A sudden rise in the water level of the lagoon system has had a huge impact on the fishing the past week. While the redfish are biting aggressively, the challenge the past several days has been finding them in significant numbers. With lots of areas that have been nearly dry all summer now flooded, the fish have many more places to roam. Most of the fish have moved from the places they have been frequenting all summer long. The high water is cloudy in many areas and the grass which had been piled up along the shorelines is now floating on the surface. The key to catching has been to cover lots of water and be in the right spot at the right time as the fish will certainly bite if you find them.
Near the end of last month, Capt. Drew and I took a trip to the Indian River and we found a couple schools of large redfish happily finning on the surface. I hooked several over twenty ponds on both the DOA Baitbuster and BFL 5.5. Capt. Drew caught giant his on a 5 inch DOA CAL.
A couple days later, I went up to the New Smyrna Beach area looking for tarpon. I landed one on the BFL and had shots at several more during the morning but the only bites I got were from jacks and bluefish.
High winds kept me off the water much of last week but I was back to work Sunday on a trip with Rick and Jackie. The first few hours of the day were tough as we covered a lot of water and saw very few fish. As I continued poling along the flat, we were suddenly surrounded by schools of reds. Jackie landed her first few on the CAL while Rick matched her fish for fish using the Baitbuster. After those fish moved on I took us to another spot and again we encountered a large school of hungry redfish. Both Rick and Jackie used the Baitbuster to land more quality reds including several double hookups.
They enjoyed some spectacular surface bites as the reds chased done their lures. You can some of the action in this Mosquito Lagoon Redfish Video.
Dale and his wife joined me on Wednesday. We spent the first part of the day catching ladyfish and then spotted some redfish finning on the surface. On his first cast with a gold Baitbuster, Dale was hooked up with his first redfish ever.
The action the rest of the day was slow as the fish were few and far between.
Thursday, I fished with Mike and his son Micah. After a bit of searching, we encountered a happy school of giant redfish. Mike got the Baitbuster into them and was hooked up with a monster red.
Before we could get one for his son, another boat drove in on us and chased the fish off into deeper water and we never saw them again. As we traveled from spot to spot, we found a few redfish but not in the numbers they have been the past several months. High thin clouds made spotting them difficult and we never hooked another fish.
Yesterday was the toughest day of the week. I took Dan and Gary to one of my favorite baby tarpon spots to start the day. It was full of baitfish but the tarpon were nowhere to be found. After catching a couple ladyfish and a small red, we moved on. We hit many spots throughout the day but only one of them held redfish in any significant number. Gary had a red slam his Baitbuster less than five feet from the boat but it came unhooked after a short run. They enjoyed a half hour of nonstop action with ladyfish but never hooked into another red.
With high water and the redfish moving around, it will be necessary to cover a lot of water to find the right spot. Nearly everywhere you go, there are huge schools of mullet. Not all of the bait schools are holding fish and having the right glasses will allow you to see into the water so you can tell what you are casting to. With lots of floating grass, topwater plugs are useless in most places. Use a DOA Chughead or Baitbuster if you want some great surface action. Diving birds can signal schools of jacks and ladyfish which can provide some welcome rod bending when everything else is slow.
Capt. Chris MyersNew Smyrna Beach Fishing Guide