January 22 – 24

King mackerel are still the best option for anglers looking for striking fish in the region. Most of the larger structures in the 70 to 120-foot depths have these fish holding on them. Trolling skirts with ballyhoo, lipped diving plugs, and large spoons can all be effective on these fish. Bottom fishing on the structures in these depths should be pretty good this weekend. Cobia, mutton snapper, mangrove snapper, lane snapper, porgies, and triggerfish all possible species that anglers can expect to catch while using chunk baits on standard bottom rigs. In the southern portion of the region look for the 68 to 70-degree temperature break to possibly hold cobia. These fish may show up on manta rays or be seen free swimming on the surface. Cast large jigs, plugs, or live baits to these fish and you should get a hookup in no time.

Sheepshead are holding near the jetty rocks at the inlet and on the near shore reefs outside of the inlet. Sand fleas, fiddler crabs, and pieces of shrimp are tip bait choices to use for these fish. A few flounder, silver trout, weakfish, and a variety of shark may be possible on these structures as well. In the backwaters anglers can sight cast to redfish and speckled trout on the edges of the channel, or near oyster bars in Browns Bay, Cedar Creek, and around Orange Island. Saltwater Assassin sea shad tails in the fried chicken, green hornet, or opening night colors are very good lure options for these fish. Live shrimp and chunk baits will usually get these fish to strike when they are not in an aggressive mood.

Speckled trout have been the most consistent species in the Indian and Banana Rivers this week. Look for these fish holding in very shallow water sunning themselves to get warm. Small live baits like mud minnows and shrimp or slow moving sea shad tails are effective at getting these fish to eat. Scattered redfish can also be found in the very shallow waters of these lagoons. Look as tight to the banks as possible during sunny periods and expect these fish to be very wary. Juvenile tarpon and snook are possible in many of the residential canals in Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Satellite Beach. These fish will hit live shrimp and small soft plastic lures on most days.

Bluefish, jack, and spanish mackerel are striking small jigs, spoons, lipped diving lures and live shrimp along the beaches outside of the inlet on most days. Look for birds working over glass minnow pods or other small baitfish to find the best action on these species. Large redfish and slot-sized snook are possible inside the inlet. Live pinfish or croakers seem to be working best for them. Large white shrimp continue to be found along the main intra-coastal waterway within about a half mile of the inlet channel intersection. These can be cast netted once you locate them with a good bottom machine.

Until next week… catch a memory!!

Captain Jim Ross / www.FinelineFishingCharters.com / (321) 636-3728 / captjimross@cfl.rr.com

Load Comments ( )

Don’t forget to sign up!

Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week