Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Where to fish? What's biting?

Where to fish? What's biting?

While all species can be caught year-round surf fishing Florida's east coast, some are more prevalent seasonally depending on who you ask. The person surf fishing right next to you might be catching one species and you (just a ways down the shore) might not catch any of those. Bait and gear choice play a role in surf fishing, but throwing where the fish are is luck of the draw. And what was biting today, may not be biting tomorrow.

Canaveral National Seashore has a lot of surf fishing areas to cover. Miles of beach with seperate numbered parking areas. Avoid area 12 in Brevard County if you have a family (known as the clothes optional section). 90.1 miles between Titusville and New Smyrna Beach, Florida with endless days of Florida fishing adventure to be had at Canaveral National Seashore. Anytime there is a rocket on the launchpad KSC, these areas are closed. Generally, Haulover Canal is still accessible while Canaveral National Seashore is closed for launches.

Canaveral National Seashore Alerts lists closures and other relevant alerts. Check before you travel.

This year so far (2019), I've been catching Blue's (I don't recommend sticking your fingers in their mouth:), Snook (Closed until Aug 31,2019, Opens September 1, 2019-December 15, 2019), Whiting, Pompano, Margate, Sail Catfish, Saltwater Catfish, Croaker, Spots (same family as Croaker), Shark, Ray, Redfish, Black Drum, Sea Trout, Sheepshead. Location matters, fish gotta swim.

Check out the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Recreational Regulations or get your Shark Permit by taking the course shore-based shark fishing at My FWC SharkCourse

No boats, just Florida East Coast Surf Fishing

Monday, July 29, 2019

Pompano Rig vs Carolina Rig, Weights, Bait, and Leader Lines

Both the Pompano Rig and Carolina Rig are efficient fish catchers. 

Pompano rig is either double or single drop with many sizes and styles. Drop loop links will very, is it closer to your leader line or the weight bottom? I prefer a longer drop from around 12-16 inches from the weight. My second drop is another 12-16 inches from my first. My second drop will always be higher in the water column. The reason I prefer the longer drop loop is that when the fish bites the hook, it takes longer for the fish to feel the resistance of the weight. For Florida East Coast Surf Fishing I prefer a 12 ft. rod. The reason I prefer a 12 ft. rod on Pompano Rig, is it brings my angle elevations higher.

The advantages of a Carolina Rig are the bait and line can move without resistance of the weight. The disadvantages include getting more catfish bites if you are not fishing for that species. If you are, it is an advantage.

Weight, Leader Line, and Hook Choices

I prefer pyramid weights over sputniks. Pyramid weights from 2-4 ounces are a good casting weight for all species. The lighter the weight, the less resistance the fish will feel. Heavy currents need more weight.

Leader line of choice 20lb fluorocarbon with 1-2/0 circle hooks for Pompano Rigs.
Carolina Rigs a 2-6/0 circle hook depending on what species I am fishing for. Sharks: 50lb leader line, large cut bait, 4-6/0 circle hook; Redfish: 20lb leader line, shrimp, mullet, or crab cut or live bait, 2-4/0 circle hook; Snook: 20lb minimum fluorocarbon, live bait mullet, whiting, croaker, 2-4/0 circle hook.

I like my Carolina and Pompano Rig leader line to a be a minimum of 3ft with 20lb fluorocarbon.

No boats, just Florida East Coast Surf Fishing.