There isn't a very favorable marine weather forecast for the weekend. Easterly winds 15-20 mph. Waves 5-7 feet and occasionally 9 feet. This will probably create pretty rough conditions along the shore break, too, making it difficult to fish along the beaches. It's going to be a good weekend to fish inshore and freshwater spots.
Too bad, too. There has been a good bite from Spanish mackerel and bluefish in the surf and near the inlets. Pompano have been scarce, but they're probably coming soon. Fish the lee of the east shoreline of the lagoons this weekend until winds calm a bit and open up more fishing zones.
Florida fishing regulations and fishing season opening and closing dates:
- Flounder: Harvest closed Oct. 15 to Nov. 30. Size limit: 14 inches. Bag limit: 5 fish per person.
- Gag grouper: Harvest closes for both recreational and commercial sectors on Oct. 23. Re-opens May 1, 2024.
- Spotted seatrout: Harvest closes November and December in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties. Harvest reopens Jan. 1.
- Hogfish: Harvest closes from Nov. 1 to April 30, 2024. Season re-opens for harvest May 1, 2024.
- Snook: Harvest opened Sept. 1. One fish bag limit, 28-32 inches, snook stamp required. Harvest closes Dec. 15.
- Blueline tilefish: Harvest closed Sept. 1 in Atlantic state and federal waters. Season re-opens for harvest May 1, 2024.
- Golden tilefish: Harvest closed July 17. Harvest opens Jan. 1, 2024.
- Lobster: Regular season opened Aug. 6-March 31, 2024. No egg bearers, 3-inch minimum carapace length. Lobster stamp required.
- Alligator: Hunt season opened Aug. 15-Nov. 1. Permits required.
- Grouper: Harvest opened May 1. Includes gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth, coney, graysby, red hind and rock hind. Harvest closes Jan. 1.
- Cobia: New bag and size limits for state waters. Bag limit: Two fish per vessel. Size limit: 36 inches fork length.
- Redfish: Harvest of redfish has been banned in the Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon since Sept. 1, 2022. FWC will reevaluate in the future.
- Dolphin: Bag limit is 5 fish per day per angler. Vessel limit is 30 fish per day. Captain and crew may not be included in limit. These fishing regulations began on May 1, 2022, for state waters.
- Bass: Bass at Headwaters Lake will soon become all catch-and-release.
Capt. Jon Lulay of 2 Castaway Charters in Titusville has been steering clients to catches of redfish, black drum, speckled trout, jacks and ladyfish along the lagoon shorelines and around the islands. He is using live shrimp freelined or under popping corks, or having customers sight-cast with jerk baits.
Anglers were finding good action from Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks and more during the incoming tides. As the water level rises over the sand bar, fish come over it and will run down the inside of the bars so cast pieces of shrimp, sand fleas or Fishbites there. The weather will force anglers to hold off for a few days, but look for action to resume, maybe with pompano, by Monday or Tuesday.
Jetty anglers have been catching Spanish mackerel and bluefish using spoons or diamond jigs. Boaters drifting live baits during the outgoing tides had shots at snook, redfish, tarpon, big jacks, black drum and sharks. Use caution near the entrance of the inlet the next few days with the wind-driven waves.
Indian River Lagoon
Try casting plugs around Fishermen Point, Mangrove Point, Bagger's Point, Bird Island, or the island west of the Canaveral Barge Canal to get bites from speckled trout. The best action is early in the morning at first light. Schools of redfish have been in the No Motor Zone and can be cast to with small crabs or shrimp.
Some of the best action has been along the edges for bedding bass. The full moon will have fish moving to the beds to spawn. Use lipless crank baits to get reaction bites.
Ed Killer covers fishing for TCPalm. Email him at email@example.com.