Monthly Archives

October 2020

Central East Coast Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Surf fishing Florida’s Central East Coast can be a tumultuous time for  unpredictable periods of time. Situated on the states coastline in a  particularly exposed region delivers a wide array of conditions. Bigger surf  and heavy currents comparative to north and south Florida leads to  windows of grand fishing or complete bust. Last week was a prime  example of what we have to understand as surf fisherman in this area.  High wind and big swells demolished the wide open fishery that was  enjoyed the week prior. Extensive mats of seaweed blanketed the beaches  causing water clarity to turn to chocolate milk. This state of affairs either  shut it down or left the brave to deal with high numbers of catfish,  frustrating moments of debris on the line, and a what-am-I doing-out-here  head space. Opportunities weren’t many to be had, but the determined  anglers could still produce a catch.

Surf Fishing for Black Drum

Surf Fishing for Black Drum

Surf Fishing Cocoa Beach

Surf Fishing Cocoa Beach

Guided beach fishing trips had clients working through these difficult  conditions to find success in any form. Catfish were absolutely the number  one fish that pulled and twisted in their surf fishing rigs last week. Jack  crevalle, whiting, puppy black drum and pompano were also highlighting  the days catch. Large schools of ladyfish and spanish mackerel that  roamed just days before all but vanished under the unruly conditions. Surf  fishing equipment needed for the heavy waves and rips were 11-13ft rods,  Sputnik leads and plenty of Fishbites, not to mention patience and  determination. By no means was it a week to set aside for this sport.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Surf Fishing for Pompano

The Roy’s Surf Fishing Challenge had the best of the best in the surf  fishing game compete on Saturday. The conditions going in were  understood to be very difficult. Surf fishing anglers dispersed along the  east coast seaboard from Jacksonville to Sebastian Inlet. When the dust  settled, only a few pompano amongst the competitors were weighed in.  Fortunately we took home the number one prize in largest pompano  overall and junior angler. The win came on a custom pompano fishing rig  with Fishbites shrimp flavor and a live sand flea, caught in Brevard County.

Surf Fishing East Central Florida

Surf Fishing East Central Florida

This congregation of talented fisherman who struggled through the day is  a testament to the difficult conditions during the competition. With this  weeks forecast subsiding to more optimal surf fishing conditions, I  encourage everyone to hit the beach and find the fish.There’s no telling when the next round of wind and waves could collide with our coastline  and deteriorate the opportunity. Get out and get tight!

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report

The latest Space Coast surf fishing report continues to check all the boxes whether fishing in the surf or from a boat. Snook, redfish, tripletail and cobia have been available to nearshore anglers. Local fishing charters haven’t seen a shortage of action with big redfish and shark fishing highlighting the majority of family fishing trips near Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet. I had the opportunity to take a few guests out this week to participate in the nearshore action. Bending a rod this time of year relegates the question of not when, but what is tugging? With the target species comes a smorgasbord of “bycatch” including ladyfish, sharks, jack crevalle, ribbon fish and blue runners. Make sure to stockpile plenty of bait as it can go fast and furious when the bite is on.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Surf fishing the beaches surprised most anglers with a fresh pulse of pompano hitting our coastline. Varying locations along area beaches was essential to finding denser concentrations on any given day. Once again, the key to making these decisions relates to the information an angler may obtain. Real-time observations of water clarity, fishing reports, tides and bait concentrations are key. Cocoa Beach charters caught plenty of fish early in the week as well as Patrick Air Force Base beaches, only for it to slow as the week progressed. If you’re not catching, then move. Simple as that. Fishing near Sebastian Inlet, Melbourne Beach, and Indiatlantic found a more consistent bite throughout the week from start to finish. Pompano, whiting, mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, jack crevalle and blue runners terrorized surf fishing rigs daily.

Surf Fishing for Sharks in the Space Coast

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Shark fishing charters and shark fishing from the beach remain to be hands down out of this world extraordinary. It’s as good as it gets for shark fishing the beaches locally. The majority of trips taken this week have seen easily identifiable signs of sharks of various sizes cruising in the inner surf zones. Targeting sharks from the shoreline with the most common catches being sandbar shark, black tip sharks, nurse, lemon and spinner sharks. These sport fish provide a rod bending, drag-screaming experience for family fun trips or serious individual anglers alike. Make sure to put in due diligence before tackling this sport as there are FWC requirements to abide by as well as safety guidelines that should be followed closely.

Fall Mullet Run Update

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report

Surf Fishing for Whiting

The fall mullet run has been hit and miss the last week. One day tons of bait can be constantly flooding down the beaches, and the next day one school may swim by in a few hours. With that being said, come with a structured game plan in mind. Understand the need to acquire live bait in the lagoon or at a local bait shop, which will guarantee having it available in the surf. With the inconsistencies taking place, it’s a smart decision to make. Use the live baits in the first trough rigged on a fish finder rig or free lined. Methodically working these areas will produce catches of snook, Spanish mackerel, redfish and bluefish. Get out there and get tight before it’s all over!

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Surf fishing near Sebastian Inlet continues to provide exciting diversity. There’s really no telling what’s about to grab your surf fishing rig. Live bait, dead bait, and Fish Bites have been a go-to combination for recent catches. Live sand fleas along with schools of mullet have been readily available to anglers prepared with a sand flea rake and cast net. With the primo baits so accessible, it’s been a wide open opportunity for surf fishing anglers. Everything from snook, tarpon, sharks and even permit are frequenting our Space Coast beaches.

pompano fishing space coast

Space Coast Pompano Surf Fishing

Pompano continues to impress for the early season run with water temperatures staying in the low 80’s. The major schools haven’t arrived in mass, but tons of pompano are being caught that are unfortunately just under the legal limit. Following a similar trend from last week, it takes catching a handful of pompano to get a legal one. Surf fishing charters targeting pompano have resulted in a couple keepers per trip with the majority being between 9-11inches. Make sure to have a measuring tool readily available to get an accurate measurement and quick release. This helps ensure these silver delicacies aren’t devoured when entering the surf wounded and handicapped.

Surf Fishing Tips

Pompano may be one of the intended target species, but that hasn’t deterred multi-catch days on a plethora of other species. Everything’s biting from giant Spanish mackerel, whiting, jack crevalle, blue runners, ladyfish and bluefish. At certain points during the bite, it’s almost impossible to keep a pompano rig out long enough for your desired species. Live sand fleas seem to be working for all the above species, everything from the toothy predators like mackerel and bluefish as well as snook and permit. If you want a one size fits all, I would absolutely recommend sticking with live sand sand fleas along with the Fish Bites strips.

spanish mackerel surf fishing

Spanish Mackerel Surf Fishing

Shark fishing Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach, and Sebastian Inlet has been nothing short of phenomenal. The enormous influx of bait and predators eating that bait have enticed the sharks right into the inner surf zone. Shark fishing with standard surf fishing equipment improvised with heavy braided line, steel leader and non-offset hooks with the barbs filed down with fresh dead bait remain successful. At the moment with so much bait and life along the shore, it’s unnecessary to paddle out baits and use offshore open face reels to participate in this fishery.

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing

Ever dream of catching a trophy permit off the beach? Well if you had any interest in doing so now is an opportune time. Multiple permits were reported near Sebastian Inlet north to Indiatlantic. Here’s a photo of Jack Maessner with a 39”, 25lb permit caught on a standard pompano rig with live sand fleas. Seasonal fisheries vary with water temps and species, but I would highly recommend hitting the beach for the surprise catches that continue to excite surf fishing anglers.

sebastian inlet permit fishing

Surf Fishing for Permit

Surf Fishing Brevard County

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Surf fishing Brevard County beaches delivered mixed results last week. The biggest factors affecting catches were contributed to water clarity and seaweed. The first half of the week seemed to provide more challenging conditions than the last few days with a favorable forecast continuing into next week. Multiple species ranging from sharks, snook, pompano, bluefish, catfish, whiting, ladyfish, mackerel, jack crevalle and tarpon. It really has been variable day to day with what species are available and roaming on our coasts.

Cocoa Beach Shark Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Shark fishing charters delivered stellar results the past few weeks with large concentrations of baitfish and predatory fish on the hunt. Beach fishing for sharks with live bait and dead chunk baits have been the key to success. Shark fishing Port Canaveral to the south of Sebastian Inlet has been red hot. Make sure to come prepared for battle with beefed up tackle that can hold up to the pressure of these predators of the sea. Surf fishing equipment for sharks include braided line in the 40-80 lb. range with large capacity spinning reels or conventional open-face tackle. Implementing wire leaders and strong circle hooks for hook set placement and survival rates upon release are a must. Ensure you handle sharks cautiously and safely for a healthy return to the sea.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Pompano fishing is soon to heat way up for our Central East Coast beaches. Keep an eye on that water temp for the big schools to show. This week our beach fishing charters caught tons of undersized pompano with 10-20% of those catches being over the legal limit in the 12-15 inch class fish. As difficult as it was to land keeper size fish, a percentage of those catches were attacked on the way in by bluefish and sharks. It’s absolutely a predatory world out there right now with an eat or be eaten mentality.

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing

While the main topics of discussion are shark fishing and pompano, there is plenty of rod-bending action to keep you busy in the surf. The whiting bite hasn’t disappointed with a consistency that keeps the white meat hitting the coolers. Along with the prominent table fare species, the frequency of bluefish, jack crevalle, ladyfish and mackerel have kept the action nonstop.

Snook fishing took a slight dip this week from previous weeks but that shouldn’t be a pattern that holds steadily as we continue with our fall mullet run. Pulses come and go and with these major migrations it’s up to the angler to keep a beat on when the waves of bait are rolling through. These mullet are easily attainable with a cast net and have resulted in the vast majority of snook, tarpon and flounder catches in the surf. Preferably fishing around a tide change at the end of high and beginning of low seems to provide the best results. Make a game plan to get out to go surf fishing in Brevard County and participate in this rich seasonal fishery!

East Coast Fall Mullet Run

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

East Coast Fall Mullet Run

The fall mullet run along Florida’s east coast is in full effect. The anticipation of this annual migration has been fulfilled, with anglers in multiple fisheries rejoicing, particularly for surf fishing anglers with shoreline access to world class sport fishing. Beach fishing for tarpon, snook, redfish and sharks will reward those willing to invest the time. Surf fishing Port Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet at any beach access with diving birds and exploding mullet will result in your best luck.

surf fishing for tarpon east coast fall mullet run

Surf Fishing for Tarpon

Surf fishing reports in the southern region covering Indialantic to Sebastian Inlet have seen multiple species being caught in a day. Spanish mackerel, pompano, ladyfish and whiting catches have been phenomenal when the water clarity provides green and blue waters. Casting in the first or second trough along with the outer bar with Fishbites and sand fleas continue to see success. On certain days, I recommend having fresh dead shrimp as well as clams to diversify the scent combinations. Sheepshead, drum and croakers will be commonly caught near beaches with structure and water flow.

Utilizing the use of the dead stick rods rigged for smaller table fare will be a valuable tactic for current water conditions this week. With that being said, the name of the game these next couple weeks is the mullet run. Unlike any other period of the year, it’s absolutely electric where the vibrant waters meet our shoreline where you’ll commonly see snook, jack crevalle, sharks and tarpon crashing schools of bait at the edge of your feet. Fishing around a fuller tide will bring these species right along the beach within the casting range of any particular setup. From 7-foot rods rigged with a 2000-4000 series reel up to your 6000-8000 series reels on 8- to 12-foot rods. Depending on the target species, come prepared with enough breaking strength on your surf fishing equipment or be prepared to be spooled by a big shark or tarpon.

east coast fall mullet run pompano

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing Tips

Predatory species abound makes it an all-exciting moment to stalk the surf. Multiple gamefish including the prized snook and tarpon can be caught consistently with a free-lined mullet or croaker. Hook sizes and styles vary situationally, relying on a 4/0-6/0 circle hook will have you prepared for any sports fish besides a big shark. Work the inside deep water troughs before and after a high tide for optimal range with the surf fishing rigs mentioned. Casting swim baits, diving plugs or jigs will also be very successful during this bait run.

The last week has been red hot with near term conditions looking prime as well. The next couple weeks should be seized upon for any surf fishing anglers interested in big bites and big fish. Find the bait and you’ll find the fish! Get out there and good luck.

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