Monthly Archives

October 2021

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

The seaweed battle continues along Space Coast beaches as the theme continues from previous weeks. Each day holds its own challenges with this major inhibitor to surf fishing effectively. While perseverance pays, it’s worth noting the challenges the seaweed has reeked on local surf fishing. For those that choose to battle with this seaweed onslaught, they’ve been rewarded with catches of shark, bluefish, whiting, Jack crevalle and pompano, with the pompano mostly under the legal size limit.

Youth angler landing a slightly undersize pompano looking for the big ones.

All being considered, the shark fishing charters stood out this week over all other species catches. Numerous Blacktip sharks were caught while lemons and sandbar sharks were more sporadic. Unleashing the thrill of these powerful predators had surf fishing clients stoked to land them in good numbers. Fresh cut bait stole the show once again and it’s highly recommended over the frozen baits especially in recent weeks. Your bait of choice will prove night and day results, so put in the work and get the freshest possible chunked bait.

Shark fishing charters providing numerous shark catches.

Light tackle spinning gear continued its production with bluefish, jacks, ladyfish and blue runners for those stalking the shorelines with a spoon or swim bait. With the mullet beginning to show signs of inconsistency, having your artificial game prepared will help nullify the lack of live bait for pitching in the trough. Using this repetitive casting and retrieving method is one way to deter significant amounts of seaweed accumulating on one’s line. The species listed were the most common catches with artificial and live baits but snook, flounder and tarpon still remain a possibility although that probability is lower than weeks past.

Rod bending action for blacktip sharks in the surf.

 

Surf fishing the Sebastian Inlet

Pompano fishing looks to pick up as spontaneous catches of late should find more consistency with a drop in the water temperatures. Currently, the water clarity has improved and now it’s just a fingers-crossed situation that the seaweed situation will improve. Expect better numbers of whiting and smaller drums with this coinciding cold front approaching. Pompano rigs with fresh shrimp have fared better of late, so my recommendation would be to have sand fleas, shrimp and Fishbites on hand for the above-mentioned species.

Double pompano surf fishing Melbourne beach.

Space Coast Fall Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Active waters made for a lively surf fishing scene here on the Space Coast. The mullet run continues to deliver bubbling surfaces with predatory fish like tarpon, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks and sharks taking full advantage. Each day has brought with it waves of mullet, pilchards and horn bellies sweeping down the beach. This in turn has resulted in varying schools being ambushed at local area beaches with the higher tide proving to be the most successful.

Surf Fishing Sebastian Inlet

Opportunities at hand have been thwarted specifically when the seaweed and dirty water takes over. The abundance of seaweed can restrict one’s ability to access the first and second trough with any effectiveness. Not all days encountered this issue. Certain days provided ample conditions while others just simply were too detrimental to access the fish. Reports varied on a daily basis. Cocoa Beach was freed of the inhibiting seaweed later in the week while Melbourne Beach to Sebastian Inlet beaches had an influx after the northeasterly winds shifted the seaweed south.

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing

All in all, plenty of fish are being caught with the above-mentioned seaweed issues. The persistent surf fishermen are having success with whiting, short pompano, bluefish, ladyfish and jack crevalle and sharks, caught on bait or lures. Fresh cut bait deployed in the exploding first trough resulted in the majority of bluefish and sharks, while a rapidly retrieved spoon created catches of ladyfish, jack crevalle and a few Spanish mackerel. Fresh dead shrimp, sand fleas and Fishbites brought home the targeted whiting, pompano and sheepshead for supper.

Space Coast Surf Fishing Charters

Relying upon one method of surf fishing isn’t a wide choice this time of year. The wide variety of species running the shores has resulted in our surf fishing charters staying flexible and diverse. Running surf fishing equipment for sharks and tarpon while coinciding with light tackle, live bait fishing and dead sticks with pompano rigs for pompano and whiting. This playbook ensures a unique approach to let the current conditions dictate the most effective manner to target fish with the multiple opportunities on hand.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Exciting times are upon us as everyone eagerly awaits the first major schools of pompano to show. The water clarity has continuously improved from prior weeks, which will dictate the probability of success when the pompano do make their presence in Brevard County waters. The lone rangers and resident fish are currently present but the big numbers are still up the coast north of Jacksonville. With all that being considered, it’s just a matter of weeks coupled with a few cold fronts to get the show underway.

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach to Sebastian Inlet

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Space Coast surf fishing delivered mixed results with varying conditions being the main contributing factor. Certain days were definitely more productive than others, while location played a significant role as well. Tarpon, snook, sharks, pompano, bluefish and catfish were amongst the frequently seen species. With the mullet run still in full swing, it’s been a roll of the dice on which beaches and tides have delivered the best results with the correlating bait migration.

Surf Fishing for Pompano on the Space Coast

Live bait fishing the trough continues to bring in big catches of tarpon, snook, bluefish and sharks. Tarpon rolling and feeding close to shore gives surf fishing anglers an opportunity to hook into a trophy sports fish. Multiple hookups on tarpon with live or chunked dead bait left anglers chasing these acrobatic powerhouses down the shore edge. Hooking into these mystical beasts is one thing, but actually getting them to shore for a safe release becomes an entirely different challenge. While employing these live and dead bait rigs the sharks have also been prevalent, so be prepared for cutoffs if you don’t have wire leaders.

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing

The flurry of mullet ceases to amaze me day in and day out watching tarpon and sharks crashing through these schools. With the above mentioned tactics being ignored, we have been able to find keeper pompano and bluefish also in the mix. Plenty of short pompano are being caught in between these keepers, but persistence pays with filets of pompano rewarding those consistently targeting these fish. Blanched sand fleas with white clam or pink shrimp Fishbites on a pompano rig performed well this week while fishing either side of the high tide. Water clarity maintains the single largest contributing factor for finding success with pompano, so put in the due diligence in finding optimal conditions.

Snook Fishing the Space Coast

No matter the efforts put in, the sharks continue to dominate the lively ocean realm. Food-driven bait leads to other predatory fish which in turn leads to sharks. Plenty of cutoffs have been delivered by these toothy specimens in search of our edible target species. With that being said, now is an incredible time for shark fishing from the shore on local area beaches. Blacktips reign supreme with a crushing strike and aerialist display for those live or chunked baits fishing the first or second trough.

All in all it’s been a rollercoaster ride each day fishing the Space Coast beaches depending on water clarity and seaweed as to catches of catfish or your intended species. Multiple days led by afternoon southern winds dirtied waters to the benefit of catfish. These adaptable scent feeders can tarnish any hopes for riches with each strike, seeing their whiskers approaching the shore! Fish hard and diversify your setup to open up all the possibilities on offer for the current season, all while knowing each day will deliver something completely different. Have fun and be safe!

Snook Fishing Sebastian Inlet

Space Coast Fall Mullet Run

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

The fall mullet run in Florida has hit full stride over the past week. Schools of baitfish with the majority being mullet are pouring down Space Coast beaches. This in turn has triggered exceptional surf fishing with snook, flounder, bluefish, and ladyfish taking full advantage of this opportunity. With the listed species having been caught up and down the Brevard coast, the majority of consistent catches are being reported from Patrick Air Force Base south to Sebastian Inlet.

Fall Mullet Run on the Space Coast

Taking part in this fishery can be multifaceted with many options available. My preferred method involves live bait or artificial lures with a minimal setup to keep things mobile. Casting rod, castnet and small tackle bag is all that’s needed. Check multiple locations for key signs of life including diving birds, fleeing baitfish and crashing fish. Once you find the increased activity, deploy a live mullet, croaker or threadfin in the first trough and hang on. If live bait isn’t an option, walk the shores in the same pattern with a bucktail jig, lipped diving plug, or swim bait.

Fall Snook Fishing on the Space Coast

Presentation holds the key to success so take note of the conditions on hand. The size of the surf, current, and wind dictates what size weight and how to hook the bait for the preferred action desired. I prefer the bait slightly restricted rolling in the trough being pulled in and out with the wave’s motion. Depending on conditions, use anywhere from a split shot to a two-ounce weight to maintain the ideal areas for ambush feeding. Light tackle makes a ton of fun for catching these fish in the shallower depths, rewarding the efforts of surf anglers with prized species of snook and flounder.

Surf Fishing for Flounder

Realizing the changing of the seasons is just on the horizon has many anglers efforts focused on the mullet run, but this doesn’t mean the traditional surf fishing method with pompano rigs isn’t an effective approach currently. Whiting continues to be consistent on a rising tide and also pompano with the majority being undersized. Fishbites and live sand fleas continue to perform best when fishing this rising tide targeting the outflows running off the beach. Don’t be surprised if a snook, bluefish or ladyfish engulf this setup as well. Additionally, the pompano rig with live or dead mullet has accounted for many snook catches as well.

In summary, I’m excited to keep working the bait schools and dabble with.

Cocoa Beach & Sebastian Inlet Snook Fishing

the pompano and whiting. Knowing just around the corner the snook and baitfish will abate leading into the full-blown pompano run. Changing out gear and tactics for chasing one of my favorite fish will return just as soon as the water temperature creeps down. So for now it’s taking advantage of the wild fishery that is the fall mullet run and prepping the tackle for the first schools of pompano that are soon to arrive. Enjoy the explosiveness that’s defining our fishery currently and what’s coming in the upcoming months.

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