Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet
Includes Daytona Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa and Melbourne
THIS IS YOUR LAST WEEK TO KEEP A LEGAL SIZED SNOOK IN THE CENTRAL EAST REGION. THE SEASON CLOSES ON DECEMBER THE 15TH AND REOPENS NEXT SPRING.
Dolphin and wahoo catches have been best outside of the 200-foot mark the last few days. Hopefully, this latest cold front will push some more fish down to us from the Carolina’s so that we have more fish to pull baits in front of once the weather clears and anglers can get offshore again. Look for any type of rip or color change to potentially hold fish. Tripletail and cobia are holding near floating weeds and grass lines in the 40 to 70-foot depths. Live shrimp or small baitfish on a hook or small jig head will be you bet choice to get them to strike.
The inlet has been on fire the past week and a half. Snook, tarpon, and bull redfish are the main targets here. Live pinfish, mullet, or chunk baits can work on most days. A few shark, jack, and bluefish may also get mixed in with these other fish at times. Flounder should start to get better with the recent cold front and corresponding drop in temperatures. Look for them to hold near the coast guard station and try live fingerling mullet or mud minnows as bait on a standard bottom rig. In the Mosquito Lagoon anglers are finding black drum, redfish, and speckled trout along the Klinker Islands and deeper holes or depressions in the central portion of the lagoon.
Saltwater Assassin 4-inch sea shad or the 3-inch straight tailed Shad Assassin tail can be extremely effective as the water temps cool down over the weekend. Live shrimp will be a solid bet to get them to strike as well.
Anglers running to the 500 to 800-foot depths are finding tilefish, snowy grouper and other deep water species this week. Swordfish are also possible for anyone venturing to the 800 to 1,200-foot depths. Cut baits have been the most productive way to get these fish to strike. Gag grouper are possible for anglers fishing on the 200 to 300-foot reefs. Anglers are doing best by dropping deep jigs or vertical speed jigs like the Williamson Vortex or Benthos models to these structures. Be aware that there will be pesky amberjack and red snapper that can not be kept at this time trying to intercept your jigs on many of these spots. Cobia and tripletail are scattered along weed lines and other floating objects in the 30 to 60-foot depths. Live fingerling mullet or large shrimp cast to them will usually get them to strike.
A mixed bag of redfish, black drum and snook are being reported in and around the entrance to the Haulover Canal this week. The black drum action should remain strong for angler fishing with cut crab inside the canal. The reds and snook will probably move inside the canal from the adjacent flats as the water temps drop drastically after the cold front we are expecting on Friday. In areas of the Indian and Banana River lagoons, anglers an expect the bite to slow considerably until the fish become accustomed to the new water temps that are most like going to get into the lower 60-degree range.
Scattered cobia and tripletail are roaming the near-shore water in the 30 to 60-foot depths. Just like the action mentioned at Canaveral and Ponce anglers here should look for weeds or any other type of floating debris to hold these fish. Free swimming fish are also possible on relatively calm days. Live shrimp free lined to these fish are the best way to get them to strike. King mackerel are striking large spoons, sea witch & bait strip combos, and lipped diving lures like the Rapala X-Rap magnum 14 or DC-14 series. Slow trolling or drifting with live or dead sardines can be effective as well. Mot of the kings should continue to be found on the 80 to 90-foot reefs this week one the seas calm and anglers can get back offshore. Farther offshore dolphin and sailfish are possible for anglers trolling skirted ballyhoo in the 180 to 500-foot depths
Flounder are showing up in better numbers as the water temperatures cool into the 60-degree range. Live fingerling mullet or mud minnows have been a solid bet to get these fish to strike. Paddle tailed Jigs and live shrimp can also work, but are usually effective on the change of the tide. Bluefish, jack, and speckled trout are hitting jigs and suspending lures like the Rapala Twichin’ Mullet on the clam lease flat. Pompano are roaming around the west end of the inlet. sand fleas and goofy jigs are generally effective for them, but these fish have been move around a lot from day to day, so plan to search for them until you see multiple fish skiping in your wake.
Until next week….Catch a memory!!!!
Captain Jim Ross / www.FinelineFishingCharters.com / (321) 636-3728 / firstname.lastname@example.org