Florida’s Indian River Lagoon – America’s most diverse estuary
Calm seas and clean water is the story off east central Florida. Nearshore waters are holding good schools of baitfish, which in tern attract gamefish. Spanish mackerel are terrorizing large schools of very small glass minnows. Bonita (False Albacore) are feeding on glass minnows and greenies. The best lures are small diamond jigs or bucktails. With the water being so clear, it is important to downsize and minimize hardware like swivels and wire leader. Without a leader you will loose fish but will get far more actions.
Kingfishing has been extremely good over the nearshore reefs. Clean water combined with summer thermoclines may be responsible for the good run of kings near the beach. The key to successfully taking these fish is a live slow trolled 8″ to 12″ mullet rigged with a very short leader and stinger hook. Seeing flying fish just off the beach is not a common occurrence. With the water so clear, many of these strange fish have been spotted over the past few weeks. With flying fish in the area its not surprising that fellow guide Mike Grubber reported hooking a sailfish less than a half mile off the beach.
Inshore action has been good for shallow water reds, ladyfish and sea trout. With the summer heat, the bite can be short. It’s best to plan your inshore fishing near sunrise or sunset. Trout and lady fish have been good targets using small top water chugger or popper type fly pattern. Redfish and Tarpon are in good numbers in the Indian River Lagoon. Getting these spooky and finicky fish to eat can be frustrating. Small lures or flys and perseverance can pay off though. We found 20 to 30 reds just today but the only thing they showed interest in was a small skimmer type jig and a bend back fly pattern.
Capt. Tod Hagan