Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet
Includes Daytona Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa and Melbourne
This Friday and Saturday are the last two dates that anglers can fish for the elusive American red snapper in Federal waters on the Atlantic seaboard.
Red snapper are still open on Friday and Saturday of this week. Although anglers are catching good numbers and decent sizes on the 90 to 250-foot reefs and wrecks, it seems like the 21-fathom area is holding the best numbers on most days. Look for areas of the reef that are marking good bait or schools of snapper on them and drop cut sardines, squid, and large chunk baits on a standard bottom rig. Large mangrove snapper to 10-pounds can also be found on many of the wrecks in the 70 to 150-foot depths. Chum these fish up in the water column, and drop small live or cut baits back to them.
A mixed bag of fish can be found near docks and pilings in the New Smyrna area. Bluefish, trout, tarpon, snook, redfish, flounder and black drum are possible. Anglers using Saltwater Assassin sea shad tails rigged on a ¼-to 3/8-ounce jighead make for a good minnow imitation that can be fished near these structures during the incoming or outgoing tide. Live shrimp or mud minnows can be good baits to use at the change of tide. If you replace the Assassin shad tail with one of the live baits mentioned above, please be prepared to loose quite a few because these fish can be sneaky when striking on live baits.
Red snapper are the main target for anglers running offshore to do some bottom fishing this weekend. Most of the reds are coming from the 120 to 250-foot depths. Large baits will keep the smaller fish off of your offering. Cobia, mangrove snapper and triggerfish are possible while fishing for the reds. King mackerel are scattered along the 70 to 90-foot reefs and wrecks. Also look for them cruising the beaches in the 15 to 40-foot depths while slow trolling live sardines or pogies. Tarpon, shark, and bonito will also hit live baits intended for the Kingfish in these depths.
Redfish continue to be a good bet for anglers working the bars and flats of the Mosquito Lagoon this week. Snook, mangrove snapper, and trout are possible here as well. Live shrimp or pigfish rigged under a cork or free lined into grassy areas will usually get them to strike. Lures like the Rapala Skitterwalk and new waking minnow are good options if you prefer to trick your reds instead of feeding them.
Red and mangrove snapper continue to dominate the offshore scene on most days. Cobia have been good as well. Live or cut baits rigged on a VMC 8386 circle hook are difficult to beat on most days. Tarpon, shark and bonito are there as well, so anglers can expect a mixed back on most days.
Snook are popping at the jetties on most days. Capt. Glyn Austin has been cleaning up on them lately using live croakers. Redfish, snook, trout, and tarpon are possible here as well. A few pompano are cruising the beaches north of the inlet from Bon Steele Park to Melbourne Beach. Live or frozen sand fleas are the best bait to use for them but goofy style jigs will also work.
Until next week…Catch a memory!
Captain Jim Ross / www.FinelineFishingCharters.com / (321) 636-3728 / firstname.lastname@example.org