Shore fishing charters have been a challenge to say the least, with the onslaught of apocalyptic seaweed combined with high winds and seas resulting in lots of canceled trips the week prior. Eager clients were chomping at the bit to get out and catch fish in the surf so I spent the weekend scouting and scouring our Space Coast beaches in search of an opportunity to wet the lines and get the fishing on. It was a depressing mission viewing each beach access up and down the coast covered up to three feet high in seaweed that stretched out beyond the breaking waves leaving no window for surf fishing success. In my entire life, Florida born and raised in the area, never have I seen such a sight as the prior two week period. Well, the search mission and ambition paid off, and I have great news that the waters are fishable, and they are teeming with life!
The seaweed layers awash were scattered through the surf zone making different tides and swell sizes favorable to attempt a go. While it wasn’t necessarily ideal surf fishing conditions, the show must go on. Starting over the weekend I began taking out trips and finding the cleanest waters to dictate my game plan. We were able to fish ten minute sets before seaweed inundated the fishing lines. The results varied each day of the week in terms of species frequency, but the similarities held true, it’s fishable and we were finally throwing lines out again.
Family fun fishing trips produced amazing results with toddlers, teens, parents and grandparents reeling in pompano, bluefish, whiting, catfish, and sharks. Early morning low light conditions produced double-header catfish at times, but as the sun reached higher in the sky and the tide backed out, it was game on for the pompano bite. Consistently catching pompano on each of our beach fishing trips, I was elated with the results of our efforts. Big pompano were hitting the shores bringing a smile to kids, adults, and the guide alike. Yes, there were challenging times and conditions the last couple of weeks, but it seems to have finally waned and opportunities await.
Numerous times this week double-digit pompano were being landed by those who were dialed in on the patterns. Just goes to show you, they’re not all in north Florida as many forums and opinions have constantly stated over the past few weeks. Take advantage and get in on these big slab pompano while the fun lasts.
Surf Fishing Tips
Species abound during this time of year with shark fishing charters producing blacktip sharks, snook, bluefish and stingrays. Fresh cut bait has been the key. It’s always an interesting time of year to see what picks up the shark rig with the possibility of landing a shark, snook, bluefish, tarpon, stingray or drum. With this being said, I usually prefer to run a diversified surf fishing setup for my clients this time of year. Running a handful of rods set with pompano rigs, a couple rods with live or chunked bait, a shark rod and a light tackle setup for casting to snook, jack and bluefish. Depending on how you approach the conditions, this time of year will dictate what species you may catch but the excitement of never fully knowing what’s going to grab hold makes this a surprisingly wonderful time of year. Go out and get some!