Marker 24


5.28.2019 – 6.3.2019


FSFA Offshore Slam

Central FL’s longest-running annual offshore tournament is THIS weekend!


It’s been a great tournament season on the Space Coast and we’ve got another BIG event this weekend. It’s Central Florida’s longest-running offshore tournament, the FSFA’s 51st Annual Offshore Slam. With $20k in guaranteed cash payouts on the line and a favorable weather forecast ahead, the stage is set for an awesome event at Sunrise Marina this Saturday. As promised, we’ve got two free tournament entries to give away this week — and the winners are: Stephen Fitzpatrick and Tim O’hara.

If you didn’t win free entry, there’s still time to either register online or at the Captain’s Party on Friday at Kiwanis Park in Merritt Island at 5:45pm. Even if you don’t plan to fish, check out the weigh-in and awards at Sunrise Marina on Saturday for a great time — there’s all sorts of raffles, live entertainment, refreshments and more!

Sunstate Pest Control





  • Snapper
  • Grouper
  • Kingfish




  • Black drum
  • Seatrout
  • Tarpon




  • Whiting
  • Croaker
  • Snook

WEATHER OVERVIEW: We are looking at another week on sunny skies and fairly low winds with low rain chances so it is shaping up to be a good week in regards to the weather. That is perfect as we move into the weekend and get ready for the Florida Sport Fishing Association’s (FSFA) 51st Offshore Tournament. Weeds remain an issue, but not one that can’t be overcome — so get your gear ready, because we are going to be fishing!

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

Grills Seafood - Lakeside, Port Canaveral, Melbourne


Our weekly giveaway prize is back to $20 Gift Cards to Strike-Zone Fishing in Melbourne. Congrats to this week’s winner, Patrick Dier of Satellite Beach — Patrick, please email us within 7 days to claim your prize.

strike zone gift card giveaway

A new winner is drawn and announced in every weekly forecast. If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to enter the weekly giveaway!


The FULL MOUNTY giveaway is back! One winner will be randomly drawn on June 3rd, 2019, to win a 33″ full mount dolphin replica from Mount This Fish Company. Enter the contest below!

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:

Skipping in the Wind
January 19, 2020

Skipping in the Wind

The wind has been relentless, but the fish are chewing in almost all the portions of the lagoon system. Last weekend I found a pretty big school of black drum on a bridge for an hour. The big schooling black drum are here, but it has been inconsistent and a challenge to find them. When I find them, they have eaten every time. This is the opposite of 2017-2018 when I found hundreds almost every time, but I could only get one eat.

The low water levels and lack of seagrass has the flats pretty slow, but skipping the mangroves in canals on the Banana and central Indian southward have been producing. The water has been as clear as I have seen it in a very long time. You can see fish sitting near the bottom under mangroves.

Juvenile tarpon are were enjoying the warmer weather, but that looks to change. Suspending twitchbaits and finger mullet were what they wanted. This time of year they can be extremely picky and may not eat at all.

Surprisingly big snook were deep in the mangroves. These fish are extremely smart. Skip a live mullet deep into the mangroves. They are incredibly hard to keep out of the mangroves.

A lot of rat redfish with a few nice ones in the mix have also been deep in the mangroves. The rats will eat anything as long as you skip it far enough under. The slots have been pickier, and the one I got ate a mullet I threw at a pile of snook.

Small black drum are often a little less deep in the mangroves. They will eat shrimp or soft plastics on the bottom, but they key is to be slow. It also helps to be able to see them.

The trout fishing has been much slower this week, but there still are some in the canals. These are the least picky and most aggressive of targeted species. They usually are best just outside of the mangroves, and the canals can hold some big ones during cold snaps.

Get ready for big changes with the incoming cold. It will likely get really slow for a lot of things inshore and nearshore for some time with big black drum and sheepshead being the exceptions.

Sheepshead Galore
January 18, 2020

Sheepshead Galore

Not many fish have been biting lately due to inconsistent weather and fluctuating tides. Still, the Florida sheephead have been going ballistic over all types of lures and bait. What I mainly use to target sheephead are shrimp lures such as the ones that DOA and Voodoo make, and I also like to use either live shrimp or live worms surprisingly. I think that the movement of the worm attracts them, but that’s up to you to decide. The jacks haven’t been around, nor have the mangrove snapper unless you’re a bit south near the Sebastian area. People have also been catching flounder in the Northern regions of Brevard, such as Jetty Park and Merritt Island. Mullet and other types of bait-fish such as pin-fish, mojarra, and pilchards have been on the move, so make sure to bring your cast net the next time you hit up the dock, pier or wherever you’re going. Tight lines!!!

Vacation on Melbourne Beach
January 17, 2020

Vacation on Melbourne Beach

I am heading down to Melbourne Beach March 31 – April 7th. My family and I are staying at a house walking distance to the beach. I am bring down a 9’ rod with a 6000D baitrunner 30lb PP. I am from the Northeast and stripers are our target fish. I would rather catch larger species. I am looking for help on what I should bring for tackle and what Is in season.

by Keith M

Melbourne Beach to Playalinda
January 17, 2020

Melbourne Beach to Playalinda

surf fishing report

I had no definite fishing plans this morning — other than the fact that I was going to hit the beach somewhere. With a bucket of fresh fleas and a new 12′ Penn Prevail II that I wanted to try, I went out on a solo trip. Undecided on my destination, I got a bit of a late start and left my Melbourne Beach home a bit before 7:00 and started north. I stopped and looked at a couple beaches and they just didn’t “feel” right, and by 9:00 I found myself looking at the beaches unfamiliar to me at Playalinda. It was either fish there or head back home. The weather was beautiful but by 10:00 there were a bunch of beach goers up and down the beaches. It was getting crowded so I headed home about 1:00. I cleaned the fish in the photo and a few more were landed on my gear by some folks I was talking with that were on the beach near where I was fishing. They landed a pomp and two whiting – their dinner tonight!

by ghost

Cobia & Trips Hanging Close to Beach
January 17, 2020

Cobia & Trips Hanging Close to Beach

cape canaveral tripletail

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a safe New Year. The last few weeks have been great nearshore and the good fishing should continue for a little bit till the weather gets colder and chills the water off.

Cobia and tripletail have been hanging pretty close to the beach. For triple tail, I like to use a small bucktail tipped with a piece of squid or a live shrimp with just a small shot of weight on it. Tease them with it a little, and most of the time, they will eat it. Tripletail make some of the best eating around. You will find them free swimming and holding to pieces of weeds and anything else you can find floating. Cobia have been hanging out in the same areas as the triples, so have the bucktail with squid ready. There are many things you can use for them. If they’re hungry, then they will eat, so to speak. A bucktail from Handler Fishing Supply tipped with a whole squid has been the best for me.

Pushing a little farther out, Pelican and 8A have had some decent kings on them. I have been using many different baits since live bait is a little hard to find this time of year. Have your dead sardines handy in case you’re struggling to locate the live ones. If you can’t find any bunker, try sabikying some of the buoys or wrecks on the way out for some blue runners or threadfins. Live bait will definitely perform better, if you can find it.

Pushing a little farther offshore, the Mahi, wahoo and sails have been doing much better. Although there’s specific tactics and ways to target each specifically, I use smaller Islander lures with small ballyhoo. For Wahoo, I just up the troll speed a little bit. All three species can be expected this time of year and should be out there in good numbers right now.

Keep things simple. Remember, we catch more wahoo and mahi while king fishing than actually targeting them directly.

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

12 Hour Tile Fish Trip!
January 13, 2020

12 Hour Tile Fish Trip!

Tilefish Offshore Canaveral

The Ocean Obsession II is offering a really cool opportunity to get in on a special 12 Hour Tile Fish Trip coming up on January 27th (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM) out of Port Canaveral. The cost is $440 for a spot on the boat, which will be running with TEN deep drop rods at a time. The option is available to have up to four people per spot — deep dropping is a team effort, so it’s a good idea to have at least two anglers per spot. The price of $440 includes the electric reel set up to two deep drop rigs, up to 2 weights, bait, breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s several options to make a reservation on the trip:

  1. Pay $110 per person and we’ll put you in a team of four;
  2. Pay $220 and we will put you in a team of two; or
  3. Pay $440 and come up with your own team of 1-4 people.

There is going to be a learning curve on this trip, so we are being up front about that right now. The game plan is to stagger drops to effectively cover good tile grounds and to eliminate tangles. You will need to be willing to listen to instruction on dropping and retrieving as we dial this in. Our goal is to catch fish and keep everyone with as much fishing time as possible.

We will also high speed troll on the way out and in. We will designate times on the high speed by teams. We will also have spinning rods ready if top water opportunities present themselves. Golden Tile, Blue Line Time & Yellow Edge Grouper will be the main targets, but we will take anything that bites.

We know many will want to supply their own electric reels, however, for our first trip we want to keep line size and weight on the same page. You are more than welcome to supply your own rig.

To reserve your spot or request more information, call Obsession Fishing Charters at (321) 453-3474.

cape canaveral tilefish trips

by Ocean Obsession II
| (321) 453-3474

Wahoo and Sails out of Ponce
January 13, 2020

Wahoo and Sails out of Ponce

wahoo fishing offshore

The sails and wahoo are biting, we just need the weather to cooperate so we can take full advantage! The few days in the last several weeks that the boats were able to get out, they’ve been catching some fish. Anywhere from three, all the way up to eight or nine wahoo a day per boat. High speed trolling has been more productive lately than the slow troll. Being able to cover more ground is key. The guys that are sail-fishing are also catching some wahoo on the slow troll. The sail-fishing has been good from 130-200ft and seems to be better on the offshore side (cleaner water), lately the water has been around 73 degrees. Bottom fishing has also been great. Although grouper are closed, the big triggerfish, red-eyes, and porgies have been biting on the double rig with squid or cut bait.

wahoo ponce. offshore

If you’re going out fishing, come see us at New Smyrna Outfitters and we’ll get you all geared up with everything you need!

New Smyrna Outfitters

New Smyrna Outfitters

by Cody Moore
New Smyrna Outfitters | (386) 402-8853

What to Expect with Warming Weather
January 13, 2020

What to Expect with Warming Weather

Tripletail fishing Sebastian Inet

Carsyn took a break from the cold in Michigan and got some inshore snook and triple tail!

Last week was pretty good both inshore and in the inlet for snook and redfish, and the warm weather this week should keep that bite fired up nicely. Conversely, in the same areas, this push of warm weather will likely slow down what has been a hot bite for Pompano, jacks, and bluefish. Live bait is the key to daytime fishing, but at night, it’s time to bust out the artificials.

inlet trout

Noah got on a decent trout bite with his new Phat Katz Custom rod Santa brought him.

Nearshore, expect the warming water temperatures to also bring in some bait and tarpon along the beaches, with plenty of Spanish mackerel and bluefish also giving chase. If the bluefish and Spanish are thick, then the black tip sharks will be, too. Live bait and artificial will work for the Tarpon and Sharks, but stick strictly to artificial for the Macs and bluefish.

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

Great Black Drum and Trout Fishing
January 13, 2020

Great Black Drum and Trout Fishing

seatrout indian river

I may sound like a broken record, but I could basically just re-post the same report as I did for the last time I submitted one to Spacefish. Having said that, our black drum and trout fishing is still the best thing going on in our lagoons at this time. It’s really been a good bite, and it has sustained through the winds, rains, cold and hot conditions that we have experienced here in central Florida over the past few weeks. Captain Justin Ross and I are taking our charter guests to catch drum from 1-pound up to 30-Plus pounds on almost every trip. These fish are filling the void that our redfish have left in our local waters. Our speckled trout are running 10 to 17-inches on most days, so the rods on our identical 24-foot Skeeter bay boats are staying bent, and we like that.

black drum Indian river lagoon

The unusually high temperatures we are experiencing here in the third week of January may also give us some shots at tripletail and pompano if the seas and winds cooperate for us. It looks like this may happen on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. By Friday the conditions will change, the winds will increase and will probably take those two species off the table for us to pursue. In the river the bite will remain strong and we look forward to having the chance to put smiles on the faces of our fishing guest every chance we get.

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

Sebastian Inlet
January 13, 2020

Sebastian Inlet

This weekend lots of people have been catching Spanish Mackerel mainly from the Northern jetty. Lots of Sheephead are being caught from under the bridge and on the rocks west of the bridge. Not much Redfish action has been seen due to the fluctuating temperatures and rain so hopefully the new year will bring some big reds to the inlet

Solving Winter Patterns in the Surf
January 13, 2020

Solving Winter Patterns in the Surf

central Florida surf fishing

No winters are predictable in Florida. What tail end of which Jetstream dip will enter our space next? The clash of highs and lows. The aftermath of an Artic Front. Rip currents pushing bodies of cold water south. These all make for some tough equations for a surf fisherman to encounter.

These are the current problems we are dealing with. The most successful beach guys follow the sea temp charts. The most valuable is the SST application, Sea Surface Temperatures by region. Jacksonville was 63° a week ago, and today it’s 68 degrees. Blustery Southeast winds (25 knots) moved warmer Gulfstream waters to the north. Does this excite the pros in Fernandina? YES it does!

Does the average angler have to be astute to these changes? I think so… SST uses thermistors to measure temperatures of seawater. We can purchase Infrared thermometers from Amazon, Harbor Freight and Walmart. Wouldn’t it be cool to point a gun and shoot a beam at the seaside water and get an immediate digital calculation?!? It can be done for about $12.00. It’s always amusing to report to your fellow spikers Fahrenheit and centigrade readings out on the beach.

Perhaps creating a simple log of barometric readings and water readings will also produce a payoff. What if you throw in a bit of solunar cycle and learn the names for each full moon? Make it interesting and read what the Indians understood about fishing and hunting in reference to the moon!

Enjoying analysis adds to an anglers repertoire. Are you ready to fish the wind? It’s tackle evaluation time. Does your rod have to be long? How about the rod taper? Are you using braid, and what about your sinkers…? If you want to fish big chop and not have your sinkers slide down the beach, then length is a factor. For me, 11 to 13 ft gets me distance and wave clearance. Certain beach contours dictate distance… Sure, in the spring they could be fifty feet out. Taller rods are also less effected by seaweed.

I’ve been teaching surf tutorials for 15 years and the most important detail is rod ratings! I fish a 3 to 6 ounce rating with a fast taper tip action, with a line rating ranging from 12 to 17 lb test. Being older, I need a light “All Day Rod,” and almost always it is a composite graphite rod. It cuts the wind, derives little effort and maintains a 4 ounce sinker in 20 mph littoral wind. Every bite shows and most hook ups don’t fail. Read your rod rating. If it’s medium to heavy and rated 20 to 30 lb, then braid is fine, if you know how to power it out.

I use a fluoro-coated mono in high-visibility yellow, 14 lb test. This provides for no line swale and no sinkers sliding into my neighbors lines. In the winter, I’ll also use elliptical shaped sputniks to cast bullets and achieve 20 to 30 feet with any rod. Braid swales and stiff rods pull sinkers off the bottom during modest seas.

Current conditions are settling down folks. A few days after this waning full moon, and the bite will be ON! Perhaps some of the suggestions I have offered in this column will benefit you in some way… I’m happy to field any questions in the comments below, or via email at

Tight Lines!!!

Improvising for Pompano
January 12, 2020

Improvising for Pompano

pompano jigging

Larry getting it done. The pompano bite was hot at the beginning of the ebb tide!

So, what do you do when the pompano show up unexpectedly and you only have one small jig on the boat? You improvise, that’s what you do!
Larry joined me again for a morning trip. The tide was a few minutes shy of high as I slowly worked the boat over the flats near Jack Island. By the time we reached my target area the water started falling and a tide rip formed along an island with a deep hole on its off-shore side.
We were expecting to catch lots of trout, ladyfish and jacks, but the pompano had other plans for us. On Larry’s third or fourth cast he connects on a solid pompano that greedily smashed his skimmer jig. This jig was still on his rod from a previous trip he took targeting pompano at Port Canaveral.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find a small jig of any design on the boat. I did have several tiny spoons in silver and gold. The jacks and ladyfish eagerly chased these spoons with a steady retrieve. However, the pomps ignored them until I “jigged” the spoons with a sharp and rapid lift and a pause long enough for the spoons to flutter back to the bottom.

This technique worked extremely well and let me catch up to Larry on pompano and surpass him on our total catch numbers. Often, thinking out of the box will reap big results and big rewards!

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

Traversing the Wilderness Waterway
January 12, 2020

Traversing the Wilderness Waterway

I wanted to share that I recently checked a BIG BOX off my bucket list by kayaking the 100 mile wilderness waterway in the FL everglades. The Wilderness Waterway is a 100 mile kayak/canoe trail in Everglades National Park connecting Flamingo and Everglades City. Check out the video I made along the way for a glimpse of the beautiful scenery, camping, and fishing that the Wilderness Waterway has to offer.

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Marker 24

Boaters Exchange Seminar

This month’s First Tuesday Seminar will feature Paul Berube, “Bahamas and Back,” discussing everything you should know about making a boat trip to the Bahamas. It’s June 4th at 6pm at Boaters Exchange in Rockledge.



The FSFA North Chapter meeting on May 28 at Brevard Veterans Center will feature Charlie Levine, who will be speaking on how to read sea surface temperature and chloorophyll charts. Charlie is a lifelong angler and is currently the editor and publisher of and, as well as a contributing writer to several publications.

Jasin Youmans Dental - Melbourne, FL


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

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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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Florida Sport Fishing Association