Surf fishing anglers scattered across Space Coast beaches celebrated many catches during the month of March. Pompano fishing near Melbourne Beach and Cocoa Beach hit spurts of schooling fish with excellent catches followed up by a whiting bite that created nonstop action. Everything from bluefish to Jack crevalle, croakers and bonnethead sharks made it a scenario where one could only guess what was on the line. Rounding off this diversified fish species list were the blacktip sharks that continue their presence off local beaches.
For the most part, the surf fishing conditions were optimal many days in the previous weeks with ideal water clarity and correlated temperatures to match. This in turn fired up the pompano to charge back north from south Florida beaches. The largest of pompano ranged from 16” up to 19” and were the majority of catches for multiple weeks on end. Fresh peeled shrimp or sand fleas were the baits of choice, rigged with Fishbites in the crab or clam flavor on a standard pompano rig. While many of the fish roamed the outside sandbars, there was a decent percentage that came from the first and second trough.
Family fishing charters couldn’t get enough of the action with the whiting infiltration that ensued with kids reeling in doubled-up whiting cast after cast. This kind of whiting bite always brings joy when it heightens anglers activity level scurrying from rod to rod. Certain days brought as much whiting as one could handle while selectively keeping the largest for a fine meal. First and second trough casts pulled them in by the twos with Fishbites alone being all one needed to catch.
With all the pompano, whiting and bluefish catches to keep one running, the trophy catches in the mix are worth a mention. Giant jack crevalle and sharks were by far the largest species caught in weeks prior. Jack crevalle exceeding 40 pounds have been blitzing up and down the coast from Sebastian Inlet to Port Canaveral. While many of the fish tend to be out of range of surf fishermen they occasionally skim in range of shore-casting anglers. This has resulted in some giants being landed on light tackle and a feat to be recognized.
Shark fishing charters paved the way for big time catches of blacktip sharks using fresh chunked bait. Often seen jumping and crashing through the surf this time of year, they are extremely prevalent currently. You might lose a few of your fish catches to them as inundated as the Space Coast waters are with sharks at the moment. Regardless, when targeting sharks they make for one heck of a fight and a memory for all. Heavy tackle with a quick battle to the shores and an expeditious release ensures we’ll maintain this fishery for generations to come. Take advantage of the good weather windows and hit the shores for beach fishing fun.
Pompano resurgence hits the Space Coast! Pompano and whiting came back with a vengeance last week while surf fishing near Cocoa Beach south to Melbourne Beach. Bluefish continued their seasonal onslaught while catfish and bonnethead sharks filled in the blanks. Clean water graced the coast for the latter half of the week before the front that hit over the weekend. To sum it up, it looks like we’re in for a good run of surf fishing lining up for the next couple of weeks.
The signature strike of a surf-roaming pompano excited our beach fishing charter clients. Towering rods bent over with the telltale signs signified a pompano on the line. The rig of choice was a combination pompano rig with pink floats and clam Fishbites tipped with fresh shrimp and sand fleas. This same rig accounted for multiple other species as well including black drum, bluefish and whiting.
Leaving no exception for the glorification of pompano had the whiting fighting for their shot at fame. They came in numbers and size this last week while surf fishing near Patrick Air Force Base and Melbourne Beach. On specific days these fish only wanted the Fishbites with a smaller profile in lieu of traditional surf fishing baits like sand fleas, clam and shrimp. As recommended, always try a broad array of baits to help isolate the feeding patterns of intended species.
Dirty water and high winds culminated on certain days to create an ideal environment for catfish and bonnethead sharks to shine. While interested pompano and whiting struggled to find bait over the scent-feeding species, it became a challenge to fish through these unintended species for our prized fish. When in doubt, make it stand out! Bright floats and color change rip currents minimize certain catches on days where conditions are challenging. Make your rigs custom to the day to increase results.
No matter the conditions or winds it never put a damper on shark fishing charters. Blacktips are in full force and we had at least one if not multiple hookups on each shark fishing trip. Fresh chunked baits along with live bait had them chewing. Heavy tackle and tight drag helps in fighting these sporadic sharks to an expeditious catch and release. In conclusion, I would say get out and take part in the surf fishing over the next few weeks. Conditions look favorable for this week and beyond.
Surf fishing reports for Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach and Sebastian Inlet held a similar trend to the prior week with inconsistencies on a daily basis. The water temperatures have plummeted and that has resulted in a varying bite for most shorebound anglers. Bluefish stood the test of time as they’re no stranger to the cooler water temps and continue to stand out on each beach fishing charter. With a heavy dose of bluefish relenting to influxes of pompano, whiting, black drum and sheepshead it’s been an up and down week for surf fishing the Space Coast.
When one can find an ideal weather window, I absolutely encourage you to get out and try your luck on local area beaches. The catches of large bull whiting are still happening fishing near Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. Particularly this week, fresh cut clams along with peeled shrimp had an amazing catch rate. These two baits are always a great variation to the typical sand flea with Fishbites combo.
Pompano fishing the surf along Melbourne Beach and Indialantic also held slab fish. These fish continue to hold patterns where foods concentrate and then move right on when conditions deteriorate. Be sure to give yourself enough time to catch your chance at a passing group or fold it completely and move to another location if things never heat up. Combination pompano rigs with floats and beads rigged with electric chicken crab Fishbites and white clam worked particularly well.
As mentioned before, the bluefish continue their onslaught of persistence with a ferociousness that defines the species. Love ‘em or hate’ em they’re here for the action. Fresh chunked bait rigged with heavier leader on a pompano rig or just about anything will catch their attention currently. Fishing charter clients have had excellent success catching bluefish and other species close to the shore edge on a low and rising tide.
Finally we can always hang our hat on the shark fishing charters that are sure to show everyone a good time. Black tip sharks, Atlantic sharp nose and lemon sharks frequented the top species catches for the week. You can even peer out from the shore edge and see blacktips and spinner sharks acrobatically displaying for all free jumping past the breakers. If you’re ready to hit the beach with family and friends be sure to book a charter directly with us at cocoabeachsurffishingcharters.com or call for more information. ‘’Til next time, get out there and have fun.
Winter weather fronts made it a roller coaster of a week for surf fishing in Central Florida. While it was difficult to maintain a consistent bite during the week, our clients were putting fish on the beach in spurts of action. Pompano, whiting, black drum and sharks rounded out the top species being caught. With the water temps cooling off, it looks like conditions should continue to offer great opportunities ahead of the passing fronts. Surf fishing near Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral offered up a great whiting bite along with pompano and black drum. Crab flavored Fishbites tipped with fresh peel shrimp or blanched sand fleas on a pompano rig did the trick. Most of the fish were caught on extremely long casts on a falling tide. Bluefish were also available close to shore with fresh chunked bait or casting lures.
The pompano fishing in Melbourne Beach seemed to be the most consistent throughout the Space Coast region. Small schools created a flurry of bites within the duration of our charter fishing trips. Slower periods would ensue on a typical trip while we waited for passing fish to strike. Healthy slabs were beached when the bite fired and rarely were undersize fish seen. What a way to celebrate the winter in Florida by participating in a beautiful day fishing the beach.
Tablefare species like pompano and whiting were surely the target fish, but currently, there are opportunities for catching large black drum in our region. These fish frequent Brevard County water during the winter months and are sure to provide a fight of a lifetime. Black drums ranging upwards of 40 and 50 pounds are common during these migrational periods. Be sure to keep a keen eye out for dark-colored waters that could signify one of these schools. Cast anything from peeled shrimp, sand fleas or Fishbites to entice a bite from a massive black drum or cast buck tails and small jerk baits as well.
Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters shark fishing trips haven’t lost any steam with a steady flow of black tip sharks, lemon sharks and Atlantic sharp noses perusing the surf. Fortunately, shark fishing in Melbourne Beach remained a top area to land these top predators included in the action with our targeted fish species. There looks to be no end in sight for this healthy fishery. As always, be sure to educate yourself on the proper techniques for clean catch and release. Include in your arsenal shark fishing rigs with less steel leader and high abrasion heavy duty mono to increase bites when the waters are particularly clean and calm. Good luck and have fun!
January surf fishing has always been one of my favorite times of year to hit the beach. Species like pompano, black drum, sheepshead, whiting, and mackerel are sure to make their presence known. Depending on the weather and water temperatures will dictate what kind of month it shapes up to be. This year we are having unusually warm extended periods so look for a cool down to get the water temperatures back down to get things fired off.
Trophy-sized black drum will be one of the species we chase on our beach fishing charters in the months of January and February. These fish can reach upwards of 40-60lbs and make for quite the tug of war battle fishing from the shore. Commonly caught while targeting pompano in the surf these big drum are sure to surprise you with a relentless determination to not want to give in. Pompano rigs with clams, fresh dead shrimp or sandfleas will be the ideal baits to hookup with the giant drum or the smaller puppy drum.
Pompano fishing looks to stay consistent as the water temperatures should keep schooling fish nearby as well as the residential Pompano. These top-rated species are a favorite by far on our surf fishing charter where clients love to catch a delicious and hard-fighting fish. There’s nothing that gets the heart racing like seeing a large pompano bend the rod with a blitzing strike. Hopefully, the sandfleas return as they have been challenging to find this year as they continue to be one of my favorite baits for catching pompano in the surf.
Finally, during our surf fishing charters, we’ll rely on a predictable whiting bite that takes place consistently during the winter months. Most of the whiting can be upwards of 1lb this time of year and make for a really tasty fish fry. Use pompano rigs with beads and floats based on the conditions to dial in on the whiting. Fishbites hooked up with sandfleas and shrimp do extremely well for whiting fishing on the Space Coast. In between the pompano, whiting and drum the mackerel, sheepshead and blues will keep you steady reeling as this month tends to have lots of life in the water. So get out there and hit the beach to enjoy a cherished Florida winter sport that is surf fishing.
Family fishing charters have anglers of all ages embracing the holiday spirit with catches of pompano, whiting, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks. Celebrating the gathering of friends and family with absolute pristine weather conditions had our clients looking to find surf fishing success on these beautiful December days. Each species had ups and downs with the daily rotation of the week, but the bluefish, mackerel and sharks stood out above the rest. Shark fishing trips produced great results of blacktip sharks on fresh chunked bait and some whole baits as well.
The surf fishing near Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral continued to see more of the puppy black drum caught than many other regions in Brevard County. Also, larger pompano were caught in these same areas along with the whiting and bluefish. Shark fishing in these areas wasn’t as productive though as they were in the central and southern beaches. Depending on the day and your intended species, it was quite the crapshoot staying on top of a good bite in one location.
Kids fishing trips were an absolute blast this week, though, with nonstop action on bluefish, small jack crevalle and Spanish mackerel kept the kids reeling them in one after another. This bite remained red hot for the remainder of the week and fun was had by all who took part. Even when the pompano weren’t in full force like the weeks prior, these rod-bending and acrobatic bluefish and mackerel made up the ground for a fun time fishing. Green floats with chunked baits did the trick for the most part. And as usual, the Gotcha lures and spoons were utilized for select species.
With all the life boiling under the surface along the Brevard County beaches, it made for shark fishing charters to find optimal conditions. Bait definitely played a role as the sharks seemed to either want your live fish that was being retrieved on a pompano rig or a freshly cut chunked bait. With that being said, we caught lots of large sharks from the shore using entire fish carcasses for bait. So make sure you’re varying your methods as even these toothy predators seem to have specific preferences on a day-to-day basis.
As for the premier target species of pompano and whiting, it seems to have dipped a bit for the week prior. Surf fishing anglers are still catching large keeper size pompano but just not seeing the numbers they were in the first two weeks of the month. Most fish caught had been enticed with live or blanched sand fleas or fresh clam on the standard pompano rig with the floats performing well. With the outlook for stellar weather and schools of pompano and whiting continue to move up and down the coast, it’s just a matter of putting yourself in the right position with the selected baits to see success. Enjoy the holiday break and hit the surf for family fun in the sun!
At last, pompano have finally made their presence known here along the Space Coast. Among the pompano, we’re also seeing black drum, whiting, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and sharks cruising the surf. Fishing near Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach saw an increasing number of black drum, pompano and whiting. Meanwhile, Central and South Brevard County beaches including Indialantic, Melbourne Beach and Sebastian saw a larger influx of bluefish, whiting, Spanish mackerel and keeper pompano with many short pompano mixed in. All in all the surf fishing conditions finally cooperated with the abating weather of November in the rearview mirror so there’s much to celebrate.
Consistency seemed to be increasingly difficult to come by in the week prior with many anglers being skunked or off the trail of the target species. Reading through all the reports on social media and talking directly with fellow anglers it seemed to be an uneven scenario for different groups of fisherman. While some had great luck with pompano and whiting, it seemed to leave twice as many scratching their heads about the lack of success. The fish are absolutely present in the waters and fooling them into biting may be the issue to combat. We’ll go into this more in the following paragraph, but the key is to vary your rigging and setups to find what’s working. Don’t stick with your same program if you’re not having luck and a few others are.
Get in the habit of experimenting with the variables that play into a productive day. Consider everything from water temperature to water clarity, to barometric pressure, tidal influence, bait on offer, presentation, bait scent, and much more. While some find tremendous success and others struggle, especially in the prior week, it has to do with these many variables that are involved in the fishing and surf fishing realm. So try different rigs, places, tides and baits to see what works best for you and adjust accordingly as the conditions change.
While the blue fish and Spanish mackerel have kept the spin casting anglers armed with spoons plenty busy, it’s the pompano and whiting that we’ll focus on this week. One factor to note was the location of the fish whether it be near the shore or out on the sandbar. Our fishing clients produced well with many fish coming right at the shore edge while other tides and water conditions mandated casting out to 100-120 plus yards. Observing these variations makes it all the more important to keep a constant pulse and stagger gear to achieve the best results. Once again the Fishbites crab and clam scent in the white, chartreuse and electric chicken worked best and these synthetic scents were matched with live or blanched sand fleas or clams. It’s an exciting time to hit the beach for surf fishing in this ideal weather. There is nothing like enjoying the spoils of a whole fresh baked pompano or blackened whiting tacos to share with family and friends.
Or if it’s a rod you’re looking to bend, shark fishing charters continue to produce many blacktips and lemon sharks for shore-bound anglers. The forecast looks like continuing beneficial weather patterns so there’s plenty of opportunity on hand to hit the shore for surf fishing. So in summary, get out there and have fun!
The latest surf fishing report is here! Surf fishing charters were put on hold for a few days last week due to the wave heights, wind and king tides. While the surfing was exceptional and enjoyed by us locals, the conditions for fishing left little to be desired. Improvements in the fishery came towards the latter part of the week when anglers had an effective opportunity to hit the sand. Pompano, whiting, bluefish, blacktip sharks and black drum made an impressive showing once the ocean settled.
As forecasted, these cold fronts are dropping the water temperature in a hurry. Throughout the week each day had a little more chill on the water, and now we’re reaching the ideal temperatures to see the real action. Pompano continued to be caught in both northern and southern regions of the county, but without the big numbers. If you have the patience, it surely will pay off with single-digit keeper pompano while releasing the numerous smalls. With this being said, the pompano that do measure are real winners and a satisfying achievement with current fishing conditions.
The top baits of choice have been clams, sand fleas and shrimp. Specifically, the clams have performed very well in contrast to the shrimp and sand fleas. Not to mention, any of these scents can be utilized with Fishbites product to substitute for the scent profile you may be missing with your bait of choice. Pompano rigs with white and chartreuse floats seem to be particularly effective as of late. With the northerly winds forecasted for the early part of the week, expect water clarity conditions to continue to improve and adjust the color combinations as correlated. This method will be the most productive for pompano, whiting and black drum.
While the above-mentioned tactics prove best for the higher pedigree table fare species, there’s plenty of opportunities for bluefish and mackerel as well. These toothy critters have been a constant available option no matter the surf size or winds present. Chunked baits or rapidly retrieved spoons will be the ticket to hook into bluefish and mackerel in the surf. First trough and slightly beyond seem to be holding the steady numbers with ladyfish and jack crevalle in the mix also.
The shark fishing has yet to diminish, and I don’t see an immediate end in sight. Multiple species of sharks with black tips being the main attraction have bent rods producing blistering runs for shark fishing enthusiasts. The transition period as the water temperatures drop have left vibrant waters teeming with sharks and fish alike. Beef up your tackle or expect plenty of breakoffs while targeting other species. The surf fishing waters encompassing the Space Coast are a competitive arena currently with a high probability of opportunistic sharks taking advantage of a hooked fish. So get out there, bait them up and reel them in quick!
Stars are beginning to align for the surf fishing areas encompassing the Space Coast. While the mullet run slowly fades away, the recent cooler temps have stimulated pompano to trickle into area waters. It’s not with immense consistency just yet, but it’s right on the bubble. We still need the water temperatures to come down for that full out pompano run to ignite. Let’s go surf fishing for sharks!
Pompano catches have begun a steady uptick with the majority of anglers finding healthy keeper pompano while having to pick through the shorts. With that being said, the ones that do measure are reaching the 1.5- 2.5 lb mark. These are the silver and gold species most have been waiting for to hit the shores. While the bluefish, ladyfish, and jack crevalle may have you guessing what’s on the line, the pompano always stand out with a parallel run to shore and a sharp blitz inward throughout the fight. Make sure to keep steady pressure and be ready to take up the slack when they charge the beach.
Shark fishing from shore continues its red hot run with all the food sources a shark could ask for being present. Ladyfish, bluefish, jack crevalle, and Spanish mackerel feeding on glass minnows, hornbellies and mullet make it advantageous for sharks to have their choice. Crashing through the surf, blacktips are often seen voraciously terrorizing the offerings on hand. Fresh chunked bait continues to work magic for catching these sharks from the surf, but live bait has also worked well. Check out Fishbites too!
Looking forward to the next few weeks, I’m expecting the Spanish mackerel and bluefish bite to remain strong. Also anticipating the pompano numbers becoming more consistent as the water temperature drops and larger schools infiltrate our Brevard County waters. Compounding the anticipation for pompano, I expect to see the larger bull whiting show up. They are absolutely one of my favorite table fare fish from the surf. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a great month of fishing. The weather will be ripping and roaring over the next few days so it may take some time to settle into next week. Good luck and tight lines.