The fishing and catching in the Mosquito Lagoon have varied with the weather during the past week. Last Monday, I fished on a breezy day with Scott, Tom, and Smitty from Maryland. We found a school of big redfish at our first stop but, with the sun still low, the guys had a
tough time seeing them and could not quite get a cast in front of the school before they vanished. At our second stop, we had two bites from black drum but the fish shook free before they landed them. This was followed up by a couple of redfish that Scott landed. The third flat produced two progressively bigger redfish, one for Smitty and the biggest one for Tom.
Tuesday and Wednesday brought a cold front with high winds and rain. Thursday was the coldest day of the week with the temperature still at 38 degrees when Blaine and Rick from Indiana stepped onto my boat at 8am. Despite having great visibility, we didn't see a lot of fish but the guys did have shots at small schools of redfish, a few large schools of drum, and singles and pairs of redfish from 5-20 pounds. Rick used a 3 inch DOA CAL in the new watermelon seed color to fool the only redfish we caught all day.
Friday was a bit warmer and I was joined by the father and son team of Pat and Matt from New York City. Matt started the day off on a good note landing an 18 pound black drum. Unfortunately, Matt forgot his polarized glasses and, as the sun got higher, he had a hard
time seeing the fish. Throughout the day, we encountered schools of redfish including one that was holding fish of 15-30 pounds, as well as numerous single redfish and large trout. The lures never quite seemed to get into the fish's strike zone, however and the drum turned out to be the only catch of the day.
Saturday, the weather was perfect. Calm, sunny, and near 80 degrees. I fished with Rich from Connecticut who was enjoying a break from the sub-freezing temperatures. His first cast to a school of fish resulted in a redfish around 17 pounds, his biggest ever.
He followed this up at our second stop by catching another redfish and a trout on a DOA CAL. Rich had some shots at some 30 pound reds but they were put on alert by a boat that drove up on us and would not eat. Rich spent the rest of the day casting to numerous redfish, black
drum, and trout, and managed to land three more reds before we reluctantly called it quits.
By Monday, the nice weather was gone. The winds ahead of an approaching cold front were topping 20 and the clouds were rolling in. Jeff and Vick were some hard core anglers who wanted to give it a try despite the tough conditions. Many of the spots we fished Saturday
were no muddied up by the wind. We did not see a lot of fish and many that we did see were only a few feet from the boat. The guys each caught one redfish and had a few bites before an approaching storm cell chased us back to the ramp.
As the winds calm down and the temperatures rise over the next few days, look for the fish to be back on the shallow flats searching for small crabs. If you are getting good presentations to fish but they will not eat, try using the smallest lure you can effectively cast. Fly fishermen will have good success throwing tiny crab patterns in olive, black or brown. If the water is calm, you may need a leader of 12 feet or more to keep from spooking the fish.
Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Chartershttp://www.floridafishinglessons.com