Weekly Report: 8.7.2018 – 8.13.2018

2018-08-13T02:28:52+00:00

Sunrise Marina - Port Canaveral, FL

SPACEFISH REPORT

8.7.2018 – 8.13.2018

A CENTRAL FLORIDA FISHING REPORT EVERY TUESDAY

Space Coast Fishing Report: 8.7.2018 - 8.13.2018

Whether you use the eye test or the scientific method, the conclusion is the same…

“Is the Lagoon Getting WORSE or BETTER?

Most locals can determine accurately that the IRL system is in poor health right now by using the good old-fashioned “eyeball” test. But, in case the brownish color, the lack of seagrass, and stench of death aren’t persuasive enough of indicators, there’s also the all-too-recent history of sewage spills, fish kills, and of course, the creeping blue-green algae to help put everything in perspective.

For those who are still not convinced that we’re already in a “all hands on deck” situation and rapidly approaching a FUBAR scenario, the Marine Resources Council (MRC) has got you covered. At noon today (Tuesday) they will be issuing a “report card” style grade for each of their ten defined regions that make up the Lagoon, seeking to answer the question, “Is the lagoon getting better or worse?” Spoiler alert: this semester’s grades are probably not making it onto the fridge.

No Lagoon Left Behind

UPDATE (8.8.2018): The report from the MRC was not as dumbed-down as expected. They did a good job. Although, this particular editor expected the water samples to be more recent (not from 2016), perhaps due to ignorance.

When all else fails, implement a grade-based system where achievement in very complex issues can be boiled down and measured in a simple “A” through “F” graded scale. It could work, just take education, for instance. If you look at the 2017-18 “grades” of Florida’s 70 school districts issued by the Florida Department of Education, you will see an ocean of A’s and B’s with just a couple of sporadic C’s in the mix. The State must be totally crushing it in the classroom, and surely, Florida is some type of academic juggernaut, right? Unfortunately, we know better. In education (pre-K – 12), US News & World Report ranks Florida 40th out of 50 states. Hey, we might not be perfect, but at least we’re not Mississippi! Here’s to hoping this type of system works better for our environmental crisis.

C’s Earn… Disease?

This isn’t meant to criticize the good work of the MRC. It’s really just the timing and presentation that is curious. It would have been game-changing to have data like this 20 years ago, and it might be just that twenty years in the future. Better late than never, but releasing a first graded “report card” when life in the lagoon is clearly hanging by a thread is a bold call. On the one hand, any mark above FAILURE may undermine the sense of urgency needed for immediate action and relief; and on the other, if they dole out big, fat “F’s” across the board, it potentially undermines their own efforts, e.g., “How many PHDs and million dollar grants does it take to state the obvious?” Either way, it’s going to be a tough crowd…

The results will be announced at 12pm by the MRC and will be made publicly available on their website, savetheIRL.org. No matter what the district grades show, it’s important that we all do whatever possible to raise awareness for lagoon conservation, take an active role in the solution, and support the organizations that are leading the charge (such as the MRC). And if the grades are especially poor, just remember, at least we’re not Mississippi.

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SPACE B.O.I. FORECAST

OFFSHORE

74.33%

INSHORE

77.68%

SURF/JETTY

70.82%

WEATHER OVERVIEW: We are officially in the dog days of summer with high temps reaching the low 90’s. You can expect the wind to be a little stronger in the beginning of the week but it should taper down nicely as we move into the weekend. This will hopefully help make for good conditions to open red snapper season on Friday. As usual, keep an eye out for afternoon thunderstorms, make sure you are using plenty of sunblock, and stay hydrated — it’s hot out there!

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

Strike-Zone Fishing, Melbourne FL

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:

Awesome Trip to Mosquito Lagoon
August 7, 2018

Awesome Trip to Mosquito Lagoon

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Trip

We started our 3 day weekend early Saturday morning after driving from Fort Lauderdale, grabbing Jerry’s boat from a storage unit in an industrial complex in the middle of nowhere, getting to Mosquito Lagoon Fish Camp, unpacking quickly, loading the boat, and launching boat! Sigh… good thing we left at 1 AM. Tired and weary we still made it out on the water at 6 AM.

We started off on a flat know to us as sunken tree basin in an area only know as the big bowl. A Rapala skitter V was the starting bait of choice and to no surprise after peppering the waters surface for a short period of time a seatrout breaches on the skitter V and fish on. After a short fight I swing him in the boat grabbing the line and bending my rod how she’s not supposed to be bent “snap” there goes the rod. Needless to say a 22″ trout in the cooler. I’m a firm believer you have to give to the lagoon to get from it hahaha. That being over we moved closer to the big bowl and around it with only one small 19″ red to show for it after a couple hours.

It’s now around 9 and I decide it’s time to move to an area we call Brian’s. A large L shaped area going toward the north end of the lagoon that has a rectangular shaped flat with tapered drop offs all around leading to 2 to 3 foot of water. After milling about for a couple hours we decided to pack it in, go have lunch at Goodrich restaurant, and go back to the camp and drink beer.

6:00 AM, the second day I decided to commit to the north end of the lagoon and sightfish. Well… it went well in terms of the sighting of fish but that’s just because I was scaring them, they would move on, I’d try to cast to them and… rejection. After several hours of this I decided it best we just soak bait around the east end of “Brian’s” on a combo of a point/drop off. After an hour or so of moving around this small area letting mullet chunks soak the line on Jerry’s open bailed diawa BG starts streaming off, he closes the bail and a nice bend is put in his 8′ 1/2″ rod as line burns off the reel. After a nice fight the tired 28″ red folds into the net and he’s caught! After releasing the redfish and feeling as though the day could get “fishy” we are excited to get our baits back in the water.

The fishy feeling spectrum narrowed to a state of being abysmal, so we called it a morning. I insinuated it might be a good idea to get some live bait and hit some deeper dropoffs around a few islands we know of on the west side of the lagoon. Jerry agreed so off to net bait it was. An exhausting 30 or so minutes of repeatedly loading and throwing a 10′ cast net was not for nothing. Locked and loaded with a plethora of pigfish, pinfish, mullet, and croakers we were now ready to take on the afternoon.

After a quick run back to the camp for a lunch of rigatoni a la vodka (homemade). We headed back out to the lagoon with high hopes for some action. Normally in the summer we only fish the morning then go back in at noon or a little earlier and eat and drink beer, but this time we were not ready to call it quits. Hungry for the bite we positioned ourselves on a drop off we had caught a decent amount of solid trout on. I put on a croaker and got jerry a mullet. Jerry’s mullet decided to wonder to the total opposite direction in which he was casted, up wind (bear in mind this is no small mullet at 8″). I tell Jerry, “Screw it, let him go, who cares. Makes it easier on us when we drift up.”

I catch a nice seatrout; he goes in the cooler. I look at Jerry and in a split second the line on his reel goes flying off, he flips the bail and sets the hook, the rod doubles over…. he said “I think I’m stuck…”

The line begins to play the reel begins to play a true symphony as it burns off the BG in outstanding fashion. Whatever it is — it’s big. It wasn’t until we had to pull the poles and chase him that we realized what and more importantly how big it actually was. Now we are a couple minutes in and we get her close enough to see her. I cry out, “It’s a red!!! A f****** pig,” as she takes another huge surge for deeper water!

After a long hard fought battle picking up power poles, running around the boat, banging shins, and making desperate attempts to outmaneuver the giant, she finally succumbed to to power of the rod and reel. There she was, a whopping 42″ redfish. We released her back to the green water and said goodbye after a long revival. After catching a couple more nice trout, we went back to camp riding high. We cleaned fish, cleaned up, had a spot of dinner, and off to bed eagerly awaiting day three.

It’s hard to top a day with a trophy like that one but we had to try! We started the morning off at Brian’s soaking mullet chunks and blue crab nuggets waiting for a hungry redfish. Line starts moving off my daiwa pluton with the crab on it. I grab the rod and set up. Redfish on! The fight was brief. I broke him off horsing him away from my other rod and line that was still out. Sigh…. rookie move. Oh well, after missing a couple more opportunities we went back to the east side of Brian’s and I was lucky to redeem myself with nice 29″ red off another blue crab morsel.

We packed it in had lunch and headed back out for the evening trip at 4PM or so. By 7:00 it was time to go. Jerry hooked up with a small tarpon as soon as we got out, it came unbuttoned and not even a dirty look until literally the final seconds of the final hour of the final day, just when I was about to reel in, call it a day and go… the lagoon wasn’t done with me… I feel a small tick at the end of the line and nothing. So I reel in to put the rods away and boom. The 7’6″ is bent hard and off goes an end of slot red taking a good amount of drag. A nice little fight later he ends up in the cooler and we immediately pack up to get back to camp and clean up before it got too dark.

A great time was had by all. Trophy fish, big trout, and a whole lot of fun. Back to Fort Lauderdale until the next trip in a couple weeks!

Redfish in the IRL
August 7, 2018

Redfish in the IRL

This week’s dryness and east winds have started to clean the water a bit, but the visibility still isn’t great. However, redfish have been feeding in the North Merritt Island area. Most of the fish have been 20-25 inches, but there’s been a few around 30 inches. If you can put up with catfish, dead mullet has been a good bet because most the fish are bottom feeding. Usually, early morning and evening are best but this week I’ve caught reds 2-5 PM most consistently. Look for tarpon on small live baits and flies in canals. Early and late, these fish will eat larger baits and topwaters on select flats.

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Grassville USA
August 7, 2018

Grassville USA

Port Canaveral Offshore Report

This week has been tough. A lot of grass moved in making it nearly impossible to fish. Live bait has been easier to catch, though, finally. This is typical for this time of year. Out of Port Canaveral, you can find bunker to the left and down towards the pier. Use a good cast net! Live bait and dead minnows have been great for the few fish that are there!

A few stray Mahi and cobia have been caught daily, in addition to kings. The reefs are your typical starting spots. Amberjack have definitely picked up as well and should only continue to get better. Use big live baits with circle hooks to get one of these reef donkeys.

Good luck out there!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
It’s All About the Tarpon
August 6, 2018

It’s All About the Tarpon

This week is all about the tarpon! With the summer heat being tough to handle at times on us and the fish, the one species that always seems to thrive and even cooperate mid-day even with high water temps is the silver king. Right now you can find these fish in every lagoon system and throughout any part of the county. Tarpon are best found on the flats early in the morning around docks and mangroves with shallow flats close by. As the sun gets higher, these fish will begin to push into deeper docks and residential canals.

Even though the silver king has a big reputation one thing that seems to work the best for me is very small baits. I prefer a 1/16 oz. jig head with a DOA paddle tail. Darker more natural colors seem to work better for me. First light a small top water cannot be beat, the Rapala skitter walk is always a go to! If you find the fish and can’t buy a bite, try even biting your grubs in half, downsizing the bait size but still having a sturdy hook can be very productive!

The next few months the bite should do nothing but improve. With all species in the lagoon I highly encourage everyone to catch and release! Let’s get the river back to what it used to be! Don’t forget sunscreen and water are very important this time of year — good luck to everyone and check out some photos from this week!

by Capt. Alex Hughey
All Water Adventures | (321) 222-7511

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Big Shrimpin’ – Sept. 2018 Shrimping Forecast
August 6, 2018

Big Shrimpin’ – Sept. 2018 Shrimping Forecast

September Shrimping Forecast

Colleen Moriarty from S. Daytona 4 gallon pull in 3 hours, mixed sizes.

Breaking News – FULL PULLS since July! South Daytona’s five year white shrimp slump has come to an end. Prior to the hurricanes of 2016 and 2017, we were already in a slump. The results were either no shrimp or popcorn size shrimp in small quantities. This severely affected the commercial industry. Typically, the white shrimp are reported in South Daytona first in July. Our season can turn off anytime in September and we remain attentive monitoring movement and size. The rains can wreak havoc which is a problem we are dealing with currently.

Once Central Florida turns off, the North East region of Florida turns on and continues well into the Fall (2 hour tow). The sizes in Central Florida range from popcorn to 5″ range. This has been the best season in a half decade. The first full was reported in July which was textbook. White shrimp are cast netted in the inter-coastal from CM 38 to 51 during the day time in the Halifax river. The outgoing tide is preferred. The sizes are mixed with a high majority of mediums.

The summer season also produces the most reports of Asian Tiger shrimp caught. We continue to see hybrids of the Asian Tiger from reproduction cycles with other shrimp species local to our waters. The North East is reporting no significant numbers of white shrimp and are voicing concerns in the Green Cove, Palatka and Welatka hot spots. This is not unusual to see a delay in the run in the N.E region. They enjoy shrimp runs that are much larger and last much longer compared to Central Florida.

If Central Florida had their best run in 5 years, I am hard pressed to believe the N.E. will skunk. The boat flotilla’s are averaging 25-40 boats (not anchored). This is a boating sport unless you have access to docks around CM 38 and North. Just go buy a cheap cast net, add 25 feet of line, duct tape both sides of the lead line (keeps the net open longer resulting in more shrimp per cast). If the tape peels, use heat gun and the tape can be removed and replaced. DO NOT tape down the stringers (thick mono line running a vertical pattern from ring at top of net to the lead line). High Bridge in Ormond is a popular net snag area. If you want to throw under a bridge, use a cheap net you can afford to lose or damage.

Scalloping has been a great year and remember the season ends Sept 10th – 24th depending on what County you’re scalloping in. Note, the sport of shrimping is a fluid sport where the conditions change daily. For up to the moment reports join the FB group – Florida Shrimping Academy – Tips & Tricks for current intel.

by Capt. Lee Noga
Florida Shrimping Academy

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Subtle Bites but Big Fights
August 6, 2018

Subtle Bites but Big Fights

black drum bite remains good

Speckled trout are still on the radar this week. We’ve had very good top water action from first light till about 8am. Rapala Skitterwalk and Storm Chug Bugs have been our “Go To” lures for these fish. Late in the morning, pigfish and fingerling mullet fished along the drop offs where the water goes from about 2 to 4 feet in depth has been productive. Most of our trout are 12-18 inches in length but occasionally we get some larger ones. Slot size redfish are also hitting a few of these lures and live bait for us but have been a little scarcer from what we typically expect this time of year.

Black drum actions remains strong in the deeper sections of the lagoon. When you mark a school try using cut crab or live shrimp fished on a jig head for them. Often the bite is very subtle but once you hook up to one you can bet it’s going to be a fight! Most of these fish are running 12 to 25 pounds at this time.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Snook Fishing the Fall Mullet Run
August 6, 2018

Snook Fishing the Fall Mullet Run

snook fishing during the mullet run

Gear prep and eyes to the beach! Yep, it’s that time of year. The mullet run is primed and ready, so will you be. For those of us that have witnessed the fish feeding mayhem that rolls down our coast it’s easy to understand the excitement. For those that haven’t, it’s a spectacle you don’t want to miss. The mullet run is actually a migration of both mullet species from their summer homes on the south east coast (Georgia and the Carolinas) to their wintering grounds off south Florida and beyond. The lagoon has its share of mullet run activity, but the main focus is on the beach and inlet/port fishing.

snook fishing during the mullet run

As pulses of mullet stream down the coast predators of all shapes come to feed. One of our premier targets is snook. They can be caught by foot, boat or kayak and are always game for a good fight. Live baits work great and mullet is the predominant food for them at this time. Of course your croakers and pinfish won’t last long in a hot bite. But the ticket is those readily available mullet that you can catch on site. Any number of hard and soft plastic lures will also have you hooked up. One of my favorite tactics is to walk the beach with a Slayer Inc. SSTxl (soft plastic) on a jig head or a floating lipped plug of any brand. Fish your baits and lures in the trough where the mullet are present and hang on! The best part of this is catching big snook with nothing for them to cut you off on. Light tackle fun for big fish. The mixed bag of species feeding should give you plenty of opportunities at different fish.

As I guide, I typically look to the last weeks of August for the “run” to start. It can last for weeks or even a month plus. Though it is predictable, there is no guarantee. Be ready to hit it as many times as possible for these prime weeks through September.

Be sure to catch my seminar sponsored by Spacefish and held at Boater’s Exchange in Rockledge this Tuesday, August 7th at 6pm. I will be covering snook fishing the mullet run in great detail.

Capt. Alex Fishing Seminar

by Alex Gorichky
Local Lines Guide Service | (321) 480-3255

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Big Reds
August 6, 2018

Big Reds

Big reds are showing up in the lagoon, use cut bait such as mullet or cut ladyfish to get these big girls excited.

The trout bite has remained solid throughout the lagoon. It’s hard for them to resist well placed pigfish.

At Playalinda Beach, whiting are being caught in good numbers. The best bait seems to be fresh dead shrimp. For best results peel the shrimp prior to placing it on your hook. The shark fishing right now is also very good, use cut bonito for the best results. Cast out as far as you can and hold on!

by Capt. Hooks Bait & Tackle
Capt. Hooks Bait & Tackle | (321) 268-4646

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Mangrove Snapper
August 6, 2018

Mangrove Snapper

sheepshead

The mangrove snapper bite has been really good. We are also seeing some big trout being caught in the Indian River between Pineda and the Eau Gallie causeways on the west side up against the docks. The surf has slowed down, seems to be a lot of catfish being caught. The canals here around Satellite are holding some nice reds and sheepshead. There are a good number of tarpon moving through as well.

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Skinny Reds, Drums Active
August 5, 2018

Skinny Reds, Drums Active

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report: 8.6.2018

Roy loved the fight of this top-slot redfish. The fish ate a Z-Man Diezel Minnowz on a recent trip with Capt. Mark Wright!

Fishing was pretty good last week on the couple of days we ventured out. Redfish have been skinny and trout and black drum have been active on drop-off areas.

The top-water bite has been consistent at first light. On mornings that remain placidly calm, especially if the sun comes up bright, the top-water bite ends by seven-thirty or eight O’clock. If we get a breeze early and a ripple or light chop forms on the surface, the bite may continue an hour or so longer.

Ed enjoyed a fine Mosquito Lagoon morning trout bite using a rattle float with a variety of soft plastics lures below. Z-man Diezel Minnowz and four inch Jerk Shadz rigged weedless about three feet below the float caught fish both on the shallow flat and on the drop-off region nearby. Positioning the boat along the drop, Ed could cast to either shallow or deep with good results in both regions. Once the sun became a factor and the fish moved off the shallow area, we simply kept the lures in the deeper zone.

Once we covered the area thoroughly we moved to other deep areas nearby and the bite stayed consistent until late morning. The two to three and a half foot zone proved the most successful once the sun warmed up.

When using a rattle float or popping float with a soft plastic lure, I tend to make my rod pull sideways so the float and lure sweep horizontally through the shallows. Conversely, in deeper water, I make a sharp upwards pull on the float so the lure “jumps” quickly towards the surface and then sinks seductively to the bottom. I try to weight the lures as lightly as possible so they sink, but not too fast!

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

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Rough Seas, Smooth Fishing
August 5, 2018

Rough Seas, Smooth Fishing

Sebastian Inlet Jetty Snook

Arthur with his grandkids got on some good snook. It was great to see Arthur back as he just went through over 30 radiation treatments fo wipe out his cancer so he can do more hunting and fishing with his grandkids!

The beach got a little rough this week but that didn’t hurt the bite. The fishing at Sebastian Inlet has been productive with plenty of Jack Crevalle, Jewfish, Snook and Redfish chewing live pigfish and pinfish. Tarpon are still on the beach but it has been a little rough running the beach to get to the fish. Live bait on both incoming and outgoing tides has been the key to success.

beach snook

Nikolaj from Denmark and Austin doubled up!

The inshore bite for snook and Jewfish has been good as well along the deeper docks and in the channel. Fishing has also been really good around the spoil islands and deeper mangroves shorelines. We’ve had success with the Rapala Twitchin Mullet and Twitchin Minnows, in addition to the the Storm 360GT Paddle Tail and jerk baits. For best results inshore, get out in the early mornings and late evenings when the bite is most active.

Jetty Snook at Sebastian Inlet

Tide Raboin from Grant with a big Snook by the fenders!

Happy kids with big Sebastian Redfish

Captain Noah and Dorado with a nice Redfish!

Capt. Glyn with Snook at Sebastian Inlet

Super Proud of Noah as he took almost 5 minutes to bait his own hook. I made the cast for him but he hooked and brought this nice snook to the boat all by himself!

sebastian inlet snook

Eric from Michigan got on a good snook bite!

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

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THANKS FOR READING!

Thanks for reading another weekly edition of the Spacefish Report. Since Spacefish began in January of 2018, we’ve now published 31 fishing reports — one for every week of the year. We are constantly working on improving the quality of content, improving features, and enhancing the user experience, and we hope it shows. Also, 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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