Cape Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet
December 29, 2006
Melbourne - Saltwater Fishing Report
Surf Fishing Report for East Central Florida by Fish Brevard
Rough weather conditions have hindered some surf fishermen, however, those venturing out on the calmer days are finding some fish. Pompano have been the most desirable species recently, with scattered reports coming between Satellite Beach and Melbourne Beach. Most of the fish are under a pound and are hitting live sandfleas. Whiting, black margates and black drum catches are fairly good when the water is somewhat clean, though many of the black drum are under the 14-inch minimum size. Fresh cut clams, shrimp and live sandfleas are working especially well.
Further off the beach, often within a few miles, anglers are finding schooling bluefish and Spanish mackerel though the fish have not been showing up much in the surf zone. When winds calm and water clears, look for more blues and mackerel along beaches. Watch for diving birds to find concentrations of baitfish, which generally attract and hold the larger predatory fish.
Anglers that prefer to use artificial baits for fish in the surf can start casting small jigs for pompano. Look for the cleanest water available and try casting about a 1/2 ounce pink, yellow or other bright-colored jig. While some anglers can get away with using lighter rods, generally, the winter weather dictates that you need to use at least a medium-action rod of at least 8 feet to get any casting distance and to handle the wind and waves. Straight 15 to 20 pound line is all you'll need for the pompano, though mackerel, bluefish and other predatory species may also be enticed by small jigs.
If you find the area full of these more toothy predators, try tying on a heavier leader, though mackerel are likely to cut through that as well. Unless specifically targeting the mackerel, don't use any steel leader material, as this will significantly diminish your strikes, especially from pompano. I like to use jigs specifically designed for pompano, but any jig will do. Try cutting all the feather or body of the jig off right behind the hook if using a standard type of flair jig. Some anglers like to tip the jig with a fresh piece of cut shrimp, which can enhance strikes but can also make the jig move less naturally.
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