Spring break: A great time for Space Coast anglers to target speckled trout & mahi mahi

·3 min read

Spring break is a glorious time to fish Florida's coastal waters.

Offshore, the mahi mahi are beginning their northward run along with kingfish on the reefs. Snapper are gathering to spawn.

Inshore, snook become the aggressive apex predators of the flats and around structure. Speckled trout are stalking the flats. Redfish, black drum and tarpon can be caught in the shallows.

In the lakes, bass are becoming more active and topwater plugs can generate reaction strikes.

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Speckled trout fishing is picking up. Tis nice one was caught and released March 14, 2022 while fishing with Capt. Peter Deeks of Native Son Fishing and Hunting charters in Merritt Island.
Speckled trout fishing is picking up. Tis nice one was caught and released March 14, 2022 while fishing with Capt. Peter Deeks of Native Son Fishing and Hunting charters in Merritt Island.

Closures in effect: Anglers are reminded about these fishery harvest closures currently underway and ones about to begin and end.

  • Grouper: Shallow water grouper are prohibited from harvest Jan. 1 through April 30, 2022. That includes gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and six other lesser species.

  • Hogfish: No harvest of hogfish is allowed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida from Nov. 1 through April 30, 2022. Harvest re-opens May 1, 2022.

For complete fishing regulations in Florida go to MyFWC.com.

Mosquito Lagoon

Redfish, snook trout and black drum can be caught around Cucumber Island, along the west shoreline south of Biolab boat ramp and by sight casting along the shorelines. Live shrimp freelined or under a popping cork are both effective ways to catch these fish.


The first waves of mahi mahi are coming north with the Gulf Stream. If running and gunning, start looking for objects in 100 feet of water. Telltale signs of mahi mahi include diving birds, feeding activity near the surface and floating objects ranging from pallets to fish attraction devices to large mats of sargassum seaweed. Snapper fishing for mangrove snapper and mutton snapper has been steady on the reefs in 70-90 feet of water with dead sardines or bait plugs.


There was a good whiting bite at Bonsteel Park beach and some of the beaches along that stretch of A1A on Wednesday. The afternoon bite was better than the morning bite. Sand fleas are still completely scarce, so Fishbites, pieces of shrimp and clam strips are the best baits. For Spanish mackerel and bluefish, make longer casts with shorter rods and reel fast using spoons, diamond jigs and topwater plugs.

Sebastian Inlet

Big redfish, jacks and oversized snook can be caught by drifting the outgoing tide with live croakers or crabs. Sheepshead, snapper, flounder and margates can be caught from the catwalks under the A1A bridge. Inside the inlet on the flats around Long Point and the spoil islands, trout and pompano can be caught on jigs and shrimp..

Indian River Lagoon

For speckled trout, fish topwater plugs at first light on the grassflats in 2-4 feet of water. Honest John's, Hog Point and Thousand Islands are good spots to find bites. Redfish, black drum, snook, small tarpon and jacks can also be caught in the same zone. Big black drum and redfish are being found in schools in the northern lagoons. Use live crabs or cut bait to get bites.


Bass fishing has hit its spring run. Fish are on the beds preparing for the spawn, or leaving the beds after spawning. Spinnerbaits and lipless crank baits are good to draw reaction strikes.

Ed Killer is florida today's outdoors writer. Friend Ed on Facebook at Ed Killer, follow him on Twitter @tcpalmekiller or email him at ed.killer@tcpalm.com.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Spring break fishing: Warming temperatures trigger a better trout bite