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WEEKLY FORECAST

1.14.2020 – 1.20.2020

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

black drum fishing remains hot

Beastly black drum like this one recently caught by Capt. Alex Hughey remain a hot target on the Space Coast.

Whether you want to chase wahoo and sailfish offshore, get in on the battle with the big uglies in the lagoon, or try and crack the code of winter patterns in the surf, our contributors have some great info for you in this week’s forecast!

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SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

66.89%

TOP TARGETS

  • cobia
  • wahoo
  • sailfish

INSHORE

75.82%

TOP TARGETS

  • flounder
  • black drum
  • Seatrout

BEACH

74.43%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Whiting
  • Spanish/bluefish

WEATHER OVERVIEW: And this is why folks move to Florida in droves! It’s the third week in January and we can expect high temps pushing 80 degrees for the first part of the week before dropping down to the mid 70s come Friday. Get out early this week, Tuesday-Thursday will be the best days with the lowest wind. Friday the winds will shift out of the east and pick back up remaining high through Saturday. Sunday and Monday, the wind will decrease and shift again out of the WNW. This should create some good opportunities to target the surf and nearshore waters.

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, Adam Maxfield of Cocoa– Adam, 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!

strike zone gift card giveaway

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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!

Inconsistent weather is causing problems!
January 21, 2020

Inconsistent weather is causing problems!

Many of us Brevard county anglers have been having a lot of trouble to merely catch anything in the river/ inshore. The weather has been awful and its really been impacting fishing. Florida weather is unpredictable but this is just unbelievable. Its like one day its nice and sunny, the next day its cold and rainy, and then the next day there is a hailstorm.

So the weather is bad, what does that mean for fishing though. It means that the fishing for the next couple weeks or so will be extremely unpredictable. Maybe you’ll be in luck to catch your limit for sheephead or grouper or maybe you wont catch anything. Even if you dont catch anything, just remember, any day fishing is better than a day at work, school, or home.

I went out to Ballard park to kayak fish yesterday for around 5 hours and I didn’t catch anything. The fish are all moving around to try to find warmer water and then move back to where they originally were to find colder water.

This report is kind of a rant but you know what, its my report and I can say what I want. So hopefully whoever is reading this can catch some fish this week because i know that ive been skunked the last couple times ive been out other than bait fish. Tight Lines!

Caught My First Sheepshead!
January 21, 2020

Caught My First Sheepshead!

Due to the recent weather conditions, I decided to stop by Man Overboard Bait and Tackle and give live shrimp fishing a try. I usually prefer artificial or free lining big live baits, but live shrimp fishing is something I’ve only done a couple of times and the conditions seemed right. I spent a lot of time this week dodging the wind, looking for shorelines that had wind protrotecton and good sun exposure.

The setup I was using was a 7 foot medium fast action pole, 3000 size reel, 15lb braid, and 30lb leader. The line weight is heavy but even with 30lb I have to retie often when dock / heavy structure fishing. You can see why in the video too, as almost every fish had me wrapped up at first. I used a #1 VMC SSW hooks with a small split shot at first, but later I switched to a weightless setup. When I found the wind protected areas, the weightless live shrimp setup casted better and had a better action with a slower descent. I also liked the weightless setup for slow retrieves. Once the shrimp had settled to the bottom, I would slowly bounce it up or reel to bring it back up in the water column, and then let it slowly settle again.

So the beginning of my day did not start out as planned. When I jumped into the boat I thought I had left myself a ¼ tank of gas left for the next trip, but once I turned the power on, I saw that it was empty. I fired up the google machine and saw the local marina opens in 15 mins. Not too bad, but upon arrival the hours on the sign were an hour off from google. So I had an hour to kill at the marina. I got the party started by fishing some docks and nearby boats. I had one fish run me under some heavy structure and broke me off. After no bites, talking with some marina locals, and helping this huge all metal sailboats tie up, I filled up my boat and was underway.

I started in deep water residential canals, using my trolling motor to pitch under docks and mangroves. Surprisingly nothing hit, for a while. Like, aaahwille. It wasn’t until I fished off a bridge fender, that was creating a break in the wind current, that I caught my first fish. It was right off this bridge fender that I caught my first ever sheepshead. Which was awesome! I’m surprised how hard these fish fight for only being 12-13inchs long. The fish took me under structure immediately, and pulled some drag even though I had it pretty much locked down. I caught a couple more aggressive mangrove snappers at this spot and then continued to move on as the wind picked up. The second spot had two story houses on a “hill” that provide great wind protection. As I was setting up my rig, I could see a nice sized snook underneath the dock. I pitched in, and quickly hooked up. I thought it was going to be that snook, but ended up being another really nice sheepshead. I went from never catching a sheepshead to two in one day haha. A few more casts, a couple more mangrove snappers, and a small snooklet concluded my day of fishing.

I ended the video attached with some extra footage from earlier in the week. I was scouting out a new area in the Banana River, and caught a couple nice trout on a new lure to me.

See you guys next week =)
Spanky

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Think DEEP!
January 20, 2020

Think DEEP!

Alex snook

Windy and cold means think deep! This week is expected to get really cold! If I said the fishing has been easy I’d be lying, between the crazy winds, up and down with temps changing the fish don’t really seem to know what to do! As tough as it has been there has still been some nice fish caught!

Focusing on deeper water has really been the ticket lately. That means deep residential canals, docks, and spoil islands with large drop offs seem to be the best bet. With water levels dropping more and more I would think this pattern will continue for quite some time. As for fishing these deep holes, a 1/8 oz jighead with a live or dead shrimp has been the ticket. Heavier jigheads tend to drop to the bottom a little fast for my liking as I prefer to cover all sections of the water column. Toss your bait against the mangroves or along the drop offs and be patient! The fish are cold, too, so if you don’t get a bite within two minutes, give it time! Also, if you happen to get a strike in an area, stick it out even longer; in winter the fish tend to really school up and it’s not uncommon to catch large numbers out of one spot. The best part about fishing these types of areas is you can get a large variety of species. One trip this week we managed redfish, trout, black drum, snook, sheepshead, croakers, and more — all out of one small spot!

Winter fishing can be tough but it’s one heck of a good time when it all comes together.

by Capt. Alex Hughey
All Water Adventures | (321) 795-8566

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Fishing Despite the Wind
January 20, 2020

Good Fishing Despite the Wind

snook

Fishing this week has been surprisingly good with all of the wind that we’ve had. The cold temperatures seem to be pushing the fish into the deeper channels and waterways around the Indian River. We’ve been doing really good on shrimp for the black drum and redfish and the Saltwater Assassin paddle-tails have been slaying the trout. The northern minnow and magic grass color lures have been doing the best. Fishing along the mangroves has been really good, too. We’ve been catching consistent black drum, trout and snook on the edges of the river.

Make sure to check out our website at finelinefishingcharters.com for more information or to book your trip today.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Satellite Beach & Beyond
January 20, 2020

Satellite Beach & Beyond

The canals around Satellite Beach have been holding mangrove snapper, sheepshead and a few trout. In the lagoon down towards Sebastian around the buoy markers quite a few tripletail are being caught. For the beach goers, when finding clean water, they’re getting pompano, whiting, black drum and sheepshead.

by MOB
Man Overboard Bait & Tackle | (321) 777-8860

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Great Fishing Offshore…. (when fishable)
January 19, 2020

Great Fishing Offshore…. (when fishable)

sailfish port canaveral

Fishing offshore was actually as good as it gets; at least it was when we could actually get out! Sails, Mahi, king limits, AJs and ARS. As far as places to go, all the same typical spots out of Port Canaveral were performing well — Pelican and 8A were both going off. Unfortunately, only three days were fishable and it looks like it may be zero fishable days in the next week. You just can’t hide from winds coming straight out of the east…

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Battling Winds on the Treasure Coast
January 19, 2020

Battling Winds on the Treasure Coast

big pinfish

Even though JT caught bigger fish on his trip it was this overly large pinfish that he’ll remember best.

We’ve had so much wind on the Treasure Coast this winter I was ecstatic when the forecast for Tuesday promised light winds. As I was already booked to take the Ancient Mariner and his friend JT out, I was nearly giddy with excitement over the prospect of catching lots of fish.

Deciding to fish near the nuclear plant south of town seemed like a great idea given the expected winds of under ten miles an hour from the east to south-east. I love this stretch of shoreline though the negative low tides of this week meant we’d be starting our trip on the outer flats and working our way towards the mangroves as the water levels increased.

Our first hour or so was enjoyable with many small jacks being caught on live shrimp, spoons and Z-Man Diezel Minnowz. Things changed abruptly as the winds shifted and started blowing from the south. Along with the wind shift we also received an increase in wind velocity and the scattered rain clouds decided to bunch-up and give the boat a good washing. Thankfully, we all had raingear…

By now the tide had raised enough for us to find a little shelter near the trees and we found snook and trout moving slowly about, especially on the leeward side of points. They had absolutely no interest in anything we offered them, but it was great knowing they were here.

Sadly (for me), we had awesome weather on Wednesday and Thursday while I was forced to stay home as the construction crew worked diligently on my new driveway and boat parking lot.

The life of a fishing guide is filled with Mother Nature’s unfairness and bad timing on a cosmic level. Still, there’s nothing I’d rather do!

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

Skipping in the Wind
January 19, 2020

Skipping in the Wind

tarpon

The wind has been relentless, but the fish are chewing in almost all the portions of the lagoon system. Last weekend I found a pretty big school of black drum on a bridge for an hour. The big schooling black drum are here, but it has been inconsistent and a challenge to find them. When I find them, they have eaten every time. This is the opposite of 2017-2018 when I found hundreds almost every time, but I could only get one eat.

The low water levels and lack of seagrass has the flats pretty slow, but skipping the mangroves in canals on the Banana and central Indian southward have been producing. The water has been as clear as I have seen it in a very long time. You can see fish sitting near the bottom under mangroves.

Juvenile tarpon are were enjoying the warmer weather, but that looks to change. Suspending twitchbaits and finger mullet were what they wanted. This time of year they can be extremely picky and may not eat at all.

Surprisingly big snook were deep in the mangroves. These fish are extremely smart. Skip a live mullet deep into the mangroves. They are incredibly hard to keep out of the mangroves.

A lot of rat redfish with a few nice ones in the mix have also been deep in the mangroves. The rats will eat anything as long as you skip it far enough under. The slots have been pickier, and the one I got ate a mullet I threw at a pile of snook.

Small black drum are often a little less deep in the mangroves. They will eat shrimp or soft plastics on the bottom, but they key is to be slow. It also helps to be able to see them.

The trout fishing has been much slower this week, but there still are some in the canals. These are the least picky and most aggressive of targeted species. They usually are best just outside of the mangroves, and the canals can hold some big ones during cold snaps.

Get ready for big changes with the incoming cold. It will likely get really slow for a lot of things inshore and nearshore for some time with big black drum and sheepshead being the exceptions.

Sheepshead Galore
January 18, 2020

Sheepshead Galore

Not many fish have been biting lately due to inconsistent weather and fluctuating tides. Still, the Florida sheephead have been going ballistic over all types of lures and bait. What I mainly use to target sheephead are shrimp lures such as the ones that DOA and Voodoo make, and I also like to use either live shrimp or live worms surprisingly. I think that the movement of the worm attracts them, but that’s up to you to decide. The jacks haven’t been around, nor have the mangrove snapper unless you’re a bit south near the Sebastian area. People have also been catching flounder in the Northern regions of Brevard, such as Jetty Park and Merritt Island. Mullet and other types of bait-fish such as pin-fish, mojarra, and pilchards have been on the move, so make sure to bring your cast net the next time you hit up the dock, pier or wherever you’re going. Tight lines!!!

Vacation on Melbourne Beach
January 17, 2020

Vacation on Melbourne Beach

I am heading down to Melbourne Beach March 31 – April 7th. My family and I are staying at a house walking distance to the beach. I am bring down a 9’ rod with a 6000D baitrunner 30lb PP. I am from the Northeast and stripers are our target fish. I would rather catch larger species. I am looking for help on what I should bring for tackle and what Is in season.

by Keith M

Melbourne Beach to Playalinda
January 17, 2020

Melbourne Beach to Playalinda

surf fishing report

I had no definite fishing plans this morning — other than the fact that I was going to hit the beach somewhere. With a bucket of fresh fleas and a new 12′ Penn Prevail II that I wanted to try, I went out on a solo trip. Undecided on my destination, I got a bit of a late start and left my Melbourne Beach home a bit before 7:00 and started north. I stopped and looked at a couple beaches and they just didn’t “feel” right, and by 9:00 I found myself looking at the beaches unfamiliar to me at Playalinda. It was either fish there or head back home. The weather was beautiful but by 10:00 there were a bunch of beach goers up and down the beaches. It was getting crowded so I headed home about 1:00. I cleaned the fish in the photo and a few more were landed on my gear by some folks I was talking with that were on the beach near where I was fishing. They landed a pomp and two whiting – their dinner tonight!

by ghost

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Cobia & Trips Hanging Close to Beach
January 17, 2020

Cobia & Trips Hanging Close to Beach

cape canaveral tripletail

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a safe New Year. The last few weeks have been great nearshore and the good fishing should continue for a little bit till the weather gets colder and chills the water off.

Cobia and tripletail have been hanging pretty close to the beach. For triple tail, I like to use a small bucktail tipped with a piece of squid or a live shrimp with just a small shot of weight on it. Tease them with it a little, and most of the time, they will eat it. Tripletail make some of the best eating around. You will find them free swimming and holding to pieces of weeds and anything else you can find floating. Cobia have been hanging out in the same areas as the triples, so have the bucktail with squid ready. There are many things you can use for them. If they’re hungry, then they will eat, so to speak. A bucktail from Handler Fishing Supply tipped with a whole squid has been the best for me.

Pushing a little farther out, Pelican and 8A have had some decent kings on them. I have been using many different baits since live bait is a little hard to find this time of year. Have your dead sardines handy in case you’re struggling to locate the live ones. If you can’t find any bunker, try sabikying some of the buoys or wrecks on the way out for some blue runners or threadfins. Live bait will definitely perform better, if you can find it.

Pushing a little farther offshore, the Mahi, wahoo and sails have been doing much better. Although there’s specific tactics and ways to target each specifically, I use smaller Islander lures with small ballyhoo. For Wahoo, I just up the troll speed a little bit. All three species can be expected this time of year and should be out there in good numbers right now.

Keep things simple. Remember, we catch more wahoo and mahi while king fishing than actually targeting them directly.

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

12 Hour Tile Fish Trip!
January 13, 2020

12 Hour Tile Fish Trip!

Tilefish Offshore Canaveral

The Ocean Obsession II is offering a really cool opportunity to get in on a special 12 Hour Tile Fish Trip coming up on January 27th (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM) out of Port Canaveral. The cost is $440 for a spot on the boat, which will be running with TEN deep drop rods at a time. The option is available to have up to four people per spot — deep dropping is a team effort, so it’s a good idea to have at least two anglers per spot. The price of $440 includes the electric reel set up to two deep drop rigs, up to 2 weights, bait, breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s several options to make a reservation on the trip:

  1. Pay $110 per person and we’ll put you in a team of four;
  2. Pay $220 and we will put you in a team of two; or
  3. Pay $440 and come up with your own team of 1-4 people.

There is going to be a learning curve on this trip, so we are being up front about that right now. The game plan is to stagger drops to effectively cover good tile grounds and to eliminate tangles. You will need to be willing to listen to instruction on dropping and retrieving as we dial this in. Our goal is to catch fish and keep everyone with as much fishing time as possible.

We will also high speed troll on the way out and in. We will designate times on the high speed by teams. We will also have spinning rods ready if top water opportunities present themselves. Golden Tile, Blue Line Time & Yellow Edge Grouper will be the main targets, but we will take anything that bites.

We know many will want to supply their own electric reels, however, for our first trip we want to keep line size and weight on the same page. You are more than welcome to supply your own rig.

To reserve your spot or request more information, call Obsession Fishing Charters at (321) 453-3474.

cape canaveral tilefish trips

by Ocean Obsession II
| (321) 453-3474

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Ocean Obession II - Port Canaveral Deep Sea Fishing Charters

LOCAL EVENTS

BOATERS EXCHANGE FISHING SEMINAR

FISHING CLUB EVENTS

FSFA February 11th, 2020: The featured speaker will be Dave Ferrell, managing editor of Sport fishing and Marlin magazines. He will be speaking on the subject of Wahoo Fishing and more. Meeting at Front Street Community Center 2205 S. Front Street, Melbourne (Across the street from Harry Goode’s/Next to the boat ramps) Social time for the meeting starts at 6:30 and the meetings start at 7:00. Public invited!

  • North Chapter Club Meeting
    Nov. 26th @ 6:30pm – Brevard Veterans Center
    400 S. Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island (Behind Merritt Square Mall)
    Speaker: Capt. Tammy Wilson
    Topic: Adventures Guiding in Alaska

Jasin Youmans Dental - Melbourne, FL

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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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Jasin Youmans Dental - Melbourne, FL