The space program isn’t the only thing that’s out of this world in Cape Canaveral.
The proud home of the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral is firmly on the map as a place on the cutting edge of modern science, but it’s just as phenomenal for its fishing. The best way to capitalize on this fishing haven is via a deep sea fishing charter. You get to get up close and personal with the kind of fish many only dream about reeling in. This is your ultimate guide to help you know what to expect as well as how to choose the best fishing charter service.
What is it like to fish in Cape Canaveral?
Cape Canaveral deep sea fishing charters benefit greatly from the protection of the federal government. The area is not overfished or otherwise exploited due to 140,000 acres of protected waters. This does result in some limitations, but nothing the average angler would have a problem with. There’s no night fishing from the shore, for instance, and you can’t fish at night in ponds, either, but you can still fish in several areas at night from a boat. There are also size and catch limits.
While this may involve sacrifice on the part of some fishermen, the results are definitely worth it. The area is teeming with a vast variety of fish, both exotic and delicious. You get the conveniences of a 21st-century city like Cape Canaveral combined with the excitement and thrill you get when fishing in a prime Eastern Atlantic location. The weather is pristine with a yearly average of 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the clouds are few and far between. Even during the rainier parts of the year, such as August and September, the average rainfall is still only a little over 7.5” per month.
Deep Sea Fishing in Cape Canaveral
While all fishing in the area is exciting, deep sea fishing charters in Cape Canaveral are an adventure in and of themselves. Whether you book a day or a half day, you are thrusting yourself into a rich environment full of a vast variety of fish. You can grab a bunch of friends and take a full day charter way out to sea. You can go as far as 40 miles off the Cape on a full day trip. A half day trip can also extend as far as 25 miles out.
The boats available in the area are fitting for the experience. For instance, you can hop on a 32-foot beast, complete with twin 370hp diesel Cummings engines, and skip out to the hot spots. You can expect an onboard head and even a small cabin. Or you can get on a shorter skiff and head out to some of the inshore areas known for their amazing selection of fish.
You also have the option of fishing near the shore with the surprising variety of fish that like to benefit from the near-shore food supply. You can even grab some sharks close to the Cocoa Beach area.
River and Inshore Fishing in Cape Canaveral
If you want to venture up the rivers, an inshore fishing charter will be the move for you. Starting from Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral or Titusville, you can gain access to some truly impressive catches. We’re talking about Redfish, Black Drum, Sea Trout, and even some Tarpon. Ever wanted to catch a Snook? Catch a charter up the Banana River, Mosquito Lagoon, or Indian River and give it a shot.
A good Cape Canaveral fishing charter will make sure you have the right bait and lures—if needed—to get the fish that are most likely to bite. You won’t be heading out there blind. Depending on the weather and what’s biting, your guide will provide the perfect bait and give you any needed tips on how to hook and reel in the fish you want.
As mentioned, the diversity of fish in the Cape Canaveral area is hard to compete with. There is a wide variety of baitfish in the area, and those are naturally followed by some of the fish anglers love to go after. Here is some of what you will be able to reel in:
The kingfish is a large beast that tends to come in at around five to 30 pounds. It’s noted for its large, aggressive-looking teeth. It’s also a lot of fun to reel in. It likes to jump and spin, making for some great photo ops as you battle this impressive fish.
The quick, agile amberjack is a family of fish related to the jack. Their smooth, small scales allow them to cut through the water like a knife, making them a rewarding and challenging catch. They can stretch up to 2.5 feet long and weigh in at as much as 40 pounds.
Black Fin Tuna
The blackfin tuna is characterized by its unmistakable oval-shaped body and ridge of fins on both the top and bottom of the tail. They can reach over three feet in length, and are a stocky fish, weighing in at around 46 pounds.
The mangrove snapper is one of the more versatile snappers, making its home in both salt water and fresh water. It is a nice-sized snapper, coming in sometimes as long as 35 inches, but usually shorter than 16 inches.
By far one of the most iconic fish in the Atlantic, the sailfish is characterized by its impressive large, spiked dorsal fin that helps it maneuver through the water with surprising agility. They can swim 22 mph and make for an exhilarating catch.
The grouper likes to lurk around reefs, enjoying a wide variety of smaller fish. It jumps out at its prey as it swims unsuspectingly by. It likes to swallow fish or squid whole by creating a suction in its mouth as it opens it up. This makes the grouper susceptible to a wider variety of bait than some of its contemporaries off Cape Canaveral.
The red snapper is a fan favorite. It’s as delicious as it is intriguing with its rosy red color and stout, compact body. It’s of a more modest size at around six to eight pounds but still packs an exciting punch. After it gets hooked, you can almost instantly tell a red snapper by the violent jerks of the head it uses to try to get free. Red snapper are found near reefs and off of them following the sprat they love to feast on.
The vermillion looks like the red snapper’s little brother. It likes deeper waters and boasts a similar color to the red snapper. They travel in schools, ready to grab whatever is easy and in front of them—like your bait.
With its bold, bright, greenish, bluish hue mixed with gold or silver, the mahi-mahi is a fisherman’s favorite. Their most distinctive features are their squarish heads, particularly the males. There’s no mistaking this fish or its delicious meat, which is prized the world over.
While not the biggest fish out there, the sea bass is still a fun and delectable catch. It has an unmistakable spiny dorsal fin that has caught many an unsuspecting fisherman off guard. It has brownish-greenish hues and sometimes distinctive bluish stripes near the nose. It comes in typically less than a foot and no more than a few pounds at most, but it’s prized for its delicious flavor.
The triggerfish is known for its small mouth and tall, flat body. It’s a tasty fish with a look similar to a filefish, but with a more simplified color scheme. They are typically under five pounds in weight and under two feet long. It has a pale grey color with a lighter belly and mouth area.
There are several fishing charters in the Cape Canaveral area. Most of them will offer deep sea fishing trips and give you access to a variety of fish. The way to choose the best one is to prioritize what you need the most.
Many people want a charter service with a variety of boats. This makes it so if one or more people either drop out last minute or decide to hop on the trip, the change in plans can be accommodated. It’s also important to have a well-equipped, well-rigged boat and knowledgeable staff. The key is to make sure the guides know their way in and around the waters and understand not just what fish frequent the area, but when and why. It’s this intimate knowledge that will make the difference between a fun day out and a frustrating day of getting your bait snatched every few minutes--getting nothing but false tugs.
|Guided Fishing Charters Include:|
|Spin gear/fly gear|
|Bait and lures|
|Cooler with ice|
|Photos of your catch|
|What to Bring:|
|Hat, sunscreen & polarized sunglasses|
|Beverages of choice|
(if you prefer to take your own pictures also)
You’re also going to want a charter service that provides a license for you, bait, and a cooler to stash your catch. And you definitely want a service that provides pictures of your catch, so you have more than just bragging rights—you can back it up with evidence!
Last but not least, you want a captain with experience and a passion for fishing. A good captain knows the ins and outs of the water and the various feeding seasons. He also knows how to “think like a fish,” understanding their different likes and dislikes as well as their behavior patterns.
To get all of these attributes in a Cape Canaveral fishing charter, many people choose to go with Fin and Fly. They have the right selection of boats, captains, and most important knowledge and experience. Their boats are impressive and tailored for the challenges of fishing in the Cape Canaveral area including in the deep sea, along the shore and inland. Their experience is especially compelling because they use it to get inside the fish’s heads, giving their customers first-rate access to some of the area’s best catches.
Cape Canaveral fishing charters are a great time and certainly worth the money. The prices vary, and you tend to get what you pay for. A half day can go for $400. That will give you four hours of fishing either inland or for sharks. You can get on a 24-foot Skeeter starting at $500. This is a small boat perfect for fishing near the shore and grabbing a wide variety of catches.
The same boat for a full day trip will run you around $700. You can also get on a 17-foot Ranger and do a half day at $400, 3/4th of a day at $500, or a full day for $600. These can come equipped with an elevated platform that allows you to fish with a full 360-degree range of motion and sight. And you can get on a well-equipped 32-foot long ship capable of holding you along with 5 of your friends. This type of boat is going to cost around $700 for a half day of 5 hours, $400 for shark fishing relatively near the shore, or $900 for deep sea fishing.
Regardless of your personal tastes, there is a Cape Canaveral fishing charter for you. Be sure to select a reputable company like Fin and Fly, and make sure you ask the right questions. You’ll want to ask what’s biting this time of year and how the fishing has been recently. Most importantly, ask what they do to give you the best chance of grabbing that perfect trophy fish that’s as long as the tale behind it.
Captain Nate took us out for a 1/2 day trip. He was great! We caught some huge rays, and a goliath grouper. Very fun!!