It’s tough to sit and write of impending spring fishing on the Space Coast this year. That is mostly due to the fact that our winter was much more like spring than typical, and a warm winter will make everything a little crazy for us anglers. There are many ups and downs when we have a mild or in this winter’s case, no winter. Snook will continue to become even more prevalent and push their range north with every passing warm winter. Migrations like tarpon, cobia, nearshore kingfish, mangrove snappers, and many more will happen early by days, weeks, or even months in some cases. It pays to be on your toes on a warm winter/spring transition. Couple a wonky winter with lagoon issues and it will make some areas tough to fish. However it could make others fire off for some of the best days ever experienced. Covering ample amounts of water and keeping a sharp eye out for any indicators of fish is a must on our lagoons for this spring. Pods of large black mullet will typically hold a few reds and trout so be sure to see that “activity” where you plan to fish. Dead water, is as it sounds. Will be areas that are devoid of movement be it baits, large mullet, crabs, rays, puffers, or catfish and should be quickly past up for greener pastures. Grass is still hard to find in some areas and fish are taking notice. I’ve seen more fish holding to docks, mangroves, and hard bottom than ever before. Be sure to focus in these areas especially when the sun climbs high in the sky. Black drum are still making a show on most flats, but will be looking to spawn out and slide to deeper water as the flats warm more and spring progresses. Get on these schools while you can to have a blast. Many lures and such will catch them but nothing beats a fresh dead/live shrimp. Be ready for that topwater seatrout bite to ramp up as the month draws to an end and they get hungry before the spawn. As typical I will recommend any trout over 22inches swims free, and without a doubt any fish over 24inch due to the fact it can only be an egg bearing female needed for reproduction not a fish sammich. Also as this month draws to a close, be mindful of the sad anniversary the 21st holds. That’s right folks! It’s been one year since a massive fish kill/extinction event rocked our Banana River Lagoon and No-Motor-Zone. Let me tell you it’s been a long year for those troubled waters. We are seeing some improvement, many people became aware of an issue unknown prior to, and we even managed to take steps in a positive direction with the Lagoon Tax. The Banana is still slow with resident fish like Seatrout and reds, but the visitor species seem to be enjoying some clear water and lots of bait. We can only hope that positive signs and positive actions continue to be the “talk of our Lagoons”. Sadly the No-Motor-Zone (NMZ) was hit hard and is still stumbling to recover fish stocks. The picture show is my first client caught fish (black drum) from the NMZ for over a year. I had stopped fishing it months before the kill due to algae density. It was a great moment shared with wonderful clients doing something I love (my job) in an area I’ve grown up fishing. Pure stoke is what I like to call it! Its slow but we/I will be back to sample the NMZ’s bounty.
Author: Capt. Alex Gorichkyhttps://locallinescharters.com
Full-Time Space Coast fishing guide and Malibu Kayaks Pro-Staff paddler. Contact Capt. Alex @ 321-480-3255