Canaveral Offshore Fishing Report: July 2014

Canaveral Offshore Fishing Report

Happy July! I’m sure many of you are happy now that we get to catch the extinct Red snapper. I say whatever! They’re allowing us to keep a fish that they say there’s not enough around? Well I challenge that person to actually go on a boat out of Port Canaveral and go see the truth. Because when you’re in 85 feet of water and trolling live pogies for kings and you catch a 20-25lb Red snapper on top water, something is wrong. So they allow us to keep 1 per person per day for a 3 weekend period? Please check with the local regulations before keeping anything! Here are a few tricks to catch them: Catch pogoes and go to your local reefs. Use a down rigger set to 10 feet off the bottom. Slow troll using a king rig and you will catch them, haha.

OK, time to be serious. There are many different types of bait you can use for ARS (American Red Snapper): squid, sardines, and virtually any live bait. Some are better than others. Most structures hold snapper. All the local reefs have them. There’s a lot of structures north and south on 21 and 27 area. This is what I use for tackle: 100lb braid. I use a 10-16oz egg sinker weight depending on depth and currents. Then swivel to 100lb mono leader about 4 feet with an 8/0 J hook. If you watch your bottom machine, snapper show up above the structure, reef, or wreck and look like a Christmas tree. Drop to the bottom and reel in a little till you’re about 6-8 feet off the bottom. When you feel a hit, reel fast. I watch many charters try to set the hooks in 150 feet. You have to reel, and reel fast! This is what sets the hook. Anchoring is a good thing too. This can be an art. If you get above or in line with the structure, you can chum them up. I have seen big snapper come up under the boat.

The snapper are not the only fish in the ocean. This is the time of year also that the cobia start to come off the wrecks a little more. Give a little time jigging the wrecks. Jig with 2 oz. buck tails tipped with squid.

I hope everyone has a good time and enjoys this month safely and follows the regulations. I am sure that the law will be out checking during this season as they were last year. Follow the rules and have all the safety equipment on board. If you see a Wright Whale, DO NOT go near it.