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Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island & Port Canaveral

Capt. Ron Presley
November 6, 2005
Cocoa Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

Hurricane Wilma Slowed Down the Fishing

At least for my parties and me Hurricane Wilma slowed down the fishing in the Indian River Lagoon. The water was dirty and the continuing winds have made for some tough fishing conditions. Worse yet, the catching has not been that good. I hope we see some water clearing soon. The Tarpon only showed up once in the past week and they did not seem interested in eating.

First Timers

On one trip with Brandon and his wife, Terri, the ladyfish gave us something to bend our pole on for most of the morning. Since Brandon and Terri had never fished for salt-water varieties before it was a great experience to see the aerial acrobatics of the energy filled ladyfish. They were hitting both top water and subsurface varieties of baits. As always, we lost about as many as we boated but that is not all bad to see them release themselves after a little fun is had in the fight.

As the day continued, we moved to a mangrove-lined shore to cast some live shrimp. It wasnít long before Terri had hooked up with a nice 26-inch redfish. She fought the fish for quite a while before bringing it to the net. We took a couple of quick pictures and return the beefy red to the water. Needless to say, Terri was thrilled with her catch. She indicated that up to now she usually just caught blue gill. Not a bad upgrade Terri Ė I know you will want to do it again now.

Unfortunately that was the only decent fish we caught in that location. Terri did catch a small trout to add to her list but the bite was slow. We moved on and went back to casting artificials. Not to be outdone, Brandon threw a Yozuri Crystal Minnow along the bank when his rod bent over hard. The fight was on and it turned out to be another nice redfish, just one inch longer than Terriís. Brandon saved face for the guyís today by edging out his wife for the biggest fish of the day. Once again, this was the only fish willing to bite in this location and we did not catch any more. At least Terri and Brandon got to experience what so many anglers come to our area for. The much sought after redfish. Even if itís only one each, its still more than some anglers can claim.

Big Winner

On the weekend, I fished the Costal Angler Magazine Catch Photo Release (CPR) tournament with my 9-year-old grandson. This is a really fun tournament you should consider fishing some time. It starts out at Chowders Seafood Restaurant on Hyw 1 with a captainís party. You receive a bag full of various fishing goodies, including a legal stick to measure your fish and a camera to take the picture. You record the time and length of fish on your scorecard to turn in at the end of the tourney and release the fish to be caught another day.

My grandson Robert and me fished hard all morning without a fish to record on our scorecard. We returned to the Cocoa area where we had ramped. Before stopping for the day, we decided to make one last effort by traveling along the 520 bridge almost to the East shore of the Indian River. The winds had been high all day out of the north and northeast and this was a protected area. I caught a little rat red fairly soon after we started fishing. At one point, I turned around from my position on the front of the boat to see Robert pumping hard on some kind of fish.

His pole was bent pretty good so I got out the net not wanting to take a chance on lifting what might be the only fish of the day to note on Robertís scorecard. Sure enough, when he got it to the boat it was a nice redfish measuring 22 inches. We boated the fish, laid the legal stick on the deck with the fish along side and took the picture to record the catch before releasing it. It had been another really tough day of fishing but at the weigh in later that day, Robertís name went up on the leader board as the 1st place redfish in the junior division. He was thrilled and so was I.

Just a reminder, the Florida Sportsman Fishing Show will be held November 12th and 13th at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 W. Colonial Dr., 4 miles west of I-4 on Hwy 50. I will be working at the Florida Guides Association Booth. Stop by and say hi if you attend the show.

I have just returned from a trip with a dad and two sons. I will include in next weeks report. Donít miss it. It has a message I want all of you to read. As always, you can view some of the weeks pictures on the fishing report posted on my website. Thatís what its all about. Good fishiní.

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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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