Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet
Includes Daytona Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa and Melbourne
King mackerel are moving back into the 50 to 90-foot depths outside the inlet this week. Slow trolled live baits on wire stringer rigs are the best way to catch them. Look for manta rays in these same depths that may hold cobia. Live baits or jigs tossed to the cobia should get a positive response. Mangrove snapper, triggerfish, and sea bass are holding on the wrecks and reefs in the 70 to 130-foot depths. Look for bait stacks over productive bottom in these depths to hold good numbers of bottom species.
Captain Ron Hatcher reports mangrove snapper in the back bays and creeks in the New Smyrna area. He’s targeting these fish around oyster bars with deep cuts on one side and fishing the eddies in the current created by them. His bait of choice is a live shrimp that he rigs on a small circle hook and adds a split shot for weight. Bluefish, speckled trout, redfish and flounder are also hitting these baits making for a good mixed bag of fish for his clients on most days. Over sized redfish are hitting live and cut baits at the inlet jetties on the outgoing tides. Anglers targeting the reds are also catching fairly good numbers of shark, especially on cut baits this week.
Dolphin catches remain decent for anglers trolling skirted ballyhoo in the 130 to 250-foot depths. There is no large concentration of fish yet but anglers are managing to land 3 to 8 fish per trip. Most of the fish are in the 5 to 12 pound class, but a few larger dolphin are starting to show up in this portion of the central east region. Cobia and king mackerel are possible in the shallower depths of 50 to 90 feet this week. Look for both species on the reefs and wrecks in these depths, but also look for the cobia to follow manta rays or be seen free swimming along the surface in the mid day and afternoon periods. Live pogies slow trolled over structure works well and pogies cast to sighted cobia are usually a great way to get a hookup.
A variety of sharks are possible in the surf and near-shore waters this week. Look for large shark in the 6 to 9-foot range cruising just outside of the surf break. The best places to find them are area where bait pods are holding. Bull, finetooth, blacktip, spinner, hammerhead, and sharpenose are the most common catches right now. Live baitfish or chunks of bonito, barracuda and other large fish are working very well right now.
Scattered dolphin are being found on the offshore fishing grounds. Anglers trolling naked or skirted ballyhoo are landing the best numbers, but don’t overlook stopping and casting live bait and cut baits near weeds or floating debris that can hold dolphin beneath it. Often some of the larger Dolphin and even a few sailfish that are taken are coming from boats taking the time to work these features over thoroughly. King mackerel should be a good bet for anglers working the 55 to 90-foot reefs. Live pilchards, greenies, and pogies are working best. Strip baits, large spoons, and Rapala plugs are good choices for anglers working these reefs early and late in the day.
Oversized redfish are best on the outgoing tides at the inlet this week. Snook are possible too but sharks and reds seem to be ruling the inlet at this time. Bluefish, pompano, jack and ladyfish should be reliable catches on the deeper flats within a mile of the inlet. Snook, redfish, and trout are following fingerling mullet schools along the shorelines on both sides of the river.
Until next week…catch a memory!
Captain Jim Ross / www.FinelineFishingCharters.com / (321) 636-3728 / email@example.com