The weather here in central Florida has been mostly cold and unpredictable but the flats fishing has been consistently good. Redfish and black drum have been abundant with most of the fish being found in schools of 25-200 fish. They have been willing to eat a variety of well placed small soft plastics and flies. Both the reds and drum have been feeding in very shallow water and have been extremely spooky. The fish must be approached slowly and quietly with your casts landing at least ten feet away from them.
On trips during the latter part of February, clients had shots at hundreds of redfish and drum per day. The catching usually depended on the number of accurate casts that were made.
Minnesota residents Jamie and Mike fished Mosquito Lagoon on a cold but sunny day last week. They had shots at schools of redfish throughout the day from 5-30 pounds. A three inch DOA CAL in golden bream color on a 1/8 ounce jighead was the most effective bait and was responsible for at least one double hookup.
The following day, the weather took a turn for the worse due to an approaching cold front. Tim and his son Alex decided to give it a try anyway, hoping to beat the worst of the weather. With solid cloud cover, spotting the fish was the biggest challenge and we ran over many of them before we saw them. Eleven year old Alex did catch his first redfish before we elected to get out of the cold and rain.
Monday was the only day of good weather this week. The redfish were still plentiful and the three inch CAL was eaten on the first cast of the day. I got to try several new crab flies I had tied and found the reds happy to eat them as well.
If the forecast holds true, next week will bring temperatures above 70 every day. If the winds cooperate as well, it should be an excellent week of sight fishing the flats. Small baits like the DOA shrimp and CAL along with crab and shrimp flies will continue to work well.
Capt. Chris MyersOrlando Fishing Guide