Space Coast Wreck Fishing

Summertime yields a mixed bag off Florida's east coast

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With solid reports of tarpon and blacktip sharks crashing on pogy schools outside of Port Canaveral and off Melbourne, I invited online director Mark MacKenzie out for a trip with Capt. Glyn Austin of Goin' Coastal Charters. Sunrise casting with Rapala XRap plugs around pogy schools got us into 3-pound bluefish, but no tarpon or sharks were to be found. We changed plans and headed a few miles offshore to a known wreck and began to send down fishfinder slide rigs of 2-ounce egg sinkers, 40-pound fluorocarbon and 6/0 VMC hooks to drift the bottom for possible grouper or snapper. Capt. Glyn freelined some pogies on the surface to nail three false albacore that were being harassed by schools of 4-foot barracuda, and schools of dozens of spadefish made for an interesting spectacle on the surface. From the first drift it was on. One southern flounder after another kept coming on board with a final tally of ten flounder all between 4 and 8 pounds with dozens of dropped fish as well that couldn't get the 6/0 hook all the way down for a hookset, as those larger model hooks were meant for tarpon originally. But the highlight of the trip was when on one particular drift over the wreck, Austin and I doubled down on our rods and after a 15 minute circus dance on the boat between us, we hauled in a 26-pound jack crevalle and a 23-pound snook! Both were released promptly. Summertime wreck fishing off the Space Coast can be a seriously productive experience, and no doubt, it can put some serious fillets in the cooler. Mmmm… crabmeat stuffed flounder sounds good right about now, right?! - Nick Honachefsky, Managing Editor For more information contact Captain Glyn Austin, Goin Coastal Charters; 321-863-8085; www.goingcoastalcharters.com
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Capt. Glyn Austin of Goin' Coastal charters hoists a quality southern flounder taken on a live pogy.
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SWS Managing Editor Nick Honachefsky presents a 23-pound snook that attacked a live pogy on a nearshore wreck.
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Snook being released at boatside.
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Sliding fishfinder rigs allow the flounder to take the bait without feeling any resistance.
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Circle hooks allow for a solid hookset when using live baits.
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Black drum were a part of the wreck mix.
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Glyn Austin deftly throws a cast net for live pogies.
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False albacore offer up lightning quick runs and eagerly eat up live pogies fished on the surface.
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Managing Editor Nick Honachefsky weighs an 8-pound flounder on the Boga Grip
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A simultaneous hookup of a 26-pound jack crevalle and 23-pound snook highlighted the wreck catch for the day.
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Some fine eatin' flounder dinner!