PORT CANAVERAL NEARSHORE: The fishing in and around the Port area will be very dependent on the water temperatures this month. If we have a typical winter, anglers can expect weakfish, pompano, whiting and sheepshead to provide them with some action. These species will provide a good variety of quality eating fillets in exchange for soaking a piece of shrimp on the bottom of the various port basins.
The pompano and whiting are likely to strike small jigs tipped with shrimp in the surf zones or along the deeper drop offs between the entrance of the port and the middle basin area.
The sheepshead are fond of structure and will be around dock pilings and rocks throughout the port. Small pieces of shrimp or small crabs and sand fleas are their favorite things to munch on. Put these on a short-shank heavy wire hook so you have a chance at pulling these tough fighting fish away from the structures that they call home.
If this winter is warmer than usual anglers could find tripletail near floating debris or buoys in the area known as the Bight. Live shrimp free lined to these fish will usually result in a hookup. Black drum may be possible as well. Anglers should look for schools of large, breeder-sized fish roaming the surf zones on calm days.
BANANA RIVER LAGOON:
Deeper sections of this body of water are going to be the best areas to target speckled trout and black drum if we get our usual cold temperatures this month. Residential canals, dredge holes and areas near causeway bridges that span this lagoon are fantastic places to search for these fish as well. Redfish will also seek refuge from cold temps in the deeper areas, but usually move right back out onto the flats once the sun starts to warm them after each frontal passage. Cut baits, live shrimp and small cast-able lures generally work on these cold water reds. If the weather is warmer this year than what we normally get in February, anglers may find the trout and redfish on the flats looking for small crustaceans and minnows to eat.
Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters