Soon, the big ball is going to drop in Times Square and we'll be changing the calendars from 2021 to 2022.
Regardless of what year it is, Space Coast anglers will be chasing their favorite targets. Mild weather and warm temperatures will mean more of the same action anglers have enjoyed through the bulk of December.
Pompano have been on the beaches along with whiting and croaker. Tripletail are being caught on the buoys. Cobia and mackerel are in 40-70 feet. Snapper and grouper can be caught in 70-100 feet of water. Redfish are chewing inshore.
Closures in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.
Snook: The closure began Dec. 15 and runs through Jan. 31, 2022.
Spotted seatrout: No harvest of trout is allowed in the waters of eastern central Florida, from Volusia to Palm Beach counties, from Nov. 1 though Dec. 31. Harvest will re-open Jan. 1, 2022.
Grouper: Shallow water grouper are prohibited from harvest Jan. 1 through April 30, 2022. That includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.
Hogfish: No harvest of hogfish is allowed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida from Nov. 1 through April 30, 2022. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2022.
For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.
Redfish and black drum are being caught along the west shoreline of the lagoon south of Biolab boat ramp and around Whale Tail Shoal. Look for the speckled trout to be in cuts around the islands under the mangroves. Try fishing with cut crabs in Haulover Canal for big black drum and redfish.
The Orlando Princess & Canaveral Princess party boat reported a good catch Tuesday of king mackerel, cobia, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper and a mixed assortment of other reef catches. On Monday, an angler had a 25-pound class gag grouper. Remember, Jan. 1, grouper season closes until May 1. There have been tripletail on the buoys outside Port Canaveral. Anglers running and gunning have been finding manta rays, some with cobia on them, and mahi mahi on current edges in 120 feet of water.
Calm seas along the shoreline will be inviting for anglers looking to fish the beach. Canaveral Seashore, Jetty Park & Pier, Melbourne Beach and Ponce de Leon Beach have all produced catches of pompano, whiting and Spanish mackerel. Use Fishbites or sand fleas to get bites from pompano. Use chrome jigs to catch mackerel and bluefish.
Capt. Glyn Austin of Going Coastal charters in Palm Bay has been steering clients to catches of oversized redfish in the inlet. The big fish are coming into the inlet and feeding on live croakers and crabs. Drifting with the outgoing tide is a good way to catch these big fish. Flounder are being caught by anglers fishing with live mud minnows or gigging at night along the sides of the inlet near the rocks. Sheepshead are biting on pieces of shrimp.
Indian River Lagoon
Before the cold front comes, expect to find the fish biting in 2-4 feet of water on the open flats or along the mangrove shorelines. Use live shrimp or artificial shrimp. After the temperature dips a little bit, those fish like speckled trout, black drum, snook and croaker will seek out holes, cuts, channels or other deeper water spots where the water temperature is likely to be more stable. The fish will also be caught around dock pilings, bridges and seawalls where sometimes they can draw warmth from the sun shining on the concrete.
A cool down is on its way. That could trigger a better bite from crappie, also known as speckled perch or specks. Use live minnows or jigs in 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce sizes. Fish drop-offs and submerged structure. Bass fishing will be best along the edges. Cast lipless crank baits to get bites.
Source : https://www.floridatoday.com/story/sports/outdoors/2021/12/29/space-coast-anglers-can-chase-pompano-redfish-and-cobia-too-florida-fishing/9027361002/1134