October 3, 2001

Summertime and the living is easy…
When Florida and July come up in the same sentence you probably think of hot weather , but we here on the Indian River Lagoon coast think of hot fishing! Sure the temperatures can sizzle, but the sunset and rises are spiritual, the thunderstorms spectacular, and the fishing sensational! So take your mind off the steamy weather, and let’s sneak a peak at what could be a hot month of catching.

The beach is a cool place to head on the hottest days. The surf provides abundant opportunities for bait fishing for flounder, whiting, sheephead and sea bream for anglers of all ages and skill levels. However the real challenge in surf fishing is with artificial lures or fly rod. Snook, tarpon, ladyfish, barracuda, jack crevalle and maybe a black-tip shark can be caught this way from the shore or just off the beach in a boat, kayak or canoe.

The Banana and Indian River Lagoons are packed with eager-to-please, large schools of slot size (18″ to 27″) redfish that can be easily found on calm mornings (Watch out for a fresh east wind before sunup. This can slow early morning sight fishing for reds.) The larger redfish (20 to 40 pounds) are roaming the flats but can be very spooky in the hotter weather. Large ladyfish, some pushing five pounds, are taking jigs and topwater plugs. Mixed in with the ladyfish are small to medium size spotted sea trout in four to six feet of water in the central region of the Banana River Lagoon. Pompano, one to three pounds, are taking Mission Fishin jigs in yellow and chartreuse under Indian River bridges around the Melbourne area. Any day now juvenile tarpon should be invading the flats in good numbers; find them located near thick schools of glass minnows.


Outside Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet the inshore waters have been very productive on many days for kingfish and large jack crevalle for those anglers slow trolling live baits. Rolling tarpon, 50 to 200 pounds, are hanging around the Lagoon coast beaches in solid numbers, but finding them day to day can be a challenge, but very rewarding when they are feasting on glass minnows, mullet, greenies or menhaden.

You can depend on hot weather in July, but on many days hot fishing comes with the sweat. Go fishing cause it’s good fer ya! God bless Ernie Lee! Til nextime…

Wishing we were barefooted and fishing…
Rodney Smith
Coastal Angler Magazine @ the Indian River Lagoon
mailto:[email protected]


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