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Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island & Port Canaveral

Capt. Ron Presley
March 8, 2006
Cocoa Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

Early March Fishing Report

Warmer weather and water temperatures have already improved the fishing since my last report. We have been catching several redfish each day and have also caught a few sheepshead when fishing around the docks for reds. Mike from Kentucky put several reds in the boat on a still cool March morning. Live bait continues to be the best producers. We have been using 3/0 circle hooks on a 20 pound leader to catch the reds. Add a small split shot near the eye of the hook to give additional casting distance. The bite is slow and fish still sluggish as water temperatures, although warmer in the afternoons are still cool in the morning and the fish are lethargic. Donít get too excited about a bite. Give the fish time to eat the bait and by no means give a big bass hook-setting action when using the circle hooks.

The foursome of Bob, Bobbie, Ed, and Ryan also caught several reds on a similar cool morning trip. The technique was exactly the same as mentioned above. Bob was quick to catch on to the circle hook routine and quickly put his first redfish ever in the boat. He later caught several more. A few sheepshead and a lonely catfish also came to the boat. The best fish of the day came from Bobbie, the youngest angler. Sometimes, kids are just lucky. Bobbie was suspending a live shrimp under a clacker type float when the nice red took it under. Bobbie reeled with all his might, listening to the shouted directions of the rest of us until he finally pulled a nice red up to the boat for a nice catch-photo-release. Nice going Bobbie.

Remember, the circle hooks are designed to hook the fish as the hook changes angles as it leaves the fishes mouth. This means the hook has to come out slowly. NO BIG HOOKSET! I like to leave the bail open and let a couple of coils of line leave the spool, then close the bail by hand and just start reeling. Once you have pressure on the tip of the rod it is ok to give a slight hook set, just donít jerk hard, itís not necessary.

The water in the Banana River remains low and is still characterized by the thick green color that has haunted us for weeks. I still donít know exactly what is causing this discoloration. If anyone out there knows, write and let me know. I really would like to see some rain to bring up the water level around the mangroves and maybe dilute the discolored water we are experiencing.

The spring mullet run is just around the corner and the fishing should pick up significantly in the coming weeks.

As always, you can visit my website at www.inshorefishingadventures.com to view pictures of the fish we catch. Thatís what itís all about. Good fishiní.

Future Schedule

On a scheduling note, if you are in the Jacksonville area Ė the Florida Sportsman Fishing Show will be held there on March 18 and 19. The show will be in Sarasota on March 25 and 26. Mark your calendars and come by the Florida Guides Association Booth and say hi. Let me show you some RipTide lures and how I rig them.

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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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