Mornings on the Mosquito Lagoon have become a bit cooler and yesterday I saw the first white pelican, a sign that summer is over. The Lagoon is full of baitfish of all sizes. Mullet are the primary forage and there have been plenty of them. Since the storm in late August, the water levels have remained extremely high. This gives the fish plenty of places to roam. September's weather, on average, was less than pleasant with a lot of clouds, wind, and rain. When I was able to get out, I found myself having to look for the fish in places that are usually much too shallow to travel. Some days were quite good and others not so productive. My best day was mid month when I landed 6 tarpon, 7 reds, a trout, and 2 jacks, most of them on fly.
The redfish have been frequenting sandy holes and troughs around islands and shorelines. When you can find them, they have been willing to eat a variety of baits including DOA CALS and Baitbusters, flies, and topwater plugs. With the water being so deep, they have been a bit less spooky than average. You may find them finning on the surface or crashing mullet early in the morning. The rest of the day, they have been in deeper depressions.
Big trout have been active around the baitfish schools throughout the day. While they will eagerly take a topwater plug, there is usually too much grass floating on the surface to work one effectively. The DOA Chughead on a CAL tail is a weedless topwater option. Tarpon have been thick on some days and nowhere to be found on others. When you find them, they will willingly eat a small fly or 3" CAL bait.
Schools of jacks and ladyfish can be found busting on the surface on areas holding mullet and glass minnows. They will usually hit most any bait you throw. Some days, however, they are really targeting the small baits and will ignore bigger offerings. Watch for diving terns and pelicans to alert you to their location.
Yesterday's charter was with Bruce from Washington state. We began the day with a school of finning redfish. On his second cast with an EP Mullet fly, Bruce hooked his first redfish.
Our second stop was holding another school that quickly vanished into some deeper dirty water. Spot three was holding both small schools and singles. Bruce caught two on a DOA CAL in Silver Rush and had several more bites that were missed.
The clouds soon blocked out the sun and the sight fishing was over. After Bruce landed a couple trout, we noticed some jacks and ladyfish busting some glass minnows. We rigged up the 5wt flyrod and spent the last hour with some nonstop action. October should be a good month with the fish feeding heavily in anticipation of winter. Baits that imitate mullet will be effective throughout the month. Everything will be eating them from fish to birds and even the dolphin.
Capt. Chris Myershttp://www.floridafishinglessons.com