Cocoa Beach Fishing Report
April 13th, 2008 fishing report by Capt Doug Blanton
We have had some interesting days on the water over the past month. The fishing was pretty good. The reds were tailing and the gator trout were on the flats. Then it rained. The front that pushed through came at the same time that the water level was beginning to rise from the spring surge on the beach. Within a few days the water level came up over a foot in some places. This is always a time we look forward to in Cocoa Beach. Every year when this happens the fish start moving up into areas they haven't gone to feed for months. This year it made the fish on the flats wired for a few days. It did turn on the snook and tarpon though.
Now things are starting to go back to normal for this time of year. Over night the reds turned on to top water. The bigger trout started moving back to their spawning areas and a ton of mullet showed up. It looks like spring has come.
We still have mixed bags of reds working the flats in Cocoa Beach. I always get a kick out of a school that holds 10 to 35 pound fish. Most of the schools we find have fish all within a few pounds of each other. We do have one school of reds with 30+ pounders but you have to work for them. They are very shy and like to hang in 2 to 4 feet on the outside edge of the flats.
In the early mornings the reds have been willing to take a top water plugs. We put a few in the boat over the last few weeks with the 3.25 Rip Roller but our better catches have come on the 4.25 High Roller. The High Roller has a softer action and still casts like a much larger plug. When the fish have been becoming a little spooky around plugs we have been doing real well with the new Bass Assassin Blurp. Our best luck over the past few weeks has come on the Pearl 4 inch Sea Shad.
On fly we continue to have our best luck with ether the olive rattle mullet or the pinfish EP patterns. The trick with these flies has been to let them find the fly and strip it away like something trying to run from them. They have been real slow to take a slow moving fly.
The trout spawn is starting in Cocoa Beach. This means we are in for some of the best Gator Trout fishing this area has to offer. Please, Please remember these fish are restocking our fishery. If you like to catch big trout, put all of the trout over 20 inches back! If you were hear in the 80's you will remember what is was like to not have any big trout. Before then the fishing was great. Then the netters came and RAPED our fishery. With the help of FCA now CCA Florida in 1994 we put a stop to the netting. In 1999 I had the best year I have ever had fishing big trout. We boated 37 trout over 30 inches with top water. In 2000 we boated a trout that weighed in at 16 pounds. Between 2000 and 2006 we have caught more big trout than I have in my life. I can't say that today. We have some good days out there but nothing like we did. So what changed. Over the past few years I have seen more clueless people at the dock cleaning big trout this time of year. I have seen many with their bellies red from spawning that these yahoos were cleaning. The trout need your help. Please return these fish to the water unharmed so that you can feel the tug again another day. Don't take me wrong. I like to eat fish more than most, but, I do not rape pregnant fish to have a meal. In most Native American Languages the word for "white man" means, someone who always takes and never gives anything in return. As sport fisherman we should adopt these words as names for the people who keep spawning fish.
I will get down off the soap box now and say that most of these fish we have been catching on the 4.25 Rip Roller. All of these big girls have been in areas with larger mullet in 1 to 2 feet of water. You need a long cast and to be very quite if you want the hookup.
Tarpon and Snook
We have tarpon and snook in some of the deeper holes near mangroves! That is all I'm going to say.
Many of you have asked me over the years about the Fishing Lanyard I wear. I have started making them for the Fly Fisherman and they now have them in both stores. These make a great gift for the fisherman that has everything else. I now also have them on my website at this link Fishing Lanyards.
until next time.....
Get out there and catch a memory.
Capt. Doug Blanton
To book a trip with Capt Doug click here or call 321-432-9470
Cocoa Beach Fishing Guide