BANANA RIVER LAGOON: Anglers are hoping that some sea grass will return to the shallow flats in this body of water. Last spring we had a minor resurgence of grasses due to the restricted use of lawn fertilizers and pesticides that destroy it. We also had Calerpa which looks like grass but is actually an algea that helped to stabilize some of the sediments that are usually stirred up by the march and April winds. This led to some good spring time fishing for trout, black drum, and redfish in these areas, because baitfish like glass minnows, pinfish, pigfish, and fingerling mullet could use this vegetation for protection from predators. Crustaceans like shrimp and crabs rely on these grasses for their survival as well, and of course the larger predatory fish eat these smaller species to survive. So, its vitally important that each and every one of us refrain from applying lawn fertilizers (a.k.a. Lagoon Poison) to our yards this spring in an effort to help save our precious Banana River Lagoon. I am asking people to take the money that they were going to spend on poisoning their lagoon with lawn fertilizers, and send it to the Clam Restoration Project (you can find more info at firstname.lastname@example.org) to help clean up or lagoon waters by introducing clams back into this estuary to help filter and clean the nitrogen out of the wates that we love so much.
PORT CANAVERAL: Cobia may still be a good possibility around the Canaveral waters this month if water temperatures stay in the lower 70-degree range. The spring run usually starts in late February or early March, and wraps up this month outside of the Port. Large jigs and live baits like sardines, pogies, and croakers are great offerings to cast at these fish. Look for them “free swimming” at the water’s surface, following manta rays and turtles, or just hanging around weed patches or other debris floating on the surface. If possible, net the smaller fish to make sure they are legal to harvest instead of gaffing them only to find out that you have to put it back in the water-to almost certainly die. Tripletail are another species to look for when searching around for the cobia. Tripletail are often quite plentiful if weeds are present on our near-shore waters. Anglers can get them to strike live shrimp or small jigs on most days. One of my Favorite species to target in the spring time are giant Crevalle jack. Crevalle usually show up in pods of 10 to 30-fish each. These fish will normally strike the same baits and lures as the cobia. Large chugger plugs are another great lure to cast to these fish as they travel up and down the beaches looking for something to eat. These fish move fast, so its imperative for you to get your boat out in front of the schools of fish and cast to them well in advance of when you actually think they will get within range. Snook are another species we target on our charters this month. Most of the snook we catch this month are really big -well over the slot limit- and must be released, but they are a whole lot of fun to pull on. Live baits like croakers, shrimp, pilchards, sardines, and menhaden usually get these fish to strike. If you are lucky enough to catch one within the slot limit, they are extremely tasty to eat.
Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters