Home News Space Coast anglers have a week to harvest a legal snook

Space Coast anglers have a week to harvest a legal snook

Space Coast anglers have a week to harvest a legal snook

Pompano are moving, too

For those who like to bring home a couple of snook fillets for the dinner table, the time to target those keepers is nearing its winter time pause. 

As the year draws to a close, several fisheries are in and out of their harvest closures. Snook closes from Dec. 15 to Jan. 31, 2023. Trout are closed to harvest right now, from Nov. 1 until Dec. 31. Redfish in all waters of the Indian River Lagoon and connected waterways have been closed to harvest since July 1, 2022 and will be until further notice. Hogfish, mostly offshore, are closed until May 1, 2023. Grouper, nine species, will close to harvest from Jan. 1 through April 30, 2023. But flounder have been trough their fall 6-week closure and are open to harvest since Dec. 1.

Black drum were biting for these two with Capt. Jon Lulay on 2 Castaway charters in Titusville.

Closures & regulations changes in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.

Snook: Harvest closed from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31, 2023. Harvest reopens Feb. 1, 2023.

Flounder: Harvest re-opens Dec. 1.

Spotted seatrout:  Harvest closed from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens Jan. 1, 2023.

Hogfish: Harvest closed from Nov. 1 to April 30, 2023. Harvest reopens May 1, 2023.

Grouper: Harvest closed from Jan. 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023. Harvest reopens May 1, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.

Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1.

Alligator: Hunt season is open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.

Lobster: Regular season opened Aug. 6.

Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1 for state waters. Bag limit is now five fish per day per angler; Vessel limit is now 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit.

Tilefish: A commercial fishing closure is in place beginning July 6 until Dec. 31.

Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.

For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.

Dec. 15 snook season closes for harvest in Atlantic coast counties until Feb. 1, 2023.

Mosquito Lagoon

Capt. Jon Lulay of 2 Cspanstspanwspany Chspanrters in Titusville said the black drum bite has been on fire. His anglers have been using live shrimp freelined or under a popping cork to catch smaller fish around the islands and along the shorelines. For bigger fish, he has been tossing out a split blue crab in spots where he knows the fish are. Other catches include trout, jacks and redfish.


Cspannspanverspanl Princess sailing from Port Canaveral had a recent trip where it wasn’t a good day to be a mangrove snapper on the reefs. Lane snapper are around, too. The reefs in 70 to 100 feet of water are holding triggerfish, sharpnose sharks and a few black sea bass, too. On Fired Up fishing chspanrters‘ page, anglers were able to get into a few catch & release red snapper and sharks.


This is the time of year when weekly fronts push fish along the beaches north to south. So it is with pompano. Beach anglers will find pomps in the surf between the trough and sandbars at beaches where erosion isn’t so bad they can still fish. There may be whiting, jacks, blue runners, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and glass noses. Use Fishbites or pieces of shrimp to get bit. Canaveral Seashore, Melbourne Beach accesses and Jetty Park are fishable.

Sebastian Inlet

The good news is the state park is open to access on both sides and has been since Nov. 15. The bad news is the north jetty is closed to anglers as is the catwalk under the bridge on the north side. That leaves a few fishing spots like along the wading pool and the beaches west of there. So the crowds are there along the south jetty, catwalk on the south under the bridge, at the T-dock and along the shoreline there. Flounder are biting and this is a pretty good place to try for a slot sized snook before the Dec. 15 closure. Guys are ctaching doormats using live mud minnows and weighted naked jig heads.

Indian River Lagoon

The northern lagoons are good places to find black drum and redfish using split blue crabs or fiddler crabs. Sheepshead will also take fiddlers fished around dock pilings, causeway bridges and seawalls. Flounder can be caught in the lagoon on sandy bottoms near rocky jetties or concrete seawalls. Snook are in the Thousands Island mangroves. Jacks can be caught near Hog Point as they chase baitfish.


It’s time to go crappie fishing in area waters. Limits of nice size slabs are being caught over submerged structure like brush piles, rock piles and ledges. Use live minnows or tiny 1/16-ounce or 1/32-ounce jigs. Catfish can be caught in areas where there is moving water. Use scented baits like chicken livers to get the fish to bite.


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