BREVARD SURF FISHING
SURF FISHING FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST
LATEST SURF FISHING REPORTS
What a difference a day makes…
Hit the surf yesterday about a mile north of Sebastian. NOTHING. Nobody was getting literally anything. Big snook cruising but no hits. Water was crystal clear and weed free.
Today I hit Satellite and the bite was good. Two keeper drum, some jacks, the usual margate and croaker for bait. Snook all around but also not hungry. Everything stopped as high tide leveled, and the weeds returned with it.
Goodbye Weeds, Hello Mullet
The weed is gone! Well, for the most part… Also, the mullet are starting to show up. That means fall is on its way. With big mullet moving through the surf, the tarpon, snook, and sharks are all fired up. My favorite way to target these fish is with a plug, swim-bait, or spoon. This allows you to be mobile. No dragging around a bucket, cast-net, and other gear. Just a rod and a backpack.
Here’s a quick list of some lures I like: Tsunami Swim Shad 7″, Yozuri Mag Darter, YoZuri Hydro Minnow, Rapala Xrap, Hogy Paddletail, Spoolteks, and Spoons. I like all these lures in with a dark top and light bottom or solid white. Lately, I’ve been playing around with JigSkinz to put my own custom patterns on them. I’ve been doing very well with the Pogy pattern.
If the fish seem to be staying in one spot, or you just want to fish live bait, that can work very well, too. Personally, I like to fish heavier gear because I want to be prepared for that big tarpon. I fish 20-30lb invisibraid with 60-80lb Tsunami fluorocarbon leader. If I’m targeting snook, I’ll drop down to 40lb leader with a hook size 4/0 – 8/0 depending on the size of the bait.
If you are after more of the traditional-style of surf fishing in our area, there are still some Whiting, Croakers, and even some nice Pompano around to be caught. Use a Pompano rig such as the Pompano Riggs by Couture with a 3oz lead. You may need to adjust the weight depending on the conditions, but it has been very calm lately. Even on the calm days, I still suggest the 3oz. It will help you get a good hook-set when the fish grabs your bait (sandfleas, clams, or shrimp).
Here’s some more crazy Tarpon battles for you to enjoy and there are more to come, so make sure you subscribe to my Youtube Channel!
Get out there and have fun!
by Joey Antonelli
H2O Vinyl Designs | (321) 693-1281
Down South Surf Report
The Icebreaker Arrives in the Steamy South! Pompano, croakers and droves of bonefish make the first inshore journey of the Summer. Baits of choice include blanched fleas, brined fresh shrimp and Fish Bites (clam and sand flea flavored in orange color). Fluorocarbon leaders in crystal clear waters are imperative. I suggest 1/0 offset circle hooks and 30 lb. rated terminal tackle. To increase the bite potential, downsize to 20 lb. fluoro on the stem leader. Another favorite leader arrangement is the “Earl Brinn” dropper system. This system is incorporates a single-strand dropper design, which is solely designed to catch pomps in high-clarity water. Just Google his name. He passed years ago but his legend lives on!
Early very dim light bites on any tide is important. It’s not about cast distance. It’s more visual. Seek and pursue pockets of minnows and greenies. Target the distance on the outside of the perimeter of the bait mass. Don’t cast into the bait because this generally results in a fast catfish. The distance will change as the bait moves offshore as the sun rises.
Currently, Hobe Sound Public, Hobe Sound Federal Beach, Tiger shores (Stuart), Normandy, Middle Cove and Blue Heron in Ft. Pierce have been quietly reported. “Casual secrets” is indicative of the nature of folks that become animated when they are discovered. Truth be told, search the bait visuals and you will triple your location log. Desire that deep, any tide, structure-enticing beach. Google “John Brooks” Ft. Pierce and slowly drive that bumpy shell rock to a massive reef system with wonderful openings of pretty natural sand. The rest is up to you!
Two weeks ago, I got a great call from Captain Al from Man Overboard Bait & Tackle in Indian Harbour Beach. Al placed a really large pompano jig/quill order in 3/8 and ½ ounce sizes. I asked, “What’s going on Al?”
“Pompano Smackdown at Eau Gallie Bridge! You know what that means,” he said.
Nodding my head in agreement, I said, “The fish are 30 days early and the turtles are nesting up at the berms. Yes, a potentially tough hurricane season ahead.”
When Depression Barry just recently passed us, the the fish schooled up, and today, Al reordered my “Pompano Catcher Rigs.” Find them at Man Overboard Bait & Tackle — a great shop, with quality service and totally fresh bait. Oh, and the prices are choice!
Simultaneously, the Hutchinson Island bites commenced when Barry passed. Look folks — the La Nina pattern replaced El Nino system. If we understood what fish and mammals understand, we would be the best anglers in the Universe! The surf legends had this sixth sense… I have learned a few things from them but have such a long way to go. Tight Lines!
by Pompano Rich
I went out to Melbourne Beach this morning. Not many bait fish early but they showed up later and the Tarpon were right behind them. Saw a boat coming down the beach and they had to stop and give it a try, but I don’t know if they hooked up. The weeds weren’t bad if y’all moved a little. Sooner or later I hope to hook up on one of those monsters.
Great Canal Fishing
What a great time to target our local canals! The canals around Indian Harbour and Satellite Beach are holding a lot of snook, juvenile tarpon, and some good trout. One angler told us it’s probably the best trout bite he’s seen in quite a while, and of course, the mangrove snapper bite is just phenomenal right now, too. In the lagoon, the pompano are showing up big time and anglers are limiting out jigging for them on all the area’s bridges. Surf fishing is kind of slow still, and the weedy conditions remain a nuisance. Margate and whiting are producing a pretty steady bite nonetheless, and the big snook and tarpon are still out there feeding, too. Look for bird activity on the beach, and you will most likely find the fish!
Man Overboard Bait & Tackle | (321) 777-8860
Striking Gold in the Weeds
Weed, weed, and weeds. That seems to be what has been going on lately. There are some good fish out there, you just have to drive around a bit and find a section of beach where the weeds aren’t bad. A good tip for finding the bigger fish is to look for the birds. This should lead you to the Tarpon, Snook, and sharks.
There are also good schools of bait out there right now. The bait around now is minnows, some mullet, and pogies. In the minnow pods you can find plenty of Bluefish, Jacks, Ladyfish, and Spanish Mackerel. Try throwing a small spoon to target them. I like to use a rod with plenty of line because even throwing a small spoon you have a chance of hooking a giant Tarpon.
If you want to fish for the Tarpon and Snook you can always use live bait such as mullet, but if you’re walking down the beach that isn’t an easy task. I’ve been using Tsunami Swim Shads, Yo-Zuri Mag Darters, and Hogy Paddletails. Just be ready for a good fight!
For Tarpon I suggest at least 500 yards of 20lb invisibraid (which has a breaking strength of over 40lbs) and 60-80lb florocarbon leader. This will give you great castability and the line you need to fight a good size Tarpon.
Here is my most recent video of a big Tarpon battle –
Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel!
by Joey Antonelli
H2O Vinyl Designs | (321) 693-1281
Casting Metal Reigns King on the Beaches of Indialantic
Last Sunday marked the beginning of our annual (sometimes semi-annual) trip to the Melbourne Beach area to enjoy a week of fun in the sun. For me, this means a week of anxiously waking up at sunrise to walk out the back door and down to the beach to get a line in the water and see what’s biting. Below is a breakdown of my day-by-day report of the fishing action in Indialantic…
Sunday Evening: WEEDS EVERYWHERE! The week got off to a frustrating start after the first few casts of the week all came back tangled in weeds. We quickly realized our fishing efforts were in vain after spending more time peeling off vegetation from our lines as opposed to actually fishing. No fish were caught and we left optimistic that tomorrow would be a better day.
Monday Morning: Out of bed and onto the beach around 6:15 AM once there was enough sunlight to see. The waters were fairly calm and I attached a top-water plug to see if anything would bite. Unfortunately, once again I was greeted with more weeds. I waded out to the first bar to find that there was a break in the weeds and cleaner water existed just beyond the breakers. The fishing resumed, and there was a good amount of action within casting distance… lots of birds diving the water and pods of bait fish getting busted. Despite my efforts, nothing was interested in any top-water plugs or suspension baits, so I threw on ‘old-faithful’… the classic silver spoon. Immediately, I was greeted with lots of acrobatic lady fish attacking my bait. In realizing many consider lady fish ‘junk,’ they provided with loads of fun action for this non-local fisherman. Despite tarpon and other fish being spotted within casting distance, lady fish were the only ones that provided me any action. Towards the late morning, the water started getting sharky and I decided it was best to get back on land. We attempted to do some bottom fishing with Pompano rigs as well this morning, but there were still too many weeds to keep the line clean. The weeds came back in full force during the afternoon and it was impossible to get any lines in the water.
Tuesday: No fishing… spent the day in Orlando and let the youngsters run wild at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Wednesday morning: Woke up at dawn again to check out the beach and see if the weeds had moved on. I was beyond frustrated at this point and was a bit worried a week of fishing may get ruined by the weeds. To my surprise, the water clarity had cleared up significantly and the fishing resumed. We set up a few pompano rigs with Fish Bites and fresh shrimp to see if any keeper whiting or native pompano were around. Meanwhile, I threw some artificials in the surf to see if anything other than lady fish would take the bait. There wasn’t much visible action taking place in the surf this morning, but the fishing was fairly solid nonetheless. The pompano rigs produced plenty of whiting, small permit, and catfish. Eventually, with the dirty water being dominant, the catfish took over. Once again, nothing would touch a bevy of soft and hard plastic lures, but plenty of blue fish were eager to take a bite of silver and gold spoons.
Thursday afternoon: I enjoyed a very pleasant round of golf with Dad on Thursday morning, so once the rains moved on in the afternoon, we headed down to the beach to see if there was any action. As soon as we hit the sand, we could see huge tarpon rolling in the surf zone. My girlfriend, dad, and myself each grabbed a rod and hoped for the best. The tarpon blitz lasted about 45 minutes as we followed them busting on bait balls down the beach. As much as we tried, we couldn’t get any of them interested in any of the artificials we were throwing. Soft plastics, hard plastics, Mirrodines, plugs, rattle-traps… you name it. Meanwhile, my girlfriend grabbed the rod with the 1 oz silver spoon attached and she was getting hook-ups every cast. Bigger permit had moved in, as well as blue fish and spanish mackerel. Eventually, we all switched over to throwing spoons and the onslaught was relentless. Unfortunately, none of us received the ultimate prize of a tarpon hook-up, but we had a blast with the constant sound of drags screaming in the surf on every cast.
Friday morning: My last morning of fishing proved to be the best, by far. My 6:00 AM walk down to the beach greeted me with massive bait balls pushed up against the shore, for as long as the eye could see. The water clarity had improved 100% and covering the water were huge, dark blue patches of bait fish. It didn’t take long for all the tarpon to move in again and the action was intense. Big Jack Crevalle entered the scene and the feeding frenzy looked like something out of a National Geographic documentary.
Normally, I’ll fish in the mornings until breakfast time before heading back inside, but today was different. The feeding frenzy was longer than anything I had ever experienced and the big bait balls hung around the surf zone until about 2:00 in the afternoon. There were other local fisherman on the beach that I had made acquaintances with throughout the week (and from previous visits to the same location). They were also throwing a lot of soft-plastics in an attempt to get a hook-up with a tarpon, but none were successful. Meanwhile, the classic silver and gold spoons were bringing action on every cast. Jacks, Permit, Spanish Macks, Bluefish, Lady’s, Sennett, and more were all landed in multitudes. One brief tarpon hook-up occurred before she went air-born and spit my bait high into the air.
As high tide approached in the afternoon; the fishing became tougher as the water levels were too high to wade out to the first bar and the bait balls had moved out further into the water. The action had continued in full force, until the sharks sent me packing for good. Seeing a 5+ ft shark swimming horizontally in the breaking wave right in front of your eyes was enough nightmare fuel for me to get back to the shore. After watching in amusement the sharks feed on the few remaining bait balls close to the beach, I finally ended my 7+ hour fishing day and headed for the house. Even though nothing “major” was landed from the surf, it was some of the most intense fishing action I had ever experienced for such an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, I returned home to St. Louis without adding any more trophy fish to the photo album like our trips to Indialantic in 2018 (my first experience landing huge Snook in the surf). However, the thrill of being right in the middle of multiple feeding frenzies from the beach is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. My only regret is not taking the time to stop and take more pictures of our catches, but things were so crazy it was hard to stop casting long enough to photograph our fish.
Thanks to all the locals that provide such a wonderful location for me and my family to come visit every year. We love everything about the Melbourne Beach area and plan on continuing to visit indefinitely.
Cooler Water along the beach
Cooler water has moved in along the beach. The water is running in the lower 80’s with lots of glass minnow pods moving up and down the beach. Despite the minnows, in the morning off Satellite Beach, the bite has been slower this past week than it has been the past few weeks.
There is still the slime layer from the beach to 10-15yds out making shore fishing a messy and frustrating experience unless you wade out past the slime. Water clarity is chalky to 50-75yds off the beach then progressively clears up the further out you go.
Beyond the slime, the Sennet are still fairly veracious and would indiscriminately hit my Yozuri crystal minnow, top water plug, and spoon. I usually see some tarpon hitting the minnows, but not this morning. I did see some small Spanish jumping here and there in pursuit of the minnows. Most of the action was along the water clarity change or the edge of the minnow pods.
BIG TARPON OFF SATELLITE BEACH
Multiple LARGE tarpon were slamming everything at Satellite Beach today. I even had them steal small catches off my pompano rigs before I could get them in. TWICE they took off and went aerial with my rigs!
I had two chances free lining baits within 10 feet of the water line. Unfortunately both times I couldn’t get a hook up. Other catches included ladyfish and a mystery (to me) fish. Looks like a sheepshead without the stripes?