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Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island & Port Canaveral

Capt. Ron Presley
September 19, 2005
Cocoa Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

The fall mullet run has started and the redfish are showing up!

On the beach or in the rivers, the mullet are present in very large numbers. For those of us who have been waiting along the Space Coast for this annual event it is like manna from heaven. Once the mullet show up the fishing normally improves substantially as the wily predators begin to gorge themselves on the abundant baitfish.

The past week started off slow with a few reds willing to eat but by weeks end the action was fast and furious. Most of the fish have been caught on cut-bait or live shrimp, but the old reliable gold spoon is an excellent choice for those who prefer artificials. I would also suggest trying 5 to 7 inch jerk baits, rigged weedless to fish the shallow water flats.

The early morning trout bite has been on and off. My good friend Gary was using accurate casts and a chugger type top water to fool several nice trout. Later we switched over to free lining some live shrimp around the mangroves and picked up several reds, a couple of jacks, and a few more trout. We also had a bluefish on live shrimp. Not a bad day, but the slowest of the week. Gary is Webmaster for a great fishing site. Be sure to check out Central Florida East Coast Fishing (http://home.cfl.rr.com/floridafishing/main.htm).

The next day two anglers from Orlando came in search of redfish. Antonio and Les drove through the early morning fog to arrive at the Kelly Park dock in hopes of hooking up with some Banana River reds. We fished hard all morning with limited success. The bite was slow most of the morning as we fished several different areas which produced only small fish. In one set of residential canals we were checking out we met a herd of marauding jack creavalle in the 3 to 4 pound class. We were headed east and they were coming at us. They pushed a wake of water ahead of them and by the time they reached the boat the canal was solid jacks from side to side. Both Antonio and Les hooked up as the jacks went by, but they just kept going and we never saw them again. They were definitely on a mission, heading somewhere. We hooked up one other lone jack in the canal along with some small sea trout and decided to head for another spot.

We moved to a shallow shoal with a canal on one side and a huge flat on the other. We put the Power Pole down in the soft bottom of the lagoon and set up to use some cut mullet on circle hooks to try and entice some reds. (Actually Antonio had caught a large mullet earlier on a top water plug. It was hooked in the mouth, looking like it actually tried to eat it?) At any rate, we chunked him up and Les used the mullet as Antonio continued to prospect with a CAL jig head, rigged with an electric chicken paddle tail. Les scored first with a nice 22 inch redfish on the cut mullet and Antonio soon added a nice 23-inch sea trout on the electric chicken. Antonio added another 22 inch red and Antonio added a 24-inch red to the days take. With three reds and a nice trout in the live well, Antonio decided to put the large trout back. He thought they had plenty of fish to eat and wanted to see the spotted trout live to fight another day. I applaud Antonio and Les for that gesture and encourage all anglers to the same.

We headed for the dock around 11:30 and Antonio and Les were talking about taking one of the reds out to the Port where Grills Seafood Restaurant will add all the side dishes to a fish dinner when you bring in your fresh catch. With the mullet run beginning, the fishing should just get better in the weeks to come.

Check out the fishing report on my website for some pictures of this weeks fish. That’s what its all about. Good fishin’.

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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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