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February 03, 2009

Feb 2009 - Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, Ponce Inlet Backcountry

Gin clear water and big schools of fish throughout coastal East-Central Florida. Fantastic light tackle and fly rod sightfishing action is producing excellent catch numbers of redfish, snook, trout.

Moving right along into 2009 and the fishing is spectacular. Extreme low water levels, coupled with some of the coldest weather of the year, is yielding big schools of fish making for the continued great sightfishing. Catch numbers are outstanding, 10-20 fish days are the norm for light tackle spin anglers, and some days we have posted 30-40 fish (no tiny fish...quality redfish, snook and trout). Fly anglers are getting excellent chances for redfish and snook and watching good eats, with a couple days sticking over 10 fish on fly. Winter patterns are holding steady, but as we move into February and see increasing warm weather days, fish will beging moving towards a spring time pattern.

Redfish action has not slowed down at all over the past month. There are many, many schools of fish to choose from in the areas I am fishing and we are generally seeing over 1,000 fish on any given day. Mosquito Lagoon still has the best action but there is some good action in the North Indian River too. We are posting excellent catch numbers from these schools of 1-10lb fish on each trip with the average day yielding 10-20 landed redfish, and a couple recent trips saw us catch 30-40 redfish a day. The highlight of the past month was some of the GIANT redfish we started targeting again. I have specifically been targeting 6 different schools in the Mosquito Lagoon or Indian River near Titusville. We have caught some each time we went hunting for them; catching 3 over 30lbs, a couple more over 20lbs, and then some "babies" out of the schools in the 10-15lb range. For recent catching success, my light tackle anglers using spin rods have been using either DOA shrimp or live shrimp depending on how picky the fish are. My fly anglers have been finding great success on my hand tied sliders, crab puffs, or spoon flies.

Snook are really schooled up and the fishing is red hot. Now is my favorite time to forgo the flats and focus on linesiders all day. During the past two weeks we have been targeting the biggest snook I have seen all year (30-40inch fish that range from 10-20lbs). The cold weather of January filled my favorite holes around my guiding territory and they are stacked up with biting fish up to 20lbs. We will boat a bunch of smaller 1-5lb fish before you latch into one of the big ones that put a serious bend in the rod. Light tackle spin fisherman are posting great catch numbers of 5, 10, or 20+ fish a day. Fly casters will also get great targets and the big oversize fish are showing more interest in tracking a fly than lures lately. Snook season opened up February 1, so slot size 28-32" fish are now fair game again. DOA shrimp and paddle tails, swimbaits, and some creature baits are posting good catches, but a live shrimp will surely catcha big fish's eye. Consistent action on snook from Ormond Beach to the New Smyrna Beach area with a couple decent spots still active in Mosquito Lagoon.

There are loads of Spotted Sea Trout on the flats in Mosquito Lagoon as they lay up in the sand spots to sun themselves and wait for an easy meal to swim by. The action is really going to pick up on the active gator trout bite as we get into the next two months when we will see those 10lb+ fish let up their guard. Four-six pound trout have been the latest size that clients have caught. Quite honestly the redfish and snook bite has been so good that I've pretty much skipped over any trout fishing in favor of the two powerhouse fighters. But they are still around and available, just like every other month.

A really cold end of January really put a damper on the Tarpon action. I have got two areas that are showing fish from 5-20lbs, but they are in a state of lock jaw after getting a dose of 50 degree water temps recently. A week or so of warm weather will turn that back around and we will be jumping more by the time you read the next report. In fact there's a bridge I fish in mid-February that always has 10-20lb fish patrolling it at night. Bluefish are literally everywhere around New Smyrna and the Ponce Inlet backcountry right now. They've been good "bycatch" when the snook shut it down for a couple hours. The biggest blues are here right now, I'm still looking for the first blue over 10lbs this winter.

February is always a busy month so call for booking info today. I look forward to fishing with you soon...
386-212-4931 or floridasightfishing@cfl.rr.com

Recent client catch photos can be found on my website...
www.floridasightfishing.com/report.htm