12.4.2018 – 12.10.2018
A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING REPORT EVERY TUESDAY
Capt. Glyn Austin rolls out the welcome mat to flounder season at Sebastian Inlet.
“WHEN’S THE BEST TIME TO GO FISHING?”
Ask any fisherman when the best time to go fishing is and they’ll probably say, “whenever you can.” They’re not wrong, albeit unhelpful, if you are trying to schedule your fishing activities to maximize “catching” potential. So, when is the best time to fish AND catch? This week, the answer is clear: FRIDAY from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Well, at least it is according to the Solunar Forecast, which pegs this date and time as the BEST for fishing in not only the month of December, but for the entire winter season.
Here are the major and minor periods of projected peak fish activity on Friday (12/7):
The PEAK period on the PEAK day just so happens to be after work hours on Friday, so the best time to go fishing coincides with the time most anglers can actually go fishing. It also should be a great opportunity to check in on the winter flounder run at Sebastian Inlet! If you fish during this time, LET US KNOW HOW YOU DO! Spacefish wants to find out definitively whether there’s really something to this moon voodoo. If you aren’t able to get a line in the water during the peak fish activity window, that blows, but fortunately, the two days prior to and following Friday also rate pretty well in the Solunar Forecast.
Also, if you’re interested in learning about targeting tarpon on the beach, don’t miss the Boaters Exchange fishing seminar on Tuesday:
IN THIS WEEK’S REPORT…
Every week, we randomly draw a name from our email subscriber list to award a $20 Strike-Zone Fishing Gift Card. The winner’s name is published in every weekly report. The only catch is, if you are announced as a winner, you must email us to claim your prize. Congrats to this week’s winner, Jose Acosra of Patrick AFB. If you’re not already a Spacefish subscriber, click here to sign up.
Don’t forget, we’re still giving away two Fish Skinz Apparel t-shirts every week, and also, a casting platform from BT’s Welding on Christmas Day. Click the links below for details. Congrats to this week’s t-shirt winners: Jordan Hoffmann of West Melbourne and Karliane Perry of Cocoa!
Subscribe for Contest Entry
Spacefish Giveaway Contest (the “Contest”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. Employees of Spacefish and other companies associated with the promotion of the Contest, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
The Contest is sponsored by Spacefish, located at 745 Hibiscus Dr, Satellite Beach, Florida 32937.
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Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein.
- Contest Period
The Contest begins on April 24, 2018 at 6:00 AM EASTERN and ends on May 1, 2018 at 12:00 AM EASTERN (the “Contest Period”). Entries that are submitted before or after the Contest Period will be disqualified. Submissions will be accepted for the duration of the Contest by completing the contest entry form on Spacefishreport.com
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Online entry will be available by visiting the latest fishing report on our website (spacefishreport.com) and following the directions provided to fill out the entry information, and submit. Limit one (1) entry per person, per email address, and per household for the duration of the Contest Period, regardless of method of entry. Entries received from any person, e-mail address, or household in excess of the stated limitation will be void. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.
- Prize Drawing
On or about March 12, 2018, the Sponsor will select potential winners in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received. The odds of being selected depend on the number of entries received. The Sponsor will publish the winner’s name in its weekly fishing report on May 1, 2018. If the potential winner does not claim their prize by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org within five (5) days, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from the remaining non-winning, eligible entries.
- Winner Notification The potential winners will announced in the weekly fishing report. Each potential Grand and First Prize winner (parent/legal guardian if a minor in his/her state of residence) will be required to complete, electronically sign and submit a Declaration of Compliance within five (5) days of the date notice or attempted notice is sent, in order to claim his/her prize. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, or fails to submit the Declaration of Compliance within the required time period (if applicable), or prize is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. If the potential winner is at least 18 but still considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian, who will be required to sign the Declaration of Compliance on the potential winners behalf and fulfill any other requirements imposed on winner set forth herein. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor will award the applicable prize to an alternate winner by random drawing from among all remaining eligible entries. Only three (3) alternate drawings will be held, after which the prize will remain un-awarded. Prizes will be fulfilled approximately 8-10 weeks after the conclusion of the Contest.
(1) Strike-Zone Fishing $20 Gift Card
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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:
Focusing on the Hot Nearshore Bite
The nearshore bite is still hot so that’s where I’ve been focusing full attention this week! Despite some windy weather and unfavorable seas, we have still managed to get some good fishing done! Whether you’re looking for large bull redfish and sharks to tripletail and pompano, the bite remains to be pretty consistent all the way from Ponce Inlet down to Sebastian. Every drop off along the edge of the channel or trough along the beach has been full of large breeder redfish and some really good numbers of pompano which are awesome for the table!
For Bull redfish and sharks, a large bloody piece of bait such as bonito, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and large mullet have really been getting some good action. I prefer an 8 foot rod with a 6000 size spinning reel loaded with 40lb braid and 100lb stretch of fluoro carbon leader. The best rig is a flounder rig, 5 oz. lead sinker above a small barrel swivel with a piece of 100lb leader and a 6/0 to 8/0 circle hook attached never fails. Personally I like to let Rodney the rod holder do the work, sometimes it takes a little while to produce a bite and you really want to keep your bait as still as possible therefore let your rod sit in the holder and wait for the bend!
The pompano bite has really been going strong! All the troughs along Cocoa Beach to Sebastian have been producing large numbers of fish. The most efficient way to catch these fish is look for cleaner good moving water while casting small pompano bucktail jigs such as the t and a pompano jig — the guys at handler fishing supply can point you in the right direction!
If you’re fishing from the beach now is for sure the time to get in on the pompano action! These fish are chewing sand fleas and peeled shrimp on a double hook pompano rig with a 3oz triangle or sputnik style sinker. If you find you’re not holding bottom adjust the weight of your sinker according to what helps hold you best! Most fish have been keepers and make for great table fare!
by Capt. Alex Hughey
All Water Adventures | (321) 222-7511
‘Tis the Season… for Pompano!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. and pompano!
As the weather and water starts to cool down with passing fronts, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get out to the beach and catch some of these wave runners! The best days to go target pompano on the Space Coast is two days before and 1-2 days after the fronts! I’m frequently asked, “what’s the best tide, Caleb?” My answer is… simply in your time at your beach and find out for yourself. Camp out all day make yourself comfortable and, most importantly… Take notes!
You’ll usually find that it’s best between coming tides wether it’s an hour before or an hour after high or low tide. Try and stick up on sand fleas and blanch them while you can! You don’t wanna be that guy that’s on the beach not catching them when they start going off! Being prepared is key to staying on top of these fish! Having a mixed assortment of live/blanched fleas, artificial baits (such as Fishbites) is also a must have! If none of these baits are catching fish in your area then move to the next good outflow!
Sometimes you gotta really put in some time to find these fish, but when you find them it’s usually a sweet sprinting race to see how many pompano you can reel in on 3 or 4 rods without either the tax man grabbing one (AKA Shark of any kind!) or simply just spit the hook! Remember these fish have a PHD in getting off the hook so reel fast and keep that rod tip up! If you do just that, then you might just fill the cooler!
Remember, whiting are very good to eat as well! Although small they are packed with tons of fat and natural flavor! I get just as excited when I catch a stud whiting as I do a stud pompano! I look forward to seeing you guys this weekend at the Fort Pierce Causeway and Boat show this Friday-Sunday! I’ll be doing a seminar on pompano fishing on both the intercostal and on the beach’s all three days. I’ll also have a booth setup where I’ll have Pompano Riggs and jigs for sale! After you see me go check out the guys from fishbites! They’ll have a booth right next to mine with “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” deals and more! Don’t miss out!
by Caleb Couture
Tradewinds Surf Fishing Charters, Pompano Riggs by Couture | (321) 271-1061
Rigging Up for the Flounder Run
For the past few weeks we have written about cooler weather and the migratory species that it brings to our coast. The talk has been largely about pompano and bluefish, which are popular targets in the surf this time of year; but, there’s more yet coming to be excited about this season, such as one of my personal favorite species: flounder.
When the weather cools this time of year, flounder begin to migrate from inter-coastal waters to their offshore breeding grounds. This migratory path takes them through our local inlets — which is precisely where we go to catch these odd-looking but delicious-tasting flatties. Sebastian Inlet, in particular, is a famed hot spot for fishing the annual migration. When the flounder start running, you may see a dozen boats anchored out there all gunning for these fish. Having the mobility of a boat is a great luxury, but plenty of anglers also do well targeting flounder from shore.
To target flounder, equip your rod with the tried and true fish finder rig. This is a very simple rig which consists of an egg sinker placed on your main line, followed by a barrel swivel. The sinker should be just heavy enough to hold bottom, which will fluctuate depending on the strength of the current. Tie on 12 to 18 inches of 30lb. mono finished off with a 1/0-2/0 j-hook. I personally prefer a short shank j-hook.
When using this rig, live bait typically works best. The two most productive baits tend to be mud minnows and small finger mullet (approximately 3 to 6 inches in size). Hook them through the lips. If you cannot find mud minnows or finger mullet, a live shrimp hooked through the tail will work, too. To help trigger a strike from these ambush predators, bump your bait across the bottom, either with the current or during retrieval.
Flounder are fun to catch and great to eat. You can take home as many as ten per day that are at least 12″ in total length — and you may even get lucky and score one of the big doormats! If you go out flounder fishing, be sure to let us know how you did. We’d love to hear about it whether you crushed it or struck out.
Port Canaveral Offshore
We were only able to fish offshore two days last week due to high winds and heavy seas, but those two days offshore were absolutely amazing fishing. We landed a few mahi, blackfins and all the kings we could handle. All fish were caught on a variety of live baits, but mainly dead minnows and small skirts. The reef is a good place to start.
Nearshore was on fire as well with lots of sharks and many huge red drum. Chunk baits have been working well for all the nearshore action. The hours between noon and 5:00pm has been the best time frame for us.
by Capt. Chris Cameron
Fired Up Charters | (407) 222-3573
Bite Chilled by Cold
Early week, the inlet was on fire and we caught a bunch of redfish, snook and a few jacks. Throw in some Spanish Mackerel and the fishing was great. Once the front went through and the temp dropped to high 30s and low 40s the bite became difficult in the inlet and the lagoon. Mid week, the bite was slow both in the inlet and the lagoon. Water temps inside the lagoon dropped 15 degrees and the fish didn’t seem too hungry.
When temperatures warmed back up, the became more active and the bite improved. There were plenty of trout, small flounder and a few pompano inside and the Spanish Mackerel, bluefish and Jacks were thick along the beaches. Overall it was a pretty good week once the cold front passed.
by Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters | (321) 863-8085
Hot Inlet Snook Bite
The snook bite has been on fire at Sebastian Inlet. Lots of black drum, blue fish, ladyfish mackerel, redfish, and sheepshead are also being caught. If the water temperature drops just a little bit, expect to start seeing more flounder.
by Black Dog Bait & Tackle
Black Dog Bait & Tackle | (321) 725-1200
Great Time for Sight Casting
This is the time of year the sight fisherman have been waiting for! The water in Mosquito Lagoon is clear and the redfish are easily spotted cruising the shallow flats. They are eating consistently, too. A well placed paddle tail on an 1/8 ounce jig head, fly or shrimp will get their attention.
by Capt. Mike Mann
Fat Fish Guide Service | (386) 295-5991
Slower Fishing this Week
I tried fishing live shrimp and mullet inside the port and at the N. jetty Tuesday. The 25 mph west wind made for a strong current and a hard time. I ended up getting two jack crevalle and a lookdown. I did see a lot of finger mullet, so the potential for a good trip is there.
Friday and this weekend I shifted my focus to the Indian River Lagoon. I noticed the clearest water I’ve seen in a long time, but some spots were all sand with no grass at all. I did find a fair amount of grass in deeper water, especially east of Port St. John. I saw a lot of 5-15 lb black drum, but couldn’t get any to eat.
Saturday, it became really windy out of the south-south east. I tried fishing in a canal, I got some 5-10 inch seatrout and an 8 inch redfish.
Sunday, the southwest wind had the water stirred up, but I saw some bigger black drum off my dock. I didn’t get any.
Flounder Bite Heating Up
The flounder bite has heated up at Sebastian Inlet. The bite seems to be most productive using mud minnows and mullet — if you can still find them. The snook bite is also hot at the inlet and we are seeing some monster reds come through as well. Another awesome thing about this time of year is the black drum and sheepshead activity picks back up and we are getting reports of both so get out there and fish!
by Masterbaiters Bait & Tackle
Masterbaiters Bait & Tackle | (321) 674-2060
Today, big winds made the beach un-fishable. I tried fishing a couple of docks in the Sebastian area, and found the water to be dirty with a west wind. I finally went to the Wabasso Bridge park and was able to catch some pinfish and puffers. Some other anglers were having success catching small trout on red and white 1/8 and 1/16 oz jigs.
by fins fan 13
Topwater Slow, but Fishing Still Good
Jeff enjoyed the fight of this over-slot redfish on a recent trip with Capt. Mark Wright
The fishing was pretty darn good the day before the frigid temperatures kept me indoors with the furnace running. Happily, the fishing was still good once things warmed up again!
Ahead of the front, Top-Water Tony took turns tossing his bone colored Skitterwalk and a white Z-Man Curly Tailz grub rigged on the new Finesse Bulletz head jig. This new jighead makes rigging the smaller Z-Man plastics simple with a nearly weed-free retrieve!
Much to my surprise the top-water bite was nearly nonexistent. Thankfully the soft plastic bite was steady for trout with a few nice reds tossed in for good measure. We launched into a stiff southwest breeze and hid from the building winds by staying sheltered on the west shoreline.
J Lyle catches a personal best spotted seatrout on a Z-Man Curly Tailz while fishing with Capt. Mark Wright
The trout seemed to relate to wind swept points offering a little depth relief and attacked the soft plastics as the lures were retrieved from the shallows and let drop into the deeper water. The redfish we caught in the same areas, but they were holding in the shallows well before the drop-off.
After the warmup we found scattered tailing reds tucked in behind a favorite island. Trying to sight-fish and cast to them proved a bit too challenging for the clients so I dropped the Power Pole and tossed out some chunk bait. The bite was not fast, though we managed 4 redfish there with two of them over slot.
The rising winds forced us to move to a southern shoreline were we managed a couple of more reds on cut bait. Much to my surprise, not a single catfish was caught. I wish I could make this statement more often!
by Capt. Mark Wright
Florida East Coast Fishing Adventures | (321) 302-3474
CAUGHT ON CAMERA
Check out what’s been caught on camera while fishing in around the Space Coast this week.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA
Check out what’s been caught on camera while fishing in around the Space Coast this week.