Brevard County Beaches
June 16, 2008
Melbourne - Saltwater Fishing Report
Blustery conditions are hampering fishing at times, though some anglers are putting up with the less than ideal weather by venturing out early, before winds pick up. The predominant east winds are also bringing in some sargassum weed which can further aggravate fishermen.
Despite all this, anglers are finding fair numbers of Atlantic croaker and whiting and small black drum from Cocoa Beach to Sebasitan Inlet. Most of the drum are under-sized, averaging around 10 inches when they need to be at least 14 inches to keep. These drum are plentiful but picky, preferring fresh cut or live shrimp.
The whiting are also choosy right now, targeting cut squid over all other baits, but will also take shrimp, clam and sandfleas. Sandfleas are abundant right now, with many areas holding groups of the huge thumb-sized fleas. With the abundance of this fantastic food and bait source, one has to wonder why some fish are preferring other baits.
Sheepshead and black margate still prefer the fleas and are most abundant in areas with healthy coquina rock, such as along Patrick AFB and Satellite Beach.
Look for the snook, tarpon and jacks around pods of bait fish, often indicated by diving pelicans. Pogies and schooling croakers are bringing these bigger predatory species in close to the surf zone, and anglers using these types of natural baits will fair best with hook-ups. Remember, however, that snook season is closed, so handle these fish with care!
Whiting, Atlantic croaker, black margate, black drum, snook, sheepshead
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