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Brevard County Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Our surf fishing charters last week saw a great amount of big bull whiting, a few large pompano, bluefish and mackerel. Water clarity and conditions were inconsistent on a day-to-day basis, which made it hard to set up a pattern on the fish. Fishing around Sebastian Inlet provided catches of large pompano midway through the week that had surf fishing anglers fighting for position. There weren’t any extremely high numbers of pompano coming through, but the ones that were caught ranged from 15-18 inches and weighed over 3 lbs. This is a good sign the fish that are staged currently in Vero Beach south to Fort Pierce and Stuart are charging back for the spring run.

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Charters

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Charters

Indian Riverkeeper Surf Fishing Tournament

The Indian RiverKeeper surf fishing tournament that took place over the weekend near Hutchinson Island and Fort Pierce had great catches of pompano hitting the leaderboard. The winning pompano was over 5 lbs and plenty had weighed-in fish that were 2-3 lbs, but were reluctantly knocked from the placing category. Seeing these larger numbers of pompano and larger pompano south had me excited for the weeks to come. Surf fishing charters in Brevard County have recently provided mainly small undersized pompano with a few large ones to celebrate the day. Once the fish down in the southern beaches continue to push up into our waters, be ready to hit the beach, because this transition is already underway.

Space Coast Pompano Surf Fishing

Space Coast Pompano Surf Fishing

Pompano Surf Fishing Tips

Pompano always holds that namesake and reputation for intrigue, but if you’re missing out on the absolutely stellar whiting bite, you need to change the game plan. These bull whiting continue to average over 15 inches and 1.5 lbs, while ranging up to 18 inches were all caught this week in high numbers. Family fun trips had clients of all ages enjoying this red hot whiting bite. Pompano rigs with live sand fleas, Fish Bites and fresh dead shrimp were the key. The fresh dead shrimp out-fished live sand fleas multiple days this week so keep an assortment of bait to find success. With that being said, the big pompano were all caught on live fleas tipped with shrimp or crab Fish Bites. Be prepared to release heaps of undersized pompano in your surf fishing endeavors, and do so quickly to ensure a healthy survival rate. Pompano in the 7-9 inch range are abundant and don’t need to be measured as it wastes time and increases mortality rates. Become proficient with what a legal size fish looks like to save time.

With the reputable food fare species covered for the weekly catch, let’s discuss the reliable bluefish and Spanish mackerel that continue to persist in local waters. Oftentimes on charter, while not directly targeting these bluefish and mackerel, we have been catching them on the retrieve to the shore. These ferocious predators love movement and action to entice their bite. If specifically targeting these fish, use cut bait on a pompano rig or use the silver spoon or gotcha plug in chartreuse color. I have many clients who love eating fresh bluefish and mackerel, especially if you plan on smoking them or making jerky. It’s delicious. Target the second trough to the sandbar as the fish have pushed off the beach in most areas.

Brevard County Surf Fishing Charters

Brevard County Surf Fishing Charters

Surf Fishing Forecast

The forecast is calling for southern winds on multiple days which will decrease the water clarity. Make sure to hit the beaches after the northerly winds clean it back up for optimal success. Get out there and have fun!

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report by Captain Lukas

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Guided surf fishing charters caught big bull whiting, pompano, drum and sharks. Last week saw an upswing in not only the number of pompanos, but the larger pompano mixed in with higher numbers than previous weeks. This can be attributed to the increase in water temps from the lows we saw weeks prior. While we still weren’t catching recreational limits of pompano, the ones we did catch were averaging between 13-16” to the fork of the tail. Beautiful 2-3 lb pompanos on the sandy shores of our Space Coast had clients grinning with joy.

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Surf fishing Brevard County still lacked the consistency one would prefer so it was optimal to fish multiple days to find a bountiful catch. Without a steady number of pompano hitting the shoreline, we continually counted on whiting to save the day. Thankfully that situation played out particularly well for the better part of the week. Large bull whiting over 1.5 lbs weren’t uncommon and that’s a welcomed sight for any surf fisherman.

Pompano Surf Fishing

Pompano Surf Fishing

Surf fishing Cocoa Beach provided good numbers of these whiting schools, while we saw single digit catches of keeper pompano as well. Target the whiting using a standard pompano rig with Pink Shrimp Flavored Fish Bites and live sand fleas or small pieces of shrimp. Generally these whiting can be caught closer to shore, but this week seemed to have them further out in the surf with longer casts producing better results. When fishing multiple rods, I have been dedicating more numerous casts to the outside zones while dropping one or two rods short to medium for a wide pattern, then dialing in as the bite dictates.

Space Coast Pompano Fishing

Space Coast Pompano Fishing

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Shark fishing has been phenomenal off the beach the last couple weeks and that pattern continued to hold true this week. Pictured in this report is Hugh from Ohio who booked a guided shark fishing trip and won the thrill of what it’s like to battle an acrobatic black tip on spinning tackle. This shark put on an absolute show jumping multiple times and screaming drag up and down the beach. As mentioned in previous reports, be sure to beef up the surf fishing equipment for these heavyweight contenders. Heavy braided line in the 80 lb class with a 200-300 lb monofilament shock leader with a foot of wire trace will do the trick. Fresh cut bait has been the ticket with the added scent and hands down outfished the frozen baits.

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Brevard County Shark Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing Forecast for the Space Coast

The week ahead looks like good conditions forecasted up until the weekend with a blow coming. Get out in front of the weather and storms this coming week to have an opportunity for success. There’s plenty of large whiting, roaming pompano and black drum to seek out. Not to mention the sand fleas have been plentiful at area beaches around the lower tide. There’s two large schools of black drum roaming off the coast between Patrick Air Force Base and Melbourne Beach. I spotted these fish three days ago milling around the Indian Harbour Beach area. The schooling black drum ranged between 20-60 lbs! Be sure to loosen your drag up when placing fishing poles in the rod holders. These fish won’t be stopped without a handful of screaming runs, and if the drag isn’t set properly you won’t stand a chance. Hit the beach and have fun!

 

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing

Surf Fishing for Pompano in Cocoa Beach

Surf Fishing for Pompano in Cocoa Beach

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Charters

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Charters

Cocoa Beach and Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Surf fishing near Cocoa Beach was anything but spectacular last week. Shore-based fishing charters had much more success south beach fishing near Sebastian Inlet. The small pompano brigade was out in full force! Many days our clients were landing undersized pompano in the double digit numbers around 20-30 a day. The bigger fish just weren’t very prevalent at all, but with persistence we managed to bag a couple bigger legal-sized pompano a day. Whiting, bluefish, croakers and black drum rounded out the species list for the majority of catches per day. There’s no shortage of sharks at the moment with each of our shore-based shark fishing trips hooking up multiple sharks and landing numerous black tips per trip.

Pompano Surf Fishing Charters

Pompano Surf Fishing Charters

 

Brevard County Surf Fishing

Brevard County Surf Fishing

Surf fishing Brevard County proved especially trying the past week with water clarity and temps taking a dive. The “extreme” cold snap sent ocean temps plummeting below the ideal temperatures preferred for the prestigious pompano. Matching cold temps with murky water doesn’t bode well for our surf fishing trips. With that being said, the whiting, drum and blue fish kept for a steady bite in-between the elusive pompano catches. As the week wore on the water clarity improved and the weekend provided more consistent numbers.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Pompano rigs with chartreuse and bright orange floats seemed to be key. Rigged with white clam flavored Fish Bites or the chartreuse shrimp flavor, the best bites came from the sunrise or sunset bite and the first two hours of outgoing tide. These tidal swings can make all the difference in the world when out surf fishing. I constantly remind clients and fellow surf fishermen that specific tides will trigger fish which will commonly result in more fish being caught during a one to two hour span than will be produced over the course of the other hours cumulatively. Make sure to put in your efforts around the tide changes and identify which time the tide has been productive to focus your efforts and increase probabilities.

Sebastian Inlet Pompano Fishing

Sebastian Inlet Pompano Fishing

 

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Charters

Sebastian Inlet Surf Fishing Charters

The week ahead looks encouraging for shore-based fishermen to hit the beach and find the fish. Water clarity steadily improved over the weekend and Monday and Tuesday produced better results with keeper pompano and large whiting. Warmer temperatures should raise the water temps, which could stimulate the surf fishing accordingly. The sand fleas have also been making appearances on local beaches around a low tide so be sure to bring the rake with you and keep your eyes peeled. If you are looking for one heck of a battle on spinning gear, target shark fishing from the beach for cheap thrills. Baits deployed during shore-based shark fishing trips didn’t soak 10-20 minutes before being terrorized by local sharks. Be sure to have your shore fishing shark permit and course complete, which can be done on the FWC website. Catch and release to ensure a healthy survival rate following the appropriate protocol listed in the course. Heavy action surf fishing equipment brings in the sharks quicker with a better opportunity for healthy release. Have de-hooking tools on hand to remove the circle hook and thrust these sharks back into the water quickly. Have fun out there and be safe!

Surf Fishing in Sebastian Inlet

Surf Fishing in Sebastian Inlet

 

surf fishing for sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

 

 

Space Coast Surf Fishing Report by Captain Lukas

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersOne Comment

The countdown continues for surf fishing anglers eagerly awaiting the pompano flood gates to open. Besides that, there’s still plenty to keep one entertained with tight lines and delicious table fare. The whiting fishing has been extremely productive with double digit catches of these delicious flaky morsels. Small pieces of fresh shrimp and live sand fleas have accounted for a steady twitch of the rod tip signifying a whiting on the line. While the whiting bite keeps you busy and gratified, there’s still plenty of productive shark fishing charters that have put a major bend in the rod for our clients.

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Pompano roaming our coastline were all but invisible on the multitude of days where the water clarity was trash. While we waited for northerly winds and subsiding seas to clean the quality up, it was a full on catfish bonanza for many frustrated beach fishing anglers. Bonnethead shark catches were another species to round out those tough fishing days along our coastline,not to mention all the various other species that have been chewing steady and keeping the species spectrum wide open. Species along the likes of blue runners, Atlantic croakers, jack crevalle, and bluefish had our family fun trips running with a steady assortment of fish.

Surf Fishing Charters Cocoa Beach

Surf Fishing Charters Cocoa Beach

Apprehensively watching the upcoming weather patterns shift and temperatures drop has everything on the brink of busting loose. The major schools of pompano are still being caught in north Florida; but for a few savvy veterans, success has been found much closer to our Space Coast. With water temperatures getting below those magic thresholds, soon it shouldn’t be long until we finally see our silver and gold nuggets hitting our local beaches. As mentioned multiple times before, pompano rigs on a standard surf fishing setup with rods ranging from nine to twelve feet will suit the job. Make sure to use a variety of Fishbites colors and scents to key in on the choice for the day. Match this surf fishing rig with fresh shrimp, live sand fleas or clam, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Now, with all this talk of the pompano run coming. we did squeak out a few larger resident fish on our beach fishing charters last week. I had the pleasure of taking a few families with children out during the holiday week and saw their excitement of joining in the fun!! Guided beach fishing trips are a perfect way to bring the entire family together with multiple generations getting in on the action. Rounding out the week with a few pompano in the 15-17 inch class, redfish and whiting up to 18 inches can make amazing memories for all involved. I’m so grateful to live on the Space Coast and share my love of the beach and fishing experience to all generations to a world unknown to them previously. Make sure to invite any extended family or friends on your next surf fishing adventure. You never know the lasting impact it can have on the kids and families alike!

Space Coast Winter Surf Fishing Report

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters2 Comments

Surf fishing this time of year should be lighting on fire. The the recent  weather patterns have been sustained and unfavorable to say the least.  With all this wind and weather there’s going to be plenty to be thankful for during this holiday week. Although fishing for sharks, catfish, sheepshead, and drum has been good for the windy weeks past,  I’m definitely looking forward to a break in the weather and different  species to target.

Surf Fishing for Sheepshead

Surf Fishing for Sheepshead

Weather Conditions

Cooler weather patterns begin to take hold for a much needed catalyst in decreasing the water temperatures. This pattern will bring with it our  infamous pompano run to Brevard County beaches. As the major  pompano schools began their decent marching south to optimal water  temperatures, surf fisherman on the Space Coast eagerly await. If you’ve  never been a part of the seasonal beach fishing scene, it’s widely known to  be a favorite time of year for local surf fisherman. Scouring the coast for  the higher numbers of fish will be a common theme once the much  anticipated pompano arrive.

Surf Fishing for Redfish

Surf Fishing for Redfish

Bluefish and mackerel will also be a part of this upcoming theme for cooler  waters. Surf casting rigs with heavier leader matched with a silver spoon,  pompano jig or gotcha lure should do the trick. While working the dead  stick rods for pompano, whiting, drum and more be sure to keep a casting  rod handy for the too their specimens mentioned above. Cast from the  shoreline into the first or second trough with a quick retrieval to initiate a bite. Mackerel, bluefish, jack crevalle and ladyfish add fun fighting power to a day of fishing local beaches.

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing Tips

Pompano rigs made with fluorocarbon leader, multicolored beads and  floats should be the most widely used fishing rig for this time of year. Live or dead bait consisting of sand fleas, shrimp and clams bring the most success. While pompano maintain the hierarchy of the most sought after  species these rigs will catch everything else from whiting, sheepshead,  drum and more. By varying multiple rods with the casting distance from  shore ensures best results, be sure to pay close attention to the tidal influence the water poses. Higher tides have fish pushed closer to the  shoreline while a lower tide generally has fish scouring the outer troughs and sandbars. Pompano rigs fished correlating these tide and water depth variations find more production.

Fall Surf Fishing Report for the Space Coast Area

By Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing ChartersNo Comments

Shark fishing Florida beaches were on fire last week! Bait and predatory fish galore drove a consistent bite for shark fishing Florida’s Atlantic waters. Reports from New Smyrna to Vero Beach found similar results to our Space Coast region. The weather finally cooperated relieving the many days of waves and wind. With that being said, it opened the possibility to cast shark fishing rigs from shore. Shark fishing rigs and bait consisted of large circle hooks in the 10/0 range accompanied by cable leader and cut bait. Blacktip shark and Sandbar shark were the most frequent during the week.

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Cleaner water moved in later in the week providing an inconsistent bite for pompano. Pompano fishing has yet to set beaches on fire with the fever that comes with the seasonal run. Though the hardworking surf fishermen who enjoy the pursuit are still finding fish, picking through catfish, bluefish, ladyfish and whiting alike will have your hands busy for the duration of your day. With the majority of the pompano being caught reaching just below the legal limit, be sure to measure carefully to the fork of the tail for an accurate assessment of the legal size. In between the multiple species and short pompano, you’ll find a few stud fish pushing 15- to 17 inches, which is quite a thrill. Pompano rigs with shrimp, sand flea and clam Fishbites tipped with bait have been producing well.

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Space Coast Surf Fishing

Tarpon fishing the surf has also been a highlight of the week. Shark fishing charters have jumped multiple tarpon over 100lb casting live and cut bait from the shore. Unfortunately every tarpon that was hooked successfully unhooked itself during their acrobatic performances. Just goes to show you that any catch is a realistic possibility from our rich fishery. Surf fishing equipment targeting shark fishing from shore or tarpon should be adequately noted. Surf fishing rods from 11-13 feet with 6,000-10,000 series reels and heavier braided lines will lead to success. There’s no stopping some of these species when coming in undergunned and overpowered. So prepare specific rod and reel combinations dedicated to tackling these larger species.

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Surf Fishing for Pompano

Once again with the last string of complimentary conditions embarks a new week of unruly weather. The near term and extended forecast looks grim for our region and surf fishing local beaches. Take this opportunity to tie up new rigs for the next window of opportunities. Spool new lines on the surf fishing reels and prepare for the weather, fish and conditions to return. This won’t be a week you’ll find me out there, and that’s saying something!

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

If you’re interested in learning more about surf fishing and the upcoming pompano run, come out to Boaters Exchange in Rockledge this Saturday at 12 pm. The topic of discussion is titled “Pompano Fever” and will take place during the Be Lagoon Loyal Event where there will be several other keynote speakers throughout the day, including Blair Wiggins at 11am. Look forward to seeing you there!

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