COCOA BEACH and PORT CANAVERAL OFFSHORE-Most anglers will be targeting the Mangrove snapper and gag grouper located on the reef and wreck structures starting at the 75 foot mark. Chum and chunk for the snapper. They should respond well to this technique. Tarpon, redfish and snook should be possible targets along the near-shore waters. Live pogies, pilchards and croakers are the best baits to use for them. INSHORE-All this rain has pushed many of the juvenile tarpon and snook out of the creeks. Look for them on nearby structures such as docks, and mangrove covered shorelines. They may also frequent drainage pipes in areas that don't have too much freshwater flow into the lagoon. The pipes in the Eau Gallie, Merritt Island, Rockledge, and Cocoa areas are good one to check for this type of activity. Flounder action inside the port was pretty good last week, but with the current rainy weather pattern, there have been no recent reports. This may be one of the better bites this weekend if anglers can find some fingerling mullet or mud minnows to use as bait. EAST ORLANDO and SEBASTIAN INLET OFFSHORE-Lane, Mangrove, and mutton snapper have been reliable bottom species over the past few weeks on the reefs and wrecks out of this inlet. This weekends' weather should allow anglers an opportunity to get back out there and try for them again. Chunk baits or small live offerings like pilchards and fingerling mullet are usually willingly accepted by all three species in the 50 to 90-foot depths. Tarpon, big jack, and bonito should be roaming the waters within about a mile of the beach. Live pilchards or small lures that imitate glass minnows are usually good offerings for these fish. INSHORE-Snook and redfish are the main species anglers are catching at the inlet this week. Although croakers have been hard to come by they have been by far the best bait option for these fish. Other live baits that have been working at times are pigfish, pinfish, and large live shrimp. Pilchards and mullet have not been getting a very positive review from the snook or reds at the jetty over the last few days. Speckled trout, pompano, ladyfish, and bluefish are roaming the deeper flats and can often be found by watching the gulls and terns working over them as they feed. They are moving around a lot in this portion of the river because of all of the storm water influx into this section of the lagoon system, so anglers should be prepared to search them out from day to day. Snook and juvenile tarpon are holding near some of the deeper docks on the west side of the Indian river between Turkey Creek and the Sebastian River. Larger tarpon in the 50 to 80 pound range can be seen rolling along the edges of the main I.C.W. channel between Grant and Melbourne. Live mullet are often the best bait for them but anglers can sight cast these fish with soft jerk baits or fly rods during calm morning periods. Until next week....Catch a memory!!!
Captain Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters