Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet
Includes Daytona Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa and Melbourne
Mangrove snapper are hitting live and cut baits on the reefs and wrecks in the 60 to 130-foot depths. Anglers chumming with sardines or pogies are having the best success right now. Look for cobia that might swim up to the boat while engaging in this type of fishing and have a baited rod ready to pitch to them just in case. Amberjack averaging 20 to 40 pounds are hitting live pinfish and vertical jigs on the 160 to 250-foot ledges and wrecks on most days as well.
Captain Mike Mann reports the redfish bite has been consistent on the lower stages of the tide in the Edgewater and New Smyrna areas. Mike has his clients casting 5-inch soft plastic jerk baits and 4-inch sea shad tails on 1/8-ounce jigheads or weedless weighted worm hooks. His color preference has been white or pearl for these fish. Trout and an occasional flounder are also hitting these lures that are intended for the reds. Captain Travis Tanner reports good numbers of trout and redfish in the south end of the Mosquito lagoon as well. He advises for anglers to pole from one sandy pothole to the next and make multiple presentations to each hole with the same types of plastic lures to get these fish to strike. Live pinfish are another good way to get the reds to strike on the days when the winds are above 12 or 14-knots.
Everyone wants the cobia run to start, but the persistent north wind has created cooler water temps than most inshore anglers would like this past week. Most of the fish that have been landed are coming from the wrecks in the 80 to 140-foot depths. In many cases the anglers who are targeting mangrove snapper in these depths are the ones who are catching the cobia as they follow a hooked snapper or another cobia up to the boat. Once we get a consistent amount of southeast wind action to bring the near-shore water temps back up into the preferred range, we should start to see more cobia following rays or free swimming along the surface in the shallower depths of 30 to 55-feet of water.
Whiting and pompano action has been hit or miss for angler’s surf casting or working the backside of the surf break from a boat. Cut clam, shrimp, and sand fleas have been best for these fish. Be prepared to fight off hoards of undersized bluefish and jack crevalle while trying to target the more desirable whiting and pompano. Trout, redfish, and black drum are scattered around the Indian and Banana River Lagoons right now. A run-and-gun approach is usually the best way to rack up some numbers. Check around mullet pods on the flats during the morning periods and then probe docks and mangrove shorelines during the mid-day periods.
Scattered cobia are holding near bait pods or around feeding rays in the 40 to 60-foot depths this week. Scattered king mackerel are striking slow trolled live baits like pilchards, greenies, and small mullet on the reefs and wrecks in the 55 to 90-foot zones. A mixed bag of bottom species is also available here with triggerfish, black sea bass, and lane and mangrove snapper for anglers using cut baits on the 70 to 120-foot structures.
A mixed bag can be expected for anyone fishing in or around the inlet this weekend. Small spoons and jigs are working for bluefish, jack, pompano, trout, and ladyfish. “Goofy” style jigs have been producing best for captains like Glyn Austin this week. Black drum are another species that might be possible. Use cut shrimp, clam, and oyster near the inlet jetties for fish averaging 2 to 7 pounds.
Until next week…catch a memory!!!
Captain Jim Ross / www.FinelineFishingCharters.com / (321) 636-3728 / email@example.com