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East Central Florida Forecast

East Central Florida Forecast
East Central Florida Forecast

Capt. Jim Ross discusses fishing from Tomoka Basin to Sebastian Inlet, including Daytona Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa and Melbourne. Contact Info: Capt. Jim Ross, Fineline Fishing Charters; www.FinelineFishingCharters.com; (321) 636-3728; captjimross@cfl.rr.com


Action Spotter Podcast


May 1 Report

REGIONAL OFFSHORE

Anglers running to the east side of the gulf stream are finding yellowfin, and blackfin tuna under the bird packs over there. Trolled lures and diving plugs are working very well on these fish.On the western side of the Gulf Stream the dolphin bite is much more spotty. Some anglers are finding groups of fish and catching decent numbers, while others are not. Try to find temperature breaks, color changes, rips, or any type of floating debris that will hold fish nearby and troll or cast baits to these features. Grouper season opens this month and the big gags have been the star of the show.  Many fish in the 20 to 30-pound class have been landed this week. Large baits like blue runners, bluefish, croakers, and grunts are the top producers right now. Most of the grouper action is outside of the 130-foot mark with the exception of the south end of Pelican Flats reef and the Bethel Shoal area southward to Vero on the 80 to 90-foot ledge. Closer to shore lane snapper, mangrove snapper, and quite a few black drum are holding on the reefs and wrecks in the 60 to 90-foot zones. Live pilchards, fingerling mullet, or jumbo shrimp and a variety of cut baits are working for these fish. Tarpon are starting to show up along the beaches now that the spring mullet migration is starting to occur.

PONCE INLET INSHORE

Anglers are fining snook and redfish around the rocks at the jetty and near the bridge pilings from Dunlawton Causeway to Highway 44. Live croakers, mullet, or pinfish are top live baits for these fish. Anglers can also have shots at tarpon in a few of these areas. Farther south in the backwaters of the lagoon black drum, redfish, and speckled trout are striking saltwater assassin soft plastic sea shad or shrimp rigged on a light jig head or weedless weighted hook. Look for areas with sea grass and baitfish to hold the best numbers.

PORT CANVERAL INSHORE

Redfish and speckled trout are holding under mangrove roots along naturally vegetated shorelines throughout the Indian and Banana River Lagoon system this week. A variety of soft plastic lures like the Assassin Lil' P&V rigged on a small jig head or weedless weighted worm hook have been working very well for me on my recent charters there. Live shrimp or fingerling mullet are top choices for these fish as well when they don't want to chase a lure.  Mangrove snapper and black drum are holding around many of the bridges in these lagoons as well. Some of the snapper are running into the 10 to14-inch range.  Baby tarpon are starting to show up in many of the residential canals of Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach this week.

Remember to listen to the FLORIDA SPORTSMAN PODCASTS each week for more solid fishing information on this website.

Until next time.....Catch a Memory

Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters
www.FinelineFishingCharters.com
(321) 636-3728
captjimross@cfl.rr.com


PREVIOUS REPORTS

March 29 Report

REGIONAL OFFSHORE

Unfortunately the winds have been brutal lately. As a result, I have no current reports from offshore this week. Once the seas subside, anglers should be able to find trolling species like dolphin, wahoo and sailfish starting around the clean bluewater edge.

Recommended


PONCE INLET INSHORE

Snook action at the south causeway bridge has been very good for anglers using live mullet, croakers or pinfish. The best bite has been at night, but a few are coming from the pilings during the daytime period. Sheepshead and black drum are eating fiddler crabs or sand fleas at the jetty rocks.  Redfish and speckled trout are striking live fingerling mullet or Saltwater Assassin 4-inch sea shad in the opening night, houdini or silver phantom colors.

PORT CANAVERAL INSHORE

The main river has been pretty much blown out on most days this past week due to the high winds out of the north. Residential canals and spoil islands that provide protection fromn this battering are the places where trout, snook and redfish are holding. Live shrimp or sea shad tails like the ones mentioned above are working well on these fish. Shrimp are also accounting for whiting, sheepshead and black drum in some of these locations.

SEBASTIAN INLET INSHORE

Dirty water that had been plaguing the areas from Hog Point to the inlet seems to be clearing up somewhat this week. Snook, pompano, jack, ladyfish, bluefish and others can be found in these cleaner areas now.  Fingerling mullet, pinfish, croakers or shrimp are top live bait choices anglers can use during daytime hours. Topwater plugs, 4- to 5-inch soft plastic jerk baits, or suspending lures like the Rapala Subwalk or Twichin' Mullet are excellent choices to use during dawn and dusk periods. Baby tarpon are showing up in the Sebastian River. Small live baits, jigs or flies that imitate baitfish are top choices to use for these juvenile fish.

Until next time … catch a memory!

Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters
www.FinelineFishingCharters.com
(321) 636-3728
captjimross@cfl.rr.com


March 22 Report

REGIONAL OFFSHORE

The word is out and the manta rays are wearing new jewelry. Anglers looking for cobia are finding them on Mantas in the 25- to 50-foot depths throughout the region. Slicks, color changes and temperature breaks are good places to find these critters.  Large cobia jigs, swim baits and lipped diving plugs, as well as live baits like croakers and menhaden (a.k.a. pogies) will get these fish to strike.

Cobia should also possible on many of the offshore reefs-especially those that have large bull or sandbar sharks holding on them. Remember that the new cobia minimum length is 36 inches at the fork of the tail, so please do not gaff these fish. Instead use a large net to land them because most of the fish caught to date are not legal size yet.

Lane, mangrove and mutton snapper are possible on most of the reefs and artificial wrecks in 70 to 130 feet of water. Use small live baitfish or larger cut baits to get them to strike.

Trolling action hasn't been all that great lately, but there are a few sailfish, wahoo and dolphin possible if you cover enough water (or should I say- burn enough fuel out of your boat.) Naked or skirted ballyhoo are your best bet for getting these fish to bite.

PONCE INLET INSHORE

Sheepshead, black drum and redfish are striking crabs, sand fleas and shrimp at the inlet jetties. A few pompano and whiting are moving along the beaches as well. Big bluefish are also possible in the surf area. Large jigs, spoons or Rapala plugs will get these bruisers to bite. A little farther offshore, manta rays are holding cobia within about two to five miles of the beaches. In the backwaters, anglers are finding a few snook, mangrove snapper and redfish near structures like docks and piers. Live shrimp will work best on most days, but Saltwater Assassin 4-inch sea shad will get them to strike on warmer days too. The best colors are opening night, northern minnow, and silver mullet right now.

PORT CANAVERAL INSHORE

Tripletail can be found around buoys and floating debris in the Canaveral Bight area. Some of these fish are running into the double-digit range. Big bluefish and giant black drum schools are roaming the near-shore waters outside of the inlet as well.  These fish will hit large jigs on most days. In the lagoons and rivers, the bite has been hot one day and cold the next. There really seems to be no predictable pattern to their schedule right now. If you do find some fish that want to bite, stick with them. They should get better as the waters warm in to the lower 70-degree range and stay there in the next few weeks.

SEBASTIAN INLET INSHORE

Snook action has been pretty good for anglers fishing from the jetties this week. For the boaters it has been a bit of a struggle. That's because the more experienced pier anglers have been fishing directly below their feet (where the fish are) and not casting their live baits out away from the jetty (where the snook aren't). Spanish mackerel and bluefish anglers are making long cast away from the jetties. Most are using gotcha plugs, jigs, spoons and lipped diving lures like the Rapala X-Rap series to catch these two species of pelagic fish. In the river, the bite has not been very good on most days. There have been quite a few small bluefish, ladyfish and spanish mackerel running along the I.C.W. channel but other than that the mangrove trees and docks are not producing a lot of fish right now. This should change soon as we start to keep the water temperature in the 70-degree range though.

Until next week.....Catch a memory!!!

Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters
www.FinelineFishingCharters.com
(321) 636-3728
captjimross@cfl.rr.com




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