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Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island & Port Canaveral

Capt. Ron Presley
June 26, 2006
Cocoa Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

A Change of Strategy

Almost any fishing trip starts out with high expectations of lots of fish and big ones too. Last week’s trip with Jim, David, and Greg was no different. With high hopes of finding the tarpon, kings, and jacks nearshore we motored through the port and out along the beach looking for bait. We had monitored the radio and was not getting many good reports on finding bait, seemed everyone was having trouble and there is nothing worse than spending time looking for bait when you would rather be fishing.

About this time a friend and fellow guide, Richard of Lagooner Charters, pulled around us and motioned to follow. He had got the word of some bait south of the pier and away we went. Sure enough, there were several boats circling a school of pogies. Richard already had his net in the water when we got there and he pulled in a net full of bait. I threw once and got a few just as Richard pulled up alongside and handed us a bucket full. We were ready to go fishing.

Unfortunately the fish were not going to cooperate. After slow trolling a few pogies around for a while and no knock-downs we decided to go back into the Banana River and try our luck. After talking to some other captains later, it was a good thing we did. The fish just have not showed up back on the beach like they were before Alberto. They will however, any day now! Be Ready.

We finished the morning throwing RipTide mullet around a few trout haunts and put a few in the well for dinner. Add a few nice 4 to 5 pound jacks and we finished strong after a disappointing time in the ocean. We caught most of our fish on the 3 inch RipTide in white, electric chicken, and new penny. The lighter colors seemed to a little better. We also caught a few fish on the live pogies we had left over from our nearshore excursion. Greg even caught a snook on one of the pogies. Don’t forget, snook season is currently closed.

The next trip was with Matt, his dad Ken and sister Erica. After a couple of hours of slow fishing we had only kept one slot-sized trout and one nice blue fish. Then we found a bunch of schoolie trout, up to about 14 inches, to play with. They were hanging in about 3 feet of water on a grassy flat. Best bait was the RipTide 3 and 4 inch mullet in nite glow. Dark colors did not produce and cut mullet and shrimp were also left wanting. If we had not found the trout on two different flats, it would have been a really slow day.

Thunder storms threatened us about half the morning but we only got wet once and it was not bad as attempted to stay south of the storm cell. We also had numerous jacks follow lures without ever taking one. That is the first time I can remember finding jacks that would follow but not eat a lure. All in all it was a slow week, but it only makes be think it will be better next time. Plan your trips early this time of year and get off the water before those afternoon storms come up.

Rule Changes

Don’t forget, starting on July 1st you have to use the pinched tail method of measuring fish. Your fish will have to be measured with the mouth closed and the tail pinched together. The measurement is then from the snout to the end of the pinched tail. You also have to have your tape flat on a surface; you can’t follow the contour of the fish. Fish and Wildlife refer to this a “total length” measurement. For more information, you can visit www.myfwc.com

As always, you can visit my website at www.inshorefishingadventures.com to view pictures of the fish we catch. That’s what it’s all about. Good fishin’.

Capt. Ron Presley

www.inshorefishingadventures.com

Phone 321-454-7285

presleyr@bellsouth.net

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Capt. Ron Presley is an outdoor writer and fishing guide. He serves on the board of directors of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, is Secretary Treasurer of the Florida Guides Association and editor of their newsletter. Capt. Ron operates Inshore Fishing Adventures in the Cocoa Beach area.

Contact Info:

Inshore Fishing Adventures
516 S. Plumosa St., #19
Merritt Island, FL 32952
Phone: 321-454-7285
Alt. Phone: 321-749-1787
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