cocoa ford

WEEKLY FORECAST

3.12.2024 – 3.18.2024

CENTRAL FLORIDA’S BEST FISHING REPORT

black drum flats fishing

Don't miss Paul MacInnis's great piece on flats fishing for black drum featured in this week's forecast!

The weather looks to be shaping up beautifully for some great conditions on the water this week. Plus, we’ve got a load of great content for you in this week’s forecast, including Paul MacInnis’ writeup on flats fishing for black drum and another stellar kayak report by Knox Robinson, reporting from the Pine Island Basin area. Last but not least, we’ve got another really cool giveaway prize from Carroll Distributing…

Strike-Zone Fishing, Melbourne FL

WEATHER & CONDITIONS

BITE OPPORTUNITY INDEX

OFFSHORE

6.9

INSHORE

7.2

SURF

7.3

FRESHWATER

8.0
american air and heat of brevard

WEATHER OVERVIEW: TThe week ahead looks pretty good overall. The wind will be lighter and predominantly out of the S/SE all week with the exception of Saturday morning where the wind is currently showing a short switch out of the SSW. Rain chances will be low this week and high temperatures will hover around the low 80’s. Spring is in the air so get out and fish!

Falcon Boats USA

GIVEAWAYS

Strike-Zone Shimano Symetre Spinning Rod and Reel Combo Giveaway

shimano rod and reel combo

Up for grabs this month is another Shimano Symetre Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, courtesy of Strike-Zone Fishing. One winner will be randomly drawn from all entries and be announced in the weekly fishing forecast on Tuesday, April 2. Enter below for your chance to win!

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Goose Island Cooler Giveaway

cornhole

Congrats to last month's winner of the Goose Island Cooler, Scott Lamb, Melbourne

Mich Ultra Dartboard Giveaway

dartboard

Since 1960, Carroll Distributing has been keeping the local shelves stocked and taps flowing for a long list of everybody’s favorite beverages. Now, they are going to be distributing some awesome prizes to Spacefish readers every month. This month, the prize is a 36″ x 24″ Michelob Ultra Dartboard. One winner will randomly drawn and selected in the weekly forecast on April 16th!

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Caroll Distributing - Anheuser-Busch

Weekly Strike-Zone Giveaway

strike zone gift card giveaway Each week, we’ll randomly draw a name from our email subscriber list to award a $20 Strike-Zone Fishing Gift Card. To enter, all you need to do is subscribe to our weekly forecast email (once subscribed, you’re eligible to win EVERY week).

Congrats to this week's winner, Kenneth W Moye, Palm Bay

NOTICE: If you are announced as a winner, you must EMAIL US within 5 days to claim your prize (please include your phone number and mailing address), or your prize will be forfeited and added back into the giveaway pool for future winners.

LATEST Reports

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Fathers, Sons & Farm Ponds
June 24, 2024

Fathers, Sons & Farm Ponds

KAYAK FISHING REPORT

Fathers, Sons & Farm Ponds

Fathers, Sons & Farm Ponds

Happy Monday Spacefish!

Last weekend was Father’s Day – I hope all of our readers that are Father’s had a fantastic weekend. Last week I wrote about taking a trip to George L. Smith State Park in Georgia – an awesome destination for kayakers and all that enjoy paddling in a beautiful natural setting. Today I am going to write about the fishing we did the rest of the weekend, we had a big family gathering at my brother’s place – I was able to do a lot of kayak fishing, and bank fishing with my son’s and nephews. So while I will not be breaking down a “spot” I hope I am able to share information that some of you find helpful when it comes to fishing with youngsters!

Finding Bluegill Beds

Throughout the late winter and spring seasons throughout the southeastern United States, Largemouth Bass were in their spawn – when they are spawning, they can be targetted while they defend their beds from pesky invaders – that’s why certain creature baits, like lizards, craws etc are very effective this time of year, because Bass are on high alert for these creatures and they will bite out of a mixture hunger, aggression & defense. As summer rolls in, the Bass are done spawning, in some areas they may be still in the shallows guarding fry, but June is a time of year where Bluegill spawn, and Bass now switch roles, and harass the spawning Bluegills. On the same day we went out to George L. Smith, we wrapped up before noon, grabbed some lunch, enjoyed some time in the swimming pool during the hottest part of the afternoon, then got back out in the yaks on the farm ponds for the late afternoon and evening bite.

I went out solo in my kayak, and had my best friend’s son with me, his name is Jhett, he is 8 years old, and is well on his way to becoming a truly hardcore angler! Pictured below is Jhett, and I posted up on a set of Bluegill beds in the middle of a farm pond

Jhett and I - Targetting Bass around Bluegill Beds

Jhett and I - Targetting Bass around Bluegill Beds

Soft Plastic Jerkbaits

South Georgia freshwater fisheries are very similar to Florida in a lot of ways, the same types of vegetation/structure/cover exist, that being said, I would approach a new South Georgia fishery the same way I would approach any new body of water in Florida – to maximize my time on the water, I am going to select baits in tried and true color ways, and choose profiles that can excel in thick vegetation, and when going for more bites, I try and downsize the profile as much as possible. The baits that really excelled for me (& all of us fishing) last weekend in the ponds were the Fish, or Die Sharpshooter on a weedless ned rig around the beds, but to cover water, and to find fish, the bait of choice, that caught more fish than everything else combined was the Fish, or Die Warbird in Liberty Tree (Watermelon Red). The week before that, I fished a new place in Osceola County for a future spacefish report, and my search bait of choice was a Bitter’s Skip Shad (Fluke) in Watermelon Red. Next to the speedworm a weedless/weightless fluke in Watermelon Seed, or Watermelon Red is a huge confidence bait for me when searching for Bass in new areas.

When fishing from the bank with kids, it’s a great bait that I can cast, get hooked up, and then let them reel it in. Pictured below is me and my 3 year old, bringing one in together on the Fish, or Die Warbird, and also pictured below is him and I in the yak, after he just reeled in his first kayak Bass on the Liberty Tree Warbird.

For the standard “flukes,” I opt to fish it on a 3/0 EWG Worm Hook – for the FoD Warbird I like the BKK 2/0 screwlock worm hook.

Rix's first Yak Bass

Rix's first Yak Bass

Rix Reels One In

Rix Reels One In

Top Water Frogs (and Gators)

If you can catch them on topwater, then why try anything else??? Seriously though. As soon as the sun started to sink behind the big Georgia pines, we started slinging the topwater baits, my lifelong best bud, Sean threw a 2 inch Rebel Popper, my son Rix hung with him and helped reel in his hooked up fish, and used my boga grips to hold it still while my buddy got those pesky treble hooks out.

Sean & Rix, with their top water Bass.

Sean & Rix, with their top water Bass.

Out on the water, I fished a new bait from the American Bait Company that I REALLY love, and will now be part of my arsenal moving forward – the Zoo Pop. I fished the bone color, It is a downsized profile, just like your standard 2-3 inch poppers but with the hollow body frog style weedless double hook – this bait absolutely produced for me, I was not getting bit on my bigger body frogs, and made the switch and started getting smoked. So if you are ever in a situation where you know the topwater bite is on, going down in profile may be the key to getting the bites and blowups.

Snag Proof Zoo Pop

Snag Proof Zoo Pop

My buddies son, Jhett, who has always called me “Uncle Knox,” was out with me on the pond in my old Heritage kayak, that now belongs to my brother. I had him rigged up with the Bitters Buzz’n Gator in Watermelon Red/Pearl, it had a lighter belly, is a smaller profile bait, that is designed to be buzzed along the surface. Like the weedless Zoo Pop this is a great topwater option for being in the kayak, because you can throw this into areas that are thick with vegetation, and it doesn’t involved any elaborate action. It is a great bait for an 8 year old due to its simplicity, and being a smaller bait it will draw a lot of strikes – the look in his eyes after getting to experience that blow up, then land a nice fish was absolutely priceless, and one of the best experiences I have ever had since I started kayak fishing, thank God for my pedal drive because he had gotten worked into the bank, was having trouble landing the fish, I was able to come screaming across the pond and performed one of the most daring, dramatic, and epic flying net jobs of all time – Jhett and I truly had a ball fishing together! Last thing I will say about the Bitters Buzz’n Gator…it’s a great bait for an 8 year old, but this 34 year old semi-professional (self given title – LOL) loves it as well, and it is a staple of my summer Bass fishing arsenal.

Jhett with a Nice Bass

Jhett with a Nice Bass

Conclusion

It was really nice to spend an afternoon fishing with my sons and nephews, being able to take part in the sport you love, with people you love is truly special, we had a great time fishing, we got to see the magical looks in the eyes of children as they experienced the joy of seeing Largemouth Bass jump and try to spit the hook, to feel that special feeling of getting that hooked fish lifted onto the bank, or the deck of the kayak, it really was the best Father’s Day gift I could ever ask for. I know that I spew a lot of words on this website, but sometimes a picture says 1,000 words, and if that indeed is the case, I will stop writing now, and leave you a picture of my nephew Hudson, who is all smiles after he landed a nice Bass from the bank of the pond.

kayaks by boThank you for taking the time to read my report, and allowing me to indulge you with my family’s fishing outings on Father’s Day – I have some really good local inshore stuff coming in the next few weeks, and can’t wait to share new spots and locations with you all. Also, a big thank you to Kayaks By Bo for partnering with us for our weekly kayak fishing adventures – if you haven’t yet, be sure to go check them out at their new location in Cocoa!

Have a great week folks, go out and catch em! Until next time!

kayaks by Bo

by Knox Robinson
Spacefish Prostaff

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Inlet Waters Churned Up
June 24, 2024

Inlet Waters Churned Up

sebastian inlet report

Good morning, Sebastian Inlet lovers. I hope everyone had a great weekend! It was a little iffy all weekend, but it turned out all right, except for the fishing. Yeah, this is going to be another slow report, thanks mostly in part to a weekend of big winds and strong surf that made a mess of the inlet and surf areas north and south.

However, this week is expected to be much calmer, with light westerly turning SSE in the afternoons. This should allow the water to clean up quite a bit — and elevate the fishing to where it was two weeks ago. We’ll just have to see how that plays out.

The inlet did calm down a lot over the weekend, but in whole there were not any fish being caught to write home about. I mostly saw angler catching lots of catfish on both sides of the inlet and in the back around the t dock area. The north jetty was just dead — no bait fish around to attract anything. The south jetty was all catfish and jack crevalle, nothing else. In the back of the inlet all I saw were catfish, puffers and a couple of undersized mangrove snappers along the rocks, and that was it for the entire inlet! Again, the dirty/muddy water was the culprit. I always say, I tell it like it is.

Let’s hope the water cleans back up and the baitfish return to reignite the fishing action. The water temperature is good, just really dirty. Have a great week everyone!

by Wayne "Snookman" Landry
Sebastian Inlet State Park | (321) 724-5175

benjaminsaver water systems

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Welcome to Florida!
June 24, 2024

Welcome to Florida!

The summertime is finally upon us with our typical high heat index, afternoon storms and the unpredictability of weeks of wind. Welcome to Florida, lol. We are seeing some great catches on the local reefs with kingfish and some local straggler dolphin. Bait has not been the easiest to catch, one day it’s there and the next it’s not. But what else is new? Definitely take a box of sardines or cigar minnows with you just to be safe…

Bottom fishing has been tough due to the overabundance of sharks, specifically Sandbar Sharks. It’s very difficult these days to get an amberjack or red snapper or grouper to the boat whole and intact. Morning fishing has been much better, as it typically is. So try to get yourself out of bed before the sun comes up so you can get out there when the fish start waking up. The reefs have been very consistent for a good morning bite.

by Capt. Chris Cameron
Fired Up Charters | (407) 222-3573

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Serenity Now!
June 24, 2024

Serenity Now!

Felt like heavy spring winds all week and with 5′ seas the beach fishing was impossible but the jacks on the inlet were hungry as were a few snook and redfish. When the winds let up the tarpon showed up out deep with the bait schools. Mixed in were some jacks and some kingfish and small sharks. Bait was scattered but it was around. We struggled inshore this week with a slower bite but if you got out at first light there was some action if you could brave the winds and dodge thunderstorms. Looking forward to a calm week along the beach to get back into some kingfish, jacks shark and tarpon.

by Capt. Glyn Austin
Going Coastal Charters | (321) 863-8085

Boaters Exchange - We want your used boats!

Summertime Blues
June 24, 2024

Summertime Blues

Not much of a catching report but we did finally get out on the water this past week. On the freshwater side of things the ramp and parking lot at Headwaters is still closed for renovations until the 25th. Garcia is EXTREMELY low but if you have a small John Boat with a mud motor on it you could manage these conditions. The rains we are getting will help some but I don’t see it getting better until August/September time. That leaves the Stick Marsh and this impoundment is low as well so use extreme caution when you’re there. On the 25th of this month Christensen’s Landing parking lot in Grant will be closed for resurfacing and striping, too. All these closures to me are a perfectly timed coincidence since we have had a full moon to deal with and the fishing has been terribly slow to say the least the last couple of days. SUMMERTIME BLUES!

by Terry Lamielle
| (321) 537-5346

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Blazing Tarpon Bite
June 24, 2024

Blazing Tarpon Bite

Well, the tarpon bite has been on fire. We’ve got great weather coming up and lots of tarpon weather fishing in the river or on the beach. They’ve been eating live finger mullet up to larger mullet. Coming off the full moon the bite should continue to get even stronger. It’s a great time to get out and get that bucket list fish. I have a few days open in July. You can reach me at 386-295-5991 or go right to my website FatFishGuideService.com.

by Capt. Mike Mann
Fat Fish Guide Service | (386) 295-5991

Jasin Youmans Dental - Melbourne, FL

Weekend Report
June 21, 2024

Weekend Report

Get the latest word on the bite with Damon from Spacefish on the Mark Moses Show. We talk local fishing every Friday on the air at 4pm.

by Damon

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Use the Wind to Your Advantage this Week
June 19, 2024

Use the Wind to Your Advantage this Week

mosquito lagoon black drum

This past weekend was another good week of catching even had a couple days of slams in the mix. The trout and redfish have been chewing well with the occasional snook and black drum making an appearance. We have a great amount of bait covering the backwaters of New Smyrna Beach and on the flats of Mosquito Lagoon. It looks as though this week we could have a little unstable weather with some breezy conditions so we will definitely be using the wind to our advantage. Next week looks like it should be getting back to normal with our standard afternoon thunderstorms and hot summer temps.

by Capt. Patrick Rood
Spot N Tail Charters | (386) 566-1394

Miley Marine Surveyors

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Introducing the New F24
June 19, 2024

Introducing the New F24

falcon24

Be among the first to see the new F24 at the Tampa Boat Show this Saturday!

Get ready to revolutionize your boating experience with the new F24 from Falcon Boats – where innovation once again meets the open water. This 24’9″ vessel is crafted for those who seek the thrill of the catch while enjoying unparalleled performance and comfort. You can be among the first to witness the craftsmanship that continues to set Falcon Boats apart when the F24 is unveiled at the Tampa Boat Show this Saturday, June 22.

Key Highlights

  • Impressive Size: Stretching 24’ 9” long with a beam of 8’ 8”, offering ample space.
  • Shallow Draft: A hull draft of just 13-17” for easy navigation in diverse waters.
  • Powerful Performance: Supports up to Twin 200 HP engines.
  • Generous Fuel Capacity: 112 gallons for those extended trips.

Why You’ll Love the F24

  • Ingenious Hull Design: Developed by top-notch designers for the smoothest, most stable ride.
  • Robust Construction: Fully vacuum infused, with no wood, ensuring long-lasting durability.
  • Smart Layout: Extra cockpit space, contoured transom, and full-length gunwale caps for comfort and practicality.
  • Packed with Features: From LED navigation lights to hydraulic steering, we’ve got your needs covered.

Your Ultimate Boating Experience

  • Fisherman’s Dream: Toe kick side rails and recessed areas make fishing more comfortable and gear setup a breeze.
  • Easy Upkeep: Accessible fold-down dash simplifies maintenance and upgrades.
  • Built for Safety: Marine-grade wiring, automatic bilge pumps, and sturdy stainless-steel fittings keep you secure.

falcon boatsReady to make the F24 your own? Customize it to perfection and embrace the thrill of the open water. Call Falcon Boats’ catamaran specialists at 321-503-5776.

by spacefish
Spacefish

American Air & Heat of Brevard

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Travel Report: George L. Smith State Park (Georgia)
June 17, 2024

Travel Report: George L. Smith State Park (Georgia)

KAYAK FISHING REPORT

George L. Smith

George L. Smith

Happy Monday Spacefish!

Happy Monday Spacefish! I hope all of you had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend! My family and I road tripped up to Georgia to spend a big family weekend at my brother’s place. On Friday morning, my brother and I loaded up our kayaks and went to George L. Smith State Park, which is located about 35 miles north of where he lives. This is a place I have wanted to kayak fish for a while, because it is an absolutely, stunningly beautiful place for a paddle – it is frequently listed as one of the state of Georgia’s top destinations for paddling, as it features a winding cypress swamp. As a school teacher by trade, summer is my best time of the year for travel, so here is a special travel report.

If you ever find yourself traveling through Georgia on the I-16 corridor this is a place worth stopping off at to paddle, or fish, or both! The park offers kayak rentals if you don’t have the ability to bring your own craft.

Launch Spot

There are two places you could potentially launch from, the first is the actual designated kayak launch area in the front of the park, located here – George L. Smith State Park. The other option, which is what we did, is to go to the back of the park, and launch at the boat ramp; located here – Park boat ramp. We did this so we could fish in the thicker cypress areas, and stay shaded as long as possible. We got on the water right at 7 am, and worked our way back towards the main lake, and got down to the dam, and then worked our way back north again.

My Brother Kayaking - GLS State Park

My Brother Kayaking - GLS State Park

Topwater Fishing

I was able to find some action early in the day on the Hendrix Voodoo Frog in Midnight Potion (Black). I was throwing this bait up tight against the trees and popping it, while fishing slow and keeping it around the trees as long as I could. I have a couple of videos up on my instagram now spacefish_kayakangler that show how I was fishing this bait around the cypress trees. This made for a fun and exciting style of fishing! My brother fished a plopper style bait, and didn’t catch any. The fish were not very aggressive; so I think the popping style frog, keeping it close to structure was the ticket.

Bass on Black Voodoo Frog

Bass on Black Voodoo Frog

Other Stuff That Worked

Once the topwater bite slowed down, we switched over to the subsurface baits. Of course you probably already know, but I fished a Zoom Junebug Red Speedworm on a pegged Texas rig with a tungsten weight. I only caught one Bass on this presentation and it was a little one. Like I mentioned earlier, they were hugged up pretty tight to structure, I was able to find some matted vegetation later in the morning and get a few to bite once I started punching a Bitter’s Bug in Toho; I rigged this on a casting setup with 50 pound braid; and a double pegged 1 oz tungsten weight and a heavy 2/0 flipping hook.

My brother caught a nice Bass fishing a Bitters Skip Shad in Native Shiner. He rigged this presentation weightless and weedless on a 3/0 EWG Wormhook. He fished this bait by skipping it into shaded pockets and fishing it with a jerk-jerk-pause style retrieve.

Trout on Yaktribe Topwater

Trout on Yaktribe Topwater

Conclusion

We only fished for 4-4/12 hours. We knocked off around noon and went and grabbed some lunch before heading back to his farm house in Cobbtown where he has 3 ponds on the property. We spent the rest of the weekend fishing with our kids. I will report more on that next week.

I could not recommend making plans to detour off of I-16 in Emmanuel County if you ever find your self travelling in Georgia. The fishing was ok, but the experience was awesome. One of the things about kayak fishing that has always been special to me, is not just the fishing, but in getting a chance to have intimate experiences with wildlife, and offer a chance to silently glide through some truly breath-taking natural areas. George L. Smith State Park is a paddler’s destination for a reason, and you will not regret spending some time on the water in the cypress swamp, if you ever get the chance!

kayaks by bo I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read, and I would like to thank Kayaks By Bo for being our paddle partner for this weeks adventure! I hope everyone has a great week ahead, tight lines everyone! Until next time!

kayaks by Bo

by Knox Robinson
Spacefish Prostaff

Central Florida Diesel Performance

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Weekly Fishing Report
June 17, 2024

Weekly Fishing Report

snook fishing

Weather Conditions

Inclement weather limited my time on the water this week, and the forecast looks similar for the upcoming week.

Fishing Highlights

Early morning flats held an abundance of bait, attracting a variety of species:

  • Snook
  • Redfish
  • Jacks
  • Ladyfish
  • Large trout

As the morning progressed, snook and redfish sought shade in

  • Dock shadows
  • Mangrove depths

Key areas to focus on

  • Shady spots with current and structure
  • Docks
  • Boat lifts
  • Mangrove points and pockets

Effective lures

  • Topwater baits
  • Small paddle tails
  • Jerk shads

Tips and Outlook

  • Be prepared to adapt to changing conditions and shifting fish behavior.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and make the most of any windows of opportunity.
  • Focus on structure and shade to increase your chances of landing a catch.

by John Page
JP Kayak Fishing and Tours | (321) 345-8388

FEATURED CONTRIBUTOR
Offshore, Summertime Fishing is Here
June 17, 2024

Offshore, Summertime Fishing is Here

mahiui

What a great week! The summertime fishing is here and it’s wide open with many different species so bring the kids out and have a blast. Catching bait has not been a reliable thing, so make sure you bring a box of frozen minnows with you. If you see the flips, then try and get some bunker. If not, go fish. Don’t waste too much time on it.

bonita

Some days 8A reef is better than Pelican, 75/85 feet is a good depth to start. But that’s about all we have been fishing at. Nothing too deep, so don’t overthink anything! So many boats fly by to go deep and fish but it’s not needed right now. Use light tackle and enjoy the fishing.

black fin tuna

Stay safe and God Bless!

by Capt. Chris Cameron
Fired Up Charters | (407) 222-3573

Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!

CAUGHT ON CAMERA

CATCH A BIG SMILE WITH JASIN YOUMANS DMD!

jasin youmans DMD

Boaters Exchange - We want your used boats!

LOCAL EVENTS

FSFA South Chapter Meeting

March 12

FSFA The FSFA South Chapter is Tuesday March 12 @ Front Street Civic Center, Melbourne (2205 Front Street, in Melbourne, next to the Front Street boat ramps, across from Harry Goode’s). Social time starts at 6:30. Meeting starts at 7:00. Capt. Bruce Alcock with Incentive Fishing Charters will be talking about near shore and offshore fishing tactics. Food and drink available for a donation.

Sandspike Shooter

March 23-24

sandspike shooter surf tourney

Surf Fishing Challenge

March 29-30

surf fishing challenge

Central Florida Shootout

April 26-27

central florida shootout

SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY!

Don’t forget, if you’ve been fishing, we’d love to hear from you!

Fiberglass Florida -- Rockledge store now open!