Fishing report: Good fishing on western edge of Gulf Stream
Light north winds and a gentle swell should open up a short window to head offshore Saturday. North winds to 20 knots are predicted for Saturday night into Sunday as a cold front pushes through. Trolling for dolphin, wahoo and sailfish may be productive on the western edge of the Gulf Stream — currently 26 miles off Sebastian and 32 miles off Canaveral. Party boats sneaking out to probe the reefs last weekend found plenty of lane and vermillion snapper, triggerfish and seabass willing to bite cut squid and fish in the 80- to 120-foot depths.
Surf catches of snook, black drum and redfish are best in the wind-protected cove of Cocoa Beach. Few pompano have been landed, but it’s only a matter of time until they move through. Stick with live sandfleas for better catches.
With the water temps still warm, snook remain on the feed. Higher tides are best to use live pinfish, mullet, pigfish and shrimp along the rocks. A few flounder are hitting, but no strong run yet. Inshore anglers are catching a lot in the lagoon, which tells us they aren’t staged in the inlet just yet. A good blast of 50-degree air will get them moving. The north jetty remains closed.
Boaters venturing into the Bight north of the port are finding menhaden pods loaded with bull redfish, sharks, bluefish and even a few cobia just a few hundred yards off the beach. Drift around bait schools, using livies with just enough split-shot weight to hold bottom.
Massive schools of finger mullet are still roaming flats in the central lagoon between Cocoa and Sebastian. Morning and evening topwater bites are best, but look for trout and ladyfish around the causeways at night. Water is clearing up nicely in this area. Black drum in the 3- to 6-pound range are patrolling Banana River shorelines. Stalk up to feeding fish on foot, kayak or push pole and pitch tail-hooked live shrimp their way.
Cool, overcast mornings and afternoons have been producing good bass catches in the Upper St. Johns Basin reservoirs. Check out Lake Kenansville, Lake Miami Ranch (also known as Miami-Garcia) and the Stick Marsh and pitch weedless jerkbaits and Senkos around hydrilla edges and surface vegetation.