American Air & Heat of Brevard

WEEKLY FORECAST

2.23.2021 – 3.1.2021

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

big snook

No Disney Doldrums for this family from Iowa that had a blast catching snook on Vero Beach.

This week, we’ve got a new winner of a annual FSFA club membership, and it’s your last chance to sign up for a chance to win a custom rod rack from Strike-Zone Fishing! In other news, after largely being shelved due to COVID last year, tournament season is again upon us. Up next is the month-long annual Mike Cane Cobia Madness tournament. Get in on the action by registering at Sunrise Marina by February 28th!

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

58.92%

INSHORE

71.04%

BEACH

75.32%

WEATHER OVERVIEW: Unlike last week where we experienced a cold front with super windy conditions, this week looks like it will be pretty darn nice the majority of the week. We start the week with higher winds out of the N on Tuesday but the wind will begin to taper off Tuesday evening. Wednesday & Thursday are projecting to be our nicest days with low winds out of the NE both days and high temperatures in the mid 70’s. Friday, Saturday & Sunday the wind switches out of the SE. They all look like nice days, mostly sunny with high temperatures in the upper 70’s but the wind is projected to pick up some over the weekend so if you are planning a trip offshore, just keep a close eye on the weather. Bottom line, it looks like it is shaping up to be a nice week of weather overall.

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

Roy's Surf Fishing Challenge

GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

STRIKE-ZONE CUSTOM ROD RACK GIVEAWAY

custom rod rack

This month, we’re giving away a custom rod rack from Strike-Zone Fishing. Enter the contest below. A winner will be announced on March 2, 2021.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

CLUB MEMBERSHIP GIVEAWAY

FSFA Every month we’re giving away an annual family membership to 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 February’s winner, Jerry Duncan. A new winner will be selected next month! For your chance to win a free FSFA family membership, enter the giveaway below.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

surf cart giveaway

WHAT’S COOLER THAN BEING COOL?
FREE STUFF. That’s what.

With a 78 year track record of service, American Air & Heat of Brevard has long mastered the craft of keeping Central Floridians FEELING COOL with the highest efficiency and reliability in HVAC services. Now they’re taking COOL up a notch by hooking up a lucky Spacefish reader with a Fish-N-Mate Junior Cart. The winner will be announced on April 6th, 2021! Note, the winner must pick-up the prize in person at Strike-Zone Fishing in Melbourne.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Miley Marine Surveyors

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
Nearshore & Inshore
February 22, 2021

Nearshore & Inshore

tripletail

Our last few fishing charters out in the ocean have been very productive for Tripletail. These fish are holding on buoys and almost any type of floating debris that you come across. Weeds, boards, old crab pot floats, and even dead birds ( there are quite a few dead Gannets out there right now) can hold a Tripletail or two. Many of the larger fish are being caught in the 45 to 65-foot depths. Live shrimp are the best bait to get these fish to strike.

Spanish mackerel, jacks, and bluefish are great species to target right now, as well. Most of these fish are striking jigs, small spoons, and lipped diving plugs worked just outside the surf break. As your running up or down the beaches outside of Sebastian inlet or Port Canaveral in your boat, look for these fish feeding on schools of glass minnows and cast the previously mentioned lures into the area. Usually a fast retrieve works better than a slow one when targeting these highly energetic species.

In the lagoons, the high winds over the weekend created a great opportunity to sail cut mullet near docks and mangrove covered shorelines for redfish. Most of the fish are small right now but a few larger fish are possible in the upper Indian River. Live shrimp fished near overhanging mangroves can produce snook, trout, mangrove snapper in the Grant, Sebastian, and Wabasso areas as well Spring break is almost here and our calendar is pretty well booked up at this time. We do have a few days that are still available, though, so if you are interested in booking a charter with us please give us a call and we will try to fit you in. 322-636-3728 is our office line to contact us.

Until next week, keep your rod bent!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Freshwater Spawn in Full Swing!
February 22, 2021

Freshwater Spawn in Full Swing!

Harris chain bass report

Spawning behavior is definitely in full swing! Largemouth bass and crappie are heading to shallow hard bottom areas to reproduce. Now is a great time to get outdoors and cast around. Various soft plastics tricks work; senko and fluke style are my favorites. Anything in a watermelon red, junebug or silver are a necessity. You can fish these baits in many ways so it is good to experiment. Chatterbaits are another hot bait to have tied on, so try casting here around, too. High percentage areas that I target are isolated lilly pad clusters, reeds and coves. This is a fun time of year, so make sure to get on the schedule at cprbasscharters.com!

by Capt. Mark Wyckoff
CPR Bass Charters | (352) 636-6915

Senko bite
February 21, 2021

Senko bite

Beach and inlet been quiet for me so I turned to my community pond; have done well earlier with poppers but cooler time required a different approach; realized it was time to try Senko….oh my; in six days have landed 35 bass, most on Texas rig; what a find; I’m a true believer and still learning; wind has made the hook set a little tougher but has produced fish every day; now waiting to hit Stick Marsh and spots with bigger fish; I know why Roland Martin says if he only had one lure it would be the 5in Green Pumpkin Senko.

by bmw

New Flounder Regulations
February 21, 2021

New Flounder Regulations

Starting March 1, the following changes will go into effect for flounder regulations:

  • Extending ALL Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission(FWC) flounder regulations into federal waters.
  • Increasing the minimum size limit from 12 inches to 14 inches total length (recreational and commercial).
  • Reducing the recreational daily bag limit from 10 to five fish per person.
  • Establishing an Oct. 15 through Nov. 30 recreational closed season.
  • For commercial harvesters using allowable gear: Establishing a commercial trip and vessel limit of 150 fish from Dec. 1 – Oct. 14, and 50 fish from Oct. 15 – Nov. 30
  • Modifying the incidental bycatch limit for commercial harvesters using non-allowable gear from 50 pounds/trip to 50 fish/trip.
  • Creating a federal waters trawl bycatch limit of 150 fish/trip from Dec. 1 – Oct. 14, and 50 fish/trip from Oct. 15 – Nov. 30.

Learn more here.

by FWC

Tampa Bay February Snapper
February 21, 2021

Tampa Bay February Snapper

snapper

2/20/21 The wind was wild and the bay was 3.9′ We started out in the little Manatee River catching black drum and snook. After 2 hours the wind slowed down and we decided to head out into the bay for mangrove snapper. The wave height was 3′ with a few 5′ swells as we made our short run. The action was non stop fish were biting live greenbacks, shrimp pieces and cut threadfins. We barely had time to close the bail before the bite. We fished an hour and a half and finished with a nice box. Book a trip to experience the fun. 865-363-1388

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Bull Whiting Keeping the Surf Bite Busy
February 20, 2021

Bull Whiting Keeping the Surf Bite Busy

lots of whiting in the surf

We’ve been catching big bull whiting, pompano, drum and sharks in the surf. Last week saw an upswing in not only the number of pompanos, but the larger pompano mixed in with higher numbers than previous weeks. This can be attributed to the increase in water temps from the lows we saw weeks prior. While we still weren’t catching recreational limits of pompano, the ones we did catch were averaging between 13-16” to the fork of the tail. Beautiful 2-3 lb pompanos on the sandy shores of our Space Coast had clients grinning with joy.

pompano

Some nice-sized pompano are still in the mix!

Surf fishing across Brevard County beaches still lacked the consistency one would prefer, so it was optimal to fish multiple days to find a bountiful catch. Without a steady number of pompano hitting the shoreline, we continually counted on whiting to save the day. Thankfully, that situation played out particularly well for the better part of the week. Large bull whiting over 1.5 lbs weren’t uncommon and that’s a welcomed sight for any surf fisherman.

bull whiting

Another bull whiting caught on the beach!

Cocoa Beach provided good numbers of these whiting schools, while we saw single digit catches of keeper pompano as well. Target the whiting using a standard pompano rig with Pink Shrimp Flavored Fish Bites and live sand fleas or small pieces of shrimp. Generally, these whiting can be caught closer to shore, but this week seemed to have them further out in the surf with longer casts producing better results. When fishing multiple rods, I have been dedicating more numerous casts to the outside zones while dropping one or two rods short to medium for a wide pattern, then dialing in as the bite dictates.

shark fishing beach

On a shark fishing trip, Hugh from Ohio won the thrill of what it’s like to battle an acrobatic black tip on spinning tackle

Shark fishing has been phenomenal off the beach the last couple weeks and that pattern continued to hold true. The shark pictured above put on an absolute show, jumping multiple times and screaming drag up and down the beach. As mentioned in previous reports, be sure to beef up the surf fishing equipment for these heavyweight contenders. Heavy braided line in the 80 lb class with a 200-300 lb monofilament shock leader with a foot of wire trace will do the trick. Fresh cut bait has been the ticket with the added scent and hands down out-fished the frozen baits.

The week ahead looks like good conditions forecasted up until the weekend with a blow coming. Get out in front of the weather and storms this coming week to have an opportunity for success. There’s plenty of large whiting, roaming pompano and black drum to seek out. Not to mention the sand fleas have been plentiful at area beaches around the lower tide. There’s two large schools of black drum roaming off the coast between Patrick Air Force Base and Melbourne Beach. I spotted these fish three days ago milling around the Indian Harbour Beach area. The schooling black drum ranged between 20-60 lbs! Be sure to loosen your drag up when placing fishing poles in the rod holders. These fish won’t be stopped without a handful of screaming runs, and if the drag isn’t set properly you won’t stand a chance. Hit the beach and have fun!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Fish Enjoying the Warmth!
February 19, 2021

Fish Enjoying the Warmth!

snook fishing

A nice double up on snook while casting under the mangroves this week!

What a week! While the rest of the country is just about frozen over, we have had one of the warmest weeks in months and the fish were enjoying it! This week with the climbing temps it seemed as if the fish were coming out of hibernation, with large quantity days in upwards of 50 or more and species from redfish and trout to even snook and tarpon, this week was definitely one for the books!

The pattern has been very similar to winter. Look for deeper areas with shallow flats close by. With the lack of sea grass, most fish are clinging to any structure they can. This can be challenging fishing at times, but with great risk comes great reward! The top baits for skipping the bushes is something weedless. A 3/0 twist lock hook rigged with soft plastics in white, brown, or silver are my favorites; basically, anything that looks natural. Skip casting under the bushes with a slow retrieve is very productive!

Spring is right around the corner and the fishing is getting better by the day. I encourage to get out and enjoy our little slice of paradise and appreciate the things around us that most aren’t even able to enjoy at the moment.

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

Beach Snook in Vero
February 18, 2021

Beach Snook in Vero

vero beach snook

I’m from Iowa, and we do a lot of “snap-jigging” for walleyes in our lakes and rivers. I’ve had a lot of success using a Gotcha Plug on the beach – but instead of using it as advertised, I snap-jig it as hard as I can off the bottom and it it fall back to the bottom on slack line. It has produced amazing consistent fish for us.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
River & Beach
February 17, 2021

River & Beach

In the river, anglers are catching really nice black drum around the bridges and along the sides of the channels. Sheepshead and mangrove snapper are also being caught around the bridges. Trout and redfish are in the canals around Satellite Beach. Also, a few reds have been spotted tailing in the Banana River North of Pineda.

The surf fishermen are catching bluefish, whiting, sheepshead and a few pompano are being caught on live sand fleas, clams and shrimp. Also, really big black drum are being caught just outside the breakers.

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

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Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!

CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Check out what’s been caught on camera while fishing in around the Space Coast this week.

Grills Seafood - Lakeside, Port Canaveral, Melbourne

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LOCAL EVENTS

FSFA Club Meetings

FSFA The Feb. 23rd Club Meeting will feature guest speaker, Capt. Alex Hughey. Alex will be talking about his strategies for inshore fishing during the winter. The meeting will be at 7:00 PM at the Veteran’s Memorial Center, 400 S. Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island. The meeting will also be available live on the Club’s Facebook Page.

Cobia Madness Tournament

Cobia Madness The annual Mike Cane Cobia Madness MONTH-long tournament is back for March 2021. Cash prizes are up for grabs and the entry fee is $25/boat. Register by February 28th at Sunrise Marina..

Roy’s Surf Fishing Challenge

Roy’s Surf Fishing Challenge is coming up, March 19-20, 2021. Cash prizes for 1st-4th place in Pompano, Whiting and Bluefish. Visit SurfFishingChallenge.com to learn more.

CFFW 24th Annual Marine Flea Market

March 27th & 28th, Central Florida’s largest Marine Flea Market is back with FREE admission, FREE parking, and something for EVERYONE! Come check out nautical themed merchandise (old and new), fishing gear, replacement parts, dock lines, buoys, ski equipment, and so much more! You won’t walk away empty-handed! The event is at Harbor Town Marina in Cape Canaveral. Learn more on CFFW.org.

FSFA Offshore Slam

FSFA Early registration is now open for the 52nd Annual FSFA Offshore Slam. The tournament, hosted by the Florida Sport Fishing Association (FSFA) in Cape Canaveral, is June 4th and 5th, 2021. Learn more at offshoreslam.com.

AFC Hook Kids on Fishing

AFC

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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