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Fishing Report for Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island & Port Canaveral

Capt. Ron Presley
May 31, 2006
Cocoa Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report


RipTide Electric Chicken Continues to be Hot Lure

My good friend Cliff joined me for an early morning venture during the last open days of snook season. Remember, the snook season closes June 1 and does not reopen until September 1. If you have been fishing on the Gulf side, you know the season closed May 1 but the reopening is the same September 1 date. Cliff and I were on water by 4:30, fishing under the lights with the hopes of finding a snook or two. Bottom line, no snook. In fact it was a very slow day altogether. The only decent fish of the day was a nice 10 inch sea trout that fail prey to a RipTide 3 inch mullet in electric chicken. Cliff caught this fish after hundreds of accurate casts to points, rocky shore lines, docks, and bars. It was one of those days where the fish had lock-jaw. We ran across Tom Williams, owner of Destination Bound Marine Transport on the river. He was having the same experience. Except for a school of jacks cruising the shore line under some docks, we did not find any concentration of fish on this day. Overall, I continue to have most of my success on the electric chicken, the nite glow, and the silver mullet colors.

Angling Attributes

My next trip included 4 anglers from Texas. Bob, Dennis, David, and John were all related in one way or another, either by blood or by marriage. At any rate they were all avid experienced anglers who as a group possessed many of the attributes I consider a plus for fishing.

Bob was highly experienced and cast with stunning accuracy. Bob probably caught the most fish and definitely the most variety. With his skills Bob boated sea trout, sand trout, mangrove snapper, bluefish, and jacks.

David had the patience of Jobe and would wait until that precise opportunity came before making his casts. David was the first to put a limit of sea trout in the boat. He probably caught more trout than anyone else.

John was the most persistent. I will guarantee you he had his bait in the water more times than anyone else. He stopped for nothing. Even when we would move in on an area to untangle someone from some structure, John would probe the surrounding area for another fish. John was rewarded for his persistence with the largest sea trout of the day, coming on, (I know you get tired of hearing this) a RipTide 3 inch mullet in the nite glow color.

Dennis proclaimed to be the least experienced of the group. However, I am reluctant to believe it. The thing about Dennis was his eagerness to learn! He had questions about various methods we were using and listened well to instructions. (Any guide loves this when an angler will actually listen to what he is saying and tries to perform accordingly.) Dennis’s reward – the only slot sized redfish of the day.

At the end of the day they were all planning a fish fry at their time-share in Orlando.

The last thing I want to comment on with respect to this group is their ability to fish together. It is difficult to blind cast shore lines, docks and structure with four anglers in the boat. This group did it quite well. Anytime you are in this situation, the rules are simple. If you are the middle two anglers you must cast a right angles to the boat. The angler on the front fishes slightly ahead of the boat, and the angler in back can fish slightly behind the boat. Finally, just use common sense and respect for your everyone else and your entire fishing experience will be improved.

Thank about it – SKILL AND EXPERIENCE – PATIENCE – PERSISTENCE – WILLINGNESS TO LEARN. Add in the element of respect for your fellow anglers and the circle is closed. If you develop these attributes you to WILL be a better fisherman.

If you don’t have a RipTide dealer in your area, their online store is designed for you. Give it a visit and give the electric chicken, nite glow, and silver mullet color a try. You will find it online at www.culpritstore.com

Final Comments

Rule Changes

Don’t forget, starting on July 1st you have to use the pinched tail method of measuring fish. Your fish will have to be measured with the mouth closed and the tail pinched together. The measurement is then from the snout to the end of the pinched tail. You also have to have your tape flat on a surface; you can’t follow the contour of the fish. Fish and Wildlife refer to this a “total length” measurement. For more information, you can visit www.myfwc.com

As always, you can visit my website at www.inshorefishingadventures.com to view pictures of the fish we catch. That’s what it’s all about. Good fishin’.

Capt. Ron Presley


Phone 321-454-7285


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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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