Central East Reefs & Shipwrecks
GPS Coordinates Volusia County (coming soon)
The 442 foot USS Mindanao was built in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland as a Liberty Ship SS Elbert Hubbard and acquired the same year by the US Navy for use as an internal combustion engine repair ship during WWII. She traveled from Chesapeake Bay to Cuba, thru the Panama Canal and on to the South Pacific where she worked until March 1946. In November 1944 Mindanao suffered extensive damage after the ammunition vessel Mount Hood blew up 350 yards away from her, killing/wounding over 180 crew members. She was repaired with the help of the Seebees and resumed her work a month later. Mindanao returned to the United States in July 1946 arriving in Orange, Texas to become part of the reserve fleet. The State of Florida acquired her in 1980 for use as an artificial reef off Daytona Beach. She now rests 11 miles offshore in 85 feet of water with her main deck 60 feet down. Mindanao is broken in half with the bow 150 feet north of the rest of the ship.
The 165 foot steel ship Maxine D was sunk as an artificial reef 2/28/1994. A former supply ship, Maxine D rests in a N - S position in 80 feet of water intact and upright. An abundance of fish and sea life can be found year round on this popular fishing and dive site.
Semarca is a 72 foot utility vessel that was sunk as an artificial reef 1/31/1994. This ship is a popular diving site as it's teaming with fish. She rests in 80 feet of water with 20 feet of relief.
Semarca was towed from Venezuela by a salvage company after it sank in 100 feet of water near an oil pipeline.
No, there is no ship to fish or dive but the history is interesting. Nathan F. Cobb went aground on December 5, 1896 on Ormond Beach. This ship was 167' feet long by 35' feet wide. The ship was stranded on the beach and eventually disassembled, some of the wood from the ship was used in 1897 to build the small Nathan Cobb Cottage that contains the ships carved wooden nameplate inside.
Brevard County's offshore fishing offers some of the best bottom fishing in the state. The Gulf Stream takes a northeast turn just north of Port Canaveral creating an eddy of calmer currents. This area contains 3 large ridges that run north south to the coast offering fish a reprise from the strong Gulf Stream currents. In addition to the natural hard bottom of the ridges, the north end of the Oculina Bank is a little further east offering fish a huge, healthy reef system. With less fishing pressure and colder bottom temperatures than the southern counties, fish tend to be bigger and more abundant.
Kingfish are king in Brevard County with schools congregating close enough to the beach to actually see the schools! When they are running in this area you are guaranteed to land one, they are abundant here.
1 Fathom = 6 Feet
Fathom Ridges and Natural Reefs
Heading east out of Port Canaveral you will encounter hard bottom ridges with relief from 2 to 14 feet, all running south to north parallel to the coast line until they curve to the northeast north of Canaveral. The ridges offer fantastic bottom fishing along with excellent trolling, especially when the King Fish or other pelagic species are running. Drift fishing is great as you will be taken with the current north running along the ridge lines.
12 Fathom Ridge - Depth 72', Relief 2'-12'
The first ridge has lots of corals and chunky bottom holding a variety of species. The southern part of this ridge line contains a high cliff with great relief.
21 Fathom Ridge - Depth 126', Relief 2'
This ridge is less defined with a broken rough bottom so fishing here is more suited to trolling than bottom fishing.
27 Fathom Ridge - Depth 162', Relief 2'-14'
The furthest ridge from port offers the most productive fishing experience, but not for the inexperienced angler. With a pronounced current and deeper water, getting your line down to the big fish takes the right gear. This ridge has lots of structure and eventually drops off to the east to over 200 feet. Fish tend to hold up on the west side of the ridges.
Oculina Bank MPA
Oculina Bank is located east of the 27 Fathom Ridge and is a federally protected marine zone. The only activity allowed in this area is trolling.
The 286 foot steamship City of Vera Cruz sunk during a violent storm in September 1880, with a loss of 68 crew members. Located just 17 miles from the coast, the City of Vera Cruz is a fantastic 75 foot dive and great fishing spot. Large fish inhabit the tall remains of this wooden hulled, metal reinforced structure and massive steam engine, some towering pieces reach over 30 feet from the sea floor.
The 423 foot freighter Laertes was another 1942 WWII casualty, torpedoed by a German submarine U-109 on May 3rd, 13nm from shore, while on route to Bombay carrying war supplies including air craft, trucks and tanks. The wreckage today is scattered about the site in 70 feet of water and with a 30 foot relief, plenty of large fish have called this site home.
The tanker Pan Massachusetts was torpedoed and sunk during World War II by U-128 on 2/19/1942. The tanker was built in Bethlehem Steel Company, Alameda, CA in 1919 and she was 456x56x35 feet, 8202 tons with a steel hull. Today, she rests in 300 feet of water 40 miles east of Port Canaveral. The tanker was broken in 2 from the torpedo blast leaving a 300 foot bow section inverted, locally called the "Copper Wreck". The stern section is said to rest a few miles south. There is a strong 3.5kt current at this wreck, cold water temps, and visibility varies with the time of the year. The hull has a large jagged opening, home to many species of fish including Warsaw groupers. The hull is also covered with aquatic life including long stretches of Oculina coral running the length of it.
Multiple resources were used to create our Florida GPS Coordinates Reef Charts. This data is provided as a tool to increase your fishing and/or diving enjoyment and is not intended to be used for navigational purposes. This information is provided only as a courtesy and there are NO guaranties, warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Florida Go Fishing assumes NO liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information contained here AND is not responsible for location changes or inaccuracies of rules, buoys, hazards or markers. If you find an error or omission in the data, please feel free to contact us with the correct information and we will verify and correct it as soon as possible. .