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.
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.
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.
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.
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.