Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet
Includes Daytona Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa and Melbourne
ANGLERS ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WEEKS THREE-DAY RED SNAPPER OPEN SEASON JULY 11-13. PLEASE HELP GET VALID INFORMATION TO FWC BIOLOGISTS BY BRINGING YOUR RED SNAPPER CARCASSES TO AN FWC CARCASS DROP OFF POINT. OUR COMBINED EFFORTS WILL HOPEFULLY GET THIS RESTRICTED SPECIES OPENED BACK UP FOR HARVEST ON A MORE PERMANENT BASIS.
Check the structures in the 120 to 240-foot depths for red snapper. Live or cut baits on a standard bottom rig are usually the best way to target these fish but anglers looking for larger fish will often use vertical jigs on the structures in the 180 to 240 foot depths to target fish in the 20 plus pound range. Mangrove snapper, black sea bass and grey triggerfish are also common catches when anglers are bottom fishing in these depths.
Redfish, speckled trout, and mangrove snapper are hitting small live baits throughout the backwaters south of the inlet. The reds are cruising the oyster bars on the higher stages of the tide and holding in channel bends or near structure with the drum and trout during the lower portions of the tide. Tarpon and snook are possible near area bridges. Flounder can be found in the main channel for anglers using jigs or sliding sinker rigs with mud minnows or small fingerling mullet.
Anglers running out of this area are looking forward to the three-day red snapper open season this weekend. Most of the snapper action seems to be going on in the 80 to 180-foot depths. The 21 Fathom Ridge is an area that historically holds good numbers of these fish especially for anglers using large live baits like pogies or pinfish. Vertical jigs are working on the reef structures like The Cones or 28 Fathom Ridge for anglers targeting snapper over 20 pounds.
Black drum, redfish and speckled trout have been schooling on the flats of the northern Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon this week. Live or cut baits like shrimp, fingerling mullet and pinfish are good bait choices. Saltwater Assassin 4-inch Shrimp tails rigged on a weedless hook is one of the better artificial lures to use at this time. The Drunk Monkey and Mud Bug colors seem to be working exceptionally well. Mangrove snapper are holding around many of the area bridges from Titusville southward to Eau Gallie. Live shrimp rigged on a hookup jig head have been one of the more productive ways to get them to strike.
OFFSHORE-Mangrove snapper catches have been good over the past few weeks. Now anglers can add red snapper to their daily bag limit this week as well during the short open season the NMFS has provided this year. July 11 to 13 is open harvest, so anglers can keep one red snapper of any size during this special three-day open season. Look for the both snapper species on reefs and wrecks in the 80 to 180-foot depths. Small live baits are best for the mangroves and larger live baits are best for the reds.
Speckled trout are roaming area shorelines from Vero to Palm Bay. Rapala Skitterwalk or X-Rap plugs have both been productive when worked near mullet or glass minnow schools this week. Area docks and mangrove covered shorelines are often productive spot to look at when targeting snook, redfish, and jack crevalle as well, and spoil islands adjacent to the ICW channel can be good places to locate fish as well. Small jigs or spoons can also be effective for these fish on most days.
Until next week…Catch a memory!!!
Captain Jim Ross / www.FinelineFishingCharters.com / (321) 636-3728 / firstname.lastname@example.org