April 8th, 2012 Orlando Florida Saltwater Flats Fishing Report
Well the past few weeks have been just phenomenal here in the east central Florida back country waters of both the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River flats. Not only the fishing, but the weather too here in Oak Hill, Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach along with all of the Orlando area saltwater inshore fishing. You could not ask for better weather to be in, fish in or live in than that of the weather that has been here amongst us this winter and now spring time in all Florida. If things continue the rest of 2012 looks great as well. Hopefully we should have a great year with some more tarpon along with the snook returning to the waters with the higher water temperatures in the Atlantic and Gulf along the beaches.
Several large (some very large) schools of redfish and black drum have dominated the flats fishing on the Mosquito Lagoon along with some really great catches of large trout too. All of the fish are ranging from 3 to 12 pounds on average. The water clarity has improved so much and the water temperature is at an optimal range for fishing the shallow flats here. This is making sight fishing the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon much easier than what it was like six months ago when water clarity was not so good. Looking for signs here on the grass flats in the spring time for baitfish, life, birds feeding and activity will be a key to a successful day on the water. Shallow water that leads to nearby drop offs is always on the menu for a good day of sight fishing.
As your day begins always carry with you the stealth and patience practice throughout the day and this will lead to a higher rate of success, along with a better day out there fishing. Also as you fish the shallow waters here in Florida add the distance and soft presentations with your cast and things will gradually fall into place. Be sure not to land on your targets or behind them. In other words don’t rush it. Take your time; poll your boat as much as you can. Your trolling motor will scare fish off fish from a lot further distance than you think. If you can hear another boats trolling motor at 300 feet away chances are that redfish will hear this three times that distances. This is the apex of fishing and can be very rewarding if done correctly along with taking your time to process things that are going on around you. Also I cannot stress this enough, please give all of your fellow anglers out there a very large area of space between you and them. Each one of us has and uses different tactics and techniques. So if you see a boat pointing in one direction and polling that way do not assuming that they will be going ten mikes that way. They may be doing a SARS type of pattern, searching for fish and turning back around. I see too many boats coming right up behind other boats and following in their path. Give that 360° wide berth between you and them.
Redfish and black drum have been feeding on numerous types of baits, lures and flies. From casting a black crab pattern fly to the shrimp and mullet pattern fly to using the D.O.A. Baitbusters, C.A.L.’s and Shrimp. I like to rig my D.O.A.’s on a weed less hook with a small bullet weight. As always one of my favorite is the hand-picked live blue crab, about 2 inches, placed on a 3/0 circle hook. The redfish and black drum cannot resist this food! They go crazy over it. Live shrimp and live mullet are always a very good and natural choice here too. Redfish will be found tailing early and throughout the morning. Try to approach the redfish with the sun at your back and in their face for better results too.
Pretty much all of the trout, big and small, have been hitting, and when I say hitting I mean hammering the D.O.A. Shallow Runner Baitbusters. These predators will go after it like it is the last one in the water. A few of the trout have been landed and released with using a live mullet as well.
As always please use extra care when handling all of your catch and get them back in the water for a fast release and a higher survival rate. Holding fish horizontally will also help with the survival. These are just a few of several ways to protect the future of Florida’s fisheries. Catch and release does work and it does pay off. Everyone out there this weekend have a safe and happy Easter weekend.
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
Florida Inshore Fishing Charters
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