Captain Greg's Fishing Report for September 2020
Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando
Last Month's Action
Well I was totally wrong about the water clarity last month going to garbage. We were gifted a extended Summer even with our first tropical storm activity from Isaias and then from the threat of Hurricane Laura combining with Hurricane Marco our sea conditions remained calm and our water clarity remained pristine. Live pogies did disappear with the first passing storm but slow trolling dead baits produced like it always does when water clarity is good. King mackerel, cobia, mahi, blackfin tuna and sailfish were all common catches.
The bottom fishing for amberjack, vermillion snapper and triggerfish was on point. Groupers were few and far between but not completely absent .
Yellowfin Tuna fishing remained very good even with the warm water along with a few nice mahi in the mix while targeting the tunas.
Shark fishing near shore was almost as good as it gets with blacknose, black tip, spinner and a few big boys in the mix like tiger sharks and hammerheads. The goliath grouper fishing was decent and the big bull reds have already started to make a appearance.
September Near Shore Fishing Forecast
As the water starts to cool down a little we usually see our jetty fishing come alive. Live shrimp will produce nonstop action from slot size red drum, black drum and snook. We will also have sheepshead, mutton and mangrove snapper so it is very possible to put a great day together nearshore fishing that will provide a few fresh fish dinners.
The big bull reds will be moving into the channel and up into the Canaveral bite. Anyone that loves a good fight you absolutely have to take advantage of the world class red drum fishing we have. Big dead baits on a knocker rigged with a 6/0 circle hook soaking in the channel, anywhere in the bite or you can look for the mud plumes made from schooling fish. No matter how you do it, if you give it a little time it is going to produce a big red.
Shark fishing will remain good with the exception of fishing for them directly after any major sea conditions produced by tropical storms or hurricanes.
September Offshore Fishing Forecast
When it comes to offshore fishing in September I have to be honest in that it is tied with February for my least favorite month of the year. Put it this way, I hit [Wake Me Up When September Ends] by Green Day on the play list a awful lot.
That being said I am a couple days late on my report and the forecast for the upcoming week looks good. Slow trolling the 60 to 100ft reefs are going to produce a mixed bag of king mackerel, cobia and mahi with the kings being the most dominant.
In this same depth the bottom fishing for mangrove and mutton snapper should be very good until we get a major swell. I have tried to explain it many times over the years but fishing for mangrove and mutton snapper in our area is not a good fishery for someone who has not learned the proper techniques. You absolutely cannot expect to mangrove snapper fish out of Canaveral and be successful without having the angling skills to do it. If you don’t know how to free spool fish and have perfect presentation you have no real chance of success. I am not writing that to be discouraging. I am writing it so you don’t get discouraged if you are not successful at first. If anyone would like to learn how to become better at mangrove fishing I suggest spending some time aboard the Ocean Obsession II and get pointers from the crew and regulars.
When the sea conditions turn on us this month and the water clarity gets trashed we will need to transition to bottom fishing in 160ft or better focusing on vermilion snapper and amberjacks with the occasional gag grouper making a appearance. The reason for this is that the vermilion are not as affected by clarity since and will stack up on large structure. The amberjacks will be above them in the cleaner water, you just have to hope you can get the amberjacks and occasional grouper past the sandbar sharks that have become a plague to the fishermen.
Cobia fishing can be phenomenal on a few select days in September if certain things happen. The cobia are scattered taking up residence on our bottom structure 60 to 140 ft. They are with sharks, bottom rays, free swimming etc but they are on the bottom. You will not find them on the surface unless they follow something up because the surface temperature is too warm. Right now it’s just a numbers game. Hit enough spots, drop to the bottom enough times, reel up x amount of fish that the cobias will follow up, reel up enough big sharks that the cobia are holding on and you end up with 1 or 2. When and if the water clarity goes to garbage they will congregate on big structure and will be found in deeper water. This perfect cobia cocktail only happens after water clarity goes to garbage and when you get that 1 or 2 day window when the ocean starts to straighten itself back up.
Hopefully I will be hitting [September] by Earth, Wind & Fire instead for September 2020.
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.