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Fish IQ

Why Cocoa Beach, Port Canaveral is the best port to visit and especially charter fish

Port Canaveral is the inlet that all the cruise boats, fishing boats, casino boats and military submarines use on the Central East Coast of Florida. World famous Cocoa Beach is the beach to the south of the inlet and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore, Kennedy Space Center is to the North of the inlet. The 100s of wrecks and endless miles of reef make the waters off-shore Port Canaveral the best saltwater fishing location on the East Coast of Florida. Port Canaveral is also the closest place to go deep sea fishing or shark fishing if you are visiting Orlando, Kissimmee, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne area. If you are visiting Daytona, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna, Palm Bay or Sebastian it is about a 45 to 60 minute drive.

We are worth the drive because of the great fishing but also for the additional  bonuses you get when fishing with us out of Port Canaveral.  The first bonus is that Port Canaveral has a lock system. This makes Port Canaveral the safest port on the East Coast because we don't have strong currents and shallow sandbars to deal with. The lock system also attracts manatees, dolphins and sea turtles. Seeing these magnificent animals just adds to the experience of the day.

Second bonus is that most days on the way out or coming back in you get a very up close look at the awesome cruise ships that call Port Canaveral home. It is especially memorable when we go past the Disney ships and here them blast the Disney theme music from the ships horns. You also get to see some of the Disney characters in funny scenes on the back of the ships.

Third bonus, on some days we get to see and wave to our military coming in on the Trident submarines. It is awesome to see the submarines and it is even more awesome to greet the men and women that protect us so we can enjoy things like fishing.

Fourth bonus is Kennedy Space Center. On the way out you get to observe the unspoiled coast of the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. It lets you glimpse what the Florida coast looked like before all the hotel and condos. You also get to see the launch pads, Vehicle Assembly Building (V.A.B. is where the shuttles are stored for maintenance) and on some occasions you can see a rocket or shuttle on the launch pads. If you time it just right you even get the best view there is for a shuttle or rocket launch.

The fifth bonus is that if everyone in your group is not interested in fishing, Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center provides them with endless entertainment after they drop the rest of the group off for the fishing trip. They can visit Kennedy Space Center, go to Cocoa Beach and Jetty Park. They can shop at Ron Jon's and other boutiques on Cocoa Beach or shop at the mall. They can eat at the endless number of restaurants we have to choose from. Or you can call me and I will tell you what the locals like to do.

Port Canaveral is the closet place to deep sea fish when you are visiting Central East Florida. If we are not the closest the extra 20 or 30 minute drive is well worth it just for all the extras you get not to mention the awesome fishing.

Capt. Greg Rapp

Port Canaveral Slang

This is to inform you on Port Canaveral slang. We catch several different species of fish on any given day and just about every fish is called something other than its real name. Here is the down low on the slang.

Red grouper slang name is a trash can. Warsaw grouper slang name is a toad. When a grey or gag grouper gets over 30lbs it usually gets a black coloring on its belly and we call it a black belly (If you here us say black belly you caught yourself a giant) Red snapper get slang names by their size. Red snapper under 10lbs is a chicken, under 20lbs is a cadillac and over 20lbs is called a sow. King mackerel slang name is slimer and if its over 25lbs its called a smoker. Sailfish is called a spindle beak. Amber Jack is called a reef donkey. Black sea bass are called biscuits. Dolphin, mahi mahi, and dorado are all the same fish and sometimes we call them a false porpi. Remora slang name is sneaker head. Cobia slang is brown fish or brownie. Wahoo is a striped critter. Bonito slang name is bone head. Tarpon are called shiners. Scamp grouper is called a broom tail or emerald eye. Sharks are called toothy critters. Vermillion snapper are called B-Liners. Jack Crevalle slang name are called yellow submarine. Black groupers are called carbaretas. 

Now your in the know so lets go catch some sows, black belly's, smokers, false porpi and a spindle beak to round it out.

Capt. Greg Rapp

The Almost World Famous Sea Leveler Wednesday Crew

If your not familiar with or never heard of the Wednesday crew, this will give you some insight into this crazy drinking team with a fishing problem. The Wednesday crew charter's the Sea Leveler with their fearless leader Capt. Stan Mickle at the helm every Wednesday of the year (hence the name Wednesday crew).

These guys will fish for whatever is biting but they love to bottom fish. They are as good as it gets at catching grouper, snapper and amber jack. If it bites the hook it is a 95% chance it will be taking a one way trip on the ice train meaning the fish box. These guy's prepare by catching live bait the day before or 2 days before and usually have at least 100 live baits to start the day with.

Now let me introduce the crew. Mark Rowe a.k.a. Herowe, It is safe to say nobody on this planet can catch a gag grouper on rod and reel better than this man. He has also been know to say the most crazy random nonsense saying that you have never heard of. The next on the list is Mark Marlow a.k.a. Bag Man. The bag man has the the unreal capability of making the fish bite. It can be the slowest most uncooperative day of fishing and if the bag man bag's the place the fish start to bite. Steve Knowles is the 3rd member. This guy is a fishing machine. If it bites his line, no matter what species, it comes to the boat. The 4th man is Tony Bellflower a.k.a. Holmes. Holmes can hold his own at the rail catching groupers and snappers but his main job is to clear the beer out of the fish box to make room for the fish. These guys have been fishing with us every Wednesday for 6 years now and we definitely appreciate them as customers and very good friends.

If you are ever around Port Canaveral at about 4:00pm on a Wednesday come and say hi to the crew and see what they have caught. The catch is usually very impressive.

Capt. Greg Rapp

Picking the right Fishing charter for you your family/friends

Written by Capt. Scott Goodwin / Text in red added by Capt. Greg Rapp

Chartering a boat is a great way to learn techniques from experienced crews who chase fish for a living. It also is nice to have all of the fun and none of the work. Chartering a boat is also a great way to make the most of your vacation. We realize that most people don't get the opportunity to experience deep sea fishing on a regular basis. A charter from a full time captain/crew gives you the best chance at landing a trophy and having a great day. Remember a good crew will find a way for you to have a great time even if the fishing is slow.

Chartering a boat should be a great experience. There are many ways it can go wrong. If you are local, ask around at the docks or watch the boats come in and unload. Remember everyone has a bad day now and again. If you are “out of town" the web is the best bet. Look and the boat, equipment and overall feel of the site. Are the pictures all from the same trip, like they’ve only had one good day? The quality of your trip and enjoyment should not be solely determined by the size of your pile of fish.

Make sure when you e-mail or call the captain you discuss your priorities for your trip. Is our goal to entertain your kids and family or is your goal to catch a specific species. Get a feel for the captain. You can tell allot by a person just by talking with him. Make sure you call and ask questions. If the captain doesn't answer or if he has someone answering for him. Make sure you have him call you back. Make sure that you ask plenty of questions about what to expect from weather and seas, but trust the captain’s judgment. Give the captain a feel for the abilities of your party. Discuss what fish is biting and target that. If you desire a specific species, inquire as to the possibilities of success. Don’t ask” how many pounds of fish will we catch?” I’ve heard that one more than once. No one can predict what the ocean will give up. Your crew should put forth a good effort with a positive attitude. If you feel they have, a tip is customary of 10 to 15%.

If sea sickness is remotely possible or you don’t know, take preventive measures. Don’t head offshore with plans to get drunk, save money and stay on land for that. Take sunscreen, but not the spray or aerosol kind (Overspray on certain parts of the boat can cause damage). Dress in layers and take some raingear. Polarized sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes and to cut the glare and increase visibility into the water. Wear boat friendly footwear. Don’t forget a hat.

Does the boat have coolers for food, a head (toilet) for the ladies, cabin or open, ac or not. Ask about fish cleaning. Some include it others do not, but there will be some system for getting them cleaned.

Almost all private charter boats can only take a maximum of six passengers. Kids and non-fishermen do count. Inspected vessels are certified to take more than six, and the number depends on the boat. This would include the “party” or “head” boats. This can be an affordable option for smaller parties or individuals as the cost is much less. Remember though, its every man for himself. Try to avoid the weekends if possible. Most charters offer full and half day trips. The captain can advise as to which is better to pursue your desired species. Generally the full day gives more opportunity to make it happen and insure a good day. On a half day, the fish have to be closer and the first guess has to be right. More fishing time is always better to me!

Good Luck and Have Fun!!

Capt Scott

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