder and sheepshead are gathered up around the rocks of the inlet and the piers. Live crabs, and sandfleas on a Carolina rig for the sheepshead head and finger mullet and jigs slow bounced off the bottom for the flounder.

by Byran Taylor
Southern Bred Fishing Charters | (386) 216-8025

Pelican Flats
January 18, 2021

Pelican Flats

pelican flats

We have been trying to catch the calm between fronts for the last couple of months. Sunday looked like it was going to be our chance, but when we woke up the 20 mile buoy was still reading 3’ waves and 4 second period, so we decided to push to the afternoon so it could warm up and calm down. We life the Port at 11:30am and it was a smooth ride out to the Flats. We trolled cigar minnows and caught 5 small kingfish, 4 Little Tunny and a monster 6.3 pound Spanish Mac. Mark one down for the weekend warriors!

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Let’s Go DEEP!
January 18, 2021

Let’s Go DEEP!

deep dropping

Fishing was awesome all week! The weather was not too bad, either. We got offshore a few days and the kings were fired up! AJs were chewing hard as well. Red snapper, well, you know the story on that… Just an awesome week to fish. Full boxes unloaded. Nearshore, red drum are doing great as well. We have a week of west winds out there so get your skiffs and yaks shined up for some schooling drum!

On another note, I’d like to issue another Kingfish PSA. Stop the hating! Kings are sky-rocketing, hard fighting, fun to catch, and believe it or not, they are pretty good eating, too! Next time someone says you can’t eat king, take it to Grill’s Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar and have them prepare it fresh for you. Oh, and be sure to invite us 🙂

deep dropping

Nothing beats deep dropping for Yellowedge grouper and golden tilefish!

Be sure to get in on a deep drop fishing trip with us! Golden Tilefish and Yellowedge grouper are open to harvest and these are some of the best table fare you could bring home. We use electric reels for this operation as we’re fishing extreme depths and current. Give us a call and we’ll go over all the details about these trips.

Good luck out there this week.

by Capt. Chris Cameron
Fired Up Charters | (407) 222-3573

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Schooling Reds
January 18, 2021

Schooling Reds

trout

We finally have clean water and redfish starting to school up in the lagoon. On cooler mornings, look for the south east facing shorelines to be holding more fish. A great way to catch redfish and trout right now is using a 3 inch paddle tail rigged weedless or a 1/8 ounce jig head tipped with shrimp. Look for several weeks of great fishing with the cooler temperatures ahead.

by Capt. Mike Mann
Fat Fish Guide Service | (386) 295-5991

Tampa Bay January report
January 18, 2021

Tampa Bay January report

mangrove snapper

The mangrove snapper bite is heating up. Fishing deep bridge pilings and rocks have held many snapper, sheepshead and grunts. Dropping knocker rigs or hog ball type jigs from 3/8 to 1 oz depending on current and tipped with medium sized shrimp or live greenbacks will fill a cooler fast. Snook, trout and redfish are still fun to play with as season remains closed. Contact me to book a trip.

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THANKS FOR READING!

Thanks for reading another weekly fishing report from Spacefish. Don’t forget to listen to Spacefish ON THE RADIO every Friday at 4pm as we talk fishing with Mark Moses on SPORTS RADIO 1560 THE FAN.

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