March 19th, 2013 Orlando Saltwater Fishing Guide Report
We are not that much further from summer now! I do not know about the rest of you but I cannot wait, warm summer breezes, afternoon storms, longer days. The feel of that summer sun on your skin is what Florida is all about. The warm months send chills throughout the backcountry flats and will bring on some of the best fishing here in east central Florida yet to arrive. It will not be long until tarpon begin to show up along the coastal beaches. However with this being said it does not mean that the past few weeks have been bad. In all aspects of things, it has actually been very great!
Despite having extremely strong winds the past weeks, northwest and north winds mostly, the fishing has been on fire. High north type winds like this will push the water out of the Mosquito Lagoon and the northern portions of the Indian River. What does this mean you should ask? Well low water levels. Obviously, however that also means areas were the fish were or could get too are no longer accessible. In a sense of things certain dining areas are closed for them.
However the past few days here we are getting winds from a southerly flow, which will bring water levels up to certain degrees. The new feeding grounds have been reopened for business. Unfortunately this also seems to tell some boaters to run anywhere they feel like.
Taking these factors into consideration, the charters I have been on have been getting great numbers of schooling redfish, black drum and finding some very nice spotted seatrout throughout the backcountry grass flats. It does not matter if you are fishing the Oak Hill/Edgewater area or the New Smyrna Beach area. This is including the western shores and grass flats, of Titusville and Mims areas as well. The fish have been everywhere within the lagoon systems.
The redfish are ranging in size from a few pounds to 15 pounds or so. A few up and down from that mark as well. Using DOA CALs mostly, along with DOA Shallow Running Baitbusters, as always rigged (just the CALSís) with a weed-less hook configuration. Sight fishing them is of course the only preferable way to go. Once the fish are located your angle on getting them depends on your ability to remain stealthy, taking your time, distance if need be and of course that targeted shot. If you cast to fish, I do not care if you have a $5 live jumbo shrimp on there, if you are 50 feet from them, well like I say, the tail does not eat. So practice your casts, just as if your practice your golf shots.
Mixed in with the redfish on the flats will be the black drum and the seatrout. The black drum can be very skittish most of the time and require a special tactic of finesse and that sweet approach to them. Try using a DOA shrimp or even a live shrimp on a small 2/0 or so circle hook. For those of you wanting to cast the fly, use a small black crab pattern. Smaller shrimp patterns will work just as well, just mind the back cast and the line management.
The sea trout will appear and disappear as you are looking for both reds and drum. They are as I like to say the Delta Force of the flats. The main ingredient with getting one is to just take as much time as needed. Do not rush it. Watch the edges of pot holes/sand holes not far from drop offs or in secluded areas. Last but not least, presentation and the cast that threads the needle. Make sure you handle them very carefully as for their release and survival rate.
Please be sure to handle all of the fish you catch with the utmost care and caution. Pictures should be taken horizontally at all times after wetting your hands. You want to be sure that upon their release the survival rate of them is the most important thing. If not there will be none left for the future. Practice catch and release and the future of the fisheries will be safer than not doing this. This I promise you.
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
Florida Inshore Fishing Charters
Saltwater Flats Fishing Near Orlando Florida