What a strange summer it has been along the Space and Treasure Coasts. For two months anglers have been boating flounder in the 4- to 5-pound class every trip out. These doormats have been found in the grassy shallows and around the spoil islands from Port Canaveral south to Fort Pierce. They were quite a treat at dinnertime after a long day out on the water.
Here’s the skinny:
Trout/Redfish/Snook: The flats will continue to heat up as the weather begins to cool. Topwater fishing will account for the majority of the hook-ups until the sun breaks over the mangroves. By then, it will be time to switch to your weedless soft plastics or suspending lures like Yo-Zuri’s Crystal Minnows. With the grass being in full bloom, I recommend two presentations with the soft plastics.
First, place a small, lead, crimp weight about a foot up from the lure. This will help drag the soft plastic through the grass where the fish are and still let the bait suspend over the top of it when you stop your retrieves. Next, try the crimp weight on the bottom side of the hook. This presentation will keep the bait in the grass, down where the fish are bunkered down.
Sebastian Inlet: Large, live pinfish, pigfish and sailors choice will account for a majority of the hook-ups during the fall months. Many anglers will anchor up at the edge of the north jetty pitching the live baits toward the rocks or dropping them over the edge into the Monster Hole. Hang on and step up on your tackle because none of the monsters that you haul to the boat will be inside the slot limits. Watch for construction barges on the south side of the park. A new fishing pier is being constructed and their barges are moving around Monday through Friday.
Offshore: The doldrums should be over and large weedlines should be forming up and down the entire east coast. Look for the northbound manta rays - the cobia will be right underneath.
Dive Report: Diving prior to the lobster season opener left most divers drooling. Large bugs have been common out on the reef lines between the 70- to 100-foot ledges. If the storms don’t send them deeper, the first picks of the season will be nothing less than grand! I’ll keep you updated next issue on the results.
The season opened August 6th and will run through March 31st, 2012. Spiny lobster must have a minimum carapace length of 3 inches and the measurement must take place in the water. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue, and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace.
Waterfowl: The five-day early teal and wood duck season will run from Saturday, September 17th through Wednesday, September 20th. Fishermen should remember that they will be sharing their favorite flat or mosquito impoundment with the waterfowlers during this time. A 300-yard self-imposed buffer will neither spook the fish nor flare the birds.
Band the Slam: I would like to thank all our sponsors and anglers that fished this year’s 8th annual South Brevard Ducks Unlimited tournament. Over 50 live fish were brought to the scales by 114 anglers. Our chapter raised $7,500 to help purchase, preserve and conserve our nations disappearing wetlands. Without the help of our sponsors, this could not have occurred. I’d like to thank McKinney Construction who underwrote this year’s tournament buffs. Donating prizes were Deep Flats, Steve Whitlock Chart Art, Pelagic Gear and Strike Zone of Melbourne. I would also like to give a big shout out to Capt. Mike Ortega of Tackle Webs for underwriting a $100 bounty for the biggest fish. See you all next year.
“See you on the Boat or in the Blind”
Capt. Jeff Kraynik is the owner/operator of The Coastal Sportsmen and for the past 26 years has fished and hunted the Palm Bay/Sebastian/Vero Beach areas of the Indian River Lagoon. The Coastal Sportsmen and crew specialize in personalized light-tackle saltwater flats fishing, waterfowl and alligator hunts. Capt. Jeff is an IGFA certified guide and a guide in good standing with CCA/Florida. Capt. Jeff is a pro-staff fisherman for Hurricane “Redbone” Rods, PowerPro Lines, Riptide Lures and Albakore Tackle Systems. “From the grassflats to the mudflats and everywhere in between.”Contact Info: Capt. Jeff “The Commodore” KraynikThe Coastal Sportsmen(p) 321 863-9182(w) coastalsportsmen.com(e) email@example.com(Facebook) captjeffkraynik