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Variety of fishing spots draws anglers to Brevard County
By Bill Sargent

Anglers looking for a variety of catches will find it along the Space Coast.

You can ply the backwaters of the bass-famous St. Johns River, fish for the county's world-famous spotted sea trout and redfish in the Indian and Banana rivers and Mosquito Lagoon, catch prized snook at Sebastian Inlet and Port Canaveral, reel in delicious pompano along the surf, or head out into the open Atlantic for a day of big-game fishing.

Dozens of species are on the catch list. No. 1 is the spotted sea trout in the Indian River Lagoon estuarine system. The waters between Ponce Inlet in New Smyrna Beach and St. Lucie Inlet in Stuart breed some of the largest and fastest-growing spotted sea trout in the world. Between those points are Brevard and Indian River counties.

For the most part, trout are caught on live shrimp, a crustacean that can be found in the lagoon system. But they also eat finger mullet, sailor's choice and river minnows, and can be fooled with a variety of artificial baits. In fact, working soft plastics and plugs for sea trout is great sport when they move into the shallows, known locally as "flats."

These same estuaries are home to a variety of other sporting and good-eating fish, many of which can be taken year-round. They include redfish, drum, sheepshead, whiting, pompano, bluefish, snook and tarpon.

Sebastian Inlet, on State Road A1A between Melbourne and Vero Beach, is one of the most popular - and productive - fishing centers in Florida. Anglers swarm to the inlet for catches from a lengthy list including snook, redfish, flounder, sea trout, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, tarpon and even sharks.

Sebastian is best known for its snook, a hard-fighting, superb-eating fish that sometimes grows to 35 pounds. Most of the snook are taken along the rocky shores at night by anglers casting bucktail jigs, large diving plugs or live bait like finger mullet, shrimp, mojarras, pinfish and pigfish.

If you catch one of those 30-pounders, you'll be required to release it under Florida law, which allow anglers to keep two snook a day between 26 and 34 inches.

Its many miles of beaches make Brevard County a surf-fishing mecca. While public access is diminishing because of private development, fishermen still can find pathways to good fishing areas.

The pompano is a winter favorite that draws throngs of anglers. It's an excellent table fish and plenty of fun to catch. During December through March, it's not uncommon to go home with a mixed bag of pompano, blues and whiting.

Sooner or later, the beach angler will crave a charter beyond the distant horizon, where gamesters like marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dolphin, king mackerel and blackfin tuna roam.

Exceptional offshore angling is available outside the ports of Sebastian and Port Canaveral, where charter and party boat services are available.

There's also a time in every angler's life when only freshwater fishing can quench the thirst for tranquility and beauty. It can be found on the world-famous St. Johns River. Brevard and Indian River counties contain the headwaters of this long river that meanders its way to the sea in Jacksonville.

Most St. Johns anglers are looking for largemouth bass. Some of the best fishing areas are Lake Washington, west of Melbourne; Lake Poinsett, west of Cocoa; and the meandering portion of the river around Hatbill Park and Puzzle Lake off State Road 46, west of Mims.

Other good bass lakes include the famous Farm 13 Stick Marsh south of Palm Bay and Blue Cypress Lake north of SR 60 between Vero Beach and Yeehaw Junction.

Each winter, American shad migrate by the thousands up the St. Johns from the Atlantic, creating a popular sport fishery along the river from DeLand to Hatbill Park.

The shad are strong fighters, making them challenging on ultralight or even fly tackle. Some of the best fishing is found north and south of SR 46, between Mims and Sanford.

T<----->Lines
Kozlow
 

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Kozlow, Thanks for all the great info on these counties. I plan to be fishing the Treasure and Space coast this May when I visit Vero Beach.I plan to be ther for about two weeks at the end of May.Only tried surf fishing once last year and got one whiteing and a couple of other fish on that I lost.I have picked up a lot from this site and know I will do better this year. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am glad you all are getting some value from
my post , just trying to pass alomg what I might know and learning from others just as you. Thank's for the replies.

T<---->Lines

Kozlow
 
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