The fishing in Mosquito Lagoon so far this month has been challenging. The water is high and, in many places, cloudy making sight fishing difficult. On the positive side, the weather has remained unseasonably warm. This has kept the tarpon around as well as the large schools of baitfish. When you can find the redfish, they are willing to eat and I saw many tailing fish during the past couple weeks.
Recent trips have resulted in varying levels of success. Last week, I fished with Duncan and his two sons, Ian and Nathan. They each caught some trout and had shots at some jacks but the highlight of the day came when 13 year old Nathan cast a DOA CAL to several tailing redfish. It landed perfectly and as he twitched the bait near the fish his rod bent over and he was hooked up.
Two days later, brothers Dan and Gary joined me on their first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. Gary cast an EP pinfish style fly to a group of tailing redfish early in the day. He was hooked up for several seconds before the fish broke off. Later on, we encountered a school of larger redfish. Gary made several attempts with the fly but the fish did not seem interested. Dan made a few casts with a Baitbuster and had several follows but no solid bites. He handed the rod to Gary. As he worked the lure on the surface across the school, we saw a fish come up and engulf the mullet imitation.
On Monday, John and his son David were with me for their second fly fishing excursion on Mosquito Lagoon. We began the day surrounded by dozens of juvenile tarpon and 1-3 feet of water. David started out with the fly while I had John throwing a holographic DOA shrimp. David caught a couple ladyfish and a trout on the fly and John jumped a tarpon and caught a few trout. We came across a fair amount of redfish throughout the day, most of which were feeding. John landed his first redfish on fly using a #4 brown crab pattern.
On Tuesday's trip, there were only half as many tarpon rolling when we began the day. Throwing the holographic shrimp, Tim had a couple bites and landed a few trout but the tarpon eluded him. Again, we found scattered redfish roaming the flats but spotting them before the saw us proved to be challenging. Tim did catch a few more trout and a small gag grouper on CAL jigs before we called it a day.
Wednesday, I was with fly anglers Bryan and Bill. They were both very good casters and I had high hopes of some tarpon on fly. Unfortunately, most of the tarpon had vacated the flat where they had been. They did get a couple bites and Bryan jumped one. Our next stop produced shots at some large black drum. Both guys made some good casts with crab patterns that went totally ignored. By the time we turned our attention to redfish, the clouds began rolling in making the sight fishing nearly impossible. After spending an hour running over fish, they elected to go in and try another time.
Yesterday, I went to New Smyrna with the intention of going out of Ponce Inlet for a shot and some big tarpon, cobia, and sharks with my friend Capt. Drew. We stopped at a spot inshore and found some rolling tarpon at first light. I hooked one on the DOA BFL but pulled the hook after a minute or so. When they stopped rolling, we headed for the inlet. Unfortunately, we discovered the seas were much too rough and we were forced to stay inside. The action was a bit slow but we did have shots at a few redfish and caught trout, flounder and a Goliath grouper on the DOA shrimp.
A cold front will be moving through the area today dropping the temperatures twenty degrees. We will be back in the 80's early next week, however, so hopefully the water stays warm enough to keep the tarpon around a couple more weeks. Soon, the water levels will be dropping and the clarity will improve which will bring on some excellent sight fishing for tailing redfish. As the baitfish head south, the reds will turn their attention to crabs and shrimp. Fly anglers using small crab patterns will have plenty of tails to cast to.
Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Chartershttp://www.floridafishinglessons.com