Weekly Forecast: 1.29.2019 – 2.4.2019

2019-02-04T13:55:08+00:00

Grills Seafood - Lakeside, Port Canaveral, Melbourne

WEEKLY FORECAST

1.29.2018 – 2.4.2018

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

black drum surf

Peyton’s 11th birthday started with a BANG when he caught this +40lb DINOSAUR in the surf with his dad. Way to go, Peyton!

Yeah, it’s cold and windy out there, but with much of the nation bracing for record low temperatures, it’s times like these that we’re most thankful to be Floridians. Word on the street is the northern Midwest could feel like minus 30 to 40 below zero with the wind chill, BRRRR! Unfortunately, we will feel some of the effects from this massive cold front sweeping the nation. It’s going to be another windy week with high temperatures between the high 50’s and high 70’s, a true Florida winter.

There won’t likely be any ideal fishing conditions this week, and it’s probably safe to go ahead and put any offshore trips indefinitely on hold. The winds may allow the surf to be just barely fishable, so if you’re hankering to get out there, it may be worth a shot. Otherwise, the lagoons and inlet are a decent bet. The black drum bite remains consistent, just be sure to plan on positioning yourself somewhere that offers a little cover from the wind.

Snook season opens on February 1st. Hopefully next week’s weather will offer everybody a decent opportunity to take advantage.

JOIN THE CLUB!

FSFA
If you’re looking to expand your network of fishing buddies, hone your craft of sport fishing, promote local conservation efforts, and generally have a good time, you have to check out the Florida Sport Fishing Association (FSFA). The club hosts two monthly meetings — one on each end of the county. This month, Capt. Scott Lum of Outcast Fishing Charters will be the featured speaker at both events. Come on out and join us!

WHAT: FSFA South Chapter Meeting
WHERE: Front Street Park – Melbourne
WHEN: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 6:30 PM

WHAT: FSFA North Chapter Meeting
WHERE: Brevard Veterans Center 400 S. Sykest Creek Pkwy, Merritt Island
WHEN: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 6:30 PM

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

44.12%

TOP TARGETS

  • Sailfish
  • Kingfish
  • Cobia
  • Tripletail

INSHORE

69.92%

TOP TARGETS

  • Black Drum
  • Redfish
  • Spotted Seatrout
  • Snook*
    *season opens February 1

SURF/JETTY

63.83%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Bluefish
  • Spanish Mackerel

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

GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

Every week, we randomly draw a name from our email subscriber list to award a $20 Strike-Zone Fishing Gift Card. The winner’s name is published in every weekly report. The only catch is, if you are announced as a winner, you must email us to claim your prize. Congrats to this week’s winner, Robert Kennelly of Melbourne. If you’re not already a Spacefish subscriber, click here to sign up.

Stay tuned because we’ve got a load of tickets to giveaway for the upcoming 2019 Central Florida Shootout that include tournament entry AND raffle entry to win a brand new boat.

Blue Marlin Real Estate - Merritt Island & Cocoa Beach

Fishing Reports

In every week’s Spacefish fishing report, we turn to both fishing pros and average joe’s for input on what’s happening in and around Brevard County’s many fisheries. Check out what people are saying about the bite in the Space Coast this week:

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Mosquito Coast February Fishing Forecast
February 2, 2019

Mosquito Coast February Fishing Forecast

mosquito lagoon - port canaveral fishing report
As winters go here in Central Florida, we certainly can’t complain about the weather we’ve experienced thus far. Other than some rain and extreme winds we experienced this week, gorgeous fishing conditions have prevailed, and we’ve had some first-rate catching as well.

Inshore: Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon Flats

Inshore on the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon, water levels are starting to drop and the water clarity is cleaning up in some areas. These concentrations make for some tight schools, but shallow conditions also make access both difficult and dangerous for those who do not know the area. On colder days, falling water temperatures force fish to seek deeper locations in search the warmest water they can find, and they become very sluggish. As the sun warms the water, all it takes is a degree or two of change and the fish begin to move and feed in the shallows. On the sunny mornings it is not uncommon to find redfish and trout holding in the sand pockets or potholes within the shallow flats where water temperatures raise is warmer. Additionally, warming water temperatures combined with sunny spring days and clear water make February one of the best months to site fish for redfish, large sea trout, and black drum on the lagoon flats.

Offshore & Near-shore: Port Canaveral

Offshore, kingfish are still present along the inshore reefs and wrecks, and they will remain there as long as the water temperature stays above 68 degrees. When targeting kingfish this month focus your efforts on the areas of 8A Reef, Pelican Flats, and Bethel Shoals to the south for best results. Look for cobia and amberjack to be present on the inshore wrecks like the Carol Lee, Dutch, and Sub Wreck out of Port Canaveral. Additionally, live bait is tough to find this time of year, so always carry a box of frozen Spanish sardines with you as backup.

Near-shore, look for tripletail concentrations to improve greatly along the Port Canaveral buoy line and under floating weeds and structures, and for cobia to move in shadowing manta rays if the surface water temperatures reach the upper sixties. Now is also the time for shore fisherman to target pompano, bluefish, weakfish, small black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting in the surf and larger redfish and flounder around the inlets and jetties.

Freshwater Fishing

Finally, windy days in February are great times to check out those freshwater fishing holes on the St Johns River. Currently good catches speckled perch are being reported, and the America shad bite is improving. Water levels have been on the low side this year, but today we are experiencing a full day of rain which will increase both water levels and flow rate. Thus far the shad bite has been intermittent, but as the rate of flow increases, the shad will be moving up into the Econ and upper St Johns River south of Hwy 50.

As always, if you need more information or have any questions, please email me or call me at 407-416-1187.

Good luck and good fishing!

by Capt. Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters | (407) 416-1187

Since it blowing we going
January 30, 2019

Since it blowing we going

Well, since it’s blowing cold and rough I’m taking a road trip to Boca, hoping for a chance at a winter time tiger shark. On the other foot… Inshore snook action has been crazy I even seen some triple tail floating looking like leafs… Redfish and black drum are on the flats, but heavy in the mix with the annoying catfish — don’t get stung! It’ll just about brings you to tears… What’s weird is that I have not been seeing sheepshead…. Hmmmm maybe we need a sheep hearder…?

Tough Weather
January 28, 2019

Tough Weather

Strong winds, cold, and rain kept me off the flats this week. There were some small reds and trout in deeper water out of the wind. Very light tackle and small live shrimp was productive.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
IRL/Mosquito Lagoon
January 28, 2019

IRL/Mosquito Lagoon

black drum lagoon

With the extremely windy conditions we’ve had over the past week Captain Justin and I have been concentrating our efforts in the Indian River lagoon system with our customers. Black drum action remains very good on most days. Saltwater Assassin jigs tipped with crab or shrimp scent have been working best on these fish. Big redfish are also roaming around with the drum most days so anglers have the possibility to catch one over 40 inches on almost any given day. Trout and slot sized redfish seem to be doing pretty good as well in the Mosquito Lagoon on days when the wind is actually down enough that we can ast to them.

We are looking forward to more pompano action in the southern portion of the Indian River over the next week or two with the constant cooling water temperatures we are experiencing at this time. Jigs, sand fleas and fiddler crabs will all work when you find the pompano schooled up on flats near Long Point, Ballard Cove or Black Point. Jacks, bluefish, ladyfish and speckled trout are other species you can expect while targeting the pompano in these areas.

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

Windy Saturday Surf Fishing… Catching, not so much.
January 28, 2019

Windy Saturday Surf Fishing… Catching, not so much.

baby black drum

It being windy this weekend, I decided against going out in a boat and opted instead to try something I’ve been meaning to for a bit: surf fishing. I left the house while it was still dark and got to Cape Canaveral about 6:30, loaded up the beach cart and hit the beach. Boy, were the winds relentless.

I set up my pompano rig with Native Salt Bait’s clams, gave it a toss in the surf and waited for the pompano to fill my coolers. That was the plan, anyway. After trying a handful of spots along the beach, all I was able to produce was a puppy black drum (pic above).

There were fisherman on either side of me and they weren’t doing so hot either. At about 11 am, I packed it up and went to the port to buy/catch bait; on the way to fish some of the bridges. There were only 8 trailers in the whole lot. Must be the winds keeping people out, I thought.

Now armed with live shrimp, pilchards, and mud minnows I headed to the south side of 528 to be a bit protected from the winds. Luckily there wasn’t anyone else on the side of the bridge I chose and I was able to set up my spread… The pompano rig cast into the channel, a rig with a mud minnow by the mangroves, and a shrimp with a weight in my hand. The pompano and mud minnow rig I let be in my cart while I went up down the pylons, casting it up-current close to the bases, with the shrimp.

After another couple of hours of not much action, except for a bluefish that found a mud minnow, I decided to pack it up and head for home. Sometimes the bites on, sometimes it isn’t. Saturday was one of the isn’ts… for me anyway.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
(Almost) Back in Season!
January 27, 2019

(Almost) Back in Season!

Sebastian inlet jetty fishing - black drum

Get ready for it — snook season opens back up on the first of February! In the meantime, black drum remains the talk of the town — from the inlet, to the beaches and lagoon, the bite for these big uglies IS ON! There’s also a good number of bruiser redfish in the mix around Sebastian Inlet, too. These fish will pretty much eat anything right now — shrimp, clams, sand fleas, cut bait, finger mullet, bucktails. Everything we’re trying seems to be working! In the surf, anglers are still catching some pompano despite the rough conditions. Speaking of rough, it looks like we’re in for another windy week ahead. But, the fish still gotta eat! Come on down and get some 3 ounce jigs and have some fun out there!

by Black Dog Bait & Tackle
Black Dog Bait & Tackle | (321) 725-1200

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Tough Fishing
January 27, 2019

Tough Fishing

Sebastian inlet fishing

The winds and weather this week made the fishing tough for us but we ended up getting some fish in the inlet and in the mangrove shorelines. The bite as Sebastian Inlet was good for Pompano, bluefish and Mackerel when the winds were out of the Northeast. Once the wind switched out of south, the water got dirty and the bite slowed down so we moved inshore and got some slot trout and small snook on artificials. Winds and waves were too high to get on the beach or outside the inlet to fish for the snook, reds and sharks.

This upcoming week, the winds should be light early and pickup for Wednesday and Thursday and then light again over weekend. Anglers interested in Pompano should be on the beaches if its fishable. If you can’t get on the beaches, the best bet is in and around the inlet. If it’s trout and snook that you’re after, fish the spoil islands and mangrove shorelines. Soft plastics have been producing the best results here.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Mosquito Lagoon Redfishpalooza
January 27, 2019

Mosquito Lagoon Redfishpalooza

redfish

Sophia was all smiles as this small redfish helped her win the annual corporate tournament we call Redfishpalooza!

Terrible weather conditions kept me off the water except for our annual Redfishpalooza tournament. This corporate event is a based on a bragging rights tournament where the combined total inches of length of one spotted seatrout and one redfish decides the victor!

As the competitors of the event left the dock around seven o’clock in the morning, the winds were relatively mild; likely less than ten miles per hour from the south. This allowed all of us to spread-out through the central and southern regions of the Mosquito Lagoon. My first and second spot yielded my clients only a few catfish. I was happy they enjoyed catching what most people consider trash fish. Being from another part of the world where most of the fish caught there are very small, a hardhead catfish seems like a trophy!

I chose spot three as a place to shelter us from the now bellowing winds and this move helped our cause greatly. While Richard had to make do with more and more catfish, Sophia managed not only a few more catfish and a stingray, but two small redfish and a wee spotted seatrout. It’s hard for me to log such little fish into a tournament, but we did just that with a standard C.P.R. procedure to provide proof of the catch.

Every boat managed to catch several fish. Some did well on redfish, others caught some nice trout. I’m sure every boat caught too many hardheads. Only one boat/person was able to catch, photo and release both a spotted seatrout and a redfish and this person was Sophia. I’m glad I didn’t let my personal prejudices of entering small fish into the tournament stand in the way of Sophia’s victory!

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

fins fan13
January 25, 2019

fins fan13

once again hearing great catches of pompano on the beach by the sebastian inlet useing sandfleas if you can get them or the gulp version .i am sure you catching whiteing there too.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Focus Back Inshore
January 23, 2019

Focus Back Inshore

big black drum

Time to change things up! Last week was some really amazing fishing! I spent most of my time nearshore and offshore targeting triple-tail and cobia, but unfortunately that will all be coming to an end this week due to some really intense rain and hard cold fronts.

With this being said, this week my attention will be focused all on inshore fishing. With even cooler weather setting in, the black drum bite has been really fantastic. One thing I love about this time of the year is we generally get cleaner water and these fish are very fun to sight-fish. Most fish right now are around every bridge and dock structure you can find from cocoa beach, Merritt island, all the way down to Sebastian. Look for these fish to be hanging tight to the structure or areas that may have a slight drop off. My favorite baits are half a blue crab, or a dead stinky shrimp, drum love the funk — the smellier the better!

With the cleaner water the sight fishing has been fairly easy and the artificial enthusiast can have good opportunities using natural colored scented artificial baits such as the gulp shrimp in natural color, or pearl, paired with an 1/8 oz mission Fishn jig-head. Fly fishing isn’t a bad option either and is one really fun way to catch black drum. Small shrimp imitation flies in tan or purple dragged slowly across the bottom cannot be refused! Most fish are between 10 and 20 pounds right now with a few bigger here and there. As always try to practice catch and release for future generations.

by Capt. Alex Hughey
All Water Adventures | (321) 222-7511

Sharks follow you around too?
January 23, 2019

Sharks follow you around too?

The last two weeks I’ve gone fishing I’ve caught a shark. Not that I mind, but this week I decided to chase some of the black drum, trout, and other good eats I’m reading about on here so I went to the river to fish the lagoon and NIR area.

I put in at Riverbreeze and went straight to the “bush.” I didn’t catch anything of note until almost lunch time.

I was free-lining a finger mullet, within eyesight of JB’s fish camp no less (where I was stopping for lunch), when the drag started going so I set the hook. To my surprise, deep up the river, I caught another shark!

Three sharks in three weeks… I think they’re following me now.

It wasn’t the biggest shark, about a three footer, but I thought it surprising to catch yet another shark so far in the river system.

Here’s a quick vid of the lil’ guy.

Top 5 Gear Picks for Kayak Camping
January 22, 2019

Top 5 Gear Picks for Kayak Camping

Join host Ryan Wood on an island camping adventure in the Sebastian area where he reveals his top 5 gear pics for setting out overnight in your kayak! What’s on the top 5 of your overnight fishing expeditions?

Low Water Levels and Clearing Water Inshore
January 22, 2019

Low Water Levels and Clearing Water Inshore

There have been a lot of fish in the Indian River Lagoon. I’ve been in the North Merritt Island area because it’s what I’m familiar with. I’m sure that much of what I write can be applied further north and in the ML.

There have been black drum around 12-25 lbs tailing on the flats in 2-3 ft of water most afternoons and evenings. There has been a lot of very small redfish and a few seatrout on channel drop-offs and under some docks. There have been a few slot size reds on shallow flats, but the low water levels are certainly changing where to target them. The wind direction has been a factor too.

All these fish will hit live shrimp, but the black drum are very picky. Try big dead shrimp; I’ve had great success with that. With the water being so clear, do not use too big of a hook or too heavy of a leader. I like to use 20 lb braid with a 4ft 20 lb fluorocarbon leader for the black drum. For the redfish, it’s essential to cast something light a long distance. I use 10 lb super slick braid and a long leader of 12 lb fluorocarbon. The 2/0 size circle hook is my preference, but if you’re shrimp are small, you may need to downsize,

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

Super Trash Fish Moon
January 21, 2019

Super Trash Fish Moon

The MONSTER SQUAD set out on Sunday to have an epic night of fishing under the Super Blood Wolf Moon. With temperatures in the low 40’s and the wind howling from the NW, we strategically setup at the West end of Pineda Causeway on the Indian River Lagoon. Here, we had some nice wind cover that would be crucial in gutting it out through the extreme cold.

Things started off promising as plenty of baitfish were readily available. We quickly loaded up a bucket with Mahara and finger mullet and were ready to slay some monsters. Unfortunately, the monsters we hoped for never showed up. There were, however, seemingly an infinite amount of hungry catfish roaming the waters. They didn’t care what type or size baits we had out there — they were trying to swallow finger mullet, lady fish chunks, shrimp, clam, and everything in between.

The peak period of solunar activity was still projected ahead from 12:30 – 2:30, so we wanted to persevere as long as possible. But it got so cold that even the warming touch of Jack Daniels couldn’t keep these Florida boys from shivering in the wind. We packed it up at about 1am, leaving behind only a seawall coated in the blood of a thousand catfish. Hopefully the super blood wolf moon god will remember this noble sacrifice and reward us on a future outing.

by JC

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
In A Pinch for Surf Bait? Try Crabs.
January 21, 2019

In A Pinch for Surf Bait? Try Crabs.

GHOST CRAB

As the coldest weather of the year approaches, you can bet it’ll bring GREAT fishing for the beaches along the Space Coast!

Pompano season has been awesome this year, and we should continue to catch these fish well into late April. So don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to go out and try and catch these wave runners from the surf before they head further south or into the intercostal for late summer months.

Right now in central Brevard County, the best times to fish have been right at first light, late evening or the hour before, of and after high tide. These time periods have been consistently producing quality fish. My go-to bait this season has been a tie between FishBites in Sandflea and clam scent as well as blanched fleas! As for the large Permit, I prefer to use Speckled crabs for bait of choice! (Calico Crab, is another name) looks similar to a blue crab but are red in color with white spots – usually bait stealers). Use just the legs or the knuckle of the crab for bait — that’s all you need to use! I usually catch a trophy Pompano or stud Permit by using this technique. Sometimes I’ll throw a couple sand fleas in front of a ghost crab hole and patiently wait for one to crawl out and feed! Then I throw a rag over the crab and quickly grab it before going back into his hole or getting pinched! It can be a fun game of cat and mouse, but if the bite is slow, the rewards may sometimes blow your mind!

SPECKLED CRAB

If your bait and tackle store is out of sand fleas or you just can’t get any on the beach, or maybe you used up all your blanched ones already, here’s another great tip. Instead of shrimp or clam, try using fiddler crabs! Fiddler crabs are GREAT bait to use in the surf to catch anything from Permit, Pompano, redfish, drum, and BIG sheepshead! So remember, if the bait shop is out of fleas ask for fiddler crabs or just go catch some yourself! It’s a lot of fun and even the kids can do it!

I look forward to seeing you out on the beach! Remember if you’re interested in booking a one on one charter with me targeting Pompano and want to learn more about surf fishing, you can reach me at (321) 271-1061. Remember, KITS 12 & UNDER fish for FREE, so bring the whole family out and let’s catch some fish!

by Caleb Couture
Tradewinds Surf Fishing Charters, Pompano Riggs by Couture | (321) 271-1061

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Cold & Breezy Week
January 21, 2019

Cold & Breezy Week

big redfish

Jeff receives a great surprise as we fish the skinny waters of the Mosquito Lagoon in search of slot sized redfish and spotted seatrout!

It’s been a cold water and breezy week for us and this combination of weather factors tends to keep me off the water. I ventured out only two times; a scouting trip with my friend Capt. John Tarr on Tuesday and again on Wednesday for a Mosquito Lagoon charter.
John and I launched from Marina Park about 8 A.M. and the expected three to four mile an hour wind was already double the forecasted wind speed. We decided to hide from its northerly direction and I headed to a sheltered bay.

Setting up with the now gusting wind to our backs and poling into the sun (not my favorite strategy) we methodically covered the area. With an hour’s worth of bottom and stained water behind us we started the motor and headed to what we hoped would be a fishier spot. It wasn’t, nor was the next and the next place we tried. Neither of us was foolish enough to want to continue so we made a very early day of this trip.

One might think Tuesday’s trip was wasted. It was not as I now eliminated an area I was considering for Wednesday’s charter. An area my client has fished in the past with another guide who is now retired. An area which has treated me and myriad of anglers well in the past and expect will do so again in the future!

Again, due to the colder than I like water temperatures we launched at 8 A.M. on Wednesday morning. My first intended spot had four boats on it and I made a quick decision to head elsewhere. My run farther south proved to be a good choice.

It was great choice as fifteen minutes into our actual fishing time Jeff lets out a slight but audible grunt as the rod arcs over and the drag starts playing my favorite tune! It was clear he was tied into a refish well over the slot, but with the stained water and precious little sun to see into the water I couldn’t tell HOW over the slot this was.

Jeff was ten minutes into his battle before the monster was near enough to the boat to see its forty-five plus inch length and it’s very full girth. I struggled to keep the bow pointed towards the fish as it tended to fight its way into the wind. The fight continued for just over twenty minutes before I was able to descend the poling platform and leader and land Jeff’s trophy.

A couple of quick photos and I placed the beast back into the water, half expecting to need to revive the monster. No reviving was necessary; it was all I could do to keep its tail-wrist in my hand. The fish swam off strong with no obvious signs of being caught.
The most interesting set of factors which made this catch special for us both was we were targeting slot redfish and trout. We were using my lightest gear with a soft-tipped rod, 2500 series reel and eight pound braid. The lure was a simple pearl white Z-Man Curly Tailz rigged on their Finesse Bullet jig-hook. Catches like these are not uncommon when the rod/reel/line and DRAG are well matched. In the hands of a good angler or even a novice willing to take directions from their guide trophy fish are possible on tiny gear!

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

Melbourne Beach
January 21, 2019

Melbourne Beach

I went to Melbourne Beach for some surf fishing today, and I was the only one there. It didn’t take long to figure out why. It was way too rough. I couldn’t keep a tight line and ended up leaving after just four or five casts. Looking forward to the next time out!
Good luck everyone.

by Raider

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Another Great Week Offshore
January 21, 2019

Another Great Week Offshore

It’s been an absolute amazing week offshore again. The sailfish numbers were awesome. Almost two per charter every single day. They are eating everything you can pull. Live bunker or dead minnows. The King Mack bite is also insane right now on Pelican, Reef, lumps, wrecks — you name it and the kings are there! Cobia are also still around in great numbers. Just find the rays. Patrick in 50 foot is a good start but also around the tip of the cape. Red Drum and sharks are all close and eating everything. It’s been a lot of fun for charters. Trippletail are on all the chains and dredge debris. Live shrimp and small jigs are key. All in all, an awesome week! Now get ready for the winds:(

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

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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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