May 5th, 2013 Orlando Saltwater Fishing Charter Report
The past several weeks including, all of March, all of April and now the first few days here in May have proved to be outstanding on the fishing front here in east central Florida. The backcountry flats fishing and sight fishing here on the Mosquito Lagoon and north Indian River have just been outstanding. I see a great summer of inshore saltwater fishing on the way. This is the best place on earth to be fishing year round. Saltwater fishing that is within one hour of Orlando and all of central Florida.
The inshore waters near the New Smyrna Beach, Cocoa Beach, Daytona, Titusville, Oak Hill, Mims and Edgewater Florida have all been great. There is no one particular spot which is better than another. Try different areas and you will spread your knowledge out over the life of your fishing outings.
Early morning starts are bringing some great chances at tailing and feeding redfish along shallow grass flats and the deep backcountry waters. If you are the evening fishing type the hours before sunset can be just equally as good. As long as the afternoon storms and winds that we see here stay on your side.
Getting into some really big seatrout mixed in scattered about the sand holes and near drop offs as well when we are going after the redfish. A few black drum are being seen roaming with or near the redfish too.
The red drum we have been getting have been mostly sight fished with first off getting into position, very carefully and quietly. Taking your time when approaching these fish is the key to a successful day on the water. Once your targets have been found the next key for this to become a catching day is that the cast you make are precise and just right. You must also be accurate, the tail does not eat. A little distance must be there as well due to that you can only get so close to these fish before they sense and see you. Then they are gone.
Redfish that are “tipping” up and moving are being caught with the D.O.A. Shallow Runner Baitbusters and the new D.O.A. Airheads. As far as the rig up on these and color selection varies on the waters you are fishing. I am a big fan of plastics that resemble the prey around here. So mullet patterns, black and white or the white body with the red head is a good choice too.
Throwing to a single or few feeding redfish I use the D.O.A. Shrimp or a CAL. Again color selection boils down to natural food source colors. So the shrimp patterns I am using have a natural color. The CAL’s I can use any color because typically these baits are just on the move imitating bait pods roaming aimlessly. However I do still prefer the white or lighter colors on the bottom. If you think about it almost all of the bait out here that the redfish, seatrout and black drum are feeding on have some sort of white or light colors on them; Mullet, Crabs, Mud Minnows, Shrimp. Makes sense that these colors are a good basic choice for flats fishing here on the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River.
The black drum are being very skittish, with due cause. The past years they are being pursued heavily so they are adapting to the pressure. Try using peeled shrimp on small circle hooks if targeting theses fish on the flats. Casting to them with soft presentations as not to scare them all off. Remember, spook, they all will run. This applies to all of the fish you go after.
I have had some good reports of anglers anchoring down inside of the canals and dropping cut large blue crabs down with heavy weights for these fish too. However that is more like bottom fishing and not sight fishing. To each their own and however you like to fish, I guess.
The seatrout we have been getting here the past weeks have been extremely nice quality trout. The bigger trout are being caught while casting across the sand holes out in the grass flats and in the very backcountry waters. Again using the Baitbusters and the Airheads are your go to top waters. Any hook configuration out here that uses multiple hooks, or treble hooks, means trouble for these fish when you go to release them. You can always remove them and replace them with the appropriate circle hook. Smaller seatrout can be caught in the deeper ledges and drop offs throughout the entire lagoon systems.
On a side note please remember that you need to give other anglers plenty of space and room. When fishing the flats you take away an element of depth, so you now go out and away. You see a boat in one spot don’t assume they are just staying right there. Their path may change many times. Also remember that inside the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge there are certain rules that you need to know. Be sure to look at any regulations where ever you are fishing. It is your responsibility to know these before you go out. Everyone be safe and have fun.
Captain Drew Cavanaugh


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Mosquito Lagoon & New Smyrna Beach Florida Fishing Guide