Surf fishing Florida’s Central East Coast can be a tumultuous time for unpredictable periods of time. Situated on the states coastline in a particularly exposed region delivers a wide array of conditions. Bigger surf and heavy currents comparative to north and south Florida leads to windows of grand fishing or complete bust. Last week was a prime example of what we have to understand as surf fisherman in this area. High wind and big swells demolished the wide open fishery that was enjoyed the week prior. Extensive mats of seaweed blanketed the beaches causing water clarity to turn to chocolate milk. This state of affairs either shut it down or left the brave to deal with high numbers of catfish, frustrating moments of debris on the line, and a what-am-I doing-out-here head space. Opportunities weren’t many to be had, but the determined anglers could still produce a catch.
Guided beach fishing trips had clients working through these difficult conditions to find success in any form. Catfish were absolutely the number one fish that pulled and twisted in their surf fishing rigs last week. Jack crevalle, whiting, puppy black drum and pompano were also highlighting the days catch. Large schools of ladyfish and spanish mackerel that roamed just days before all but vanished under the unruly conditions. Surf fishing equipment needed for the heavy waves and rips were 11-13ft rods, Sputnik leads and plenty of Fishbites, not to mention patience and determination. By no means was it a week to set aside for this sport.
The Roy’s Surf Fishing Challenge had the best of the best in the surf fishing game compete on Saturday. The conditions going in were understood to be very difficult. Surf fishing anglers dispersed along the east coast seaboard from Jacksonville to Sebastian Inlet. When the dust settled, only a few pompano amongst the competitors were weighed in. Fortunately we took home the number one prize in largest pompano overall and junior angler. The win came on a custom pompano fishing rig with Fishbites shrimp flavor and a live sand flea, caught in Brevard County.
This congregation of talented fisherman who struggled through the day is a testament to the difficult conditions during the competition. With this weeks forecast subsiding to more optimal surf fishing conditions, I encourage everyone to hit the beach and find the fish.There’s no telling when the next round of wind and waves could collide with our coastline and deteriorate the opportunity. Get out and get tight!