Boaters Exchange - NauticStar 251 Hybrid

WEEKLY FORECAST

3.5.2019 – 3.11.2019

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

otherside dolphin

This beauty was caught with the legendary Captain, Bouncer Smith, who will be the guest speaker at the FSFA’s South Chapter Meeting on Tuesday, March 12th, at 6:30pm, Front Street Park, Melbourne.

SAVE THE DATES!

It’s that time of year — the Space Coast’s upcoming calendar is loaded with cool outdoor events, shows, and tournaments. Be sure to check out the EVENTS section below to find out which dates you are not going to want to miss!

Ready to SNAP!

Speaking of some big upcoming dates, NOAA has just announced a 2019 Red Snapper Season for the Atlantic Coast of Florida. The open days to score some snapper dinner are as follows:

  • July 12, 13, and 14, 2019 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
  • July 19 and 20, 2019 (Friday and Saturday

SUPPORT THE 2019 ARTIFICIAL REEF PROGRAM

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

70.72%

TOP TARGETS

  • Dolphin
  • Tripletail
  • Snapper

INSHORE

76.91%

TOP TARGETS

  • Seatrout
  • Redfish
  • Black Drum

SURF/JETTY

75.31%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Whiting
  • Snook

WEATHER OVERVIEW: What a great week of weather we had this past week. If there was a fish you wanted to target, you could do it. The winds were low and the seas were clam. This week it will bounce around. It appears we will have our next cold front moving in Tuesday and Wednesday with north winds bringing cold weather with them. High temperatures both days will not get out of the 60’s. Thursday the wind will start to taper off and switch from north to ESE before returning to a south wind as we move into the weekend. This will bring warmer temperatures in the high 70’s and lower wind so the weather looks to be shaping up nicely as we move into the weekend.

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

Boaters Exchange - NauticStar 251 Hybrid

GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

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, James Walker of Melbourne — James, 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!

Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!

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:

Tides oak hill
March 9, 2019

Tides oak hill

Capt Lee I dont know were to go to get the oak hill edgewater tides. Can you help.

by Bulldog

“Poor Man’s” Inshore Slam in Windy Conditions
March 8, 2019

“Poor Man’s” Inshore Slam in Windy Conditions

inshore slam

My first attempt at a fishing report… With strong 15-17mph winds coming out of the south east, I was looking for some wind breaks, with shallow to deep water drop offs. I managed to find some good wind current ripping through a popular weekend sandbar spot near the Pineda Bridge. This area is easily accessible from the southern “boat ramp” on the south side / east bound side of the bridge. From this ramp you can launch small skiffs, kayaks, and paddle boards. There is also always plenty of parking available as well.

I had my bay boat out this time and was nestled up against some mangroves casting into the flats and then into the deeper zones. Nothing hit the catch 2000 at first, so I switched to a 1/4 oz bucktail with a gulp shrimp trailer. I managed to catch a nice pre-spawn trout on this combo. After a while I noticed most of the strikes were coming from the middle of the column in the deeper zones with good wind current. I switched the gulp shrimp out to their 3 inch curly tail. That’s when I landed my next catch, which was a small but nice redfish.

As the sun started to set I tried the subsurface Catch 2000 again, and moments later I caught what I thought was a small tarpon, but ended up being a big ladyfish! I don’t care what anyone says, they always put a smile on my face. Ladyfish always seem to be aggressive like jacks, and jump like tarpon. I guess the ol saying applies here, one man’s trash is another man’s inshore slam? I attempted to make a video with all of the catches, tactics, and google map spot dissection. I have pictures as well. Cheers!

Spoil Islands
March 8, 2019

Spoil Islands

Went out and fished a couple of the islands around Grant today. We got on the water about 7:30 and used a few different top waters and didn’t get any takers. We changed up to Z-man silver split tail and I hooked up with five Trout all about 15” and one about 18”. The bite turned off around 10:30. Threw a gold spoon but still nothing. We got a snapper later on a live shrimp around the docks. Good day except for the wife getting hung up in the Mangroves a couple of times.

by Raider

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Odd Week on the Water
March 7, 2019

Odd Week on the Water

snook

It’s been a bit of an odd week! It seems as if the weather still can’t make up its mind, after a few warmer weeks we have been experiencing yet another cold snap, hopefully the last one for this year. This week has been somewhat tough but with a little persistence we have still been able to create several good days. Yesterday I hit the water in the most undesirable conditions possible, a stiff north west wind, dropping temperatures and a steady drizzle, but Grayson and I got the itch and had to give it a go. We started on fishing wind blown shorelines looking for any signs of life, the north wind really had the water churned up good and it was difficult to even cast.

As the day progressed I switched gears and moved us around the spoil islands in the Indian river and it seemed to be the ticket. We started tossing small gulp shrimp as tight to the mangroves as we could get it and the fish just couldn’t resist. We were originally targeting redfish and trout but ended up with a nice surprise with a handful of good snook! The redfish and trout made a bit of an appearance as well.

My point here is don’t go fishing when it’s desirable, don’t let the conditions get you down, and don’t be scared to change your tactics and get on the water when you can! If something isn’t working, simply change up your tactics. With the cooler weather we will probably get another good run of drum around the docks and bridges, and probably start to see more snook and hopefully some tarpon within a few weeks. I highly recommend everyone catch and release in the river for our future generations. Tight lines and good luck!

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

March Shrimping Forecast
March 6, 2019

March Shrimping Forecast

central florida shrimp report

Ira Himelright caught 14 pounds of nice size shrimp in Oak Hill

This shrimping season is one for the history books. Water temps are running in high 70’s and the catfish, mullet, pilchards, etc., have made this season exhausting! The water has been dirty, adding yet another level of complexity to the situation. Recently, boaters risked it all chasing shrimp at Railroad bridge as a cold front dropped in and they were thrown around like rag dolls. Some boats suffered severe hull damage was from banging into the pilings; one small Jon boat was sinking; light cords were torn away from the lamps. Point being, NEVER go out when a boundary line is passing through — wind-driven Brevard County can do a great impression of a deadly inlet.

Those willing to wait twelve hours in Brevard have consistently filled up on a gallon or more of impressive-sized shrimp. Oak Hill is consistently giving up shrimp this season, delivering an average of two gallons on building moons (3-4 days before a moon event and two days or so after on a declining moon; avoid half-moons, as they produce the weakest currents). The sizes are also impressive. Titusville pier is reporting low counts, while it’s quiet on the front of Haulover Canal. The Lopez boat ramp is closed so many are not steaming that far South from Riverbreeze boat ramp in Oak Hill. The ramp at Max Brewer is also closed. The 528 Causeway is slow but at least a few shrimp are coming through. The hot spot for March in Brevard has been the dangerous Sebastian Inlet running 8 knots. This is not the place to go without experience. The sizes are jumbo. They have been running consistently.

The crowds have not been bad at all this season, but light blackouts from catfish and other pests have taken their toll on anglers. However, this season has been productive for those that can battle the bait fish. The water is not cold enough to drive them out. This is the fourth consecutive season of warm winter shrimping, raising the difficulty level up several notches. Those using the MacDaddy 7 mode AquaSmartIQ lights use the strobes to blast off the bait and get visuals back. The binary lights (on/off) are having to re-deploy and reset their lights every 15 minutes. If you’re overwhelmed with bait fish, don’t quit and don’t go home. First try moving into deeper water and see if your visuals last longer.

This warm weather winter pattern, and hot summers with red tide has taken its toll on our ecosystem. It’s essentially changing the rules of Central Florida shrimping patterns. It now takes more education and more sophisticated lights to be successful. For more intel, daily reports and mentoring, join us on our Facebook group, “Florida Shrimping Academy – Tips & Tricks.”

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Hit or Miss on the Beach
March 5, 2019

Hit or Miss on the Beach

surf fishing report

It’s been hit or miss the last week here in Brevard. Seems as though most bigger Pompano have moved either further north, south, or into our lagoon searching for food and ideal water tempratures. Water temperatures are what really drive these fish! Here in Central Florida, water in between 66-68 seems to be especially conducive to the bite, give or take a few degrees. Most Pompano being caught are on the short side although at select beaches some anglers are getting very few keepers. Looks like the northern part of the county is producing more quality fish.

We had a good whiting bite in southern Brevard this week. Been catching a few croakers as well, which is telling me that the spring snook bite should turn on shortly. Still catching plenty of mackerel in the surf as well as blues. Using small spoons or mackerel jigs is your ticket to bring home some dinner!

Remember to look for the outflows and clean water when targeting Pompano and for the Whiting it’s the deep areas closer to shore that have Ben holding a few studs!

Going out and finding out yourself at your local beach will only help you stack your odds of catching more fish! Good luck this week!

…And remember we’re hosting our first surf fishing tournament March 30 & 31st hosted by Strike Zone Melbourne! $30 entry fee gets you signed up for all (3) divisions. Biggest Pompano, Biggest Whiting and Biggest Trash Fish. We also have a Jr. Angler Division! Winner of Biggest Pompano Division will receive a one of a kind replica mount of their prized winning fish as well as some cash! Cash payouts to 1st place in both Biggest Pompano and Whiting! Gift cards for 3rd and 1st place Jr.’s!

Proceeds from the tournament will go towards the Goode family and helping their daughter Maddie fight Leukemia!

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

Pompano in Melbourne
March 5, 2019

Pompano in Melbourne

Melbourne Beach Pompano

Fished Melbourne Beach Sunday 10am-2pm. Caught 31 Pompano with 5 keepers. Total of 8-9 doubles and 1 triple. Best day Pompano fishing for me ever. Great to see so many juveniles out there. Should make for a great fall run.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Trout Action in IRL
March 4, 2019

Good Trout Action in IRL

Speckled trout action in the Indian River has been really good this past week. Our customers are landing trout from 12 to 24 inches in length on a variety of lures and live baits. Our favorite way to get these fish to strike is by casting topwater plugs from first light until about 8:30am. The Rapala Skitterwalk plug does a majority of the work on many of our trips. This model of lure has what is called a “walk-the-dog” action. Walking the dog is an erratic retrieve style that imitates an injured bait-fish struggling at the water’s surface. Unlike many of the freshwater bass videos that I’ve seen on how to retrieve these lures which have a steady cadence, we prefer mixing it up and pausing, slowing, then speeding up our retrieve when targeting trout with these lures. This erratic action seems to produce more strikes, especially from larger fish. This week the redfish and speckled trout patterns on these lures have been producing best.

Once the sun gets up in the sky we have been switching over to live mullet or pilchards for bait. Free-line these against a dock, mangrove, tree, or area of rock that the trout are using as a cover. Give the trout a couple of extra seconds to get the mullet in their mouth before coming tight on your hook-set. Both the topwater, artificial and live bait fishing is very visual and who doesn’t love it when a predator explodes on one of their offering. Snook, jack and redfish are potential catches when targeting trout so enjoy all of the action this type of fishing has to offer. If you want to get out on the water to learn more or work on your lure retrieving techniques, give Captain Justin or I a call. We even have some weekend dates available over the next two months if you can’t get out during the weekdays.

To see our available dates and charter excursion offerings please visit our website or call us at 321-636-3728. Let’s go catch you next memory!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Mahi Bite Falls Off
March 4, 2019

Mahi Bite Falls Off

port-canaveral-red-snapper

Well, this week pretty much stunk for the Mahi, either A- they came and went or B- they moved to the Other Side. Any boat that was able to go to the other side killed the mahi and a bunch of tuna. But lets face it, not many can afford to run 100 miles to do a little fishing. For the rest of us on this side of the stream, the bit was an unexpected “no go.” We wasted a lot of time and fuel for nothing, but honestly, what was our alternative — troll the reefs in 65 degree water for nothing? Unfortunately, kings are still shut off due to cold temps. We really hope something changes drastically and quickly. Red snapper releasing seems to be the only safe bet in town at the moment. They are chewing hard and all over the place. Amberjack are a hit or miss lately but still better than nothing at the moment. Chicken rigging is doing okay producing some lane snapper, but not a whole lot else, really.

Nearshore shark fishing isnt bad, and is probably one of the best bets to have fun in the evenings. They have been firing.

Good luck and lets hope the next week produces something majorly different.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Artificials Working Well
March 4, 2019

Artificials Working Well

The fishing has been great this week with artificial baits being the top producers. Redfish and trout have been readily eating topwater baits early and then soft plastic jerk baits later in the morning.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Fishing’s Been Pretty Good
March 4, 2019

Fishing’s Been Pretty Good

It looks like the fishing last week was really good. In the Banana River around Mathers Bridge area they are catching a lot of redfish and Sheepshead. On the beach, fishermen are scoring big on Pompano — there are quite a few shorts in the mix, but spending some time will give you have a great chance to out. Offshore out of Port Canaveral, there are still a lot of tripletail being caught along with Pompano and a few scattered Reds. While the dolphin were hot last week in about 250 ft of water, the sailfish were abundant in 175 foot of water. On the bottom, everything out to about a hundred foot was cold and green, and a lot of are sharks being caught.

From all of us at Man Overboard, have a great week!

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

Indian River
March 4, 2019

Indian River

Fished around the Islands out of Grant on Friday. My wife was using live shrimp with no results I tried z-man paddle tails and a jig and had a few short strikers on the z-man. Switched to a gold spoon and that was the ticket. Three lady fish, one king mackerel am pretty sure. The best fish of the day was a really nice trout about 22” from the west side of the island!

Wife eventually got a decent red on a shrimp from under a dock later in the day. Released them all to fight another day. Planning to get back out this week and try again. Maybe the Mosquito Lagoon?

by Raider

Start of Mahi-Mahi Run, and Amberjack Deep
March 4, 2019

Start of Mahi-Mahi Run, and Amberjack Deep

dolphin - mahi

We went offshore out of Port Canaveral on Wednesday. We closely studied sea temperature charts and assumed that the water was too cold for cobia and tripletail.

On our way out to troll, we stopped at a deep structure. We caught some small amberjack on vertical jigs. These fish were fun to catch on heavy spinning tackle. We used 50lb braid and a short piece of 80lb fluorocarbon. If the big amberjack are around, use very heavy conventional tackle with leader no less than 100lb test. Because the sea surface temperature was only 68°, there weren’t many sharks.

We headed east to hit blue water, and found it very abruptly on a weedline/color change in 475ft. There was a good amount of 10-20lb mahi-mahi scattered through the area. We fished a three rod spread with 20-30 lb conventional tackle. One small blue/white skirt, one ballyhoo, and one pink/white skirt. All are rigged to 60lb fluorocarbon and 6/0 hooks. Small skirts without ballyhoo in blue and pink seem to be the best way to catch mahi-mahi. Always have at least one rod per person ready for pitching. I like to have one with a rigged plastic like a Hogy, and one with a hook for bait.

The water warmed up this weekend, so tripletail and a few cobia returned. This front will probably slow the action down for a few days. I expect cobia and tripletail fishing to get very good by next week if it warms up again.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Super Busy Week!
March 4, 2019

Super Busy Week!

black-tip-sebastian

Zach with a Blacktip

Been a super busy week for Jesse and I. Jesse got some offshore time in early in the week and got into some cobia as well as snapper and some triggerfish. The inshore bite for trout has been pretty good around the spoil islands and deeper docks from Palm Bay down through Sebastian. Along with trout, we’ve had some good action with pompano, blues and jacks inshore. Tripletail are still along the weed patches nearshore with some in the lagoon on the crab traps.

LC with one of a bunch of trout he got this week.

The nearshore bite is still good for pompano, blues Mackerel and Jacks along with Blacktip Sharks and Bull sharks. Anything with flash will work for the macs and blues and the sharks are eating just about anything we have been catching.

This front coming through will change up the bite and hopefully the cold won’t last too long and shut down the bite.

Jim took this tripletail home for dinner.

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

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Florida Sport Fishing Association

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHRIMPING SEMINAR

fishing seminar Today, March 5th, Capt. Lee Noga is speaking about shrimping at the Boaters Exchange First Tuesday Fishing Seminar at their Rockledge location from 6-7pm. Admission is FREE.

FISHING CLUB MEETINGS

FSFA
The FSFA South Chapter club meeting is Tuesday, March 12th at 6:30pm at Front Street Park in Melbourne. Bouncer Smith, the legendary captain from South Florida, will be the featured speaker. Come on out and join us!

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.

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.

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.

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Strike-Zone Fishing, Melbourne FL