Port Canaveral & Banana River – May 2024

Anglers like Robin love catching tripletail this month.


PORT CANAVERAL NEARSHORE: Anglers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our spring tarpon run into the Space Coast waters near Port Canaveral. These fish will be feeding on schools of menhaden along the beaches in the 15- to 40-foot depths. I slow troll or drift with live baitfish rigged on a 7/0 sized VMC 7385 circle hook and 60- to 80-pound test fluorocarbon leader. Look for fish rolling or actively feeding on baitfish along the nearshore waters and put baits in their vicinity. Anglers can also cast swim baits like the Saltwater Assassin 5-inch Artemis shad or a large plug like a Rapala Long Cast or X-Rap 12 or 14.

Snook action is usually good inside the Port and near the inlet jetties. Anglers targeting them at night can also do well on jumbo shrimp near the shadow lines inside the Port.

Tripletail are possible around floating debris and buoys outside of the Port. Live shrimp are the best bait to use for these odd-looking fish.

Whiting, pompano, and sheepshead are possible in the surf for anglers using live or frozen sand fleas and fish bites. Try these baits on a 2 or 3 drop rig or tip a pompano jig with them along the beaches from Melbourne to the tip of Cape Canaveral.

BANANA RIVER LAGOON: Anglers fishing this body of water are finding more redfish, black drum and trout available to them. This is a result of cleaner water conditions and the resurgence of some actual sea grass in some areas. This directly correlates to the lack of rainfall that we’ve had over the past few months, limiting the amount of lawn fertilizer runoff into this system. Live shrimp or fingerling mullet have been the two best live baits to use for the reds and trout. Fish these near the edges of mangrove covered shorelines, and near docks in the canal systems of Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Satellite Beach. Saltwater Assassin “Salty Snack” baits in the Glow/Chartreuse, Fried Chicken and Chicken-on-a-Chain colors have been working extremely well on trout and reds holding near mullet pods on the flats.

Small schools of black drum can be found schooling on the flats as well. Sand fleas and live shrimp are best for these hard fighting fish.

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

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