Boaters Exchange - NauticStar 251 Hybrid

WEEKLY FORECAST

8.20.2019 – 8.26.2019

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

missing boaters

The search continues for two men last seen departing for 8A out of the Port on Friday.

STILL SEARCHING…

The tremendous search effort continues for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker, who were last seen departing Port Canaveral’s Christopher Columbus boat ramp on Friday in a 24-foot center console heading toward 8A. On Monday, a tackle bag retrieved 50 miles off St. Augustine was positively identified as belonging to one of the men. As of Monday night, the search has covered 46,800 square miles, extending all the way to South Carolina.

There remains plenty of good reason for hope that these two men will be found and returned home safely to their families. While we continue to hope and pray for the end of this story to be a happy one, no matter the outcome, let it be a humble reminder that things can go wrong out there, and you can really never be too prepared in the event that they do…

Sunstate Pest Control

SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

71.65%

TOP TARGETS

  • Kingfish
  • Dolphin

INSHORE

77.81%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Tarpon
  • Seatrout

BEACH

73.42%

TOP TARGETS

  • Tarpon
  • Snook

WEATHER OVERVIEW: Looking to the week ahead, it appears we will experience high temps is the mid to upper 80s. Today is actually the highest chance for rain this week, predicted at 40%. It tapers off to 20% throughout the week’s remainder. If the current forecast holds true, it should be a week of relatively low winds with calm seas. You should be able to target just about any species you want to go after, BUT, as everyone should know, this is Florida, and the summer weather can be very unpredictable…

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

Sunstate Pest Control

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, Rob Poloski of Palm Bay — Rob, 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

Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!

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!

Finding Fish After Work
February 21, 2020

Finding Fish After Work

It seems like the window for fishing the last couple of weekends has been small when trying to avoid winds and rough conditions in the river. Luckily the wind laid down for a bit one day after work this week, so I decided to give it go. Since I was short on time, I was going to fish artificial, but I came across a pod of bait on my way out and in one cast a caught a baker’s dozen of a variety of bait fish. I haven’t fished a couple weeks, so I told myself if I caught one good fish I would consider the trip a success.

Sticking to the leeward side of the river, I pitched live mullet near docks, mangroves, and anywhere I saw activity. Within a couple of minutes I heard the first “pops” and witnessed the “mullet dance” (when the mullet starts to swim in a fast tight circle) a clear indication that a predator fish is going after my bait. As you will see in the video, I was a little rusty at setting circle hooks and I was reeling down before the fish had time to eat. I missed two good shots in the row, on what I believe was either a smaller snook or decent trout. I moved around a bit searching for any activity and pitched again. This time a bigger snook or tarpon chased my mullet right up under the dock. After a big topwater feed, I missed the hook set yet again. I have a bad habit of setting the hook to fast around docks, afraid that the fish will take me through the pilings. I put a new mullet on and casted towards the same area again. This time the chase happened in open water and I was able to wait longer. After a few Star Wars “stay on target” directives, the fish finally ate. I thought it was a nice snook at first, but as the fish got closer to the boat, I could see it was a super nice speckled trout. I got super hyped, at the size of the fish. At first site I thought it was going to be a mid 20s inch trout, just based on the weight and thickness of the fish. When I got it on the tape it was only 20.5 inches, I say only because I thought it was going to be huge, but it’s still a nice sized trout. It amazes me how drastic the size of a trout varies from a 16 inch fish, to a 18, to a 20 inch fish. After releasing the fish back into the water, I continued to cast around. I missed another really nice trout, I could see his tail flailed out of the water when it launched at my mullet. As the wind picked up and the temperature dropped I decided to call it an evening.

I was a little disappointed at the prospect of possibly catching multiple nice fish in a short outing, but I was excited to be able to find the fish after not being on the water for a couple of weeks. It looks like the wind forecast for tonight and tomorrow looks bleak, but Sunday is shaping up nicely. Hopefully I can put something together then. Until next the time, tight lines!

Spanky (=

Sometimes you just have to move
February 21, 2020

Sometimes you just have to move

surf fishing report

With a big wind forecast for the weekend, Thursday (2/20) provided an overcast day with fairly calm seas to hit the beach. I started in a county park in south Brevard at the top of the morning high tide. As the tide fell it was pompano after pompano with most being short of the legal limit of 11.” I finally finished a limit of 6 keepers after landing 18 fish. While departing the beach I spoke with a fellow angler who had caught a couple nice whiting several miles further north not far from my home.

I stopped home for a late breakfast and with an ample amount of live fleas took a short ride up A1A to another county access to give it another hour or so. This site was predominantly whiting. I also landed a nice sheepshead while losing another in the wash. A lone pompano rounded out the day as weeds started to show up and the outgoing tide had finished. Two sites — both productive, both totally different, just a few miles apart. Made it home in time for lunch and still a bit of bait that I hope to keep alive until the wind passes!

by Ghost

Thug Alley
February 19, 2020

Thug Alley

vero snook

18 Feb 2020…Vero…Got to get a new camera, date just goes where it wants on this one. Thug Alley… Went past the magic spot, made a long back cast with the Vudu Vixen. Solid bump, hard fight, deep, no jump, not sure of what it was. Saw the tail, knew that it was going to be a hard fight. Had an audience, a gentleman and his wife. Really great, because 3 weeks ago he asked me if there were any fish in the area. After way too many runs, got her to the net. Audience could not believe the size. Found the reason for no jumps. She had been gut hooked and broke off. Heavy duty bait hook deep in the gullet, took a while to get it out. Was just over 34 inches at the fork, was thinking about measuring girth and using length to calculate weight. Too risky, wasting too much time. Checked FWC chart, figured right at 15 pounds. Heavy rig for me, 15 # braid, 20 # leader. Good release, took longer than usual, had to be real careful with dolphin on patrol.

by Trouble

Either You Find the Fish or You Don’t
February 17, 2020

Either You Find the Fish or You Don’t

Low and clear water conditions continued this week with generally windy conditions except a few mornings. Most flats are way too shallow or lacking of seagrass, so the deep structure is the best choice. It seems like once you catch a fish, there’s more in the exact same spot every time. Canals continue to hold lots of trout with some 20-25 inch fish.

The larger fish can be finicky when it comes to artificial. Use shrimp after the fronts and midday, but use mullet before the fronts in the evening. This technique has produced so much more than trout that I hate calling it trout fishing. Juvenile tarpon fishing has been surprisingly good with multiple hookups every trip! Black drum up to 20 inches and rat reds really picked up Sunday. I got 10 black drum! Also, there have been some large black drum in select spots. I lost three giants on Sunday.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Great Mangrove Snapper Bite
February 17, 2020

Great Mangrove Snapper Bite

mangrove snapper

Capt. Mike filled the cooler with Mangrove Snappers on a recent trip.

Fishing has been good this past week between schooling redfish and a fantastic mangrove snapper bite. With the warmer weather, the schools are starting to break up a little bit, but we’re finding single fish cruising the shorelines, which create some fun sight fishing opportunities!

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

Bite Was Good Today
February 16, 2020

Bite Was Good Today

snook fishing
Woke up quick, at about noon… It’s been a busy past few weeks working and I finally got the chance to sleep in and fish. Perfect. The bite started out pretty slow with a single small snook and a catfish using gulf shrimp in grey. Glass minnows were everywhere so I went with a twitch bait, nothing. I could hear bait getting busted on deep in the mangroves, so I went back to gulp, but this time a Grey Curley tail. Skipped a few under and SLAM. Hooked up on a nice 22” red. A few casts later and I hit a 20” snook.

Jorgensons Landing redfish

22” red on gulp caught at Jorgensons Landing’s east bank..

I worked my way to a series of docks and skipped one deep under. Got smoked by an over-size snook as soon as I cleared the last post coming out, but he caught me sleeping and wrapped me on the post. I slowly trolled over holding him in place, and the moment I went to circle my rod around the pole, the braid broke. Out of those gulp, I switched to grey crawfish looking gulp, that honestly looked years expired. Worked the shade line of that same bank of docks and hit five more small snook. Came into the dock at Jorgensons Landing, and a majority of the people there were loaded up on pompano. All and all, it was windy but workable, and the bite was as hot or better than last year.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Seatrout Bite About to Get Even Better
February 15, 2020

Good Seatrout Bite About to Get Even Better

seatrout fishing

What a wild month we have had! It seems Mother Nature can’t make up her mind. Cold, windy, hot and calm, this has been one weird winter!

Even with all the craziness, the fishing has been really good. This month ahead will hopefully have a little bit more stable weather. Typically, March can make for a red hot speckled seatrout bite, and for black drum, too. Most fish will be found in 2-3 feet of water in an area with docks, troughs or around spoil islands. The best way to get your larger fish is by throwing live bait. The bait of choice for me when seatrout fishing is a small live finger mullet or a sand trout. Since trout don’t have any crazy gill plates, but just some really impressive teeth, a lighter leader in the 15-20 lb range helps to produce more bites. When it comes to fishing these baits, I prefer a 4/0 circle hook with a small split shot to keep the bait in the fish’s strike zone a little longer. Then just place your bait on the edge of the drop off along the islands, docks, or grass flats and hang on! This method works great in all three lagoons.

spotted seatrout

The artificial enthusiast can start getting some good action on small topwater plugs and hard baits such as the Mirrolure Mirrodine, as well as soft plastics such as Gulp and Mirrolure lil Johns. The trout fishing has already been good and should only get better. I highly encourage catch and release and wish everyone the best of luck!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Big Reds in the Inlet
February 15, 2020

Big Reds in the Inlet

Sebastian inlet redfish

Jeff grew up in Stuart and fished in Florida but never caught a redfish and got into some nice ones this week!

The weather has remained very inconsistent for us, but we did get out and fish the inlet and got into some nice redfish and snook this week. Live greenies seemed to be the most productive bait for these fish, as there plenty both in and around the inlet. During the day, the snook bite has been slow anglers on boat, but the jetty guys have been consistently catching some real quality fish. If you’re fishing the inlet for snook via boat, you will probably have better luck at night, when the bite has been more active as of late. Both live baits and jigs should do fine.

When weather allowed, we also got into some pompano, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel along the beaches. In the lagoon, there was a decent number of spotted seatrout hanging around, providing a decent bite on live shrimp and soft plastics from Storm and the A Band of Anglers Dart Spin.

shoal water fishing boat

Glyn’s 2019 Shoalwater 23 Cat is available FOR SALE on boattrader.com.

On a side note, I’m selling my 2019 Shoalwater 23 Cat. If you’re interested, click here for details.

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

A Tale of Two Beaches
February 13, 2020

A Tale of Two Beaches

surf fishing report

With Valentine’s day looming on the weekend, I had two days available to hit Brevard county beaches. Wednesday was my first available day and I traveled to the Northern part of the county. The public beach had a few fisherman and was loaded with beach-goers as the morning wore on. My morning was filled with a fairly steady whiting bite and one lone pompano.

Thursday took me to the southern reaches of the county. The beach was loaded with fisherman and a few beach-goers started to show as the temperature climbed into the 80’s. The crowd was different and so was the bite. Only a single whiting showed up along with an abundance of Pompano. Most of the pompano were between 10″-11″ but at least 6 made the cut with one big fish over 16″ and thick tipping the scale over 3 pounds. With over a quart of sand fleas left and a good bite the past couple days, the temptation would have been too great to fish again on Valentines Day and the weekend. I gave the sand fleas to some other fisherman still on the beach and headed home.

by Ghost

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
How to Catch Sheepshead
February 12, 2020

How to Catch Sheepshead

How to fish for sheepshead

Sheepshead seems to be the talk to the town! I have had numerous requests on information about how to catch sheepshead! Most everyone knows that this time of the year sheepshead are a popular target. These fish make great table fair, reproduce quickly, and give for a pretty good pull on the line!

Sheepshead, in my opinion, can be one of the most challenging species to catch! With this being said, here’s a few tackle tips to increase your odds when it comes to sheepshead fishing!

Most sheepshead have human like teeth, and an odd shaped mouth, therefore, the best hook I have found is a #1 straight shank hook with a small split shot about 6 inches above the hook. Try avoiding large hooks or circle hooks to really increase your catch ratio on these pesky bait stealers! If you find an area that has a lot of wind or maybe a strong current it doesn’t hurt to add another small split shot or two; you just don’t want your bait dropping straight to the bottom because most sheepshead are suspended in the water Column and a slow presentation is best.

Next, finding the sheepshead is one important factor. Most all docks, marinas, and bridge pilings hold good numbers of these fish. Find an area with a little bit of depth between 5-10 feet or even a rock jetty such as Port Canaveral or Sebastian Inlet. These fish will hold on the edges of the rocks in search of small crabs, shrimp, and even sand fleas.

Another way to increase your odds is to take a shovel and scrape the barnacles off the pilings. Barnacles are home to all sorts of little morsels that sheepshead and black drum often feed on. Have a little patience, drop your bait — either fiddler crabs, shrimp pieces, sand fleas or even barnacles themselves — down your barnacle slick and hold on!

The windiest, coldest weather is typically best! Good luck to everyone!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Hit Or Miss Offshore
February 12, 2020

Hit Or Miss Offshore

fired up kings

Offshore fishing has been completely hit or miss with the weather. Kings continue to eat from the 650 line all the way to the north ridge, all on dead minnows. Bunker have shown up the last few days in the bight, though. Sharks have fired till yesterday due to cold water finally moving in. Cobia made an appearance this week on a color change towards 8A Reef. Once the color change left, so did the rays and cobia, but that’s fishing!

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

Much Better Fishing
February 11, 2020

Much Better Fishing

This week brought positive changes in the fishing! The water conditions are super low and the clearest I have seen in a long time, but it is still cold and barren. In other words, most flats are tough right now. These conditions make our canal fishing fire! Pretty much all canal systems in both the Banana and Indian will hold trout. Most the trout range from 8 to 14 inches, but this time of year sometimes produces some gators like the fat 25′ I caught. The key right now is slow and on the bottom. Fish paddletails and Gulp shrimp on a jig head just outside the mangroves. With the water levels having dropped, skipping way under mangroves seems to be unnecessary for the time. Artificial consistently catches the trout and smaller reds, but live shrimp sometimes increases the quality. I did much better on live shrimp this weekend than artificial, but it did not matter when the pressure was less before the word got out and IFA brought dozens of boats to most top spots.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Week in Inlet & River
February 10, 2020

Good Week in Inlet & River

Sebastian redfish

Ed and Cosmo had a few great trips over the last two weeks, catching a lot of reds, pompano and trout.

We had another good week fishing the inlet as well as the river. The snook and redfish bite in the Inlet was the pretty good, with the most consistent results coming on live greenies and pinfish. There’s been a fair number of pompano around the spoil islands, in the inlet and along the beaches. Bluefish and mackerel are moving along the beaches again, as well.

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

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Grills Seafood - Lakeside, Port Canaveral, Melbourne

FIRSTS TUESDAY FISHING SEMINAR

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!

FISHING CLUB EVENTS

FSFA

  • South Chapter Club Meeting
    Sept. 10th @ 6:30pm – Front Street Community Center
    2205 S. Front Street, Melbourne (Across the street from Harry Goode’s/Next to the boat ramps)
    Speaker: John Dobbins, a Spacefish recreational contributor and FSFA Club Member.
    Topic: Fishing the South Indian River Lagoon system
  • North Chapter Club Meeting
    Sept. 24th @ 6:30pm – Brevard Veterans Center
    400 S. Sykes Creek Parkway, Merritt Island (Behind Merritt Square Mall)
    Speaker: Capt. Jim Ross, professional fishing guide and weekly Spacefish Contributor.
    Topic: Fall Mullet Run

BatCat Boats USA

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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Miley Marine Surveyors