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September 2020

Surf Fishing Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Surf fishing reports were mixed this week with the large swells and turbulent waters. Fortunately, as the swell subsided, the conditions improved tremendously for surf fishing anglers along the Space Coast from Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet. With the current swell and wind setting up for another good weekend of fishing conditions, make sure to take advantage of every optimal window. Water clarity has always been a major derivative when approaching a successful beach fishing adventure. As a result of the diminishing swell last weekend, the water clarity improved accordingly. With this being said, we began to see a consistent bite near the end of the week for pompano, whiting, mackerel, sharks, and snook.

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Shark fishing has been on fire with the food sources running along the beaches. This fishery doesn’t have to be the most detailed to find success. Unlike other species, which feed with sight, sharks’ keen sense of smell will bring their jaws to the nearest source of scent. Chunked baits of mullet, pogies, and ladyfish have resulted in consistent catches of varying size sharks. With the appropriate tackle, anglers should continue to see a high success of catches in the coming weeks.

Pompano fishing hasn’t disappointed either with the residing swell and seaweed mats. Towards the latter part of the week, heaps of short pompano were caught along with legal mixes in the bunch. Doubles of short pompano weren’t seldom as the school ones pushed through the surf zone collectively. Surf fishing anglers prepared to weed through the smaller fish will be rewarded with time and patience. Surf fishing charters near Cocoa Beach saw a strong run multiple days in a row. Bigger pompano seemed to run solo or in pairs and were being caught between the shorts.

Surf Fishing in Cocoa Beach

Surf Fishing for Whiting

Fishing for whiting shouldn’t be downplayed for the obvious size and strength qualities. These delicious, crustacean-eating bottom feeders are hitting the beach consistently and with size to match. Whiting ranging from 17-20 inches have been steadily biting from south Cocoa Beach to the north end of Sebastian Inlet. As for the bait choices, Fish Bites shrimp and sand flea flavor bare or tipped has been key to steady catches. Don’t be surprised if you end up with half a whiting on the way in! The sharks are prevalent and ravenous during this time period.

Surf Fishing for Snook

Surf Fishing Cocoa Beach

Lastly, big game anglers looking for snook or tarpon along with the occasional bycatch of sharks have been having great luck the last couple weeks. Tarpon fishing from the shore is a seasonal event that only occurs during heights of numerous baitfish runs. Free lining a larger mullet or croaker out will be a successful tactic to jump a silver king. Hook the baitfish in the back dorsal or anal fin so it can make way from shore and continue to cover water to the east.

Find diving birds and bait fish blowing up and start there. This same tactic is also highly effective for snook fishing with the similarity of the bait push along the coast. Once this weather subsides, it will be a prime window for fishing the beach and going after a mixed bag, big and small.

Fall Mullet Run on the Space Coast

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Surf fishing rigs like pompano rigs or knocker rigs have been on fire this last week. Fishing from the beach with these rigs has delivered a wide variety of species leaving fisherman to ponder what could be next. This event is a direct result of the fall mullet run appearing right on time. Predatory species such as snook, tarpon, jack crevalle and sharks can be caught fishing the tightly packed bait pods moving along the beaches from Port Canaveral to north of Sebastian Inlet.

Surf Fishing Tips

Targeting the above-mentioned gamefish can be accomplished with live bait worked on a jig head, knocker rig, fish finder rig or free lined. Catching mullet with a 5-7 foot cast right from the shore of the beach makes it possible for even a novice angler especially during the Fall mullet run. Bring a bait bucket with aeration to keep your live bait alive and well. Live bait fishing from the beach can be an extremely rewarding tactic. Jumping tarpon from the shore never disappoints. The distinct thump of a snook inhaling the restricted bait will send your heart rate through the roof. These exciting surf fishing opportunities are here today, and I strongly recommend preparing with the proper tools for the specific species on hand. If you’re curious about surf fishing equipment or surf fishing setups, please give us a call for recommendations, or visit your local tackle shop for professional advice.

Surf Fishing for Mutton Snapper

Pompano fishing still has provided the table fare for the patient and motivated anglers willing to find the best conditions. Sand fleas have been plentiful still with more positive results on a higher tide. Along with the pompano, fishing charters this last week were reeling in blue fish, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, whiting and even a mutton snapper. Yes, you heard that correct. Although it’s more of a seldom catch fishing the shore, it definitely wasn’t the first time it’s occurred.

Understanding Surf Fishing Conditions

The immense presence of baitfish, including glass minnows, pogies and mullet has predator fish from all depths getting in on the action. Finding the right rip currents, eddies and troughs between sandbars will define your success. Understand what the fish like in a certain area or condition and attempt to repeat the positive results by mimicking that approach. The sand along our Space Coast beaches is in constant influx, so do the proper reconnaissance to find the hidden gems at a location perhaps outside of your normal hunting ground!

East Coast Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

The latest Central East Coast Surf Fishing Report: This is the season for motivated anglers to pounce on the numerous opportunities our local waters have to offer. Currently we’re seeing a bit of deviation from traditional years past. The fall mullet run should be showing signs of a push. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any significant mullet migrations down the Central East Coast of Florida. With that being said, this could change at any moment. Continue to keep a pulse on when the mullet does arrive. It’s one of my favorite seasonal fisheries, ripping into a ton of fish on bait or artificial. A ton of fun!

Surf Fishing Tips

Last week saw a smattering of whiting, pompano, blue fish, spanish mackerel, and jack crevalle fishing the beach. Certain days this week during surf fishing charters we’ve had double digits whiting catches along with a handful of pompano, and Spanish mackerel and ladyfish topping off the day’s catch. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to strategize for the plethora of species to be hooked. Dead sticking using pompano rigs with Fishbites in combination with sand fleas, clams, or shrimp is a generally universal approach to cover the spectrum.

Central East Coast Surf FishingThe Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish can be caught using a variety of tactics. Along with dead sticking, a very effective tactic is to employ the use of artificial lures. Surf fishing equipment can be quite diversified when you gain the understanding of species targeting. For casting artificial lures such as gotcha lures or spoons, I recommend using a 2000-4000 series reel with 10-20lb braid and 30-40lb fluorocarbon with a trace of light wire for the mackerel. One can get away without the wire, but be warned, you’re going to lose a few lures to these toothy critters. For the cautious approach, the trace wire will protect your investment, while sacrificing a few extra bites due to the visibility.

East Coast Surf Fishing for Tarpon

Central East Coast surf fishing for Tarpon are in full swing currently from the north end all the way down to the south end of Brevard County. An effective method of finding a workable area is to drive to various accesses and look for diving birds. Once you locate the bait and bird piles, then make use of a kayak, canoe, or paddle board to access the frenzy. Lots of options exist for feeding fish, but a tried and true method of slow trolling a live mullet, menhaden or pogie will ensure best results. Recommended fishing tackle consist of larger spinning reels from 4000-6000 series. Match that with 20-60lb braid and a 3-6 foot fluorocarbon leader. Circle hooks are a must for this fishery as well. Being a catch-and-release sports fish makes it that much more important to safely catch, handle and release a strong fish. Whether it be by shore or small vessel, now is an amazing time to explore the various fisheries while good weather persists. Get out there and get tight!