Although we are currently under a tornado watch as a strong cold front approaches central Florida, we have had some great weather during the past week.
Last week, I fished three days with my friend and fellow guide Capt. John Kumiski. Capt. Tom Van Horn joined us on the third day. Wednesday, John and I piled on the layers and headed out to Mosquito Lagoon with morning temperatures in the 40's. I think the best position in the morning was on the poling platform where you can quickly warm up and John climbed up there first. I'm going to blame my errant casts on my frozen hands as I proceeded to spook several tailing redfish. We found some black drum which were more than willing to eat our small black flies.
We took turns, each catching two drum before we moved on to look for something different. Redfish were spotted tailing here and there before we came upon numerous large trout basking in some shallow sand holes. Most of them spooked before we saw them but John got his black and purple bendback fly in front of one before it took off. The fish struck instantly and raced across the flat jumping and thrashing its head. The hook stayed put and we got a few pictures of the trophy sized trout before setting it free.
I took my turn and cast my bendback to a sand hole containing three nice trout. An unseen redfish grabbed the fly before the trout saw it, not a bad problem to have. John landed a redfish to complete his slam. We finished the day catching a few more reds and seeing more big trout. A fun day on Mosquito Lagoon.
The following day, I joined Capt. John for a kayak trip to the Banana River Lagoon. We paddled several miles with little to show for our efforts. I saw a few tailing redfish and stopped to cast to them while John continued on. By the time I was finished, I saw John
about a mile ahead of me. I made my way up to him and immediately saw why he had stopped. There were tails in every direction. John told me he had released three redfish over twenty pounds and as I was climbing into the water, he hooked up again. As soon as I took out my
camera, the hook pulled. I immediately grabbed my flyrod and was faced with some difficult decisions; which tail should I cast toward. Most of the tails I saw were from black drum but there were plenty of redfish mixed in. The black redfish worm fly worked well for both of
us. We had a lot of bites and caught plenty. Perfect weather and great fishing. We were both so busy casting, neither of us too any photos.
Friday, I joined up with Capt. Tom Van Horn in his canoe for another trip to the Banana River. Not just a canoe, this fishing machine is complete with a poling platform, casting deck, stabilizers from Kay-Noe paddle products, and rod holders. Capt. John went with us in his kayak. We returned to the spot where John and I had such great action the previous day.
As soon as we arrived, I made two casts to a tailing redfish and was hooked up. My hopes of a record breaking day were quickly dashed as the tails from then on came few and far between. The highlight of the day was a big school of giant black drum and redfish finning near the surface. I made cast after cast with my fly with no takers.
The problem was the fish were in deeper water and my fly was not getting to the bottom quickly enough. While I had heavier flies on board, they were not where I could get to them quickly. Not wanting to chance spooking the fish, I didn't change flies. Capt. John
patiently watched and took photos from his kayak. When he could stand it no more, he tied on a weighted brown crab pattern and cast in front of the school. A huge redfish ate the fly but broke the 12 pound tippet a minute later. He tied on another fly and this time it was a
monster black drum that bit. Now it was my turn to take pictures as the fish towed John off the flat.
When he managed to get the over 30 pound fish under control, John realized he would be unable to lift it without tipping over.
We decided to try and tow the fish back to the edge of the flat but the fish had other ideas. With a powerful surge of it's tail, it took off, straightening the #4 hook. The big school vanished and Tom and I went our own way finding a few tailing redfish here and there that were willing to play. Tom caught his fish with a DOA shrimp while I used flies and a DOA crab.
Monday, I was back in Mosquito Lagoon. The water level had dropped significantly and I was curious to see where the fish had moved. The first few hours of the day revealed plenty of tailing redfish. Unfortunately, I could not convince them to eat any of three separate flies I tried. I picked up the DOA FiGi Chix shrimp and fired off a cast at the next tail I saw. The fish ate immediately. I checked various spots, seeing both redfish and big trout in all of them and catching a few more along the way.
Tuesday, I had Rich and Dean on board for a full day of sight fishing the flats. Within minutes of arriving at our first spot, we saw a tail. For the next two hours, we saw tails quite regularly as well as running over many fish we did not see. For a short while, we had clear skies and no wind. Using 4 inch DOA CAL tails, Rich landed the first redfish and then
Dean followed up with two in a row. Hoping to take advantage of the perfect conditions, I suggest we make a move to look for some bigger fish. On our way to the spot, the wind went from zero to fifteen in an instant. It never let up and brought with it numerous clouds which made sight fishing difficult. We hit several spots seeing fish at all but one. Unfortunately, many of the fish saw us before we saw them. Both guys caught a few redfish and trout and certainly had more fun than a day at the office.
I will be off the water for the next ten days or so but I anticipate more great tailing fish action when I return.
Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Chartershttp://www.floridafishinglessons.com