Week of February 27: Welcome to snookville, population you!
Today's forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 84 degrees, SW winds at 13 mph and two to three-foot seas.
Our Angler of the Week, Joe Hardy writes, "My wife and I enjoy the beach fishing for pompano. During our recent trip to Melbourne Beach South Shores I caught this 48-inch black drum on the shore! Funny that almost three years earlier to the same time I thought I caught a fish of a lifetime: Catching a 49-inch black drum on the same beach on January 8, 2023. ( The photo in the photo carousel above was the first giant black drum fish Joe caught in the same area (1/16/2020).
iI you'd like to be featured as the Angler of the Week, please send your photos to www.sitd.us/contact-us. We love details! Please include your name, hometown, species of fish and (if you want to share) the bait or lure that worked for you!
“Good morning, all my fishing friends. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. The weather was awesome! I would like to begin by reminding everyone that fishing on the north jetty is a privilege, not a right, and can be revoked at any time. The jetty is a navigational aid to help boaters enter and exit the inlet safely and is not a designated fishing pier. Boaters have the right of way whether navigating the inlet or fishing around the tip of the jetty. Boaters generally remain far enough for us all to fish comfortably. However, early Saturday, anglers purposely cast lines over a charter captain's clients and broke off their fish and were being rude and abusive. This behavior will not be tolerated. Violators will lose their fishing privileges and could be charged with trespassing at the park for quite a while. Report such violations, please call the north ranger station at 321-984-4852 and report it ASAP. We try to keep it safe and fun for everyone's enjoyment. Now for the report:
North jetty: Fishing here all last week was all about the snook. They were again putting on a show. Lots of fish being hooked and lost to the rocks as they like to run around the corner and cut you off. There were quite a few nice slot fish that were caught, but it was tough because of the crowd of anglers. Most fish were caught on the beach side of the jetty at high tide and on live shrimp and artificial shrimp jigs. Some were caught on the inside of the jetty inlet side, same baits. Also caught were some good-sized redfish which are still catch-and-release. They were being caught on the beach side also. The black drum that were being caught have mostly gone away as the water is warming up to where they don't like it. It is showing 75 degrees along the coast. There are nice sheepshead still being caught around the pilings and along the rock shore lines on the high tide on dead shrimp. When the water has been somewhat clean there are pompano, which were caught on dead shrimp also - beachside and inlet side on the high tide. Also, I saw a few nice spotted sea trout caught on live shrimp on the inlet side of the jetty on the outgoing tide. Some Spanish mackerel made a showing on Saturday on small jigs and silver spoons on the high tide. Saturday and Sunday were a bust.
South Jetty: Pretty much the same thing here: Snook and redfish on live shrimp and artificials on the incoming tide. When the water cleaned up last week, pompano were biting goofy jigs and cut shrimp on the high tide, beachside. Outgoing tide is producing some black margates, sheepshead, blue runners and jack crevalles on just about any dead bait fished.
Catwalks: North side is still closed. South side is producing some nice sheepshead and black margates on cut shrimp fished around the pilings on the incoming tide where the current isn't so strong.
T-Dock area: Back here there has been a smattering of species caught. Some nice snook during the day on live baits during the high tide, and the first of the outgoing before the tide gets ripping. Night fishing has been good for the bucktail fishermen on the outgoing tide. Also being caught back here are small mangrove snapper on cut baits around the dock pilings as the water has warmed up a bit for them. Spanish mackerel and jack crevalles are around for those anglers using small jigs and silver spoons on both tides.
Surf area, both sides: North side, if you find a spot with clean water, the pompano are around along with some nice whiting. Cut shrimp and sand fleas are the bait of choice. Try to time your fishing with the high tide and falling high tide to give yourself more water and time to fish them. South side, same deal - you need to find the clean water for them. The water is deeper on this side so pretty much anytime is alright, but high is better. Also, there have been bonnet head sharks to keep things interesting. There have been smaller black drum around on this side.
That’s it. Fishing has been mostly good and as the water continues to warm up it will only improve as the baitfish arrive. That will get draw the predators. Get out there and enjoy the nice weather and catch a big one, or just a few nice one.” — Snookman