Cast Into The Florida Space Coast's Famous Fishing
There are few among us who wouldn't "rather be fishing," especially
around Florida's Space Coast. The Space Coast offers world class
fishing with more than 500 species of fresh water fish in area rivers and
lakes, many of which are game fish. Adventure awaits for the
expert fisherman looking for a world record catch, like the super grand slam
when one angler landed four species of billfish on the same day in 1998.
For vacationing families just looking for a relaxing afternoon casting
together, there are plentiful options at one of the local fish camps,
fishing piers, or on a private or chartered fishing boat from one of the 72
marinas. Whether searching for giant redfish, spotted sea trout and
snook in the Indian River Lagoon, largemouth bass on the St. Johns River or
the one of a kind catch available in the Atlantic - the area is a
fisherman's paradise to be sure. The incredible abundance can be traced to
the geography. The Space Coast's location makes it perfect for fish from
both the sub-tropical and temperate climate zones, which boosts the
diversity and amount of fish found in the region. Fresh water game
includes huge catfish, crappies, largemouths, warmouths, bluegills, redears,
spots, chain and redbreast pickerels. The area is especially known for
sea trout and redfish although other popular saltwater catches include snook,
flounder, ladyfish, tarpon, black drum and sheepshead. In fact, the
Indian River Lagoon has been scientifically proven as having the fasters
growing and largest sea trout in the world. Once known as the sea
trout capital, current conservation practices are returning the massive
"gator" trout to the area in large numbers.
For those ever-popular redfish, check out the Titusville area for
tournaments like the IFA Redfish Tour, which choose the location because it
has the best flats for redfishing anywhere. Schools of 100 or more of the
fish, ranging from 8 to 12 pounds size, are regularly visible in the flats.
The highly desirable catch can also be found in both the Indian and Banana
Rivers, as well as the Mosquito Lagoon, during the spring and summer months.
Snook are plentiful in the Port Canaveral area where charter fishing
offers live baiting for near and offshore trolling for the abundant Spanish
mackerel, as well as shark, king mackerel, cobia, tripletail and mahi-mahi.
Many locals and guests on vacation will opt out of the adventurous deep sea
charters and instead try their luck at nearby Jetty Park. Apart from
the breath-taking views walking out over the Atlantic on the rock jetty, the
park offers a bait shop, snack bar, campsite, bathrooms and showers.
The jetty also offers the chance go get out in the sea far enough not to
catch your line in the rocks. Many choose Jetty Park because family
members not interested in fishing can stay entertained watching cruise
ships, sunning at the beach or exploring the playground. There is also
ample affordable parking available.
Another location offering activities for the family on vacation is the
Cocoa Beach Pier, a historical landmark 800 feet over the ocean. The
catch at the Cocoa Beach Pier can include bluefish, flounder, King and
Spanish mackerel, sea bass, sheepshead, snapper, tarpon, trout, weakfish,
and whiting. The Pier offers plenty of dining and shopping choices, as
well as a great beach and fun surf for the rest of the family. Cocoa
Beach's Thousand Islands mangroves is a popular spot to fish the day away in
peace and quiet surrounded by species a plenty. At Manatee Sanctuary
at the north end of the Banana River, look for giant black drum tailing on
the flats in huge numbers like the redfish at the north end of the county.
The lagoons, lakes and rivers encompass hundreds of miles to satisfy just
about any fishing fantasy. For the few they miss, there are several
surf and off-shore fishing opportunities and tournaments based at Port
Canaveral. Surf fishing from the beach often brings in pompano,
whiting, cobia, Spanish mackerel and sharks while the off-shore charters
provide ample fishing on both sides of the Gulf Stream for marlin, sailfish,
tuna and dolphin. Thanks in large part to the many area refuges and
the forward thinking of the local water management district, county and
nature alliance groups, fish populations across the county remain quite
protected and healthy. From the ocean to the salt and freshwater
marshes to the inlets and lagoons, you just can't beat the Space Coast when
it comes to making a fisherman's dream come true.