Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach Surf Fishing set ablaze over the past week. Pompano showed a stronger presence with anglers catching them consistently fishing from Cocoa Beach south to Vero Beach. That wasn’t the only highlight happening though, with catches of permit, snook, tarpon and sharks possibly stealing the show. Not to be forgotten was the increased activity in keeper-sized whiting, bluefish, mackerel and ladyfish that kept the mix busy.
The combination of clean water, calm seas and the fall mullet run established a lively scene on beaches stretching the entirety of Brevard County. This in turn led to an increased catch rate of the target species listed above. Flurries of bait fish swarming down the coast lit up southern beaches with aerialist predatory species launching from below. Frenzies of bluefish and mackerel infiltrated central area beaches while the larger concentrations of snook and tarpon ran supreme in southern beaches. No matter what species you had on the line, the sharks being so prevalent, many rigs were sharked off or discounted on the way to shore by the taxman.
Shark fishing trips near Cocoa Beach south to Sebastian Inlet had families reeling in multiple sharks a day. Tread lightly this time of year as the waters are literally teeming with life and the sharks especially are taking full advantage. Even when running live bait rigs for snook, tarpon, mackerel or blues, it’s been common to hook up with large blacktips and lemon sharks. Understanding the current conditions leaves surf fishing anglers no choice but to concede the prize and deal with the relentless circumstances of the shark-rich waters.
Table fare fish hit the upswing in multiples in the prior week with outstanding catches on double digit whiting, large pompano and mackerel abound. Always reliable and delicious to be in a good whiting bite as these crustacean eaters wet any veteran surf anglers palate. Then the surf rod does the triple bounce and bends with such might that only the prized pompano accentuates. Blanched or live sand fleas combined with a chartreuse crab or electric chicken Fishbites pulled in the majority of the keeper pompano. Plenty of small pompano are in the surf as well, but the larger fish over 14-15” are being seen with consistency from Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a trophy permit with the rig mentioned above. Surf fishing guide Eric landed this beautiful permit with clients who booked a guided beach fishing excursion this past week.
Looking forward, I’m excited to continue the transition from summer to fall and watch the migratory species really take hold when the temperatures begin to drop. Until then our surf fishing charters will take full advantage of the species on tap and adjust accordingly as the conditions shift. The last few days brought wind and dirtier waters on the northern beaches of Brevard, but this hasn’t halted the catches coming onto the beach. No matter where your location is along our Space Coast I would strongly encourage getting out there and hitting the surf fishing. It’s not every day you can catch everything from a permit to pompano or snook, tarpon or shark on the very same rig… let that one soak in!