Weekly Report: 12.25.2018 – 12.31.2018

2018-12-23T21:37:14+00:00

Sunrise Marina - Port Canaveral, FL

SPACEFISH REPORT

12.25.2018 – 12.31.2018

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING REPORT EVERY TUESDAY

BT's Welding Casting Platform Giveaway

And the WINNER of the Casting Platform from BT’s Welding is…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! To give all our hard-fishing contributors a well-deserved break, there will be no weekly forecast next week on the first of 2019. Not many reports are expected until after the New Year, but, don’t let that stop you from coming by and submitting your own!

If you are planning to do some fishing over the Holidays, weather conditions look pretty good to start the week. However, beyond Christmas Day, the outlook is windy, wet, and rough. As of late, the bite has been especially kicking in the surf, and flounder are still running hard in around the Inlet. If you find yourself in need of bait or tackle, Black Dog has you covered, even on Christmas — the shop will be open from 5am to 5pm on Christmas Eve, 5am to 5pm on Christmas, and 5am to 5pm on NYE.

We’re otherwise keeping things brief this week and would just like to congratulate the big winners of our final giveaways of 2018:

Weekly Subscriber Winner $20 Strike-Zone Gift Card Winner
Kevin Young of Cocoa Beach (email us to collect your prize)

Fish Skinz T-shirt Winners
Amelia Donaldson of Melbourne Beach
Robert Redfern of Cocoa

…And the winner of the big daddy prize,
the casting platform from BT’s Welding valued at $500 retail, is:
Quentin Browning of Palm Bay

A special thanks to all our readers, contributors, and sponsors for making 2018 a great first year for Spacefish. Enjoy the holidays, and we’ll see you all next year!

Sunstate Pest Control

Contributor Reports

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:

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
South Melbourne Beach Surf Fishing
April 23, 2019

South Melbourne Beach Surf Fishing

surf fishing report

Went out at first light to do some surf fishing in South Melbourne Beach. The bite started slow, but picked up a good bit with the sun’s ascent. There’s still pompano out there, and I’ve heard positive reports indicating the same from all over our coast. Anglers are also doing well with some nice-sized whiting. With the current conditions, I expect the fish to be biting all day through the beginning of this week. Give it a go and try putting a Native Salt Baits product on your hook — the results may surprise you!

surf report

Native Salt Bait user, Tom Hofknecht, shared his nice haul from the beach!

by Native Salt Clam
Native Salt Clam Bait | (772) 571-5883

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Live Bait Alternatives for Good Fishing
April 23, 2019

Live Bait Alternatives for Good Fishing

We’ve seen a good run up to the coming week in spite of that extremely bright full moon. The fish have been feeding all night, leaving them sleepy in the morning, but if you wait until the afternoon, the bite has been good from about 3-4pm on. Windy and stormy weather last week made it difficult for the bait boats to get out so it has been challenging to provide live baits at the shop.

Despite a lack of live bait, the fish around here are still hungry and looking for a meal. Fortunately there are plenty of good live-bait alternatives available. For example, Anglers willing to be adventurous and try something new have not been disappointed with our recommendation of NATIVE SALT BAITS. The new salt sand fleas are working great on drum and sheepshead, and there are pompano in the river, so the clams are also working well, too. Good choices for artificials are paddle tails and of course artificial shrimp. Fish bites have also been popular.

From Grant south to Wabasso, anglers working the west shore and spoil islands have found trout to be plentiful, and that is expected to continue. You can’t go wrong with live shrimp when targeting these fish. North of the marina, many anglers have been having fun battling hard-fighting jacks and ladyfish. If you’re looking to hunt tarpon, travel up the creeks a little bit and you should find the fish!

Have a great week!

by Capt. Bonnie Roberts
Treasure Coast Marina | (321) 733-3390

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Golden Eggs in the Surf
April 22, 2019

Golden Eggs in the Surf

pompano surf fishing

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! If you hit the beach this past weekend in search of some golden eggs, aka Pompano, then maybe you got rewarded with a couple, or even a limit! Some anglers headed further south and caught a mix of whiting, croakers, Pompano and even a trophy Permit!

As much as I hate to say it.. we’re coming to an end of our Pompano beach run for the season. As I look back on this past year, I think we had an awesome run and can’t wait to see what’s in-store for next season!

For the serious beach fisherman like myself, it’s time to hit the road in search of these prize Pompano we all love to catch and eat so much! Most fish on the east coast are heading north to Jacksonville and into Georgia. So if you want to take a daycation and head up the coast you still can! I’ll be in Jacksonville next week getting warmed up for the Florida Surf Anglers Tournament. Then the week after that I’m gonna switch over to the other coast and get on the Pompano bite that is HOT right now over in the gulf and panhandle! Stay tuned and I’ll have a report for home as well as my travels on the road!

Have a wonderful week everyone and will see you on the beach!

by Caleb Couture
Tradewinds Surf Fishing Charters, Pompano Riggs by Couture | (321) 271-1061

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Good Fishing in and Around Sebastian Inlet
April 22, 2019

Good Fishing in and Around Sebastian Inlet

Sebastian redfish

We had great week nearshore and inshore with redfish and jacks in the inlet and some trout, pompano, bluefish, ladyfish and jacks inshore.

This upcoming week will bring warmer temps after the weekend cold front and the Bonito, jacks, mackerel and sharks should be on the beaches from Melbourne Beach to Sebastian inlet and Vero Beach. With the calmer winds, the inshore bite will be good around the spoil islands’ mangrove shorelines.

The creeks from Sebastian to Melbourne have a lot of mullet in them along with Jack Crevalle, Snook and Tarpon. Live mullet are best baits but 3” paddle tail baits rugged in 1/4 to 3-8 ounce jigheads will be great baits as well.

Fish the flats around the inlet for pompano, bluefish jacks and ladyfish for a fun time and lots of action.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Ponce/New Smyrna
April 22, 2019

Ponce/New Smyrna

With the full moon this past week we’ve had extremely high and low tides but with the cooler weather and the mullet run starting, it has made the early morning topwater bite really great! Later in the morning as the sun gets up, sight casting on the flats has been really good too. Bull reds as well as upper slot fish remain in the inlet. Tarpon should be showing up in greater numbers over the next week or two.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
More Sand Fleas
April 22, 2019

More Sand Fleas

In the surf around Satellite Beach, there have been good catches of whiting, margates, sheepshead and a few pompano mixed in. As usual, you can’t go wrong with sand fleas. In the canals, the trout bite remains strong. We are seeing lots of mangrove snapper around Mathers Bridge and folks are also catching some nice sheepshead in the greater lagoon area. Believe it or not, but sand fleas aren’t just baits for the beach — with fiddler crabs being hard to come by, many anglers have been finding success with sheepshead by using sand fleas instead.

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

4/20/19 – Jupiter
April 22, 2019

4/20/19 – Jupiter

Water conditions at PC were a bit rough Saturday, luckily, we had an opportunity to fish with some friends in Jupiter. Water/winds were pretty sloppy, but the ride out was only +/-5 miles. We started deep dropping in 700′ for a limit of golden tiles, and worked a few weed patches for some dolphin until the wind/waves picked up and we moved closer to shore. Finished the day +/- 2 miles from shore working some 60-80 foot artificial reefs and picked up several vermilions. All in all a good day, the fishery was much like PC minus the 35 mile ride to the stream. Not a bad option the next time the seas are too rough out of PC, but more calm down south.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Offshore Update!
April 21, 2019

Offshore Update!

canaveral cobia and kingfish

Despite rough conditions, we had a pretty great week offshore out of Port Canaveral. Beautifully sized kingfish were abundant on the reef and the ridge. They are eagerly eating frozen minnows and chartreuse dusters have helped add too the allure. Bottom fishing has been fun TONS of red snapper to play with, so the open season this summer just can’t come soon enough! Just a friendly reminder, those dates for recreational harvest are July 12-14 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and July 19-20. If you don’t have access to a boat, you still have the opportunity to participate and bring home one of the most delicious dinners the ocean’s got to offer — just book a charter!

Mahi are showing up sporadically, but we’re yet to seem them in big numbers or with any consistency. It could happen any time, though, and that time could be now. We just had a nice east wind come through, so maybe it brought the Mahi along with it. Get out there and try, and you might just hit the jackpot.

We’ve had an epic cobia season, but all good things must come to an end. We’re seeing less and less of these fish off the beach, and the Rays continue on the move, northbound. The window is closing, but there are still some out there.

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

Prime Time for Pompano Down South
April 21, 2019

Prime Time for Pompano Down South

Juno Pier Pompano Fishing

Nice pompano caught on Friday at Juno Beach Pier using Rich Vidulich rigs and Fish Bites purchased at Fishing Headquarters in Jupiter, FL.

The Pink Full Moon, also named the Harvest Moon, has always marked the signature month for pompano! The Algonquin tribes named moons after natural activities that occurred during its appearance. The pink connotation related to the showering colors of spring flowers, while the Harvest Moon related to the annual shad spawning in Michigan and other northeastern streams.

The pompano migration direction does not follow any specific rules, especially due to significant changes in the jet stream. For example, several weeks back, a late nor’easter provided heavy winds and 8 to 12 ft. seas. I explored this phenomena while broadcasting on ESPN 106.4 FM last month. In a nutshell, I reported that the pomps would leave the Stuart estuary and move 30 miles south, so I advised anglers to expect an epic bite at Lake Worth Pier. Despite offshore captains casting doubt on this prediction, the silver travelers indeed showed up big, rewarding all anglers with a nice three day stint. Literally, hundreds of pomps jumped the rail! Two weeks later and a second Artic front created a successful Ground Hog Day [plausible explanation]. This run lasted eight days and people were hitting limits, galore.

Pompano slabs on the beach

Slab Sunday with Florida Sportsman Captain, George LaBonte, last week!

Last week, the winds changed and then Juno Pier went crazy with fish. A few days later, Blowing Rocks and Hobe Sound Beaches were explosive! Flat, calm days resulted in huge captures for those jigging by boat. Today, Stuart beaches, Tiger Shores and Virginia Forest became the tourist hot spot. All flavors of Fish Bites are working well. For the bigger fish, bait up with large blanched fleas and accent them with orange Fish Bites (any flavor). In clearer waters with no haze, try large white floats tied on a fluoro leader. I built my entire career tying this rig, which is now available in most bait and tackle shops.

The best news is that Dania and Pompano Pier are catching pomps migrating from the Upper Keys. The time is now to put gourmet fish on the grill, but it is running short. The tourists are leaving, Spring Break is almost over, and the beaches will be roomy. Respect your angler neighbors and allow space to bring in these sidewinders. It’s your month, so enjoy it to the hilt!

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Queue the Broken Record
April 20, 2019

Queue the Broken Record

redfish

Kim almost got her slam after catching a nice trout, this beautiful redfish and then losing a snook that threw her Z-man Diezel Minnowz back at her!

I know I sound like a broken record skipping on the sentence “it’s still windy, but the fish don’t care” and it’s true… the fish don’t care! Two of the three trips I took this week were windy and we managed to have good fishing anyway.

Hiding from a hard westerly wind I concentrated on docks and rocks with the Sadow family of five. Mom, dad and three kids between the ages of eleven and fourteen joined me for some live shrimp under popping floats fishing. The action was brisk at first then slowly tapered off once a work crew rebuilding a neighboring dock started with the chainsaws and sledgehammers. I’m not complaining mind you, though I was sorry they showed up so early in the day!

A move to a rocky area was a good decision where we added several mangrove snappers and weakfish to our tally of spotted seatrout, ladyfish and of course hardhead catfish. This short three hour trip was the perfect duration for this family. Between getting up early enough to meet me at seven o’clock and the constant action the group was petered-out!

Wednesday I scouted an area of the Indian River Lagoon I haven’t fished in about six months. My wife, Kim actually asked to go fish this morning because the weather forecast was so good. I was happily surprised the forecast was accurate with winds so gentle at sunrise it barely rippled the water’s surface.

Not ten casts into the morning Kim’s rod bent over as she caught her first fish of the day; a slot trout. She received a few other light-bites in this area without another hookup so I moved the Banshee Extreme down the shoreline. Not much happened for a while except for seeing a few single reds and trout cruising around out of casting distance. Eventually we found the reds!

Two schools of a couple of dozen fish each were striking at tiny finger mullet tight to the bank with about a hundred yards between the schools. Once I got us into striking distance Kim made her cast and immediately hooked a redfish that crushed her Z-man Diezel Minnowz affixed to their Finesse Bullet Jighead.

A few minutes later she struck again, but this time she’s hooked into a snook and she’s thrilled with her possible slam, alas the linesider’s summersault resulted in a thrown hook. A phone call at this time resulted in us leaving these fish still biting so I could return the next morning with the clients that just booked a trip.

Strong winds at first light had moved the fish from where I hoped to find them. I sure hate saying “you should have been here yesterday” and I didn’t, though I felt like it!

Moving into the wind a few times finally paid off for us and my clients boated a decent trout and a small redfish along with too many catfish. The catfish were super aggressive this morning and if there were many reds or trout in the area they were not able to find the mullet chunks before the whiskered fish could.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Things are Finally Heating Up!
April 17, 2019

Things are Finally Heating Up!

cape canaveral cobia

It looks like we might finally be done with the cooler temps. As the water temperatures pick up the fishing has done so as well. This week has been really good.

Inshore, the bite has been very productive in the Indian River and Mosquito lagoon for large seatrout, black drum, and redfish. I have even started seeing some tarpon and snook, which is expected as the warmer weather pattern continues. In the lagoon, redfish and trout have been up shallow around the mangroves and docks, feeding quite well early on Rapala Skitterwalk topwater plugs. Look for the finger mullet schools and the predators will be close behind. My favorite pattern is holographic silver and chartreuse. These two colors are great low light mullet imitators and work really well.

As the sun rises and the topwater bite slows, look for edges where the shallow water drops off. Even if it’s only a few inches it makes a difference. These edges have been holding redfish, trout and small black drum schools that are all chewing good on Gulp shrimp in pearl white and natural colors. The live bait enthusiasts can do just as good on a small live mullet or a live handpicked shrimp.

Nearshore has also been picking up, with one of the best cobia years we have had in a while. Currently, most fish are between Cape Canaveral and new Smyrna Beach. Look for the manta rays and the cobia will be on top or under them. A 3oz buck-tail jig or large live bait of almost any choice usually does the trick. There’s still some large redfish, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel along the beaches right now as well.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Sails Liking it Rough in Key West
April 17, 2019

Sails Liking it Rough in Key West

key west fishing

Wind, wind, wind, lots of wind this past week. Key West has been for the hardy when it comes to fishing lately. But lots of guys still got off the dock. That’s one of the beautiful things about down here, we have such a diverse fishery that even if it’s blowing we can still get you out if your flexible on what you catch.

For the brave venturing offshore sailfish has been the prize. Lots of sails have been moving threw, they like it rough. Look for tailing fish just outside the reef or color change. You should pick at some tunas as well. We’re starting to see an upturn in the dolphin. But it’s still swing or miss. Not lots of fish but the size has been up there 20-30 lbs.

On the reef the snapper bite has died off for me where I was doing really well. Looks like those fish have moved on. Other guys are still crushing them, I’m going to have to put some time in exploring. Get to go find some new stuff to fish and go back and look at some old spots 🙂 it’s always fun fishing spots I haven’t looked at in a long time. If you can get the crabs the permit are a big thing on the reef now. Just remember to idle up slow and easy when you see them shinning. Shallow rock piles up on the bar should be holding them.

key west fishing

As I said we’ve had lots of wind this last week with more to come. Shark fishing in the shallows is a great way to hook monsters and catch lunch without hitting the rougher stuff offshore. Lots of smaller sandwich size snappers and yellow jacks move threw the channels as well. Any of the channels north and west of Key West will have a few lurking around. Keep a hand full of pinfish ready for a passing tarpon or cobia on the back of a bull shark.

I’m out fishing all week in the wind. I’ll find a calm spot somewhere. If not the beating is temporary but a box of fish, glory is forever 🙂 have fun, stay safe and take a kid fishing.

by Capt. Chuck Donney
Tails2Sails | (305) 923-9305

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Sunrise Marina - Port Canaveral, FL

GET GRILLING WITH ACE

The winter season offers but a brief reprieve from the punishing year-round heat dealt across the bulk of Florida’s four annual “seasons.” During these very limited number of cool days, I try to spend as much time as possible enjoying the weather outdoors. Now, I love fishing as much as anybody, but fishing is great here no matter the temperature. That’s why, when it’s cool, it’s another outdoor activity that tugs at my heart strings: cooking…

READ THE STORY HERE!

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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