6.11.2019 – 6.17.2019
A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY
Jacks are making for some fun fishing on the Seas Fire of Fired Up Charters!
It’s HOT, but fishing conditions are otherwise looking good this week! Sargassum seaweed seems to be clearing up both offshore and in the surf (for now), bait fish are showing up in stronger numbers off the beach, and the forecast calls for low winds and calm seas…
IN THIS WEEK’S FORECAST…
SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST
- Mangrove Snapper
- Spanish Mackerel
WEEKLY STRIKE-ZONE GIVEAWAY
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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:
Summer Sea Trout on the Flats
This past weekend’s charters did not present many opportunities for fishing on the fly, however the early morning seatrout bite on top water was on FIRE. I had the pleasure of introducing a client from Utah to the bounties that the Indian River Lagoon still has to offer. On Thursday, we boated probably close to 20+ fish. This included all we needed to award our visitor with an Inshore Slam, consisting of a redfish, snook, and spotted seatrout. Friday’s charter, on the other hand, was definitely more quality than quantity. We caught a multitude of seatrout over 20 inches, with the biggest being just over 27 inches.
Even with the temperatures rising, this time of year can still be productive with a majority of fish coming at the first light of morning… This is when top water lures work their best. Even as the water temps continue to rise throughout the day, continue to look for Redfish and Trout creeping the shallow shorelines. This is the best time for a subtle presentation on fly gear with small baitfish and crustacean presentations.
by Alan Ryland
Florida Fly Co.
Catfish Aggressive & Abundant
We had several good trips this past week starting with Topwater Tony. Targeting spotted seatrout in the south Mosquito Lagoon he gave his favorite lure a workout. The bone colored Skitterwalk caught a good number of released fish and we didn’t bother with getting any photos.
Mid-week I shifted gears with Gregg. We mixed it up throwing Z-Man Pop Shadz at first light where Gregg went two for four on quality spotted seatrout. Changing to Z-Man Diezel Minnowz and Curly Tailz added a couple of redfish to his growing total.
About four hours into his trip I could see he was tiring; his casts were becoming lazy and growing shorter and shorter. Another change was needed and we decided to set our happy fannies down and toss some chunks out on the bottom.
The catfish were eager and determined to feed. They’re almost ready to spawn and their activity level is on high. It’s tough to get a redfish bite on bait because of the aggressiveness of the catfish right now. Still, Gregg managed his best fish of the day when a nice slot red found a chunk-o-mullet before Mr. Whiskers did!
Sunday I joined Capt. John as a second boat. Fishing docks and canal mouths near River Breeze Park the wee snooks were willing to eat live shrimp at the end of the outgoing tide. The bite died with the slack water and we headed into the back-waters for find a redfish or two.
Settling on a popular spot off the main channel we anchored the Banshee here and there looking for more than catfish. Yes, they’re still aggressive and abundant. We found what we were looking for on the fourth move as Travis bows-up on a twenty-four inch red. A bit later Jessica has an absolute ball trying to convince an over-slot red to come aboard for the photo-op; eventually the fish succumbed to here invitation!
As we were packing up for the day the same rod as the two reds were caught on hooks yet a third big fish using the exact same chunk of ladyfish that caught the reds. Yep, three awesome fish on the same chunk of ladyfish that Travis caught an hour earlier. What was the third fish? A big, fat, spotted seatrout and many people think they won’t eat dead bait… Check out the photo!
by Capt. Mark Wright
Florida East Coast Fishing Adventures | (321) 302-3474
Inshore, the fishing has been really good lately in the canals around Satellite/IHB. Redfish, juvenile tarpon, snook, mangrove snapper and sheepshead are all being caught in good numbers from Dragon Point to the Pineda Causeway. The redfish are also still tailing just north of Pineda in the Banana/Indian River Lagoon. We’re starting to again see a surge of tripletail in the lagoon, too.
In the the surf, there’s still some residential Pompano hanging around, big bull whiting, and the snook are plentiful for some sweet catch and release action. Just off the beach, the kingfish and bonito bite is looking really good, too.
Man Overboard Bait & Tackle | (321) 777-8860
Find the Bait Pods on the Beach
Had a good week fishing nearshore and offshore out of Sebastian Inlet. Bait has been hit or miss and moving quite a bit but the fish are close behind when you find the bait pods.
Tarpon, Jacks, Snapper, Sharks and cudas have been most of what we are catching on both live greenies and soft plastics and topwater lures. Fishing close to he beach has produced Snook and big silver trout. Live baits have been the best for the snook but rapala xraps have been good baits, too.
With the weather looking the same this upcoming week, look for the bait pods and spend the time to see what’s biting around them. Focus your efforts here and you should have a lot if success.
by Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters | (321) 863-8085
Seasonably Good on the Ocean and Good Snook Bite in the Lagoon
June is always excellent in the nearshore and offshore waters out of Port Canaveral. We have been seeing shifty thermocline conditions, so don’t count on bottom fishing. The best bet right now is a live pogy or threadfin on a stinger rig over 8A and Pelican. You can also find the kings on shoal ledges, and shallow wrecks.
Threadfins can be easily caught on a sabiki rig on the buoys. If you can throw a 10-12ft cast net with more than 1.5lbs of lead per foot consistently perfect, you’ll have a chance at pogies. Pogy populations are at an all time low right now because of last year’s red tide, the demand for fish oil pills, and dredging/cruise ship pollution.
Slow troll or freeline those baits live on a stinger rig and you’ll rarely be skunked. King mackerel of 6-15lbs will becaught on the reef. If the water stays blue, dolphin, football sized blackfins, and sailfish are possible. Keep those cobia jigs and frozen squid ready because a cobia might swim up to the boat. Smoker kings up to 50+ pounds are possible too, primarily in 30-50ft. I tie my own stinger rigs using
Bottom fishing has been literally cooling off lately. Cobia will get really good soon at least. The thermocline will likely become significant and make bottom fishing very poor later this month and towards red snapper season. The clowns at NMFS always know to have a season during foul weather or dumpwelling conditions. They need to listen to anglers and allow one per person year around. That would make grouper fishing great again.
Tarpon, big jacks, and bonito have been broadly scattered off the beach across north and central Brevard. If the scaled sardine pods near Melbourne Beach move up this way, it will be tarpon time. We got lucky and had a few hits north of the Cape last week. I’d use heavy spinning gear with 80-100lb leader and live bait or topwater plugs. Due to the exceptional clarity except near the Port, you may have to go lighter than I recommend to get a bite.
Snook have been chewing under all mangrove trees on natural shorelines of all three lagoons. They’re all fun, but the ones in north Brevard are smaller than the south county snook. Light spinning gear is the most fun, but bring heavier gear in case you keep getting broken off. Even a 30 inch snook can snap 20lb leader. Live shrimp, mullet, croaker, or even sandperch are great natural baits. Lures and flies mimicking the area’s baitfish will get hit if they’re hungry. Tarpon are showing up strong in the canals and backwaters across most the lagoon. Really small baits or flies are the way to go, but live mullet works great at night.
With very hot water temperatures, dangerously low dissolved oxygen levels, and ongoing brown tide blooms, (Mainly in the north BRL and Sykes) please handle with extra care. Practice catch and release, keep the fish in the water as much as possible, avoid treble hooks, don’t target bull reds or gator trout in light brown water, and do everything you can to minimize impact to our lost paradise. Do you really want to eat fish full of rocket fuel that could melt you into a liquid and cancerous fire retardant?
I’ll continue to do limited Lagoon reports for now as long as I don’t have too many issues with other anglers or even worse water quality.
Topwater Snook & Speckled Trout Action + Florida Wildlife Inshore Slam
Cue Music: ”Alice Cooper – Schools Out”
First report of the summer! My body still feels like its learning to walk again, as summer is more of a time for mental/physical recovery for teachers rather than vacation. This week I’ve been focusing the majority of my trips close to home, around the south end of the Banana River. The east/west winds have been providing a strong wind current in/out of the residential cuts from the river to the Grand Canal. Combine these winds currents with a lot of bait that has been present in the area and there has been a lot “fishy” action. As long as the water is moving through these cuts I have been having success on artificial lures such as the Spook Jr/Skitter Walk and soft plastics like the Slayer Inc paddle tails.
It seems like anytime this week that I have finally found the fish, the dolphins soon found me. The first day I had success early fishing the cuts, caught a couple of nice speckled trout and mangrove snapper, before an invasion of at least eight dolphins shut down the area. I decided to make what ended up proving to be a costly move — to fish an area near Dragon Point. After a couple of hours of fishing, I only managed another lone mangrove snapper before hanging up the boat for the day.
The second day, I tried the residential canal cuts to the river again but noticed there was no water movement. After fifteen minutes of no blow-ups on my topwater lure, I moved north up the Banana River. I made it to a couple of mangrove-protected canals where I’ve had success at previously, and hits came quickly. Within two casts at the new spot, I hooked into what I at first believed to be a tarpon because it pulled an Air Jordan on me, and Rocket-Manned 3-4 feet out of the water. When I reeled the fish closer to the boat, it flipped out of the water a couple more times and revealed itself to be a really nice snook. Ended up being a solid 24 inch Snook, and a great start to the day.
I made one more move to get out of the wind and found a nice school of speckled trout. Thanks to the heavy cloud cover on the second day, I was able to fish topwater (my favorite) until 8:30 am. I switched to a paddle tail and pitched mangroves/docks till noon, but had no bites. Before the day ended, I did see my first-ever shark in the Banana River. It’s hard to see at the end of the video but it looked like a 2-3 foot baby bull shark. So over the two day fishing period, I saw plenty of dolphins, manatees, and my first shark. No gators in the river this week, so no Florida wildlife grand slam this time.
This summer I plan on trying to fish a lot of new areas of both the Banana and Indian River. I recently purchased a new bait pen, so I will probably have a lot more live bait reports soon. I’m hoping live bait/cut bait will allow me to fish longer into the day.
Pro Tips for the week:
Start EARLY. Even though I’m a teacher by trade, I am not a morning person. Chug a pot of coffee and get out there! The days I woke up at 5:30 am and was at the first spot by 6 am, I had the most success. For me the bite was hot from 6am-8:30am, I fished till 12:30pm in the afternoon each day but caught nothing after 8:30am. The days I slept in and fished in the evening/sunset 6pm-9pm, I was skunked twice.
Full Moon Mangrove Snapper Fishing
How do you beat the heat and still get your fishing fix? Full moon mangrove snapper fishing is your solution. This is the time of year, when the seas are calm, the water is clear and bait fish are abundant – the full moon can create a mangrove snapper feeding frenzy. With superior eye sight and ideal hunting conditions mangroves will venture all the way to the surface and spread out across the reef to feed on crabs, shrimp, squid bait fish and anything else they can catch.
Mangrove fisherman have been perfecting their game for years and you will find the best of the best on party boats up and down the coast. Aboard the Ocean Obsession we have a lot of regulars that have a very strong mangrove game, but here are a few pointers to give you a edge. Mangroves have unmatched eyesight and, as they get bigger, they become very cautious.
You have to lighten up on your leader and use fluorocarbon, but — and there is always a but — you can go too light. Out of Port Canaveral, if you are fishing directly on the bottom, 40lb test is the absolute bare minimum. You should really start with 60lb test and work your way down until you get the bites. If you start breaking fish off, you will shut them down.
A sliding sinker rig fished tight to the bottom is the most effective rig for mangroves in this area. Use the smallest weight you can to hold bottom. Drop down to a 50lb swivel and drop down in hook size, but make sure you use a strong enough hook that allows you to pull. Mangroves are not as stupid as red snapper and they will find the structure in a hurry. Pay attention to details such as clipping the tag end of you leader short, and change any abrasion or fray in your leader (abrasion negates the purpose of your fluorocarbon). Bait presentation and leader length are very important. The very best advice that can’t be stressed enough is pay attention to the details. Everything matters when mangrove snapper fishing.
Mangroves up in the water column are an entire different animal than when they are feeding on the bottom. Everything has to be perfect to catch these fish. Drop down to 20-50 lb test and learn by practicing how to apply perfect drag pressure with your hand because perfect preset drag does not exist for this style of fishing. This can’t be taught because it is a feel and understanding of where in the water column you got the bite, how far the fish has pulled drag to the amount of pressure you apply before breaking the line or the fish gets you all the way back into the bottom. Bait presentation is key, hook has to be hidden and the bait has to fall at the same rate as chum without hooks.
All kinds of baits work for mangroves. Small live baits such as cigar minnows, pilchards, pin fish and grunts are perfect gum drops. More mangroves have been caught on grunt plugs and lips than any other bait there is, and the frozen sardine or cigar minnow is a close second.
We could write a book on tips and tricks for mangrove snappper fishing, but start by applying these few simple tips and techniques. Practice and pay attention to what other’s are doing that are catching the fish and you will find out how thrilling and rewarding this amazing fishery is. It also doesn’t hurt that they taste fantastic, too!
Join us on our full moon Fathers Day snapper trip on June 16th from 5pm to 2am. We are limiting the boat so there will be plenty of elbow room. $95 per person and dinner is included. We look forward to a great Fathers Day trip. Just because its Fathers day it never hurts to have lady luck onboard so all the female anglers out there are more than welcome.
by Capt. Greg Rapp
Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters | (321) 794-3474
Mangrove Mania on the Party Boat!
Our last report seemed as if the fishing was starting to slow way down and get into that Summer lull that we typically see when thermo-cline conditions start to creep in. We are very happy to see that was just an off week. The fishing this past week or so has been phenomenal.
In the past couple days, the mangrove snapper fishing has hit another level. It has been a hot minute since we have seen mangrove fishing on this level. Remember that these are not just mangrove snapper, these are Canaveral mangroves — and we grow them BIG. It is very common to see mangroves over 8lbs, so you need to be geared up properly. Flurocarbon leader will be a absolute must with the clean summertime water but no one should be dropping to the bottom with anything less than 50lb test. All you will do is break them off and shut down the bite, in addition, what most people don’t realize when they use light leader is that they shut down the bite for the entire boat. Mangrove snapper are smart and they quickly hone in on the most natural presentation and get line shy. One person fishing 30lb and everyone else fishing 50lb, the person fishing 30 will get 90% of the bites and break off 90% of those bites causing a complete shutdown. This goes the same for fishing a small boat also.
Mangroves are not the only species roaming the reef. Gag groupers are also mixed in but a very rare catch because everyone is dropping down in line size for the mangroves so the gags are having their way with us. Cobia and African Pompano are being caught off the bottom also, so make sure you can get to your drag and easily back it off a touch when you feel that line start to go out instead of down. Float line fishing has been on fire with king mackerel and dolphin fish, so be ready if you get a stern spot while fishing with us or if the current allows for float line opportunities off of either side.
Your second best friend to flurocarbon leader will be a sabiki rig. Threadfins can be caught at the dock and will prove to be a guaranteed bite on the float line. Sabiki rig fishing on the reef will mostly produce grunts but a grunt plug and lips is the go to bait for mangrove snapper. If you happen to sabiki up a cigar minnow or scaly sardine it is a guaranteed bite right now. The fishing right now is as good as it gets so get out on the water ASAP!
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 16th, and we’re marking the occasion with a special mangrove snapper trip under the Full Moon. The trip is from 5pm – 2am and costs $95 per person, limited to 40 people. Call us at (321) 453-3474 to book your spot aboard the Ocean Obsession II out of Port Canaveral.
by Ocean Obsession II
| (321) 453-3474
Nearshore and Inshore
The kingfish bite along the nearshore waters continues to be really good this week. I’ve been slow trolling with live greenies in the 25 – 50 ft depths around bait pods that I’m marking on my Simrad elecctronics. A wire stinger rig consisting of a #4 nose hook and a #6 stinger hook have been my rigs of choice with the current type and size of baitfish we’ve been using. Bonito, various types of sharks, and a few large jacks are moved in with the mackerel. Closer to shore, snook and redfish action is decent on most days. We’re using the same live threadfin and pilchard baits as we have been slow trolling for the kingfish but we are rigging these with 5/0 or 6/0 sized VMC 7385 circle hooks and 50-pound test fluorcardbon leaders.
In the lagoons, the black drum and trout action remains steady. Saltwater Assassin 5-inch sea shad tails tipped with a piece of Fishbites will geet the drum to cooperate. Skip the Fishbite and you will still get the trout to strike.
I’ve only got about about four days open this month, but if you’re looking for a charter, give me a call and I’ll try to squeeze you in. If I’m unavailable, I can also set you up with Capt. Justin Ross.
by Capt. Jim Ross
Fine Line Fishing Charters | (321) 636-3728
Fishing Bait Pods on the Beach
Had a great week fishing the beach for kingfish, tarpon and sharks from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet. Fishing live bait along the bait pods was the most productive, but artificial have been working well, too. We caught a nice tarpon and some spanish mackerel using soft plastic lures on 3/8 ounce jig heads. With the good weather this week, I look forward to more of this action on the beach. We’ll be utilizing these same methods over the course of good weather that’s projected during this upcoming week. It’s all about locating the bait. Do that, and you’ll find the action!
by Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters | (321) 863-8085
Hot and Cranky
Fishing has improved this week, but the unusually hot weather has both fish and anglers a bit cranky. Right now it’s best to avoid the mid-day heat and fish in the early morning and later afternoon.
There’s less weeds offshore, but it has still been a chore to keep baits clear. Plenty of dolphin are being caught not far from the coast in 70-90 ft of water. The kingfish bite has also been pretty good between the inshore and offshore bars. Planers are working especially well for them.
The inlet is quiet right now. There are some pilchard-hungry snook in the lagoon in areas where there is mangrove structure to fish. Sheepshead are starting to show up more, and per typical, these fish are gunning for big shrimp and sand fleas.
Don’t forget — FATHER’S DAY NEXT IS SUNDAY! Have you shopped yet? We have great gifts for Dad and some ideas that are pretty clever for you to make yourself. A gift certificate is always welcome, for the tackle shop, a boat rental, fuel, whatever! Or bring him to the marina and let him pick what he wants. Come in and let us show you what we have!
by Capt. Bonnie Roberts
Treasure Coast Marina | (321) 733-3390
Getting Snooky in the Lagoon
Things have been a bit snooky as of late. Even with the low water levels our juvenile snook population is happily relating to shorelines. If you find a shoreline area with tree branches extending over the water offering a bit-o-shade to hide in, you might find several snooklettes hiding there and fighting over your jig!
These feisty fish haven’t been too particular on what they’ll eat, either. Topwater Tony had a ball with them in the Mosquito Lagoon recently using Skitterwalk plugs, Al’s Goldfish spoons and Z-Man Diezel Minnowz!
Kim and I played with them in the Indian River earlier this week. Kim threw a Z-Man Minnowz and I offered them a Z-Man Curly Tailz. They ate everything we threw at them and we took a couple of trout too.
Moving out into a little deeper water where the schooling mullet are plentiful, you’ll find plenty of spotted seatrout. Some days you won’t see them surface feeding on the mullet, though they’re likely feeding sub-surface and not always on the mullet.
If topwater plugs aren’t working try a shad tailed or curly tailed soft plastic or a silver or gold spoon. Often they’re feeding on tiny fry-fish or glass minnows and a small lure might get their attention.
The redfish bite has been a little slow for us and the few we’re catching come from under the mullet schools where we are primarily targeting and catching trout.
by Capt. Mark Wright
Florida East Coast Fishing Adventures | (321) 302-3474
FISHING CLUB EVENTS
- 25th Annual Kids Fishing Clinic (June 22)
This is a photo Catch-and-Release Event. Participants Must Be Accompanied by an Adult. Free Fishing Combos to be Given Away to Participants ages 5 to 15 upon Completion of the Clinic, while supplies last.
- South Chapter Club Meeting
June 11 @ 6:30pm – Front Street Civic Center
Capt. Jesse Austin will be the featured speaker, discussing mangrove snapper fishing
- North Chapter Club Meeting
June 25 @ 6:30pm – Brevard Veterans Center
Capt. Charlie Rupp will be the featured speaker, discussing tarpon fishing
CAUGHT ON CAMERA
Check out what’s been caught on camera while fishing in around the Space Coast this week.