Florida pompano fishing roared back with a vengeance in mid-August as surf fishing conditions improved tremendously. Seaweed mats lay dormant on the shoreline drying under the summer sun. Light winds cleaned up the water clarity and hungry fish took notice. Eager fisherman who’ve laid in wait pounced on the opportunity for surf fishing greatness. Fishing near Sebastian Inlet north to Patrick Air Force Base saw the best water clarity.
Using surf fishing rigs consisting of chartreuse floats with sand flea or pink shrimp flavored Fish Bites combined with live sand fleas made a recipe for success. Pompano rigs with two to three small Kahle hooks or circle hooks embolden one to try different bait and float combinations. Our beach fishing charters have been using a diversity of colors and flavors to match the conditions. Pompano floats for surf fishing rigs can be quite the topic of discussion. With that being said, chartreuse, white and pink have been on fire. Take advantage of the ability to focus on color schemes for distinct adaptation to fishing conditions. If one color is consistently outperforming the others, adjust tactics to dial in.
Shark fishing has picked up exponentially with the warm waters. It’s all one can do at times to get a catch to shore safely. Predatory sharks scouring the waters love to take advantage of a handicapped fish. To overcome this, don’t be shy to tighten your drag and skip ’em in with heavier tackle. If you’re constantly losing fish to sharks, ramp up the terminal tackle. Put the heat on table-fare-worthy fish and opt out of losing a meal to the sharks. If targeting sharks for sport, now is absolutely an opportunistic time. Bull sharks, black tips, nurse sharks and sand sharks can be accessed throughout all of Brevard County.
Pompano and snook fishing have been extremely productive recently. Small schools of mullet are starting to appear in local waters. This preemptive push is a sure sign things are soon to fire up. Heavier concentrations of mullet have been spotted north in Saint Augustine. With the majority of baitfish headed our way, be ready and have a casting rod on standby. When a school of mullet comes careening down the shore, have a swim bait or casting plug at arm’s distance. Take notice of pelicans diving nearshore for early signs of what’s coming. Snook, redfish and jack crevalle are sure to follow these baitfish under the surface. Walk with the school, taking long casts diagonally from the shore and work the lure on the edges and through the middle of the frenzy. These bursting pockets of baitfish will hold immense opportunities for those prepared. Don’t be caught trying to rig up as the fish are being blown apart in a feeding frenzy. Prepare accordingly for this scenario.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the dead stick rods being fished in the pole spikes. Pompano, margate, sheepshead and whiting are still being caught with great proficiency. Get the family outdoors for fun in the sun and enjoy this window of prime fishing conditions.
Capt. Lukas Brickweg
Cocoa Beach Surf Fishing Charters