Wind has been the dominant factor in our fishing for the past two weeks. Add in some clouds along with smoke from numerous fires and sight fishing has been nearly impossible on most days. The last two days, the winds have finally subsided but the clouds persist. On a positive note, the fish have been plentiful and bait is everywhere. As soon as the weather stabilizes, fishing should be as good as it gets.
Last week’s poor weather kept me off the water most days. We cancelled Monday’s trip due to wind. Wednesday, the forecast was for moderate winds but it blew 15-20 all day. The goal of my charter with Mike from North Carolina was to catch as many different types of fish as we could. Mike carves fish for a hobby and wanted photos of saltwater fish to use as a reference. We began the day looking for some small tarpon. Unfortunately, we did not find any. Our next stop produced a mangrove snapper and a toadfish. Spot three resulted in a flounder, a trout, and a nice redfish.Our final species of the day was a snook to complete a Mosquito Lagoon slam.
I had seminars Thursday and Saturday. Sunday, it was back to Mosquito Lagoon. From dawn until 8, I fished with Paul, the owner of Mosquito Creek Outdoors. I caught a redfish on a DOA Chughead/CAL combo and followed up with a trout on a Baitbuster. Paul had several bites on the Baitbuster as well but switched over to a greene back CAL and landed two nice trout.
We ran back to the ramp as the wind began to blow and I picked up Paul’s sister, Liz, and his son, Lee. We found several large schools of redfish on a shallow flat and Lee hooked up first. A short while later, Liz had a redfish break off when another fish in the school hit the line. The next one made it to the boat for some photos and was her first ever redfish. Thick clouds and the wind ruined our sight fishing so we decided to move out to some deeper water and blind cast for trout. After a couple moves, we found the hot spot and I spent the next hour unhooking one fish after the next. Liz used a DOA Deadly Combo and Lee threw various color 3 inch CAL tails. We caught too many to count but Lee had to take a break because his hand was tired from reeling in fish. Now that’s a good problem to have.
Tuesday of this week, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Orlando Kayak Club. The following morning, I met Capt. Ron Presley in Cocoa Beach and we went in search of some early season tarpon. By mid morning, the winds were blowing over 20 and we did our best to hide in the canals. We found plenty of small tarpon as well as a few in the 20 pound range. We had a lot more strikes than we did hookups but I did land two tarpon using a holographic DOA shrimp. I switched over to the darker morning glory color and boated a snook as well.
Thursday was a fly fishing trip with Chad from Montana. It was a pleasant change to find slick calm water when we arrived. We never saw the sun all day but the water remained calm. We soon found ourselves surrounded by dozens of schools of tailing and finning fish. It was a fly fisherman’s dream except for one thing. The fish would seem to let us get almost within Chad’s casting range and then they would take off. We would approach the next group and the same thing would happen. Each time, the fish were five feet farther than Chad could cast. This scenario went on for nearly five hours before we gave up on them. Chad is a long time fly fisherman but in his waters, there is rarely a need to cast over 30 feet. On this day, a 60-70 foot caster could have had double digit hookups. While travelling to our next stop, we came across a school of large reds tailing along the edge of a flat. As we got near, they dropped off into the deep water and vanished. I took Chad to the spot that produced the numerous trout last week and he used a clouser minnow and a 5wt rod to land ten small trout. It began to rain but we were determined to get a redfish on the fly. We tried one more spot and found some tailing singles. Chad finally hooked a redfish using a small black and chartreuse crab.
With plenty of bait fish throughout the Lagoon, the redfish and trout are feeding happily on the new forage. It’s time to put away the smaller winter baits and get out the larger mullet imitations. A stealthy approach and proper presentation are more important than color.
Photos of this weeks fish can be seen at http://www.floridafishinglessons.com/FishingReport.html
Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters