Port Canaveral & Banana River – March 2024



PORT CANAVERAL: Anglers eagerly await the arrival of their favorite springtime fish—the cobia. These fish make great visual targets as they swim along the surface of the ocean basking in the springtime sunshine. They often look like sharks but, to a trained eye, a cobia is one of the tastiest looking brown spots ever seen in our coastal waters. Large, brightly-colored “cobia” jigs are a great choice to cast at these cruising fish. Anglers also like to cast a Storm 5- to 6-inch swim bait, Rapala X-Rap (size 14) plugs, or Saltwater Assassin 5-inch Artemis shad when the cobia are on or near the surface. These tasty fish can get fussy once they have seen too many lures thrown their way, so I would advise keeping some form of live bait onboard. A live menhaden, croaker or jumbo shrimp can be a real difference maker on some days. Tripletail are often seen floating near weeds and debris while searching for cobia, so have a small jig or medium shrimp handy if you encounter one of these fish.

Snook are another springtime species that I like to target with my fishing charter customers. I find these fish near jetties, near shore wrecks, and deeper troughs along the surf break.

Whiting, pompano and black drum should be hitting cut shrimp, clam and fresh sand fleas in the surf zones on some days too. Look for them between Cocoa Beach and the tip of the false cape.

BANANA RIVER LAGOON: Black drum ranging from 2- to 15-pounds should be found in small schools ranging from 20 to 40 fish on the flats of this lagoon. Look for pushes or tailing activity on calm days. I like to cast a live shrimp or piece of cut clam to them when they are in this “happy” mood. Redfish, trout, and the occasional snook may be possible if baitfish are prevalent around docks and mangrove-covered shorelines. Top water plugs will begin to work better on the trout and redfish as the water temperatures warm—especially in areas where seagrass is growing. I’ll usually find increased numbers of mullet near the grass as the water warms into the upper 60s to mid 70-degree range by the end of the month. Sheepshead and mangrove snapper are possible for anglers fishing near bridge pilings and docks in residential canals. Small pieces of shrimp or small crabs usually get these tasty fish away from the pilings and into the boat.

Until next month…Let’s go catch a memory!

Capt. Jim Ross
Fineline Fishing Charters
(321) 636-3728

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