September 12th, 2009/Report
Fall is starting to be felt in the air. The past several weeks you could just feel the ever so slight changes of the weather in your bones. Labor Day comes and goes, kids go back to school, football starts! It just sets things in motion for things to come. Not much but just enough to sense that things are very soon going to be turning a bit. Go from fall to winter fishing the flats in no time at all. Fishing has been very steady throughout the entire lagoon systems - both on the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon. Water levels have come up to the high point they were back in May when we had all the spring time rains that came through central Florida. With this it has opened up quite a bit of new feeding grounds for fish.
Most fish on the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon the past several weeks that were in one location have moved into other shallow flats that until now were inaccessible due to low water conditions. They too(fish)are taking advantage of the rising water situation as to feed on and in new territory. As if a fall sale on mullet, crabs and bait fish has happened and they all rush into the new stores to fight for position. Watch for activity. As always good signs in an area you are interested in trying are these: Bait fish busting the surface or being chased. Birds feeding aggressively in the area or sitting there patiently watching the area to feed. Good ambush points with bait in it...Corners or bends in the water with good flow of current. Drop offs near that same area. Of course the obvious, feeding fish. Adjust your tactics after deciding what is going on there. Bait busting at the surface, try top water. Good flow and activity around, structure or bars, try soft plastics. Deeper drop offs and good bait movement, try plugs/hard lures or plastics. The best way to see what works is not to be afraid to switch and mix it up a bit. If you do not try new ways at fishing you will never know if they may work. This goes the same for trying a new area. If you see an area and say "Man I want to fish that, it looks like it may be good", then try it. Two things will happen; you will like it or not. After that you will have added a new page to your resume of knowledge on the water you fish.
Nearly most all of the fishing I have been doing the past several weeks have been done with using artificial baits/lures. Redfish have been hitting anything from D.O.A.'s Terror Eyz, Shrimp, Bait Buster to a Sasuke 75 Shad to the ole' faithful Skitter Walks. Sight fishing the redfish has been great very early in the morning to catch a glimpse of tailing fish and then if you can stay in clear water and sky conditions search for them on the flats throughout the morning time. Remember, stalk them with stealth and patience. Take your time and get to them in a good position. Place a soft plastic in front of them with a soft presentation. Fishing for them(and other species)along the mangroves/oyster bars can be just as productive. Casting up into and along the shoreline of oyster bars, sandbars and the tree lines have produced quite a very large variety pack. You have trout, jacks, ladyfish, whiting, snook, reds, snapper all mixed in. This makes for a fun filled day of fishing.
Now let's talk tarpon. Tarpon have been seen rolling and crashing the surface all over the entire Indian River Lagoon System and Mosquito Lagoon. Some days they seem to be extremely active and others seem to be far and few. Getting them to bite can be just as tricky as getting into position to cast to them. With a few hook ups here and there using mostly D.O.A's cast onto there path and letting it sink a second or two then a steady retrieve can make for some great fun and action. Some fish are in the 15-30 lb range and then there are the ones in the 50-100 lb range. With these fish choose your gear accordingly along with the leaders...Fluorocarbon leader(12-18 inches)from at least 25lb to 40lb and then for the bigger tarpon go up to the 80 lb leader if needed. Braid in the 15 to 20 lb range should work well as with the rod and reel matched. I use a Stradic 4000/6000 with a St. Croix Tidemaster depending on the fish I am throwing at. As always please handle all of your fish with great care and caution for an optimal survival rate.
As always I look forward to seeing you on the water. Tight lines and bent rods!
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
Florida Inshore Fishing Charters
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Light Tackle Fishing Guide On The Mosquito Lagoon
Specializing In Fly Or Spin For Redfish,Trout, Snook and Tarpon.
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Located Along Florida's beautiful Space Coast!
Fish the World Famous Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River. Known as the Redfish Capital of the World. Home of the best light tackle backcountry inshore saltwater flats fishing Florida has to offer.