Weekly Forecast: 3.12.2019 – 3.18.2019

2019-03-12T22:41:34+00:00

Grills Seafood - Lakeside, Port Canaveral, Melbourne

WEEKLY FORECAST

3.12.2019 – 3.18.2019

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

seatrout

The seatrout are biting — this beauty was caught with Capt. Jesse Austin of Going Coastal Charters.

WIND FROM EVERYWHERE

Typical for this time of year, the wind will be coming at us from all directions. North, east, south and north, in that order. This will make it challenging for the folks wanting to get offshore, but fortunately, there’s still good fishing options in the lagoon, inlets, surf, and freshwater.

The trout bite really seems to be heating up in the lagoon so this may be a good place to start. There are plenty of baits that can be fished on a ¼ or 1/8 ounce jig head from Gulp baits, Saltwater Assassin, trout-touts, Mirrolure Lil Johns, etc. These are all great baits to use to cover some ground while searching for the fish and they work for a variety of species such as snook, redfish, tarpon, flounder, ladyfish and mangrove snapper. You just never know what you going to catch when using this approach, and it’s always fun fighting them on lighter spinning combo.

Find out what all else is going on in and around Central Florida fisheries in the contributor reports below!

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

77.93%

TOP TARGETS

  • Tripletail
  • Snapper
  • Amberjack

INSHORE

76.65%

TOP TARGETS

  • Seatrout
  • Redfish
  • Black Drum

SURF/JETTY

83.48%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Whiting
  • Snook

Grills Seafood - Lakeside, Port Canaveral, Melbourne

GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

Central Florida Shootout Fishing Tournament

For the past year, we’ve drawn an email subscriber every week to win a $20 gift card to Strike-Zone Fishing. This giveaway is going on a temporary hiatus while we instead dole out tickets to the 2019 Central Florida Shootout. Each ticket is good for tourney admission in addition to entry in the grand prize raffle to win a $60,000 new boat. Congrats to this week’s winner, Victor Rienzo of Titusville — Victor, please email us within 7 days to claim your prize.

Over the next eight weeks we’ll be providing readers new ways to win Shootout tickets, in addition to being randomly drawn from our email subscriber list (click here to subscribe), so stay tuned!

Ace Hardware Titusville, FL

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:

From Aug-Bust to August
August 19, 2019

From Aug-Bust to August

This week, the fishing turned back to the August we all know. Plenty of fishing opportunities within our nearshore and offshore waters. Looking through my past catches, it’s clear that August is slower than May, June, September, and October.

This month’s southwest winds have made the water dirty close to shore, particularly between Cocoa Beach and up to the back side of the Canaveral Shoal. The good thing about westerly winds is the seaweed gets pushed offshore. Surf-casters shouldn’t have any issues except in the South Beaches region on incoming tide or if the wind shifts east.

It’s a relief to have pogies back and you’ll regret not having them right now. They might be found anywhere from Jetty Park down to Cocoa Beach, Look for pelicans diving in 5-12ft of water and you should see them flipping. You’ll need at least an 8ft heavy weight cast net to get them. My favorite is a custom 10ft, 5/8 inch mesh Tim Wade cast net that has 1.6oz of lead per foot. Once I get more experienced, I see myself potentially upgrading to a 12ft.

Tarpon have been off the beach from Cocoa Beach southward, but the best action has been near Sebastian. The finetooth, lemon, and hammerhead sharks have been really thick so getting a bait past them to a tarpon won’t be easy. Try to break the line if a hammerhead comes in to get your tarpon so we’re not just feeding sharks. Use spinning or conventional gear with 30-60lb line, 60-80lb leader and a big circle hook with a live bait. Pogies, croakers, and mullet all work well.

Big snook have been close to shore on any rock or reef patches, but they’ve been quite picky so have a variety of live baits. They’re breeders, so please handle with care. The shark fishing right now is a great time to take the kids fishing. Anchor up in 8-15ft of water off the beach and throw a chunk of any fish out on a wire leader with heavy tackle and at least 300 yards of line.

The offshore bite has been hit or miss with king mackerel and bonus pelagics over the reefs. The bottom fishing and trolling should get better for grouper, amberjack, and stringer fish as the Gulf Stream becomes a harder edge and not in so close.

The Upper IRL system is still a dump with brown tide everywhere and not many fish other than a few juvenile tarpon for fly anglers and those willing to spend hours getting live bait. If you want to fish inshore, focus on clear patches between Melbourne and Stuart.

What a difference a day makes…
August 18, 2019

What a difference a day makes…

Hit the surf yesterday about a mile north of Sebastian. NOTHING. Nobody was getting literally anything. Big snook cruising but no hits. Water was crystal clear and weed free.
Today I hit Satellite and the bite was good. Two keeper drum, some jacks, the usual margate and croaker for bait. Snook all around but also not hungry. Everything stopped as high tide leveled, and the weeds returned with it.

DAILY REPORTAGE
August 17, 2019

DAILY REPORTAGE

My attempt at up to the minute reporting on seaweed conditions, which would save a fisherman/woman the time to find out for themselves, is being edited out. So be it. Time to find another site.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Beach Bound
August 15, 2019

Beach Bound

nearshore tarpon fishing

It’s been another exciting week here on the Space Coast! The fishing has been about as good as it gets, in my opinion. The lagoon has been producing great numbers of redfish, trout, snook and tarpon of all various sizes, even some real trophies. However, my main focus has been nearshore.

This weeks forecast consisted of west winds and calm seas, which pointed me towards the beach. This time of the year we start seeing lots more bait and different types at that, anything from glass minnows and menhaden to even some mullet. With the variety of bait and plenty of it to go around, the possibilities are endless. Anglers can find massive schools of Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and even some large bonito traveling along feeding on the larger pods of glass minnows. Bonito are a great battle on light gear and typically don’t refuse smaller silver spoons, Gotcha plugs, and small Rapala X Raps. Small, shiny baitfish imitation flies have been working great, as well, and these fish sure are a blast on fly!

We have also been seeing greater numbers of large tarpon in the 80 – 150 lb range. Most of these fish have been around the Sebastian inlet area and are feeding on almost any large live bait that you can get past the sharks — which has been a constant battle in and of itself. Look for the fish rolling and blasting bait (it’s pretty hard to miss!), then position yourself ahead of the school and allow them to cross paths with your bait. Try not to land right in the middle of the school! Large swim-baits, lipped plugs, and large white flies have been working well, too, but for the best bet I have been sticking to live bait.

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

Seaweed Mel Beach to 4 miles south
August 15, 2019

Seaweed Mel Beach to 4 miles south

I was out yesterday, 8/14/19 fishing from the beach and the seaweed was the thickest seen yet.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Kings are on Fire!
August 15, 2019

Kings are on Fire!

kingfish Sebastian offshore

The kingfish bite just keeps getting better and better out of Sebastian Inlet. Two weeks ago the bite was hot, but this past week it’s been straight up explosive! These fish seem to be on every rock and every piece of structure that you can imagine, all the way out to 100 feet. Bait hasn’t really seemed to matter, either. They are destroying lives almost instantly. For the bigger kings, an 8-10″ slow-trolled live mullet has been hard to beat.

In addition to the Kings, we’ve had a good mixed bag. The topwater bite has been a lot of fun with good catches of mahi, cobia, bonita, Spanish mackeral and even a few Amberjack have crashed the party. Most of these fish are coming on a live bait out back while bottom fishing.

The bottom bite has gotten a little better with a few mangroves, beeliners and triggerfish coming up to round out the box. The 90 ft ledges have been the best producers, but there have been some nice fish caught in the 60 ft depths, as well. Get out there and catch some fish!

by Capt. Justin Ambrosio
Filet Show Fishing Charters | (321) 693-4918

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
That First Bucket List Fish on Fly…
August 14, 2019

That First Bucket List Fish on Fly…

redfish fly fishing

Of all the types of angling — from the salt flats, deep blue oceans, rivers, streams, etc., — there is most likely not one angler who doesn’t have that “bucket list” fish on their list on all types of gear from spin to fly. I had the honor and privilege of making one of those bucket list fish catches happen for an angler this past weekend.

We decide to fish out of his skiff so I was a little out of the comfort zone of my Maverick HPX. We hit the Mosquito Lagoon bright and early and made a run to an area that is still fairly clean to sight fish. I assumed my position on the poling platform and we were on quite a few small snook on fly pretty quick. Although fun, my angler was after his first redfish on fly. We left the small creek mouth that was holding a multitude of the snook and began creeping down the adjacent shoreline. He was throwing a fly I had actually tied the night before that is usually a given to produce Redfish. Not long after, he made a cast to a fallen cluster of Mangrove snags and began the retrieve. After a couple of strips with the fly a very apparent wake was tracking the fly and boom, he was hooked up. The fish made a couple a short runs without breaching the surface even once.

I was pretty convinced this was neither a Trout or Snook due to its behavior after the hookup. Much to our delight, as the fish was retrieved boat-side our mission had been accomplished. My angler had his redfish on fly in hand. Although not a giant just the fact that he had his first redfish on fly and I was there to assist him in making it happen was enough for us. A couple of high fives and the fish was released to fight another day. Perhaps as one of the large bulls the Lagoon is famed for. But today, this small slot Redfish made one anglers “bucket list” a little shorter and the fact that I was there to help make it happen is bittersweet.

For anyone looking to experience sight fishing the shallows on fly and light tackle contact the Charter Captains of Florida Fly Co. Charters on Facebook at Florida Fly Co. Charters or our website.
Captain Alan Ryland

by Alan Ryland
Florida Fly Co.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Goodbye Weeds, Hello Mullet
August 13, 2019

Goodbye Weeds, Hello Mullet

tarpon on the beach

The weed is gone! Well, for the most part… Also, the mullet are starting to show up. That means fall is on its way. With big mullet moving through the surf, the tarpon, snook, and sharks are all fired up. My favorite way to target these fish is with a plug, swim-bait, or spoon. This allows you to be mobile. No dragging around a bucket, cast-net, and other gear. Just a rod and a backpack.

Here’s a quick list of some lures I like: Tsunami Swim Shad 7″, Yozuri Mag Darter, YoZuri Hydro Minnow, Rapala Xrap, Hogy Paddletail, Spoolteks, and Spoons. I like all these lures in with a dark top and light bottom or solid white. Lately, I’ve been playing around with JigSkinz to put my own custom patterns on them. I’ve been doing very well with the Pogy pattern.

If the fish seem to be staying in one spot, or you just want to fish live bait, that can work very well, too. Personally, I like to fish heavier gear because I want to be prepared for that big tarpon. I fish 20-30lb invisibraid with 60-80lb Tsunami fluorocarbon leader. If I’m targeting snook, I’ll drop down to 40lb leader with a hook size 4/0 – 8/0 depending on the size of the bait.

tarpon fishing surf

If you are after more of the traditional-style of surf fishing in our area, there are still some Whiting, Croakers, and even some nice Pompano around to be caught. Use a Pompano rig such as the Pompano Riggs by Couture with a 3oz lead. You may need to adjust the weight depending on the conditions, but it has been very calm lately. Even on the calm days, I still suggest the 3oz. It will help you get a good hook-set when the fish grabs your bait (sandfleas, clams, or shrimp).

Here’s some more crazy Tarpon battles for you to enjoy and there are more to come, so make sure you subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

Get out there and have fun!

by Joey Antonelli
H2O Vinyl Designs | (321) 693-1281

Poor Fishing Inshore Lately
August 12, 2019

Poor Fishing Inshore Lately

Disclaimer: I apologize for my negativity, but I’d rather be honest so you don’t spend time fishing where it’s unproductive when you could be elsewhere and doing things now for if and when it gets better later.

The inshore fishing within north Brevard has not been productive lately probably due to algal blooms. I honestly can’t remember it being this bad in all of my life other than freezes and extreme weather. With 2 inches of clarity and manatees accessing the shallows, you can say goodbye to the little manatee grass that recovered from the slight improvements this lost (spelling deliberate) summer. Yes, it’s rained over 18 inches in the past two weeks, but shouldn’t that get the bait and tarpon going despite dirty hyposaline water? I usually crush the snook and slot reds in high water too.

Well, the tarpon are here, but 95% of them are under 5lbs. However, if you didn’t have a live (in order of preference) pogy, mullet, or pilchard smaller than 3 inches rigged and placed perfecly right in their face, they wouldn’t bite. The bait catching has been a giant dump so expect to spend hours unless you get very lucky. Using this technique after getting lucky on bait, I caught a 12 inch tarpon and jumped two slightly less small and of course 4 catfish within 90 minutes.

Their is one very small area producing nice fish (anything besides a catfish is nice right now) but expect to be fishing others, some reel guys, some don’t be this guys, and some in between. I suggest against targeting all reds right now through the first major cold front so they can spawn in peace for the future generation with our ongoing water crisis. If you want big reds, chunk the edge of the Port channel outside the mouth or drop pogies over mud spots just north of there. The fish are far bigger and easier to catch their than in the poop lagoon.

I look forward to getting my share of fish in the ocean sometime soon. I hear it’s happening out there. We need a real mullet run with no red tide or hurricanes like 2014 to compensate for this year’s lost summer and tougher than usual Spring.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Rain Brings Big Change in Salinity
August 12, 2019

Rain Brings Big Change in Salinity

The speckled trout action in the northern Indian River has been a little slower with almost 18-inches of rain that we’ve had here in the past two weeks. Captain Justin and I have had to alter our tactics to get bites and some days are pretty slow if you don’t find where the trout have moved to with the huge change in salinity were are currently experiencing from the stormwater run-off.

Try the deeper section of the river near drop-offs and spoil islands if you are looking for quality speckled trout action. Captain Justin and I have been targeting these fish in areas where glass minnows and mullet schools are present. Small to medium sized lures like the Saltwater Assassin 2-inch Crappie Dapper or the 4-inch Assassin Sea Shad remain our “go to” lures this week. Albino, the new Albino halo, and copper juice are all colors that have been working the best for us.

Small snook, juvenile tarpon, and a few redfish are also adding to our morning mixed bags for our charter clients. At the inlets, the snook remain the best bet this week. Both Canaveral and Sebastian are holding schools of these fish. Most of the snook are hitting live croakers, pogies, and pilchards.

Off the beach, tarpon, blacktip sharks, bonito, and king mackerel action is really good this week, too. Captain Justin and I are concentrating around bait pods to get these fish. The Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach near-shore waters continue be places to find all these species. We’re also getting good numbers on the beaches to the north near the launch towers off Cape Canaveral. Slow trolling with live pogies seems to be the best way to get these fish to bite, however, they will strike artificials early in the day.

Once again this week Captain Justin Ross and I would like to offer all of our SpaceFish readers a special offer of $100 off a 4-hour half-day flats fishing trip just to show our support for you all out there. This trip must be booked before August 31, 2019 for the discount to apply. With only a couple of weeks left in this promotion, it’s time to get signed up now!!

Contact Captain Jim or Justin at 321-636-3728 to take advantage of this special promotional offer before it ends.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Keeping An Eye on the Fry
August 12, 2019

Keeping An Eye on the Fry

NIRL Redfish

Kim’s third fish of the morning and flash photography was still needed. Kim caught five upper slot trout and this redfish in the first hour or so of the trip!

The highlight of this past week was treating my better half to an early morning fishing trip to the NIRL. We left the boat launch in near darkness and dropped off-plane a few miles away in barely twilight conditions. The water was calm and within a few minutes I spotted a pod of what I assumed was redfish rippling the surface of the water.

I was poling quietly towards the ripples as Kim starts casting her Z-Man pearl colored Diezel Minnowz in the direction of our quarry. She connects only three casts into her day and we’re still not close to the fish I can see. A healthy spotted seatrout comes to the surface shaking it’s head and regurgitating a belly full of fry-fish.

Kim repeats this sequence only two casts later with an even larger trout, about nineteen inches or so. Finally I get the boat near enough to our targets and she’s hooked onto her third fish. This one is a slot redfish as we both expected.

The pod of fish moved away for a minute or two, but came right back towards us as we assumed our positions. I gently swing the bow of the Banshee Extreme into position as Kim fires off another cast and another hook-up occurs!

This fish proved to be another nice trout as do the rest of the fish she caught this particular morning. While I expected the pod of fish rippling the water’s surface to be redfish they turned out to be top-slot seatrout!

They were feeding on tiny minnows grouping on the surface. In fact, we were fishing a deeper shoreline area holding almost no mullet, but loaded with fry-fish. This pattern is not unusual and worth watching for this time of year.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Lots of Pompano, Snook Action
August 12, 2019

Lots of Pompano, Snook Action

snook fishing lagoon

Cooper fishing with dad put on a snook clinic, it’s always a good day when you get your tackle back too!

Anglers are still seeing — and catching — a lot of pompano in the Indian River Lagoon. Pompano jigging around the Eau Gallie Causeway has been really productive. Not far from here, there has been some pretty good snook action around the docks, too. The area’s canals are also holding small tarpon, snook, redfish, sheepshead and mangrove snapper. On the beach, we’re still seeing plenty of margate and whiting; and the big tarpon and snook remain out there, too.

Caption: Cooper fishing with dad put on a snook clinic, it’s always a good day when you get your tackle back too!

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

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Ace Hardware Titusville, FL

UPCOMING EVENTS

CFFW MARINE FLEA MARKET

CFFW
The CFFW 22nd Annual Marine Flea Market is March 30th – 31st from 8:00am to 4:00pm at Harbortown Marina in Merritt Island, FL. Central Florida’s LARGEST marine flea market offers free admission, free parking, and something for everyone! Don’t miss out!

2019 BOATING & FISHING EXPO

CFFW
This year’s Boaters Exchange Expo is April 6th, 2019. If you’ve never been, this an awesome, FREE, event that you don’t want to miss. There’s food, beer, boats, and some amazing guest speakers. This year features Joshus Jorgensen of BlacktipH, Joey Antonelli, Leiza Fitzgerald, Justin Ross, and more.

51ST ANNUAL OFFSHORE SLAM

FSFA
Early registration is now open for the FSFA 51st Annual Offshore Slam. The tournament is June 1, 2019, and boasts big, guaranteed cash prizes including: $13,000 in General Awards, $5,000 Big Fish, and $3,000 SLAM!

CAUGHT ON CAMERA

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

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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.

Spacefish on the Radio!

Jasin Youmans Dental - Melbourne, FL

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