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WEEKLY FORECAST

9.17.2019 – 9.23.2019

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING FORECAST EVERY TUESDAY

Shout out to Central Florida Anglers going full Lt. Dan on the high wind and seas produced by Humberto.

YOU CALL THIS A STORM?

There’s no sugar coating it — it’s tough sledding out there. Humberto may have spared our coast from tropical storm force winds, but not without gifting us its fruits of high winds and seas. We don’t blame you if you’re not willing to brave these less-than-ideal conditions to get a line wet, but here’s the opportunity to fish vicariously through the diehards who are. Find out how they’re faring out they’re and what they’re catching in this week’s forecast…

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SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

76.09%

TOP TARGETS

INSHORE

78.23%

TOP TARGETS

  • Seatrout, redfish
  • Flounder
  • Snook
  • Tripletail

BEACH

85.12%

TOP TARGETS

  • Pompano
  • Permit
  • Tarpon

WEATHER OVERVIEW: There is currently a small craft advisory in effect until Wednesday afternoon, but it is probably safe to expect it to remain in effect throughout the entire week. The wind is predicted to pick up as we work our way towards the weekend, and that should mean BLOWING with seas building to 7 to 10 feet by the end of the week. It’s safe to say offshore is out of the question. The wind will be out of the NE so we can expect a small dip in the temperature which should be nice but could offer up challenging fishing conditions. It appears the lagoons and lakes will most likely be the areas to focus on this week.

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

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GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

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, Bob Parent of Cocoa Beach — Bob, 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

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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!

December doesn’t disapoint offshore
December 15, 2019

December doesn’t disapoint offshore

Limit of school size 5 to 12 lb dolphin, blackfin, and double-header sailfish. Sunday was on fire at the edge of the stream.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Slow Mornings Inshore
December 14, 2019

Slow Mornings Inshore

Fort Pierce Redfish

After several solo attempts in this area Larry finally caught a redfish in Fort Pierce! We worked the shoreline in a cove known to hold them and the old boy made me proud 😉

Larry joined me recently on the Banshee and we pretty much whacked the fish all morning long. In fact, we left them biting a bit after the noon hour. Plenty of slot sized seatrout with a few dinks mixed in and more ladyfish and jacks than we cared to count came aboard for quick photos and release. We did manage a boat slam by adding a single redfish and one lonely snooklette to our mixed bag.

The early morning topwater bite was sluggish and so was the sub-surface bite, at least for the first thirty minutes. The bite picked up considerably once the incoming tide reached its halfway point and stayed strong throughout the rest of this trip.

I scored well with a Z-Man Minnowz/Finesse Bulletz Jig rig as Larry hammered them on a small silver spoon. It was pretty evident the fish were feeding on small minnows of various species and our little lures were well received.

The morning prior, Kim and I scouted waters well south of town. Though conditions were favorable and we found good amounts of silver mullet schools, the bite was virtually non-existent for us. We hopped, skipped and jumped our way from Big Mud Creek back to Bear Point with little to show for our effort. It was still good to be on some of my old stomping grounds of years past!

Now that we’re more or less settled into our forever home I expect to be on the water on a regular basis and getting intimate with the area again. Stay tuned for more and better reports!

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

Catching Fish In The Middle Of The Day
December 12, 2019

Catching Fish In The Middle Of The Day

In the past, while fishing some residential docks on the east side of the Indian River a few times, I’ve noticed there is always a good amount of sheepshead looking at me while I target other inshore species. So on my way to the ol nauti ice (aka my boat / the name is still a work in progress), I stopped in at Man Overboard Bait and Tackle in Indian Harbor Beach, and I saw a good deal on live fiddler crabs. I decided to grab a few dozen critter crawlies with sharp pincers and determined that today would be the day I catch my first sheepshead.

On my way out to the first zone, I encountered some rough chop in the middle of the river. Not realizing that my bucket of fiddlers grabs had fallen over in the process, I began my trip playing cowboys and indians. Is that still a politically correct game? Idk, RIP childhood. Anyways, like any good pre-fishing trip plan… nothing today would go as planned. After a casting, a few fiddler crabs into the wind at laid up sheepshead on dock poles, all I caught at first was a couple of catfish. Who must have been on the bottom just picking up the crumbs that the sheepshead knocked off the dock pole. Frustrated, I moved on. Using my trolling motor I kept a steady pace, keeping my eyes peeled for any activity along the residential docks. You could see a lot of bait activity everywhere because the water was 3ft deep and clear this time of year. After about a mile of cruising, I found a section of docks that had mangroves and rocks nearby. I saw at first an upper slot redfish, I had a pole pre-rigged with a gulp shrimp so I quickly pitched a couple of feet in front of him, but had no success.

Even though I had missed a nice fish, my heart was racing because up until this point, I’ve never really seen clearly the fish I intended to cast at. The water clarity is usually 50/50 or murky at best in my area, and I usually let fleeing bait let me know where the fish are. So excited to sight cast at more fish, I slowly kept working this area. Soon after, I saw three slot size snook, a handful of peanut redfish, and a nicer sized sheepshead. So naturally, the only thing that wanted to come out and play was a bunch of mangrove snapper. Every time I used either the live fiddler crabs or the gulp shrimp and casted at snook, redfish, or sheepshead. A mangrove snapper came out and ate it. A couple of blind casts with the gulp shrimp did lead to a couple of nice speckled trout, and one smaller redfish with a really lit up blue tail.

Other interesting events that happened during this midday voyage, was that I saw what I thought at first was a shark or a nonrealistic mammoth-sized snook. But after further investigation, it was just the biggest gar I’ve ever seen on the flats. Which was a relief, because there were a couple of kids swimming nearby and a crew of dockworkers in the water. Today, I also had my pups Loki and Brooke with me. While I was hooked up with a nice speckled trout the wind pushed the back of the boat to where it was just barely touching a dock. Both dogs jumped out and started running around the backyard of this multimillion-dollar home. Brooke luckily came back immediately because she’s a German Pointer and always listens. Loki, on the other hand, being an English Pointer, decided to act like she didn’t understand everything I was saying to her and had a nice bathroom break/backyard fiesta (Sorry if you’re the owner and reading this). I had to act like I was driving away without her before she decided that fishing was more fun than a jailbreak drill.

Overall it was nice to be able to put a handful of fish into the boat while sight casting for the time. All the fish caught were caught in the middle of the day between 11:30am-2pm. I believe I proved to myself today that even though it was the middle of the day, there were dogs in the boat, and nothing went to plan. If you are persistent enough, you can still catch fish and just really enjoy the day out of the water.

Spanky

Fishing Remains on Fire
December 12, 2019

Fishing Remains on Fire

kingfish nearshore

We had yet another awesome week of fishing. 2019 sure turned itself around after a dismal summer and inconsistent start. Since about mid-October, the fishing has been on fire just about every week, but this was the better than recent weeks.

The kingfish have remained ridiculously thick offshore, but the word got out before I was going to say anything. Just stay clear of commercial guys doing their circles, and keep a cool head with other boats. Even with 40 boats on the spot, the action was like every 5 minutes or faster. Most fish have been the typical size of around 10lbs with some bigger kings up to 30lbs. Fish light to medium tackle, but make sure you have at least 200 yards of line. 15-30lb mainline is ideal. Use stinger rigs with dead sardines or any live whitebait you can find. They are not picky, but I would recommend adding a duster to dead baits.

The trout slowed, then bounced back, then tapered off a little this week. Most fish in deeper holes have been super aggressive and 8-14 inches. I found some larger 15-25 inch trout on the flats around midday. They were spooky, but they took a Rapala subwalk with some persistence. The small black drum around the docks and mangroves disappeared this week, but that means we are getting close to their spawn. Once the water temperature falls a little more, it is possible to find schools of 20-40lb black drum tailing. I ran into a small group two weeks ago where I got one, but it has not really started. Small redfish up to 24 inches also showed up near the mangroves this week. They were picky and spooky, but a light leader and dead or Gulp shrimp sitting on the bottom should do the trick.

Lastly, water levels really dropped in many portions of the lagoon, so be aware of that while navigating. The clarity remains good almost everywhere, but there is no seagrass, unfortunately.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Winter Time Beach Fishing!
December 11, 2019

Winter Time Beach Fishing!

Nearshore Tripletail

This week I turned my attention to fishing the beach. With the calmer seas I was able to stay a hundred yards off the beach or so and was very happy with what I found. Throughout the winter, the beach holds a plethora of species all the way from whiting and pompano, to the occasional bull redfish, triple-tail, or even cobia. My favorite way to fish the beach is by throwing jigs, small 1 inch buck tails, and goofy jigs with a teaser work wonders on numerous species. Caleb Couture, a Spacefish surf fishing contributor, makes some fantastic products for this.

Maneuvering just outside the surf with a trolling motor is the most effective way to fish the beach. Anglers need to keep an eye out for any sort of activity such as birds, cleaner water, or maybe an area where there appears to be a trough or some sort of structure. Basically, try to cover as much ground as possible until you find the bite that you desire.

This week we were catching bluefish, Spanish mackerel and whiting just about every cast, along with the occasional free-floating triple-tail. If your looking for steady action, this is the way to go. I do advise anyone fishing the beach to pay very close attention to the wind and the waves and try to get a good game plan and a check of the forecast before heading out. Regardless of the size of your boat, it can get pretty sporty!

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

Cape Hospital Bridge North Side
December 11, 2019

Cape Hospital Bridge North Side

Again in between jobs I stopped off on the north side of the Cape/Cocoa Beach hospital bridge and threw some gulp shrimp in new penny. 15 minutes and 30 fish later I decided I better go do what I was in the area to actually do and bolted. If your looking to put your youngsters on their first fish it’s a great spot. Just don’t cast the bridge line or sea wall lines as the rocks can get your jigs. It used to be a great shrimping spot as well. I will add the size average is 10-16”. Silver and spec trout. Have a safe, healthy, Happy Holiday. Hopefully Santa grants you the time and weather to slay some fish.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Sebastian Offshore
December 11, 2019

Sebastian Offshore

Mangrove Snapper

A 13 lb mangrove snapper caught aboard The Big Easy this week.

Well, we finally had a few days of beautiful weather recently that allowed us to run offshore. The bottom bite has picked up with the water clarity getting better. Fishing has been really good for lane and mangrove snapper on the 60 and 90 foot ledges. There have been a few straggler mahi and cobia swimming up to the boat, as well.

The trolling had been hit or miss with some decent wahoo catches coming between 200-300 feet of water. I’ve also heard a few reports of good dolphin and skipjack tuna catches in 400 foot and out.

It’s gonna start blowing here again and hopefully the swell doesn’t make a mess of the water when it passes. Have fun out there and stay safe.

by Capt. Justin Ambrosio
Filet Show Fishing Charters | (321) 693-4918

slowdown
December 9, 2019

slowdown

After about 10 days of blues, Jacks and a few Mackeral every day the last two days were basically dead on the beach by the Inlet; no idea what’s up.

by bmw

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Improved Bite at Sebastian
December 9, 2019

Improved Bite at Sebastian

Sebastian inlet fishing

Thai got a keeper snook and a big red plus a ton of jacks, blues and Macs for Dinner.

Warmer weather helped improve the bite out at Sebastian. We had a good redfish and snook bite late in the day. The beach bite and inlet bite for pompano has been great. Goofy jigs have been productive and shrimp are working well, too. The flounder are also biting and can be productive, but you need to have patience. Live finger mullet is the best bait for bigger fish, but mud minnows and soft plastics are getting some smaller fish.

Plenty of Mackerel, jacks and bluefish are thick off the beach from Melbourne Beach to the Inlet, with pompano also mixed in. Any soft plastic or jig will work well with some fast action. Blacktip sharks are still a bit slow but should pick up soon.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Warming Weather Turning The Bite On!
December 9, 2019

Warming Weather Turning The Bite On!

tripletail

This week’s warming trend has really turned the bite on, despite the fact that the moon phase has been a little lacking for morning charters. It seems like it’s created a more consistent bite throughout the day as opposed to just on the major and minor moon phases.

Along the nearshore waters bluefish, tripletail, Spanish mackerel, flounder and pompano seem to be the most consistent catches this week with our fishing charter clients.

King mackerel and a few cobia are also showing up out on the 70 to 90-foot reefs. As long as we have a good consistent calm weather patterns this bike should continue well through the upcoming new year. Anyone interested in getting out and learning how to fish for any of the species or just wanting to bring the family and friends out during the holidays can give us a call and we will try to fit you into our schedule. Or you can book your trip online with us at finelinefishingcharters.com

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

Get With Our Crew!
December 9, 2019

Get With Our Crew!

Dry Tortugas Fishing Trip

Steve Goff, along with 5 buddies from the FSFA club, crushed it this past week on a Dry Tortugas fishing trip out of Key West.

One of the things I enjoy most about fishing is that it brings people together. There is nothing like you and few friends spending a day on the water and coming home victorious with fish in the cooler and stories to tell!

For some folks that are from the area or have lived here awhile, you most likely have a crew. It’s your team of buddies (no matter how dysfunctional) that you all just have a great time fishing together. Some, you may have gone to school with, others you may work with, some may be family members — whatever the case may be, it’s your crew. But, what if you are new to the area? Where is a good place to start to meet other anglers and learn about the different techniques for fishing the Space Coast? Now a days you can Google just about anything. How to tie a specific knot, rig baits, throw a cast net, fix your rod & reel, etc. But, what about going fishing with someone that can show you the ropes? Or spending an evening listening and watching some of the best guides and anglers from our area show you how they do it. If that appeals to you, you really need to make time to attend one of the 2020 Florida Sport Fishing Association (FSFA) club meetings.

FSFAThe FSFA is Brevard County’s oldest fishing club founded in 1968. They host two club meetings the second and fourth Tuesday evening each month starting February 2020. These meeting are open to the public so all are welcome to come by, have cold drink and see what it’s all about. If you are interested in making some new fishing buddies, this is a great way to do it. I hope to see you at one of the upcoming meetings.

Tightlines!

by Damon

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Sails & Wahoo Picking Up!
December 9, 2019

Sails & Wahoo Picking Up!

ponce offshore fishing

Offshore out of Ponce Inlet, the bait has showed up and the start of the good sail-fishing is really firing off! Guys are starting to see 6, 8, even 10 fish a day with some jumpers and even a few cutters here in the last week. The wahoo fishing has also started to pick up. Several boats this past week caught 4 or 5. With that, the blackfin tuna and mahi are mixed in as well to make for a good variety. Most of the sail-fishing has still been back inshore 90-110 foot. There’s been a faded green to blue change there, look for the temp break and the bait. The wahoo fishing has been better a little deeper in the blue water, they’ve been spread out between 130-200 foot. The bottom fishing is also getting even better! Grouper are biting on live bait along with triggers, red-eyes, porgies, etc. on the double rigs. The guys have also been catching some nice mutton’s and mangroves as well.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Bull Reds Thick in Ponce Inlet
December 9, 2019

Bull Reds Thick in Ponce Inlet

Mosquito Lagoon Trout fishing

The water is extremely clear in the Mosquito Lagoon and the redfish and trout are easy to sight cast. It’s been ideal conditions for some fun fishing charters lately. The bull reds continue to remain thick in Ponce Inlet and larger mangrove snapper have now also moved in these waters. There’s also still a few tarpon hanging around. The weather forecast for the next few days looks great, so it’s a good time to get out and do some fishing!

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

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Cocoa Beach Surf Company Kayak Sale

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

Strike-Zone Fishing, Melbourne FL

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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