BREVARD SURF FISHING
SURF FISHING FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST
LATEST SURF FISHING REPORTS
Great Surf Fishing Action
Surf fishing in Central Florida has been impressive this past week. Up and down Brevard County beaches, anglers are reaping the rewards. Pompano catches continue to impress for this seasonal time period. In addition to the pompano fishing, there’s been consistent catches of big snook, whiting and sharks.
Typically, this time of year, Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters runs a multi-rod setup to acquire the smattering of species available. Based on beach fishing charters this last week, we have halve the rods dedicated to pompano, whiting, sheepshead and drum. The remainder of our surf fishing rigs are dedicated to predatory species like snook, redfish, flounder and sharks. This approach can lead to the most effective way of targeting the diversity of fish available.
Snook fishing the beach from Sebastian Inlet north to Patrick Air Force base has been red hot. If you’ve ever dreamed of hooking into a large snook, now is the time! Surf casting a live bait rig for these giants has yielded astonishing results. Mullet and croakers, which can be caught in the surf and hooked onto a live bait rig, has been the ticket to success. With extremely calm summer surf conditions, a variety of rods can be easily maintained due to the lack of wind and current. Cast live bait rigs into the deepest part nearest to the shoreline referred to as the trough. Use a 40-60lb Fluorocarbon leader with a 4/0 to 6/0 circle attached (this is a MUST).
With that being said, always match the size of the bait to the hook size to correlate. These giant Snook are out of season currently, so make sure to have a healthy landing and clean release. Don’t take them out of the water too long and always support the belly with your other hand. Also, be careful of the gill plate on the side of the head, which can act as a serrated blade causing deep lacerations if improperly handled.
There’s no telling how long this exceptional opportunity will exist. Visit your local bait shops like Black Dog Bait and Tackle or Man Overboard Bait and Tackle for the most recent trends in the bite. If there was anytime to attempt a grand slam of surf fishing, now is the time.
Prepare surf fishing equipment at home prior to the planned day so everything will be in order for success. Fishnites, sand fleas, and
shrimp for the pompano and whiting fishing have been the ticket. Dedicate the other rods with a fish finder rig with the live baits mentioned above. Then hang on and have fun!
Surf, Inshore & Offshore
The lagoon and the canals around Satellite Beach are holding lots of mangrove snapper, sheepshead, redfish and trout. For the beach, the snook are plentiful for catch and release and a lot of flounder are being caught in the rocks in Satellite Beach. Whiting and bluefish also are being caught in decent numbers. The offshore bite is a little slow for the dolphin but tilefish in the deep are snapping really well. A lot of sharks in the 90 ft. range, but angler are also getting some nice mangrove snapper, triggerfish and lane snapper, as well.
Kings Patrolling the Troughs
In the canals and the river around Satellite Beach we are seeing some really nice tarpon and snook. There has also been a lot of red drum and black drum being caught and of course more catfish than you care to count. We have also seen quite a few stingrays being caught as well. However, the talk of the town is the mangrove snapper bite around the bridges. It is absolutely phenomenal and anglers are catching a lot of keepers using live shrimp and light line for leader.
For our surf anglers, snook have shown up in addition to some really nice tarpon and bonita. This time of year it’s not unusual to have king mackerel patrolling the troughs looking for an easy meal. Check out the photo included with our report this week. What an epic catch from shore!
Offshore, the dolphin bite slowed some but there were still some decent fish landed over the weekend, most were smaller fish though. The bottom bite is also slow but they are getting mangroves and numerous triggerfish along with lane snapper.
Pompano, Snook & More in the Surf
Pompano fishing came back with a fury last week on Brevard beaches, along with multiple other target species. What more could one ask for during a beach fishing excursion in the middle of summer? Surf fishing anglers rejoiced as the wind and seas finally subsided from the first half of June that brought with it unfavorable conditions. With that being said, water clarity improved and swells settled. This in turn created a phenomenal opportunity to get out there and do some pompano and/or snook fishing. These headliner targets are definitely the main attraction for most anglers in the surf; but, let’s not forget about the supporting cast that was also firing off — this includes whiting, margate, and croakers — and from Sebastian Inlet north through Satellite beach!
While Pompano fishing in Florida is inherently a fall through spring fishery (with the occasional resident fish hanging around the central east coast), this year has more to offer for the surf fishing anglers willing to put in the work. Surf fishing reports from across the Space Coast recounted pompano catches in the double digits last week. This uncommon event should be celebrated and seized upon. With that being said, get the surf fishing equipment together, round up the family hit the the beach for fun in the sun!
It’s big time right now fun for every fishing type and crowd, including the whole family. If you have any impatient anglers that are difficult to wrestle into a day of beach fishing, now’s the perfect time. Take a kid fishing to provide him nonstop reeling action with a blitzing croaker and whiting bite. Greatly benefiting from the lack of distance from shore makes it an accessible and exciting fishery for families. Use fish bites, shrimp or sand fleas for best results.
Offshore, Inshore & In-between
Anglers that have been fishing the lagoon around the Pineda Causeway area are catching a lot of mangrove snapper and sheepshead, with a good number of redfish also still on the flats. The canals around Satellite Beach are holding tarpon along with snook, mangrove snapper and black drum. Meanwhile, in the surf, beach goers are catching whiting, margate, and the occasional bluefish thrown in the mix.
Offshore, the dolphin bite slowed down a bit to start the week, but seems to be picking back up with nice catches more recently. North of Port Canaveral, anglers targeting are producing pretty consistent catches of mutton snapper and a few mangroves, as well.
Surf Fishing Report
Florida surf fishing along the central east coast has been touch and go this past week. While the rainy weather snubbed out a lot of days, when the chances have presented themselves rewarding opportunities can be found. Rain and easterly wind created dirty water for surf fishing Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet.
With that being said, anglers have been doing well to catch species that don’t rely on optimal water clarity. Beach fishing charters and individual anglers are coming up with sheepshead, margate, whiting and snook. The beauty of fishing from the shore is you never know what’s going to grab ahold and bend a rod. Be ready for anything and have a mixed bag of baits and presentations.
The majority of “dead stick” fisherman with rods in pole holders have been consistently catching margate and sheepshead on the rocky beaches of central Brevard County. Baits of choice are fiddler crabs, sand fleas and peeled shrimp. Dedicate time to observe the structure off the beach before casting surf fishing equipment. The majority of concentrated catches will come from the areas where large rock ledges drop off on the west side of the shelf. Casting accuracy plays a vital role in your rate of success for catching or snagging rocks and losing surf fishing rigs. Properly positioned pompano rigs with extra small hooks combined with the baits mentioned above will ensure the probability is good that you can overcome the dirtier water and find success with these delicious species.
Snook fishing Florida this time of year heats up at a feverish pace. If you’ve always wanted to land a beast snook in the surf, now is the time to gear up. Surf fishing anglers are reporting catches from the north end of the county near Cocoa Beach south to Sebastian Inlet. While fishing near Melbourne Beach has provided some hot snook reports, catching a snook this time of year will depend on how much time you dedicate and the snook fishing rigs you utilize.
Highly successful anglers are employing snook fishing rigs that combine live bait with mobility. This approach allows you to present a live croaker, mullet or pinfish naturally while covering larger areas of the shoreline. Recommended surf fishing equipment and snook fishing rigs for this task would be to combine a 7.5’ to 8’ medium, to medium heavy action rod, a 4000-6000 series reel, 20-40lb braided line tied to a 2-3 foot 30-50lb fluorocarbon leader, followed with a 2/0-5/0 live bait hook or circle hook depending on bait size. Use this snook rig to walk up and down the beach deploying your live bait into the first few yards from the shore. Focus on fishing the trough and current run outs for maximum effectiveness. These ambush predators use these areas to lay and wait for opportunity. Fishing Florida beaches with this snook fishing tackle will create a possibility for hooking into a trophy fish.
What A Time to Hit the Surf
Beaches are open, suns shining and people are smiling. This is what we are supposed to be doing this time of year! Families and individuals alike enjoying the beach and the things to do outside. With that being said, we had a great week of surf fishing here in Central Florida from Port Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet. A smattering of species are being caught off Brevard County beaches with a wide array of tactics and strategies being employed.
Multiple reports from the rockier coastline areas including southern Patrick Air Force Base down to north Indialantic have reported great catches of sheepshead and snook. Believe it or not, multiple snook have been landed on fresh sand fleas which is not the typical bait for targeting this species in the surf. In regards to that, I would draw the conclusion that their feeding patterns are adjusting to the lack of baitfish compared to late summer and fall when they mainly focus on live baitfish. Right now, they’re heating up and being opportunistic feeders including any crustacean that crosses the wrong path. So, don’t be surprised if your pompano rods go off with a slot size snook. The sheepshead bite has proved best on either side of the high tide, but be sure to cast smaller hooks with small baits near structure to increase your opportunities.
How to catch sheepshead: Use small hooks size 1/0-2/0 and makes sure they’re very sharp. Bait choices include sand fleas, clam or shrimp; use small pieces the size of your fingernail. Be sure to apply tension immediately when you feel the fish begin to bite. They have hard small mouths perfect for bait stealing, so be ready to set the hook.
Surf fishing near Sebastian Inlet has been up and down depending on the time of day and tide. Fishing around a high tide recently has proved better with fish chewing in the stages of the tide change. Don’t count out an outgoing tide completely, though; just with recent catches more water seems to be key. Look for cleaner water clarity with the green and blue tints north or south of Sebastian Inlet to be the best grounds.
A handful of nice sized Florida pompano continue to swing through and provide that excitement only they can. Whiting will generally be caught in larger numbers closer to the shore near outflows and rip currents. Fishbites and sand fleas continue to be the successful baits of choice, with fresh shrimp having a nice catch ratio as well.
Space Coast Surf Fishing Report
Surf fishing during the month of May has offered some much needed family fun experiences with the opening of beach accesses across Florida. Getting to the beach has been one of the top things to do outside on the Space Coast. Incredible weather and social distancing measures are a few factors that make beach fishing Central East Coast of Florida a top choice for individuals and family looking for some outside recreation.
The cooler weather patterns that graced us during early May made mornings crisp and clear. Look for that to become a thing of the past as we steadily creep towards the dog days of summer, accompanied by high temps and humidity. Surf fishing conditions from Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet for the first weeks of May were challenging due to the wind, waves and onslaught of seaweed that blitzed our coastline. Water clarity was one of the few positives that kept things interesting amongst the myriad negatively contributing factors.
Pompano fishing has continued to remain consistent. Moreover, fish that have stuck around are providing beach fishing anglers with the perfect chance at catching, cleaning, and cooking this Florida delicacy. Catching your limit of six fish has proved more difficult compared to months prior when the water temperatures were more conducive. With the surf fishing water temps currently holding in the 75-76 degree range, anglers have been reporting fewer fish. To catch Florida Pompano, use pompano rigs with a variety of colored floats and no floats, baited with Fishbites (sandflea, crab, clam) and a live or frozen sand flea. Try casting various distances from shore to ensure you’re targeting areas of concentration.
Meanwhile, snook fishing has steadily increased in the surf as the water temperatures continue to climb. Focus your efforts on area beaches around Sebastian Inlet and Melbourne Beach. Beach fishing for snook around a high tide with live mullet or croakers have produced the best results. Note, however, that catching snook in the surf requires slightly different equipment than traditional surf fishing. Make sure to beef up your tackle with braided line, 30-50lb fluorocarbon leaders and hook sizes that match the bait size accordingly. Snook fishing will continue to heat up on our local beaches, so get out there and dialed in for the rest of the season!
Spring Bluefish & Fluke (Summer Flounder)
I fished several days in the past week. My first few trips were in search of springtime bluefish in the Manasquan River. The first day I caught 3 (1 on a bone SP Minnow and 2 on a Hopkins shorty) in addition I caught a small striped bass that fell for a ghost white SP Minnow. Returned the next day with my son, once again I caught 3 bluefish and he caught 2-al on a bone SP Minnow. All the blues were in the #2-3 class-which is unfortunate is not close to the size of the bluefish the last 3 springs during the first part of May when they were in the #10-15 class. Switched gears the next two days and did some summer flounder (fluke) fishing in Shark River. Since the season for them doesn’t open until 5?22-it as all catch & release. Caught several each day by bouncing a bucktail with a teaser hook above-both tipped with GULP.
Canals, Lagoon, & Surf
In the canals and river around Satellite and Indian Harbour Beach, anglers are doing well fishing for trout, redfish, sheepshead and mangrove snapper. When conditions have allowed on the beach, the surf fishermen are getting bluefish and big numbers of whiting; the snook have also started to show up for their annual summer spawn. Meanwhile, pompano have slowed a little bit, but the residential fish are out there, and anglers are still putting them in the cooler.