Weekly Forecast: 3.26.2019 – 4.1.2019

2019-03-25T18:36:52+00:00

Boaters Exchange - NauticStar 251 Hybrid

WEEKLY FORECAST

3.26.2019 – 4.1.2019

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

Big black drum fishing with Capt. Alex Hughey

Just Capt. Alex Hughey showing off again…

The story of the week has been the smoking hot bite around structure in the lagoon immediately south of the inlet; specifically, one dock in particular. Anglers have been battling all the elements to get in on this action — wind, rain, and even hose-powered vengeance. Yes, that would be Joyce’s dock — and what a roller coaster “Fish Joyce’s Dock” has been… The event that will live in infamy for many locals, and certainly so for Joyce, went from funny, to hilarious, and then to just sad. The brisk spray of a hose proved no match for the crippling sting of public humiliation. Poor Joyce…

Speaking of events, we’ve got a couple of good ones this weekend! On Saturday and Sunday, there’s the CFFW’s 22nd Annual Marine Flea Market. It’s free admission and parking from 8am to 4pm at Harbortown Marina in Merritt Island. There’s truly something for everybody here, so be sure to check it out! Also this weekend is the first annual Surf Fishing Pompano Derby hosted by Pompano Riggs by Couture — enjoy some beautiful weather at the beach and possibly win some prizes, you really can’t go wrong…

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

80.09%

TOP TARGETS

  • Tripletail
  • Snapper
  • Cobia

INSHORE

82.24%

TOP TARGETS

  • Seatrout
  • Black Drum
  • Redfish

SURF/JETTY

81.11%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Whiting
  • Snook

WEATHER OVERVIEW: These past few days the weather has been absolutely beautiful. Calm winds, flats seas and clear blue skies — perfect cobia weather! Unfortunately, it will be a small weather window that ends this evening. The next cool front moves in Wednesday and it will bring some pounding wind for about two solid days. Come Friday, the wind is projected to die down, but it will likely still be rough offshore. However, the weekend is shaping up for some prime fishing conditions, so spend some time getting your gear tight and right because when the Saturday arrives it’s GO TIME!

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

Ocean Obession II - Port Canaveral Deep Sea Fishing Charters

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, Terri Bondhus of Winter Park — Terri, 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:

Good Bite, Great Baits, Awesome Surf Fishing
April 25, 2019

Good Bite, Great Baits, Awesome Surf Fishing

Doubling up on Bruiser Blues


Spacefish hit up satellite beach for some Wednesday afternoon surf fishing. Armed with a full arsenal of Native Salt Baits, our goal was to bring home dinner, and baby, you better believe we made magic happen!

A few weeks ago, Damon and I met up with friend of Spacefish, John Killian Stumpf, owner and operator of Native Salt Baits. He was kind enough to set us up with a bunch of his products, including Brined Sand Fleas, Salted Clams in original, pink and orange colors, and some clam stringers in assorted colors. We’ve been dying to try out his latest baits, but were just simply waiting on a good day to hit the beach. Yesterday, with clear, clean water and a calm sea, the beach beckoned.

There were a handful of other anglers out there at the Magellan beach access, but they didn’t seem to be catching anything and packed up shortly after we arrived. Maybe it was just timing, maybe it was the baits, but we put our lines in the water and had pretty much nonstop action from 12 – 3pm on outgoing tide. We caught a whole load of fish — primarily lots of Margates, blues, and whiting. We also caught an undersized pompano, a few mystery fish and a palameto. Not only were the fish biting, but the water and weather made for a gorgeous day at the beach.

surf-fishing-salted-baits

We were also both using Pompano Riggs by Couture, which got the job done well as always.

by JC

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
It’s Tarpon Time
April 25, 2019

It’s Tarpon Time

tarpon

With the warmer weather lately the tarpon bite has picked up! Some schools are showing up off the beaches and we are starting to get a good influence in the lagoon as well. Tarpon are one species that do not handle cold water well, although we do have some resident tarpon which hangout in residential canals and small ponds the majority of our tarpon fishing is best during the late spring and summer months and into the fall.

Tarpon are one awesome hard fighting species that can really test an angler, their acrobatic maneuvers and long runs make them quite a challenge. My favorite way to target them is on the fly. Black and purple or chartreuse are my stand by flies. For an early morning presentation with low light, I like throwing a gurgler or small popper. As the sun gets higher, a black and purple baitfish imitation or slider both work great too. Tarpon typically like murkier water with lower oxygen levels and even a good freshwater influence, I believe it’s because they can actually store oxygen in their swim bladder and use it to breathe unlike most fish which helps them dominate an area. In this dirtier water I find small and chartreuse can be deadly. For the spinning rod guys it’s hard to beat a Mirrolure Mirrodine in chartreuse, small paddle tail jigs or a gulp shrimp, as well as small live finger mullet and mud minnows fished about 6 inches under a weightless float.

The average fish right now is between 5 and 25lbs and are holding well around the residential canals, ponds, and creek mouths. As we approach summer we will probably start to see more along the flats.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
South Melbourne Beach Surf Fishing
April 23, 2019

South Melbourne Beach Surf Fishing

surf fishing report

Went out at first light to do some surf fishing in South Melbourne Beach. The bite started slow, but picked up a good bit with the sun’s ascent. There’s still pompano out there, and I’ve heard positive reports indicating the same from all over our coast. Anglers are also doing well with some nice-sized whiting. With the current conditions, I expect the fish to be biting all day through the beginning of this week. Give it a go and try putting a Native Salt Baits product on your hook — the results may surprise you!

surf report

Native Salt Bait user, Tom Hofknecht, shared his nice haul from the beach!

by Native Salt Clam
Native Salt Clam Bait | (772) 571-5883

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Live Bait Alternatives for Good Fishing
April 23, 2019

Live Bait Alternatives for Good Fishing

We’ve seen a good run up to the coming week in spite of that extremely bright full moon. The fish have been feeding all night, leaving them sleepy in the morning, but if you wait until the afternoon, the bite has been good from about 3-4pm on. Windy and stormy weather last week made it difficult for the bait boats to get out so it has been challenging to provide live baits at the shop.

Despite a lack of live bait, the fish around here are still hungry and looking for a meal. Fortunately there are plenty of good live-bait alternatives available. For example, Anglers willing to be adventurous and try something new have not been disappointed with our recommendation of NATIVE SALT BAITS. The new salt sand fleas are working great on drum and sheepshead, and there are pompano in the river, so the clams are also working well, too. Good choices for artificials are paddle tails and of course artificial shrimp. Fish bites have also been popular.

From Grant south to Wabasso, anglers working the west shore and spoil islands have found trout to be plentiful, and that is expected to continue. You can’t go wrong with live shrimp when targeting these fish. North of the marina, many anglers have been having fun battling hard-fighting jacks and ladyfish. If you’re looking to hunt tarpon, travel up the creeks a little bit and you should find the fish!

Have a great week!

by Capt. Bonnie Roberts
Treasure Coast Marina | (321) 733-3390

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Golden Eggs in the Surf
April 22, 2019

Golden Eggs in the Surf

pompano surf fishing

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! If you hit the beach this past weekend in search of some golden eggs, aka Pompano, then maybe you got rewarded with a couple, or even a limit! Some anglers headed further south and caught a mix of whiting, croakers, Pompano and even a trophy Permit!

As much as I hate to say it.. we’re coming to an end of our Pompano beach run for the season. As I look back on this past year, I think we had an awesome run and can’t wait to see what’s in-store for next season!

For the serious beach fisherman like myself, it’s time to hit the road in search of these prize Pompano we all love to catch and eat so much! Most fish on the east coast are heading north to Jacksonville and into Georgia. So if you want to take a daycation and head up the coast you still can! I’ll be in Jacksonville next week getting warmed up for the Florida Surf Anglers Tournament. Then the week after that I’m gonna switch over to the other coast and get on the Pompano bite that is HOT right now over in the gulf and panhandle! Stay tuned and I’ll have a report for home as well as my travels on the road!

Have a wonderful week everyone and will see you on the beach!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Fishing in and Around Sebastian Inlet
April 22, 2019

Good Fishing in and Around Sebastian Inlet

Sebastian redfish

We had great week nearshore and inshore with redfish and jacks in the inlet and some trout, pompano, bluefish, ladyfish and jacks inshore.

This upcoming week will bring warmer temps after the weekend cold front and the Bonito, jacks, mackerel and sharks should be on the beaches from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian inlet and Vero Beach. With the calmer winds, the inshore bite will be good around the spoil islands’ mangrove shorelines.

The creeks from Sebastian to Melbourne have a lot of mullet in them along with Jack Crevalle, Snook and Tarpon. Live mullet are best baits but 3” paddle tail baits rugged in 1/4 to 3-8 ounce jigheads will be great baits as well.

Fish the flats around the inlet for pompano, bluefish jacks and ladyfish for a fun time and lots of action.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Ponce/New Smyrna
April 22, 2019

Ponce/New Smyrna

With the full moon this past week we’ve had extremely high and low tides but with the cooler weather and the mullet run starting, it has made the early morning topwater bite really great! Later in the morning as the sun gets up, sight casting on the flats has been really good too. Bull reds as well as upper slot fish remain in the inlet. Tarpon should be showing up in greater numbers over the next week or two.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
More Sand Fleas
April 22, 2019

More Sand Fleas

In the surf around Satellite Beach, there have been good catches of whiting, margates, sheepshead and a few pompano mixed in. As usual, you can’t go wrong with sand fleas. In the canals, the trout bite remains strong. We are seeing lots of mangrove snapper around Mathers Bridge and folks are also catching some nice sheepshead in the greater lagoon area. Believe it or not, but sand fleas aren’t just baits for the beach — with fiddler crabs being hard to come by, many anglers have been finding success with sheepshead by using sand fleas instead.

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

4/20/19 – Jupiter
April 22, 2019

4/20/19 – Jupiter

Water conditions at PC were a bit rough Saturday, luckily, we had an opportunity to fish with some friends in Jupiter. Water/winds were pretty sloppy, but the ride out was only +/-5 miles. We started deep dropping in 700′ for a limit of golden tiles, and worked a few weed patches for some dolphin until the wind/waves picked up and we moved closer to shore. Finished the day +/- 2 miles from shore working some 60-80 foot artificial reefs and picked up several vermilions. All in all a good day, the fishery was much like PC minus the 35 mile ride to the stream. Not a bad option the next time the seas are too rough out of PC, but more calm down south.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Offshore Update!
April 21, 2019

Offshore Update!

canaveral cobia and kingfish

Despite rough conditions, we had a pretty great week offshore out of Port Canaveral. Beautifully sized kingfish were abundant on the reef and the ridge. They are eagerly eating frozen minnows and chartreuse dusters have helped add too the allure. Bottom fishing has been fun TONS of red snapper to play with, so the open season this summer just can’t come soon enough! Just a friendly reminder, those dates for recreational harvest are July 12-14 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and July 19-20. If you don’t have access to a boat, you still have the opportunity to participate and bring home one of the most delicious dinners the ocean’s got to offer — just book a charter!

Mahi are showing up sporadically, but we’re yet to seem them in big numbers or with any consistency. It could happen any time, though, and that time could be now. We just had a nice east wind come through, so maybe it brought the Mahi along with it. Get out there and try, and you might just hit the jackpot.

We’ve had an epic cobia season, but all good things must come to an end. We’re seeing less and less of these fish off the beach, and the Rays continue on the move, northbound. The window is closing, but there are still some out there.

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

Prime Time for Pompano Down South
April 21, 2019

Prime Time for Pompano Down South

Juno Pier Pompano Fishing

Nice pompano caught on Friday at Juno Beach Pier using Rich Vidulich rigs and Fish Bites purchased at Fishing Headquarters in Jupiter, FL.

The Pink Full Moon, also named the Harvest Moon, has always marked the signature month for pompano! The Algonquin tribes named moons after natural activities that occurred during its appearance. The pink connotation related to the showering colors of spring flowers, while the Harvest Moon related to the annual shad spawning in Michigan and other northeastern streams.

The pompano migration direction does not follow any specific rules, especially due to significant changes in the jet stream. For example, several weeks back, a late nor’easter provided heavy winds and 8 to 12 ft. seas. I explored this phenomena while broadcasting on ESPN 106.4 FM last month. In a nutshell, I reported that the pomps would leave the Stuart estuary and move 30 miles south, so I advised anglers to expect an epic bite at Lake Worth Pier. Despite offshore captains casting doubt on this prediction, the silver travelers indeed showed up big, rewarding all anglers with a nice three day stint. Literally, hundreds of pomps jumped the rail! Two weeks later and a second Artic front created a successful Ground Hog Day [plausible explanation]. This run lasted eight days and people were hitting limits, galore.

Pompano slabs on the beach

Slab Sunday with Florida Sportsman Captain, George LaBonte, last week!

Last week, the winds changed and then Juno Pier went crazy with fish. A few days later, Blowing Rocks and Hobe Sound Beaches were explosive! Flat, calm days resulted in huge captures for those jigging by boat. Today, Stuart beaches, Tiger Shores and Virginia Forest became the tourist hot spot. All flavors of Fish Bites are working well. For the bigger fish, bait up with large blanched fleas and accent them with orange Fish Bites (any flavor). In clearer waters with no haze, try large white floats tied on a fluoro leader. I built my entire career tying this rig, which is now available in most bait and tackle shops.

The best news is that Dania and Pompano Pier are catching pomps migrating from the Upper Keys. The time is now to put gourmet fish on the grill, but it is running short. The tourists are leaving, Spring Break is almost over, and the beaches will be roomy. Respect your angler neighbors and allow space to bring in these sidewinders. It’s your month, so enjoy it to the hilt!

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Queue the Broken Record
April 20, 2019

Queue the Broken Record

redfish

Kim almost got her slam after catching a nice trout, this beautiful redfish and then losing a snook that threw her Z-man Diezel Minnowz back at her!

I know I sound like a broken record skipping on the sentence “it’s still windy, but the fish don’t care” and it’s true… the fish don’t care! Two of the three trips I took this week were windy and we managed to have good fishing anyway.

Hiding from a hard westerly wind I concentrated on docks and rocks with the Sadow family of five. Mom, dad and three kids between the ages of eleven and fourteen joined me for some live shrimp under popping floats fishing. The action was brisk at first then slowly tapered off once a work crew rebuilding a neighboring dock started with the chainsaws and sledgehammers. I’m not complaining mind you, though I was sorry they showed up so early in the day!

A move to a rocky area was a good decision where we added several mangrove snappers and weakfish to our tally of spotted seatrout, ladyfish and of course hardhead catfish. This short three hour trip was the perfect duration for this family. Between getting up early enough to meet me at seven o’clock and the constant action the group was petered-out!

Wednesday I scouted an area of the Indian River Lagoon I haven’t fished in about six months. My wife, Kim actually asked to go fish this morning because the weather forecast was so good. I was happily surprised the forecast was accurate with winds so gentle at sunrise it barely rippled the water’s surface.

Not ten casts into the morning Kim’s rod bent over as she caught her first fish of the day; a slot trout. She received a few other light-bites in this area without another hookup so I moved the Banshee Extreme down the shoreline. Not much happened for a while except for seeing a few single reds and trout cruising around out of casting distance. Eventually we found the reds!

Two schools of a couple of dozen fish each were striking at tiny finger mullet tight to the bank with about a hundred yards between the schools. Once I got us into striking distance Kim made her cast and immediately hooked a redfish that crushed her Z-man Diezel Minnowz affixed to their Finesse Bullet Jighead.

A few minutes later she struck again, but this time she’s hooked into a snook and she’s thrilled with her possible slam, alas the linesider’s summersault resulted in a thrown hook. A phone call at this time resulted in us leaving these fish still biting so I could return the next morning with the clients that just booked a trip.

Strong winds at first light had moved the fish from where I hoped to find them. I sure hate saying “you should have been here yesterday” and I didn’t, though I felt like it!

Moving into the wind a few times finally paid off for us and my clients boated a decent trout and a small redfish along with too many catfish. The catfish were super aggressive this morning and if there were many reds or trout in the area they were not able to find the mullet chunks before the whiskered fish could.

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

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TOURNEY CENTRAL

Florida fishing tournaments 2019

Spacefish will be covering many awesome tournaments this season, some brand new, others as old as time. The coolest thing is that there’s a tournament for everybody, regardless of skill level, boat ownership (or lack thereof), or fishing style. Whether you’re a gunner vying for a big pay day, or just a casual angler looking for some friendly competition, get ready to slap on the war paint to battle some fish and have some fun! Check out the full run of tourney events that we’re covering on our 2019 TOURNAMENT CENTRAL page.

NEXT UP
First Annual Pompano Derby – March 29 – 30

ON DECK
Otherside Invitational – April 12 – 14

MORE UPCOMING TOURNEYS

Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!

MORE 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!

FIRST TUESDAY FISHING SEMINAR

fishing seminar
Capt. Alex Gorichky is the featured speaker at this month’s First Tuesday Fishing Seminar at Boaters Exchange in Rockledge. The free event is Tuesday, April 2nd, at 2pm!

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.

PALM COAST SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

CFFW
You’ve heard the songs, now hear the stories. Join songwriters from across the country as they share the stories behind some of the most popular songs on the radio today. More than 12 songwriters will converge in Flagler County for the second annual Palm Coast Songwriters Festival May 3-5, 2019. The event will showcase more than 12 songwriters at two outdoor venues – Daytona State College Palm Coast Amphitheater May 3-4, and the Palm Coast Arts Foundation stage May 5 – for a weekend of melody and music.

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!

Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!

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