East Central Florida Fishing Reports and Forecasts By Month

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Click a month to see a fishing report for that month or scroll down to see East Central Florida fishing forecasts for each month of the year

January      February      March      April      May      June    

July     August     September     October     November     December

East Central Florida Monthly Fishing Forecasts

For saltwater fishing near Orlando, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral

Under construction

January Fishing Forecast - January can be a really cold month for fishing. It requires changing tactics from months with warmer weather and warmer water temperatures. Fishing waters within easy reach of Orlando, can get down often into the 50's and sometimes even less. About the only fish that is considered "excellent" in terms of catchability in this month is the sometimes underrated ladyfish. These so called "poor man's tarpon" can turn an otherwise slow day into one full of fishing action. They congregate near the power plants south of Titusville where the water is warmed by the use of Indian River Lagoon water in the cooling process of the plants. Keep this in mind if you go out and that water temperature is less than, say 64 degrees. You can come through the barge canal from Cocoa Beach and Port Canaveral, or drive over from Orlando and ramp at either the Port St. John ramp or the Kennedy Point ramp to fish this area of the Indian River.

I don't spend a lot of time on the Banana River near Cape Canaveral or Cocoa Beach during January. My experience has been that there seem to be more fish to catch in the Indian River near Titusville. You will want to spend a lot of your time in the canals, dredge holes, or deep areas around the bridges when the water is cool. Naturally, with the cooler water temperatures you want to slow down your retrieve because the fish will be reacting slowly. I also believe their strike zone is smaller. You have to get the lure a lot closer to them in cool water to generate a strike. I especially like to throw the CAL split tails or paddle tails this time of year when I am working deeper water and working it slow. Of course, the DOA shrimp in also a natural for the slow retrieve required in the winter.

You should expect fishing to be slower, but there will be exceptions. You should still have a chance to catch the old stand-bys that frequent our Banana River and Indian River waters year around. Spotted Sea Trout, big Redfish, and big Black Drum can be targeted this month. I even caught a nice snook this year in mid-January on a CAL shad body in the "electric chicken" color. You always wonder why and how when you get lucky, the snook is definitely not a target during January.

February Fishing Forecast -February will also see many days with water temperatures in the 50's. Predominate North West winds will serve to make fishing conditions cool and will drive our sea trout, redfish, and black drum into deep water holes. Just like January, only more often, you will be required to spend a lot of your fishing time in the canals, dredge holes, or deep areas around the bridges. According to experts, the muddy bottoms of the deeper holes generate and hold a few degrees warmer temperature which attracts not only our predators, but also the baitfish they need to survive.

Its another month of slowing down that presentation and then slowing it down some more! The fish are lethargic in the cold water and will not be quick to react to you lure. Although I would prefer to rig up a CAL split tail or shad body and work it slow along the bottom, I sometimes find that live bait produces better in the cold water. What ever the bait, you need to fish it close to the bottom for best success. Remember, you do not have to get out there so early on these cold February days. Sleep in a little and let the sun naturally warm up the water. Most guides I know believe that it only takes a few degrees increase in water temperature to cause the redfish to move up onto the flats to feed. So, give the sun a chance to do its thing, then visit some of the flats that are adjacent to deeper water. I have found this to be true on some of the Cocoa Beach flats that normally hold redfish. You just may find those big reds and sea trout coming up on the flat to eat on a sunny late afternoon. In one way, winter is no different than any other time - find the bait and you find the fish!

Starting in February and on into March, a lot of people begin to target the big black drum in deeper water, especially around bridges. Motor in and scrape some barnacles, back off 20 or 30 feet and anchor up. Rig yourself a sliding sinker on at least a 20 pound rod - bait up with half a blue crab or a select shrimp - set back and get ready. You may just be in for the fight of your life. If you hook-up, you are probably going to try and bully a big black drum out away from the pilings. I like to undo the anchor, rigged with a float and use the trolling motor to pull away from the bridge pilings. I can go back and get the anchor and float later, or better yet just tie up again for another fish. If you don't get the big guy out quickly, you will be cut off on the barnacles and lose your heart in your stomach!

March Fishing Forecast  - March can be the beginning of the spring fishing or a continuation of winter. It is one of the least predictable months of the year. If we do not get too may cold fronts moving through the water will warm and the fishing will turn on. If the cold fronts come it can delay the start of the really good spring fishing. One of the highlights of March can be the cobia run. If conditions are right, meaning warmer water temps and calm seas, even the smaller boats can get out and find some cobia. This is when sight fishing is king. You hope for sunshine and calm waters to be able to spot the brown colored fish tagging along with rays or hanging around floating debris. They will take a variety of live baits including pin fish and mullet. They also like large buck tail jigs. Again, depending on conditions you might also find some triple tail hanging around the buoys or other floating structure.

On the flats it is quite possible that the reds will begin to school up in large numbers and in good size as well. Gold spoons are a favorite bait during this time of the year. You should be looking for schools of mullet and fish near the schools. Use a stealth approach so as not to spook the redfish. You should also be able to catch some gator trout during the month of March. The weather will dictate beginning of the Spring mullet run, but when it begins the fishing should explode. If the weather continues cold the really good fishing may be pushed into April.

April Fishing Forecast -

May Fishing Forecast  -

June Forecast  -

July Forecast  -

August Forecast  - The heat continues in August and it is important to get out early and beat the heat. Tarpon will continue to roam the beach when bait is present. Spotted sea trout will be found on the flats in 2 to 5 feet of water. Fish the trout with small jigs and work them slowly. Begin shallow and work your way out as the sun begins to heat the water. Red fish can also be found on the flats in about the same pattern. An occasional snook will show up also, but remember the season is closed until September when it will be open until December 15, and then close again until January 31st. August Tip: If you happen to catch a lady fish in a morning outing, throw it on ice to use for cut bait later in the day. Find an area where you have caught red fish before and anchor up. Cut the ladyfish into chunks about an inch and a half long and fish it without weight if possible, on a circle hook with an open bail. Throw out a few extra pieces to "chum" the area. Set back and wait. When the redfish picks up the bait let him go for a while and then just start reeling. The circle hook will do the rest. Hope you catch a big one! Good fishin'.

September Forecast  -

October Forecast  -

November Forecast  -

December Forecast -