The nearshore fishing available along the beach out of Port Canaveral should be good during the month of August. Even smaller boats can enjoy a nearshore adventure this time of year. Usually all you have to do is motor south out of the inlet until you find some pogies. Put a few in the live well and begin to slow troll for the possibility of big jacks, tarpon, and kingfish.
To rig for the slow troll, use at least 20 pound rods and add a 5 to 6 foot mono or fluorocarbon leader of 50 to 60 pound test. Double the mainline with a bimini twist or spider hitch. Add the leader material with a double-uni knot. Use an Albright knot to add a stinger rig made from 30 to 40 pound wire. Construct the stinger rig with a #5 hook up front and #6 on the rear. You can use either an octopus style hook or a circle hook. If you get into larger tarpon the hook size will need to increase.
Bring your castnet along to net up some pogies, or buy frozen bait. Spanish sardines, mullet and other frozen baitfish are available at tackle shops in the Port. A third option for bait is to use a Sabiki rig to hook and line some greenies around the buoys marking the ship channel.
Start your slow troll in about 30 feet of water by tilting the motor up to slow the speed and follow a zigzagging route. Troll one line way back(100 yards or more), a medium distance line, and a third line right in the prop wash. Depending on the bite, you may only want to use two lines at a time because you need to clear lines when a fish is hooked.
Concentrate your troll in areas of surface action and underwater structure. Bait pods, diving birds and even feeding fish can be spotted on the ocean’s surface. Use a local area map and keep your eye on the sonar too. Underwater structure and deep holding bait are logical locations to find fish. Hot spots for summer trolling along Cocoa Beach start abut the Cocoa Beach Pier and continue south all the wat to Patrick Airforce Base.
If you decide to keep a kingfish for dinner don’t forget the size limit of 24 inches measured from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail. Anglers may harvest two kings per day.
Keep up with the latest Florida East Coast Fishing Examiner updates by clicking on the subscribe button above. A notice will be sent to you each time a new article is published.
Use the comment section below to add your thoughts to the conversation.
Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log your catch online at the Angler Action Program.