August 7th, 2009
Well you can most definitely tell it is summer time here in central Florida. The weather is extremely hot and the fishing has been hot right along with it. The past few weeks have brought water levels to very low levels here on the Mosquito Lagoon. Some areas are at winter lows and with this it is pushing fish into confined spaces. This makes for a whole lot of pressure, not just for the fish but for the angler as well. As always with low water be careful on your navigation here.
Redfish have been a major target at day break for me and my clients. Tailing fish can be seen at first light in some very shallow water. Almost surreal looking at times how these fish like some of the warmest and shallowest of water there is to find. You would almost think to yourself that they would not like that - however they do. A very cautious approach is required when targeting fish in the warmer months. I have been watching boats here lately move in on fish like a military special forces movement with trolling motors blazing away. Fish; not just redfish but all creatures underwater can hear the noise of a trolling motor on full speed cutting towards them from at far distances. As I state most of the time - start early, take your time and approach(Use Your Push Pole - this effort will pay off)these fish with turkey like caution and you will be able to sneak up on them. Trust me, it works. Adjust your approach as they adjust there position. Have a good tactical plan for getting into position. Figure out which way they are going and the speed in which they appear to be moving. Reds are feeding on numerous baits at this point and time in the summer. A softly placed finger mullet will work as well as a nice shrimp(if you can get them in a decent size). DO NOT land on the fish or try not to, it must be away from them or they will spook. Get it in front of them as close to them as possible(I know- easier said then done. Practice casting as often as possible. As with any thing - practice does make perfect). Soft plastics will work well too. I like using the Berkley Gulps myself. White is my color of choice in a shrimp pattern. Hooked alone on a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook...No weights usually. Slow retrieve will get their attention. Remember, circle hook, don't set the hook.
The trout bite has been fairly steady as well. I like to target these fish using top water and/or soft plastics. There is nothing like the explosion of a sea trout busting that lure at day break! Lighted docks throughout the night are holding very good numbers of fish. The bigger females have been moving throughout the flats and are usually onto you well before you are onto them. There is nothing in this world like sight fishing a large trout. An accomplishment by any means. Sand holes surrounded by grass flats are perfect areas to target these fish. As always, please handle these fish with extra & extreme caution. They are the breeders and we need them for future fisheries. Smaller schooling trout are still being caught along drop offs and grass beds in 2-4 feet areas along bars are good places to look for them. Shrimp like plastics and mullet imitations will be able to bring in good numbers usually along the day. Along the deeper waters off the flats ladyfish are still busting baits left and right along with a few jacks. These fish hit almost anything and are extremely fun to catch. Kids love them! Black drum are still in good numbers all over the entire lagoon system. It is hard sometimes to figure out what they want to eat. Shrimp, clams, gulps, flies and even small crabs work at times and at other times it seems nothing works. Again approach these fish with great stealth...If you start chasing them with your trolling motor and they will become so nervous they will most likely spread out and make it even harder for you to get to them. Use your trolling motor to make up huge distances in deeper waters to where it can be worked safely and quietly. Then when you are say 400-500 feet from the fish you are targeting push towards them from your poling tower. This will help in your approach tactic allowing you not only to get on them without being heard but you being able to see them well in advance. Again casting to them and presentation is 90% of the battle. If you land on top of them they will become like that flock of ten thousand birds in the air; one turns - they all turn. Once this run-away train starts it is hard to get back with them and for them to stay calm. Try to think of the cast as a surface to air missile - precise timing.
As always I look forward to seeing you all on the water. Have a safe and productive fishing trip.
Tight Lines and Bent Rods!
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
Florida Inshore Fishing Charters
Light Tackle Fishing Guide On The Mosquito Lagoon
Specializing In Fly Or Spin For Redfish and Troutwww.floridainshorefishingcharters.com/
Fish The World Famous Mosquito Lagoon - The Redfish Capital Of The World!