December 2023 Fishing Report for Port Canaveral
Hurricanes dominated this September’s headlines across the state of Florida. Hurricane Dorian started the downward spiral for weather and offshore conditions out of Port Canaveral and the constant march of new storms approaching our shorelines have prevented me from continuing offshore fishing charters and looking towards the inshore a little earlier this than normal.
Large northeast swells generated by distant Humberto will combine with fresh to strong easterly winds to produce very hazardous boating conditions on the Atlantic and intracoastal waters through the weekend.
Volusia-Brevard County Line to Sebastian Inlet 0-20 nm- 407 AM EDT Sat Sep 21 2019 SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING TODAY East winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 7 to 10 feet with a dominant period 13 seconds. Choppy on the intracoastal waters. Slight chance of showers. TONIGHT East winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 6 to 9 feet with a dominant period 13 seconds. Choppy on the intracoastal waters.
“Normally I continue into September until the weather deteriorates and forces me to go into the Saltwater Lagoons looking for Large Breeding Redfish, sea trout, and other inshore species. Hurricane Dorian started a chain of events that have kept us off the water for much of September, both inshore and offshore. When the winds and weather subside, I’ll be transferring duties to my smaller flats boat for the remainder of the year, so look for inshore fishing reports to be posted on the Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River and Sebastian Inlet Reports.
Meanwhile you can enjoy the photos of me surfing Hurricane Humberto in Cocoa Beach. Hurricanes often give the best waves of the year in Florida and if you’ve been fishing with me, you know I like to surf. It’s a time of renewal and exercise that our whole family has learned to love together and a win-win for me when I get to either fish or surf.
Summer has gone and past, Hurricane Dorian has made an appearance and left an impression on the Bahamas while frightened us at home on Florida’s Space Coast. I’m finally getting the opportunity to sit down and write a fishing report about what’s been happening in my fishing world while the wind is blowing and forecasters are predicting tropical storm activity for the next few weeks.
The fishing is never “As Good As It Used to Be”, but this summer offered some pretty spectacular fishing out of Port Canaveral. Our staple of King Mackerel kept us busy between other fishing events when schools of jacks, mahi-mahi, and Bonita made their appearance. Cobia showed when you least expected and there was a steady snook bite for those wanting to stay glued to the beaches. Tarpon has been elusive for me this year, but there have been some caught and then there’s been an inshore bite for both juvenile and larger tarpon for those venturing to the Indian River.
I’d like to thank all my returning customers for keeping me extremely busy this Summer. I’m blessed with customers that visit us on a regular basis and enjoy each and every one of you. Thank You for your friendships and keeping me busy as the years have gone by. I’ll be transitioning this month to the inshore pursuits of the Indian River and the Mosquito Lagoon soon as the big breeder redfish have made their appearance. Everything is kind of turned upside-down in the ocean this week with the passing of Dorian and the upcoming tropical activity, but with any luck the water will settle down and the weather too.
Afternoon showers have made for spectacular morning trips out of Canaveral this June. Early rising anglers have found plenty of action with Kingfish, Jack Crevalle, and the occasional snook and cobia. Oh! Did I mention that we’ve scored on a few Mahi?
Look for both nearshore and offshore or deep sea fishing to remain consistent this summer out of Port Canaveral.
May usually brings calmer weather and milder temperatures as summer start to knock at the door. This May has found me in the ocean on a regular basis out of Port Canaveral seeking sportsfishing opportunities on the local reefs and wrecks. The cobia migration is over and the dorado (mahi mahi) are still making a small showing for those interested in a full day fishing adventure on calm days.
Kingfish or King Mackerel are almost a sure thing lately out of Canaveral. We’re still waiting on the bait to make a showing so it’s slow trolling, drifting or anchoring with frozen bait until they make it our way.
Look for continued catches of king mackeral and mahi for the remainder of May and into June.
The cobia continue this week with their annual migration northward. Canaveral seems to be a regular stopping place during March and April as manta rays, sharks and other large marine animals gather along the coastline.
April Cobia Madness has arrived and so have the cobia with plenty of manta rays. Sight fishing for cobia has always been a local favorite thing to do during the spring as waters approach 70° and the winds and sky cooperate. Marshall and I had a great day of fishing in early April and he’s hooked on looking for the extraordinarily giant and graceful mantas with hitchhiking cobia.
John & Joan Taylor have been fishing with me for years and even in their later years have a passion for the outdoors. I text with Joan several times a year about her Virginia Cavs and she always asks about Gina and the girls.
This year, we had a great time looking for cobia on manta rays and we’re going inshore tomorrow.
Tripletail have been the talk of the town lately on the coastal or nearshore waters off Port Canaveral. It’s On Again – Off Again as the cold fronts roll thru and warm ups allow us to start seeing these good tasting and hard fighting fish to be targeted. Almost every day this January that’s been makable and fishable have produced limits of these prehistoric looking fish. James (below) had no problem hooking up and landing this remarkable sized tripletail while his beautiful wife Christine watched onboard the Lagooner.
With the Holidays behind us, Florida’s weather cooperated for us early this January. Indian summer conditions are uncommon in central Florida during January, but when a stretch of calm, warm weather comes thru for a week, WATCH OUT! Cobia start popping up and tripletail become easy targets. Several of my friends ventured deeper offshore, commercial fished for plenty of king mackerel and some blackfin tuna while we sightfished for cobia and concentrated on tripletail.
Offshore Fishing Fun
Normally, I don’t even bother fishing offshore during January or February and concentrate inshore on our abundant species in the local lagoons. But knowing what happens offshore during calm winter conditions, I started up the deep sea fishing boat and took Gina on an exploratory morning mission to see if the cobia showed up and if the tripletail were making a showing. We found our answer by bringing home both species and then photographing some extraordinary images of our day.
While we’ve had a week or so of mild, calm weather on the oceans, it appears as though the winter patterns of cold north winds will spoil our offshore fun and I will return to the lagoons and continue my daily winter activities inshore.
Captain Richard Bradley
Charter Fishing Captain/Guide
As a husband and father of three incredible women, my life is definitely made whole. I’m a lifelong resident and third generation Floridian that enjoys the outdoors in recreation and my job. Not much gets better than taking my family, friends, and customers on fishing excursions on Florida’s east coast where I grew up for over five decades.
There is much for me to share about Port Canaveral and I enjoy writing about my experiences and knowledge of where I live. Please feel free to comment on my writings and express your views and experiences.
Berkley Gulp! Shrimp
When all else fails to produce a fish bite, I often pull out the Gulps. My favorite colors are New penny and pearl white, but don’t put too much thought into colors. A proper presentation and a hungry fish will most often get the bite.