Port Canaveral Fishing Report: July 2014

Cape Canaveral Red Snapper Fishing
Red snapper are back on the menu during select “open” dates this month. Bill got this one on a live menhaden rigged on a 2.5 ounce HookUp Jig head.

Anglers are hoping that Cape Canaveral fishing will be as hot as the weather is this month along the beaches outside of the Port. July is usually a month where “the bite” is determined by the availability of bait on most days. Anglers will be looking for pods of pogies, greenies, pilchards, and glass minnows because these are the food source for the predators they are seeking. Those species generally include: Blacktip and spinner shark, bonito, cobia, tarpon, jack crevalle, and king mackerel. Try jigging in and around these pods with cobia jigs, or Hookup jig heads tipped with a live baitfish. During morning and evening periods you can cast other types of lures like Storm swim baits, or Rapala lipped diving plugs, and often get one of these species on an artificial lure. Look for pods that are shifting or moving erratically in the water. This often is an indication that the baitfish are being attacked from below by the previously mentioned predators.

Port Canaveral Tarpon Fishing
Capt. Jim Ross lipped this 90 pound tarpon
for his customer after it hit a live pogie near a bait pod and then proceeded to put on a 45 minute battle before coming boat side.

Near-shore reefs and wrecks in the 50 to 90-foot depths should hold mangrove snapper, flounder, sea bass and possibly red snapper which will be legal to take on three open weekends this year in July. The National Marine Fisheries Service in conjunction with the Florida Wildlife Commission has designated July 11-13, 18-20, and 25 and 26 as official dates that red snapper may be harvested along the east coast of Florida. These organizations are hoping that anglers will take advantage of this open season and return their filleted red snapper carcasses to an Official FWC carcass recovery sight so that information can be gathered to help open this species back up to harvest on a more regular basis. Check with your local tackle shop for recovery sights where red snapper can be collected.