Weekly Forecast: 7.23.2019 – 7.29.2019

2019-07-22T17:18:47+00:00

Pirate's Best Port Canaveral

WEEKLY FORECAST

7.23.2019 – 7.29.2019

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

central Florida mini lobster season

How far will you go to get your hands on spiny lobster this week?

SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!

The 2019 red snapper season is in the books, and by all accounts, it was a good one. Hopefully, you were able to get all the SNAPPENING out of your system because now it’s time to get CRACKENING into spiny lobster! The bug mini-season is this week, falling on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July, as it does every year. This is the big opportunity for recreational fisherman to get their fill before the commercial boats get going in August.

During this time of year, for many Floridians, spiny lobsters aren’t the only BUGS on the mind. There’s also the mosquitos, fleas, ticks, silverfish, and palmetto bugs (gross!), among other pests, that are laying siege upon yards and homes throughout the region. If these types of bugs are giving you fits, it’s time to call in Central Florida’s pest control experts — that’s Sunstate Pest Management at 1-800-781-PEST (7378). Be sure to tell their exceptional customer service representative that you’re calling because you heard from Spacefish that Sunstate’s owner and operator, Steve Goff, is THE MAN! It probably won’t get you a discount, but may get a good laugh!

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

77.19%

TOP TARGETS

  • RED SNAPPER
  • Kingfish
  • Cobia

INSHORE

76.32%

TOP TARGETS

  • Seatrout
  • Snook
  • Tarpon

NEARSHORE

79.18%

TOP TARGETS

  • Mackerel
  • Tarpon
  • Snook

WEATHER OVERVIEW: Man it’s been hot, and we’re not just talking about red snapper season, we’re talking about our daily temperatures. This week is going to be much of the same with low wind and higher temperatures BUT, we are looking at increase chances of afternoon thunderstorms throughout the week so try to get out early if possible. Currently, what is being referred to as 94L, is brewing in the northwest Bahamas. It appears it may form into a tropical depression and the weather models currently have it going several directions. However, each current model is predicting this storm bringing rain to Florida, so this will something to monitor throughout the week.

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

Ocean Obession II - Port Canaveral Deep Sea Fishing Charters

GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

KAYAK GIVEAWAY

One winner will get their choice of one of the following three kayaks from Cocoa Beach Surf Company:

kayak giveaway
ENTER THE KAYAK GIVEAWAY!

WEEKLY STRIKE-ZONE GIVEAWAY

Every week, we randomly draw a name from our email subscriber list to award a $20 Strike-Zone Fishing Gift Card. Congrats to this week’s winner, Mike Blaise of Melbourne– Mike, please email us within 7 days to claim your prize. For everyone else, if you’re not already a subscriber, click here to enter the weekly giveaway!

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Ace Hardware Titusville, FL

Fishing Reports

In every week’s Spacefish fishing forecast, we turn to both fishing pros and average joe’s for input on what’s happening in and around Brevard County’s many fisheries. Here’s what people are saying about the bite in the Space Coast this week. And don’t forget — anyone — including YOU, can contribute a report to the list below!

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Big Swamp Lizard Report
August 22, 2019

Big Swamp Lizard Report

gator hunting report central Florida

It’s gator time! This time of the year is one of my favorites! I tend to change things up a bit and switch gears from playing in the salt to playing in the swamp. Gator hunting is like fishing on steroids! From August through November, we are allowed to harvest two alligators (with proper tags) which you typically apply for in May. During this process, you typically enter the zone in which you would like to hunt. I personally choose areas I am familiar with, which is Lake Pointsett and Stick Marsh. Once you apply, there is a random drawing, and, if chosen, you’ll get an email approval and shortly after a paper with your tags in the mail.

On to the hunt! There are several ways in which you can go alligator hunting. You can either use my favorite method which is a snag hook on a fishing pole, or the slower method of bait on a wooden peg. No hooks are allowed when using bait and you must be attached to a rod or your boat at all times.

Snag hooking — in my opinion, this is the most fun way to hunt an alligator. The hunt starts from 5pm until 10am the next morning for a week straight, depending on the week for which your tag is approved. You are not allowed to hunt between the hours of 10am and 5pm. I like a heavy action rod between the 50/100 lb class with a large spinning reel, anywhere from a 6000 to a 10000 size, loaded with 65lb braid. On the end I like a 10/0 or a 12/0 treble hook with a 3/0 lead zip tied to the bottom. This is for distance and to get down into the gator. If day hunting, look for the gators roaming around with a set of binoculars. This same method can be done at night with a headlamp (look for the red eyes). Try to approach them as slowly and quietly as possible. Get as close as you possibly can and toss the hook past the alligator. Once you feel it, tap the side of the gator and give the rod a hard hook set! Nine out of ten times you will not embed the hook into the gator, you will just be holding it against their hide. It is very important to keep a tight line and the rod bent at all times!

As you get the alligator close to the boat you will need a harpoon. The end of the harpoon will have a sharp tip. Jab the hide anywhere you can reach except for the head! Once the harpoon is in, you pretty much have sealed the deal. Next you’ll need a bang stick, I like to use a .357 caliber bullet. Grab the line attached to the harpoon and slowly lift the gator up off the bottom, then just behind the eyes with the head slightly under water, give it a good pop! The rest is simple. Tape the gator’s mouth with it outside of the boat, roll the gator into the boat, severe the spine with a big knife, and attach your tag.

There are several processing plants around the county. The best bet is to google the nearest to your location and they will help you handle the rest. I highly recommend hiring a professional, if possible. For more questions, or for ways to bait fish alligators, feel free to contact me directly!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
8A and Pelican
August 20, 2019

8A and Pelican

vermillion snapper

An awesome trip aboard the 🔥 Fire Fight with Capt. Joe! 35 Vermillion Snapper (including one over 20″), Trigger, Alamacos, and loads of Kings.

8A and Pelican. That’s what you need to know for the week. As of lately, it has been one, or the other — or both. Honestly, it’s just the luck of the draw. Kings, Mahi, and Sails are all in full force. Here’s the secret trick… Get either live bait or spin frozen cigar minnows. Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone! LOL. Bunker have been plentiful all week and if you manage to get them in your cast net, your set for the day; if you can’t, don’t stress, the fish have also been eating on frozen. From there, just get into some nice and easy slow trolling. You do not need to be gunning at 8 knots pulling ballyhoo. Literally, everything out there eats a live bunker. With that said, please don’t be trolling the reefs throwing a wake. There is no need for more than 2 knots. With the current lately, you can drift the reef. Yes, its ripping at 3-4 knots from the south. Why, you might ask? I have no idea, but it’s certainly odd. It’s also making it nearly impossible to bottom fish, so stick with the slow trolling.

Good luck and get out there!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Dark Water Fishing
August 19, 2019

Dark Water Fishing

Juvenile Beach Tarpon

Juvenile beach tarpon for the kids!

This rain has caused high waters in the drainage canals and the dams in the Sebastian River and Turkey Creek, putting a lot of fresh water into the lagoon and inlet, along with the nearshore reefs. The water is black and it looks like we are fishing the St Johns River just outside the inlet on outgoing tide.

That said, fishing in the inlet is okay for snook. Fishing along the beaches, in general, is still good, too. Bonito, Kingfish, Jack Crevalle and Macks are along the beach with some small blacktip sharks and atlantic sharpnose sharks in the mis. Tarpon, bigger sharks and mackerel are also along the beaches mixed in with the glass minnows and small pilchards. Live bait is best and greenies are working well for the tarpon, kingfish and sharks but we are also catching a lot of kingfish and sharks on soft plastics and topwater baits. If you are fishing the bonito or false albacore hitting the minnow schools, fish small soft plastics or very small hard baits for best success. This week looks like more rain which will flush more boat out of the creeks. We may start to see more mullet schools along the beaches which will give us more opportunities for the gamefish.

kingfish

Zack with a Kingfish caught on a soft plastic and 1/2 ounce jighead!

inlet snook

Raffi with an inlet snook in some dark water!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Nearshore Tarpon & Shark Action
August 19, 2019

Nearshore Tarpon & Shark Action

tarpon fishing

The nearshore tarpon and shark action out of Canaveral is still on fire this week. Capt. Justin and I have been putting multiple fish in the air and bringing quite a few to the boat with our customers over the past seven days. This activity should continue and even get better as we move into the first part of September and we start to see a larger version of the “mini” mullet run that we saw along this section of coastline over the past week. Live pogies and mullet are still the top bait choices to get these fish to strike. Lures will also work at times with Saltwater Assassin 5-inch soft plastics and Rapala long cast shallow in the size 12 being the two we’ve had the best luck with.

Both Captain Justin and I have a few days open over the next few weeks, so if you’re looking to get out and chase one of the silver kings or pull on the awesome variety of large sharks that are here now, give us a shout and we will put you on them. This is also the last week we are offering a $100 discount to our Space Fish readers. This discount is good on one of our half-day 4-hour flats fishing trip in the Indian River. This trip must be booked with us and run before August 31st for the discount to apply. Call Captain Justin or myself at 321-636-3728 to take advantage of this special promotion.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
In and around IHB
August 19, 2019

In and around IHB

snook canal

The Pompano bite is still going strong in the lagoon. In the canals around Indian Harbour and Satellite Beach, live shrimp have been producing lots of action, including small tarpon, snook, and redfish. Moving offshore, the mangroves and muttons are starting to bite out of Port Canaveral. On the beach, fishermen are catching small whiting and margate, and are also reporting a good number of Tarpon hookups.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Activity Despite Full Moon
August 19, 2019

Good Activity Despite Full Moon

seatrout keepers

While Mom’s away the boys will play; with slot sized spotted seatrout!

I was out several trips this week and fish activity was actually pretty good, even with the full-moon influence.

Once again the top-water bite was consistent with the Tsunami K9 Walker getting lots of action from spotted seatrout. Unfortunately, the two trophy trout we hooked this week managed to free themselves after extended battles. Sometimes the fish win and I’m perfectly fine with that!

On another trip we mixed it up with a little lure tossing by a pair of brothers who haven’t fished much and haven’t really fished in a few years. We worked a favorite shoreline in the south Mosquito Lagoon with only a couple of bites.

Drifting toward a “honey-hole” I frequent, I had the guys secure their lures and put the rods away as I baited two chunk mullet rigs. We anchored the Banshee and I tossed out the baits. The first rod doubled over about five seconds after the second rod was tucked into its holder.

We stayed in place for the next ninety minutes with slow, but consistent action. The brothers went six for seven on slot redfish and I was thrilled when they released them all.

Sunday, Mark treated his sons Troy and Trent to their first ever inshore fishing charter. We fished shrimp under popping floats in several places and couldn’t seem to get away from the hardheads. The guys did catch a few mangrove snapper, big gafftops and jumped some ladyfish as we drifted around the spoil islands.

Eventually we found a shoreline with mullet streaming through and the guys managed three upper slot trout for dinner. Yep, the catfish were here too and we went through an inordinate amount of bait because of the hungry pinfish. Still, the gang had a great time!

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

From Aug-Bust to August
August 19, 2019

From Aug-Bust to August

snook kurt

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

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Boaters Exchange - NauticStar 251 Hybrid

REEF DEPLOYMENT

Watch last week’s deployment of the FSFA/CFOA/CCA artificial reef!

FISHING CLUB EVENTS

FSFA

  • South Chapter Club Meeting
    July 9th @ 6:30pm – Front Street Park
    Speaker: David Hartwell
    Topic: Fishing Options & Tactics at Sebastian Inlet Since Snook is Closed
  • North Chapter Club Meeting
    July 23 @ 6:30pm – Brevard Veterans Center
    Speaker: FSFA Grand Master Ryan Vetsch
    Topic: Mangrove Snapper Tips & Techniques

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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!

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