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Cape Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet

Beth Sinclair
December 16, 2006
Melbourne - Saltwater Fishing Report

Despite blowing winds and dirty water, anglers are finding fair numbers of bluefish and Spanish mackerel along beaches from Patrick AFB south to Sebastian Inlet. Most of the bluefish are hitting cut and live finger mullet while the mackerel are taking small spoons, jigs and plugs like the Gotcha lures. The best method for targeting the mackerel is to check different beaches for diving birds and fairly clean water. Glass minnows and small menhaden are what the mackerel feed on the most, and terns and other smaller aquatic birds specifically target these small baitfish.

Mackerel don't like dirty conditions and won't come close to shore if the water is murky. Use a short piece of thin steel leader with the mackerel as they'll cut through any mono-line you throw out. Bluefish do fairly well with leader line at least 30 pound class and I like to use long-shank 1/0 size hooks rather than steel leaders when using cut bait.

A few pompano are showing up and should improve when water conditions improve. Whiting, black drum and sheepshead are also around for anglers using live sand fleas, fresh cut shrimp and clam. More sheepshead will be along the rocky beaches while the drum and whiting are scattered all over.

Some anglers continue to target snook in the surf. I'd say the best bet for finding the snook is north and south of Sebastian Inlet, especially in areas where baitfish are close to shore. Live baits, such as Atlantic croakers, finger mullet and pinfish, are by far the most productive method for picking up snook this time of the year.

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