Welcome to the world of shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida! This beautiful beach town located on the east coast of Florida is a popular destination for anglers looking to catch some of the ocean’s most formidable predators. From the novice to the expert fisherman, Cocoa Beach offers a variety of fishing opportunities for those seeking a thrilling adventure. In this article, we’ll explore the world of shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, including the best spots to fish, the types of sharks you can catch, and tips and tricks for a successful catch.
Best Shark Fishing Spots in Cocoa Beach Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida is known for its great shark fishing opportunities. Here are some of the best shark fishing spots in Cocoa Beach:
- Cocoa Beach Pier: This iconic pier offers some of the best shark fishing in the area. With easy access and plenty of space, anglers can catch a variety of shark species here.
- Jetty Park: Located at the end of Port Canaveral, Jetty Park offers great opportunities to catch sharks. The jetties provide structure and attract a variety of fish species.
- Banana River Aquatic Preserve: This protected area offers some of the best shark fishing in the region. With clear water and a healthy ecosystem, anglers can target a variety of species, including bull sharks and blacktip sharks.
- Thousand Islands: This series of mangrove islands and waterways is home to a variety of fish species, including sharks. Anglers can fish from a boat or kayak to access the best spots.
Remember to always follow fishing regulations and catch-and-release practices to help preserve the health of the shark populations in Cocoa Beach.
Types of Sharks You Can Catch in Cocoa Beach Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida is home to a variety of shark species, making it a popular destination for shark fishing enthusiasts. Here are some of the most common types of sharks you can catch in Cocoa Beach:
- Blacktip Shark: This is one of the most common shark species in the area. They are known for their acrobatic jumps and are popular among anglers for their hard fight.
- Bull Shark: Bull sharks are known for their aggressive behavior and can be found in the brackish waters of the Banana River and Indian River Lagoon.
- Hammerhead Shark: Hammerhead sharks are distinctive for their unique head shape. They are known to frequent the waters around Cocoa Beach and can be targeted by anglers.
- Tiger Shark: Tiger sharks are one of the larger shark species that can be found in the waters around Cocoa Beach. They are known for their strength and can be challenging to catch.
Remember to handle all sharks with care and release them quickly and safely after catching them. It is also important to follow all fishing regulations and catch-and-release practices to help preserve the health of the shark populations in Cocoa Beach.
Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida
Shark fishing can be productive year-round in Cocoa Beach, Florida, but certain times of the year can be better than others depending on the species of shark you are targeting. Here are some of the best times of year for shark fishing in Cocoa Beach:
- Spring: Spring can be a great time to target blacktip sharks as they migrate north along the Florida coast. They can be caught in large numbers from March to May.
- Summer: Summer is a great time to target a variety of shark species in Cocoa Beach, including bull sharks, tiger sharks, and hammerhead sharks. The warm water temperatures and increased baitfish activity can make for great shark fishing.
- Fall: Fall can be a good time to target larger sharks, such as tiger sharks and bull sharks, as they move closer to shore to feed before the cooler winter months.
- Winter: Winter can be a slower time for shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, but there are still opportunities to catch blacktip sharks and other species. Warmer days can also provide good fishing conditions.
It is important to check local fishing regulations and seasonal closures before planning your shark fishing trip in Cocoa Beach.
Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida
Choosing the right bait and lure is essential for successful shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Here are some of the best baits and lures to use when targeting sharks in the area:
- Live bait: Sharks are attracted to the scent of fresh, live bait. Some of the best options include mullet, bluefish, ladyfish, and jack crevalle. These can be caught using a cast net or purchased from a local bait shop.
- Cut bait: Cut bait can also be effective when targeting sharks. Good options include mullet, bonito, and mackerel. Use a sharp knife to cut the bait into chunks and then attach them to a circle hook.
- Artificial lures: While live and cut bait are the most effective options, artificial lures can also be used to attract sharks. Some good options include swimbaits, bucktail jigs, and large spoons.
- Chum: Chumming is a popular technique used to attract sharks to the boat. Use a chum bag filled with cut-up baitfish and hang it over the side of the boat to create a scent trail.
When using live or cut bait, it is important to use a heavy-duty rod and reel with a strong braided line. Circle hooks are also recommended to help reduce the chances of gut-hooking a shark. Remember to handle all sharks with care and release them quickly and safely after catching them.
Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida
Shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida requires specialized gear to handle the size and strength of these powerful fish. Here are some of the recommended gear items for shark fishing in the area:
- Rod and reel: Use a heavy-duty rod and reel with a high line capacity to handle the power of large sharks. A conventional reel with a high gear ratio and a lever drag system is recommended.
- Braided line: Use a strong, braided line with a high test rating to handle the weight and strength of sharks. A minimum of 80-pound test line is recommended, with heavier line recommended for larger shark specie.
- Leader material: Use a heavy-duty monofilament or fluorocarbon leader with a minimum test rating of 150 pounds. Leaders should be at least 6 feet long and connected to the main line using a swivel.
- Circle hooks: Circle hooks are recommended for shark fishing as they reduce the chances of gut-hooking the shark. Choose a hook size appropriate for the size of the bait being used.
- Fighting harness and belt: A fighting harness and belt can help distribute the weight of the fish and reduce fatigue during long fights.
- Gaff and de-hooking tool: A gaff and de-hooking tool are essential for safely landing and releasing sharks. Choose a gaff with a blunt hook to reduce the chances of injuring the shark.
- Pliers and wire cutters: Use pliers and wire cutters to safely remove hooks and cut leader material.
Always handle sharks with care and release them quickly and safely after catching them. It is also important to follow all fishing regulations and catch-and-release practices to help preserve the health of the shark populations in Cocoa Beach.
Best Shark Fishing Charters in Cocoa Beach Florida
If you’re looking for a guided shark fishing experience in Cocoa Beach, Florida, there are several reputable charters to choose from. Here are some of the best shark fishing charters in the area:
- Cocoa Beach Sportfishing Charters: This charter offers half-day and full-day shark fishing trips for up to six people. They use high-quality gear and offer both live and dead bait options. They are known for their experienced and knowledgeable captains and have a high success rate in catching sharks.
- Fin and Fly Fishing Charters: Fin and Fly offers a variety of fishing charters, including shark fishing trips. They provide all necessary gear and bait and have experienced guides to help you catch sharks. They also offer a “no fish, no pay” guarantee.
- Fired Up Fishing Charters: This charter specializes in shark fishing and offers half-day and full-day trips for up to six people. They provide all gear and bait and have experienced guides to help you catch sharks. They are known for their friendly and knowledgeable staff and high success rates in catching sharks.
- Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters: Sea Leveler offers a variety of fishing charters, including shark fishing trips. They provide all necessary gear and bait and have experienced guides to help you catch sharks. They also offer a “fish guarantee” where they will take you out again for free if you don’t catch any fish.
- Orlando Princess and Canaveral Princess Deep Sea Fishing: This charter offers a 12-hour “Extreme Shark Fishing” trip for up to 30 people. They provide all necessary gear and bait and have experienced guides to help you catch sharks. They are known for their large and spacious boats and high success rates in catching sharks.
Choose a reputable charter with experienced guides and follow all fishing regulations and catch-and-release practices to help preserve the health of the shark populations in Cocoa Beach.
Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida
Shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida is subject to certain regulations and licensing requirements. Here are some important regulations and licenses to be aware of:
- Fishing license: All anglers over the age of 16 are required to have a valid Florida fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online, by phone, or at certain retail locations.
- Shark fishing regulations: There are specific regulations in place for shark fishing in Florida waters. These include restrictions on the types of hooks and bait that can be used, as well as size and bag limits for certain species of sharks. It is important to familiarize yourself with these regulations before going shark fishing.
- Protected species: Some species of sharks are protected in Florida, and it is illegal to harvest or harm them. These include great white sharks, whale sharks, basking sharks, and several others. It is important to be able to identify these species and avoid them while shark fishing.
- Catch-and-release: It is strongly encouraged to practice catch-and-release when shark fishing in Cocoa Beach. This helps preserve the health of the shark populations and the ecosystem as a whole.
- Reporting requirements: If you catch a shark in Florida waters that is greater than 54 inches in length, you are required to report the catch to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission within 24 hours.
Follow all fishing regulations as well as licensing requirements. Practice responsible and sustainable fishing practices to help preserve the health of the shark populations in Cocoa Beach.
Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida
If you’re planning a shark fishing trip to Cocoa Beach, Florida, there are plenty of options for accommodation in the area. Here are some suggestions for where to stay:
- Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront: This beachfront hotel is located in the heart of Cocoa Beach and offers easy access to the beach, as well as nearby restaurants and attractions. It has comfortable rooms and suites with ocean views, as well as a pool and on-site dining options.
- International Palms Resort Cocoa Beach: This resort is located just steps from the beach and offers a variety of room types, including suites with ocean views. It has on-site dining options, a pool, and a fitness center.
- Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites: This hotel is located just a short walk from the beach and offers comfortable rooms and suites with a variety of amenities. It has a pool, hot tub, and on-site dining options.
- Beachside Hotel & Suites: This hotel is located across the street from the beach and offers spacious rooms and suites with kitchenettes. It has a pool, hot tub, and on-site dining options.
- Discovery Beach Resort: This beachfront resort offers spacious condos with full kitchens and ocean views. It has a pool, hot tub, and on-site dining options, as well as a fitness center and tennis courts.
No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to check for any shark fishing packages or deals that may be available to help make your trip more affordable.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in Cocoa Beach Florida
Shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida can be an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers. However, it takes knowledge, skill, and preparation to have a successful catch. In this article, we’ll provide expert tips and tricks to help you increase your chances of catching a shark while also ensuring the safety of yourself and the shark population.
- Use the right bait: Sharks are attracted to strong-smelling baits such as mackerel, mullet, and squid. Make sure to use fresh bait and change it often to keep the scent strong.
- Use the right gear: When shark fishing, it’s important to use heavy-duty gear that can handle the weight and strength of a large shark. Use a strong rod and reel with at least 80-pound test line, a wire leader, and a circle hook.
- Know the tides: Sharks are more active during certain times of the day and night. Check the tides and try fishing during the incoming or outgoing tide for the best chance of catching a shark.
- Look for structure: Sharks are often found around areas with structure, such as sandbars, jetties, and drop-offs. Look for these features when choosing a spot to fish.
- Be patient: Shark fishing requires patience and persistence. It may take some time to get a bite, so be prepared to wait and stay alert.
- Practice catch-and-release: It’s important to practice catch-and-release when shark fishing to help preserve the shark population. Follow proper handling techniques to ensure the shark is released safely and unharmed.
- Respect the environment: When shark fishing, be mindful of the environment and other marine life. Avoid fishing in areas where endangered or protected species are present, and do not leave any trash or debris behind.
By following these expert tips and tricks, you’ll have a better chance of having a successful and enjoyable shark fishing experience in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Shark fishing in Cocoa Beach, Florida can be a thrilling and memorable experience. By following the expert tips and tricks we’ve provided, you can increase your chances of having a successful catch while also respecting the environment and the shark population. Remember to always practice catch-and-release, use the right gear and bait, and be patient and persistent. With these techniques and a bit of luck, you might just reel in the catch of a lifetime.
Meet Nic Armitage, a devoted outdoors enthusiast with an insatiable love for fishing, boating, and a wide range of adventurous activities. His passion for the great outdoors knows no bounds. Nic is your trusted guide into the world of nature, sharing his experiences and expertise on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.