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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Space Coast fishing: Anglers will have brief cooler weather before warm up

NewsSpace Coast fishing: Anglers will have brief cooler weather before warm up

  • Pompano fishing should be good

Cool weather is coming again just in time for the weekend, but it should warm up pretty quick, says the Nspantionspanl Wespanther Service. The good news is, seas should be calm enough for most boaters to be able to get offshore. That’s where bluewater anglers will find mahi mahi, sailfish and blackfin tuna in the current eddies of the Gulf Stream.

Don’t forget to check out anything floating for tripletail and smaller mahi or wahoo swimming underneath.

The cool air mass may push more pompano south along Florida’s beaches. Beach nourishment on the north side of Sebastian Inlet is nearly complete. Will the pompano show there or on the south side? Perhaps.

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Tripletail are being caught in the Port Canaveral area like this one was Jan. 21, 2023 aboard Fineline fishing charters with Captains Jim and Justin Ross.

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 until Jan. 31, 2023. Harvest reopens Feb. 1, 2023.
  • Grouper: Harvest closed from Jan. 1, 2023, through April 30, 2023. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind & rock hind. Harvest reopens May 1, 2023.
  • Spotted seatrout:  Harvest open as of Jan. 1 in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach counties. Harvest closes November and December 2023.
  • Flounder: Harvest reopened Dec. 1.
  • Hogfish: Harvest closed from Nov. 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Harvest reopens May 1, 2023.
  • Redfish: Harvest of redfish is banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon beginning Sept. 1. FWC will re-evaluate later in the year.
  • Alligator: Hunt season open Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
  • Lobster: 48-hour sport season (mini-season) open July 26-27, 2023. Regular season opens Aug. 6.
  • Dolphin: New fishing regulations began May 1, 2022 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: Harvest is open as of Jan. 1.
  • Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.

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

Mosquito Lagoon

This zone has featured slow fishing for the past couple of weeks. To get redfish, speckled trout or black drum to bite, try using freelined live shrimp. Cast close to mangroves or shorelines and work the shrimp slowly back towards the boat. For shore fishers working Haulover Canal, try using a naked jig head with split blue crabs or cut bait to get black drum or snook to bite.


Seas will be calm enough to fish the reefs or troll along current edges. There has been a good snapper bite on the reefs in 70, 90 and 100 feet of water. Lane snapper, mangrove snapper and occasionally a mutton snapper will bite on grunt plugs or pinfish with the dorsal fin cut off. Those who troll ballyhoo along the current edges and eddies of the Gulf Stream should find sailfish, mahi mahi to 15 pounds, wahoo or blackfin tuna to 20 pounds.


Some of the fishable beaches are yielding decent pompano fishing during the last half of the incoming tide. Jacks, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, bonnethead sharks and catch & release snook are available, too, as the clean sea water sweeps over the sand bars 100 yards from shore. Cast Fishbites, Fish Gum or add pieces of cut shrimp for the best action.

Sebastian Inlet

Flounder fishing has been slow, but may get a little better Friday and Saturday nights as the temperatures cool down. Look for them along the sandy sides of the inlet, especially along the north side where the rocky jetty is around the wading pool. The T-Dock has been a decent spot to catch bluefish, Spanish mackerel and blue runners during the ends of the incoming tide. Snook and redfish are biting along south jetty. The north jetty is still closed to anglers.

Indian River Lagoon

Black drum can be caught in schools near Titusville between the Max Brewer Causeway and railroad bridge. Use cut crabs for bites. Snook and redfish can be caught & released around Thousand Islands in Cocoa Beach. Fish the aprons of the spoil islands near Grant and Wabasso to catch pompano with Doc’s Goofy Jigs. Speckled trout will bite in 2-3 feet of water through the Palm Bay and Eau Gallie areas.


Speckled perch fishing has been excellent for about a month. Cold fronts like the mild one coming through this weekend should help anglers in their pursuit of limits in Lake Washington, Lake Poinsett and the Little Econ.

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