Marker 24


7.30.2019 – 8.5.2019


Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood will be among the first to tell you that the bite on the beach has been especially hot. Click here to check out his video from Saturday when he caught that big daddy snook (pictured above).


After an exciting stretch of back-to-back-to-back weeks with red snappening and spiny crackening, one might think it’s a good time to take a breather on the sofa. However, that would be a big mistake as there’s some fantastic fishing to get into in-and-around the Space Coast right now — just check out the reports below. A new moon also presents some opportunities to capitalize on peak fish activity this week, at least, according to Solunar Theory. We’ve got the MAJOR and MINOR periods listed in the Bite Opportunity Index below.

Finally, if you’re interested in fishing with a local legend, we’ve got a great opportunity for you. Spacefish contributor and fishing guide extraordinaire, Capt. Jim Ross, is generously offering a limited-time discount to Spacefish readers — $100 off a half-day flats fishing trip. The trip must be booked before August 31st, 2019. Call Capt. Jim directly at 321-636-3728 to book your trip, and make sure you mention Spacefish to get your discount.

Sunstate Pest Control





  • Mangrove/Lane Snapper
  • Kingfish




  • Seatrout
  • Snook
  • Redfish




  • Mackerel
  • Tarpon
  • Snook

WEATHER OVERVIEW: Still in thick of summer weather patterns, this week will enjoy low winds with high temperatures in the upper 80’s. As usual with this time of year, keep an eye out for scattered thunderstorms. Currently, forecasts are predicting a 40 to 50 percent chance of storms pretty much every day this week, so just be prepared. Luck avoiding these storms typically favors the anglers that get out early. Plus, Spacefish contributors are reporting that there’s plenty of quality fish to target in the lagoons and nearshore, so you don’t have to run very far to get them right now.

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


Take advantage of peak fish activity as predicted by Solunar Theory to increase your odds of either landing a trophy or filling the cooler!

7/31 (Wednesday)
12:36 AM – 2:36 AM
1:07 PM – 3:07 PM
6:00 AM – 7:00 AM
8:08 PM – 9:08 PM

8/1 (Thursday)
1:37 AM – 3:37 AM
2:08 PM – 4:08 PM
7:08 AM – 8:08 AM
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Cocoa Beach Surf Company Kayak Sale



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

kayak 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, Judy Cowart of Orlando — Judy, 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!

strike zone gift card giveaway

Strike-Zone Fishing, Melbourne 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!

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.

Share your latest fishing trip with the Spacefish community! Login or create an account to participate!


Marker 24


Spacefish contributor, Capt. Alan Ryland, will be the featured speaker at the Boaters Exchange Fishing Seminar next Tuesday, August 6th at 6:00pm (Rockledge location on US1). Alan will be discussing “Summer Time on the Flats Tactics,” which will definitely be a nice opportunity to learn from a fishing great. Plus, the seminar is FREE to attend, drinks and snacks are provided, and there’s also some nice door prize giveaways!



  • 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

Strike-Zone Fishing, 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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Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!