December 14, 2004


Ever notice how the days seem to go by quicker as we approach the end of the year. This is especially true when the weather's nice and your tossing baits. Unfortunately, the cold blast we're receiving today has forced me exchange my long-sleeved T-shirts and my winter shorts for a long sleeve sweat shirt, blue jeans, and shoes. Fishing this week has been great in some areas of the lagoon coast, and with any luck, once these brisk breezes move off, conditions will settle. Hopefully, this report will provide useful insight into determining your fishing adventures over the weekend. Listed below are some of last week's hot & not spots:

SEBASTIAN: The combination of cold weather and the passing of the new moon should get the flounder moving towards the inlet. Good reports of roe laden flatfish have been coming from areas close to the inlets, so they're on the move. A good overall artificial bait is a simple jig with a Cotee 3 inch curly tail grub, in white, white /red tail, rootbeer/gold glitter tail, or green. Every inshore game fish swimming in lagoon waters will take this bait. For flounder, grouper, and snapper, I prefer to drift through productive areas bouncing the jig slowly across the bottom. For bluefish and Spanish mackerel, retrieve the jig quickly just below the surface of the water. This technique will help you avoid cut offs by these toothy critters. For trout, redfish, ladyfish, pompano, and jacks, retrieve this bait with an even steady speed, giving it a twitch every three to four seconds. It is also important to adjust the weight based on the depth of the water and the strike zone of the desired species. The weights I utilize most are 1/8 ounce in skinny water; 1/4 ounce in 2 to 4 feet of water, and 1/2 ounce in deeper situations. Also, there have been excellent catches of pompano reported inside the Sebastian Inlet cut in the vicinity of the monument and on the flats to the north and south. Remember, snook goes out of season on the 15th, so if you catch one, please handle and release it with due care.

PORT CANAVERAL: Near-shore fishing in the Port is producing quality tripletail, flounder, and redfish. The flounder bite is slow due to heavy dredging operations and the closing of the locks for repair, but fish are showing up along the sandbars and drop-offs inside the Port. Good numbers of tripletail have begun to show up on the buoy line around structure. Catching this brim on steroids around the buoys requires a little luck and considerable skill in first getting them to bite, and then working them away from the structure is a story in itself.

NEAR-SHORE: When the seas allow it, the kingfish were hammering anglers on the near-shore reefs and wrecks along the lagoon coast, and this bite should remain productive. Around Canaveral, try slow trolling Spanish sardines (spinning minnows) over 8A, Pelican Flats, or Chris Benson reefs. The kingfish have been running small, but there are a lot of them. Most anglers last week returned to Port with there limits of kings.

INSHORE: Last week I spent one of the most gorgeous days of the year fishing the No-Motor-Zone with Captain John Kumiski, but someone most have warned the fish of our menacing plans. Despite the glassy conditions, the only shots we had were at a couple tailing sheepshead, which showed no interests in our offerings.

In closing, I would like to thank all of those who have fished with me this year, my loyal readers, and my family and friends, for providing me with the opportunities I've experienced in 2004. God bless you, and have a happy and safe holiday. As always, if you have questions or need information, please contact me. Also, gift certificates are currently available for 2005.

Good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn