Kayak Report

Capt. Alex Gorichky

Some anglers look at summer on the Space Coast with distain, but for me the warm muggy days of summer offer opportunity. All bait fish, from mullet to pinfish, threadfins and pogies, are extremely abundant and predators will be feasting. Many of us Space Coast kayak anglers look to the beaches this month for their shot at a silver king (tarpon). We are going to talk about a king of a different shade. The mackerel verity! As water temps get right and bait floods our nearshore water the king mackerel (kingfish) settle into the shallows and fatten up. Depths from 10 to 45 feet of water seem to be prime area and bode well for the beach launch kayak scene. Trading your traditional heavy flouro leader for some wire and stinger hooks can have you in the meat and fun in short order. Slow troll live bait on that “kingfish” stinger rig and hold on. Most of the kingfish you’ll encounter will average 8-12lb, but true smokers that top 30lb are common. This is a fishery that was once a summer time staple on the space coast. In recent years it hasn’t been so hot! If the last few weeks are any indication of the summer to come. Then you had better hop on this bite. The Mangrove Snapper (Mango’s) are another species that basically disappear in the cooler months. Some can still be found, but not anything to really speak about. Summer time warm waters are what make them happy, and we have tons of places for them to “squat” until it cools again. The Mango’s will move up the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), but will also enter the lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean via Sabastian Inlet, Port Canaveral, and Ponce Inlet. Most will range from 1-3lbs. and make excellent dinner guests. These aggressive schooling fish are predominantly found on structure, pilings, and as their name suggests Mangrove shorelines. Most mango’s are typically caught with live baits like shrimp, mud minnows, mullet, pilchards, or pogies that are 2-4inches in length fished close to structure. A main line of 10-20lb. braid with a three foot leader of 20-30lb (mono or Fluorocarbon) will cover most situations, but you may get smoked by a real big one. A “live bait” J-hook in sizes from 1/0-(size) 2 depending on bait size and a small split shot is what I like for this fast hitting fish.

Capt. Alex Gorichky
Space Coast fishing guide
Kayaks By Bo team paddler
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