Captain Greg's Fishing Report for September 2018
Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando
Last Month's Action
August was pretty much as good as it gets. The slow trolling was very good and like usual the king mackerel bite did not disappoint. Cobia and sail fish were well in the mix and the fun provided by sharks and barracudas kept lines tight all day. The 6 day snapper opening was very successful and limits were hit just about every trip. We also had phenomenal stringer fish fishing aka chicken rig fishing. The vermilion snapper, trigger fish, lane snapper and porgy’s made for lots of smiles and many fantastic dinners. Near Shore action was pretty good and the great fishing opportunities got better toward the latter part of the month. Good numbers of big red drum along with sharks, tarpon and snook that were being caught toward the end of August should carry into September.
September Near Shore Fishing Forecast
I think our near shore fishing this month is going to be fantastic. The big red drum have started to show already. Don’t expect to sight fish them yet but they will find you if let some baits soak long enough. Snook season opens September 1st and the fishing will be phenomenal on the tide changes especially at dusk. The hardest part about the snook fishing will be putting in the time to catch small croakers. Put your time in for the bait and wait for the tide change and you will be successful. Expect tarpon and sharks to also be cruising the beach and you never know when that bonus cobia will make a appearance. One of the most effective ways to have a fantastic near shore trip is to anchor up and sit still. Position yourself among the bait if they are in pods and just outside the bait if they are along the beach. Arm yourself with spinning rods capable of holding a decent amount of 40-50 lb braid and bombard the place with live pogys being the bait of choice. Use a knocker rig with a 5/0 hook and you can catch everything that swims. September can also be a good month for triple tail for those willing to get up early and beat everyone else to their favorite buoy or FAD.
September Offshore Fishing Forecast
This is a very underrated month for offshore fishing. Summer is over, kids are in school and the vacationers have left. Most people are not calling in sick to go fishing because they are busy making money to pay for that vacation they just took or all that new gear they just bought for last month’s 6 day snapper opening. What does this mean for those that do take the opportunity? It means you have all the great fishing to yourself. I rarely ever say this for Canaveral anymore but I think the bottom fishing is going to be pretty decent. No this doesn’t mean you are going to go limit out on fat Canaveral groupers. Most groupers that are here right now are big residential fish that are very hard to catch but it does mean you might get a few shots. If you decide to go bottom fishing on your own boat or on a charter then here is what you need to do. You need to take turns fishing the big bait rods. Instead of rolling out to your favorite spots and everyone fishing for the big groupers you need to have 2 people on chicken rigs working the reef and getting everything fired up. In my opinion a trigger fish, sea bass or a porgy eats better than a grouper any day of the week anyway. These stringer fish will be biting, along with the previous ones I mentioned you will also find vermilions and lane snapper in the mix. 2 chicken rigs and 1 or 2 grouper rigs going all day is usually going to add up just right, especially if someone is tough enough to turn the handle on the very few grouper bites you get. We will also have a handful of amberjack & almaco jacks around. If you stay in a 100ft or less then I would work 2 chicken rigs, 1 grouper rig and 1 mangrove rig. If the mangroves go to biting then everyone go to mangrove fishing. The best mangrove rig is a sliding sinker rig with a the smallest egg weight you can get to the bottom with and a 5ft stretch of 50lb fluro carbon attached to a 4/0 to 6/0 hook. The summer seemed to be tough for mangroves and muttons but I am hopeful we will see some improvement this month. The slow trolling/live bait trolling should remain solid with even more variety coming into the mix as we get later in the month. King mackerel are always dominant but you will find sail fish and cobia to be daily catches along with the very occasional and elusive wahoo. We don’t typically see another little shot of dolphin fish until late October but if you find yourself in deep water on some sort of edge it just may be worth prospecting it. I don’t think I would deploy the full arsenal unless I make visual contact with a dolphin fish or 2 and then I may go for broke with riggers, teasers and ballyhoo. With any luck the seas will remain calm, water will stay clean, bait will show up and stay so we can have a epic September.
About Captain Greg's Reports and Forecast
Captain Greg has been fishing the waters of Port Canaveral and the Atlantic for over 30 years. He has the largest and most highly rated private charter business in Port Canaveral, Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters. Greg and his team of full time captains fish well over 200 days each per year. We have kept detailed catch history for every trip ran since 2010. You can access this history at www.sealeveler.com/reports. His engineer wife, Amber, has analyzed the catch history along with other historical data such as water temperature and weather patterns. Greg uses his fishing experience and knowledge along with his wife’s statistical analysis to bring you the best fishing report available for Port Canaveral. Greg will give you the honest truth on how the fishing has been along with his best prediction of what to expect by using all of this information.