Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report Winter January 2015
While the rest of the country is feeling the effects of Winter here in Florida we’ve enjoyed most days in the 70’s with only a hand full of cold fronts that have only given us some mornings in the 40’s. The water levels in the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon are still higher then average but have finally dropped a bit. The water is really clean in most areas and the fish are finally becoming predictable with our consistent weather patterns. Black drum have been seen in both Lagoons in great numbers. When these fish are approached correctly they will put on a show tailing as they feed on the bottom. They can be caught in a variety of ways from live baits, artificial, and flies. When spin fishing for black drum with clients its been hard to beat throwing a live or dead shrimp slightly weighted in front of them as they graze the flats. Also gulp shrimp rigged either weedless for the grassy bottoms or on a jig head over the sand and mud bottom. Fly anglers are having good success on dark colored shrimp and crab patterns worked slow and the weight varies depending on depth and wind. Fishing for black drum will continue to be good now through March in both Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Lagoon and north around oyster bars in Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach.
Winter water levels
Still above normal schools of redfish can be found scattered deep in the backcountry in sloughs, and sand holes where most Winters are not able to be fished. Despite those areas fishing early on the deeper edges of the flats and sloughs is producing as these fish lay deeper over night and come up shallow as the day heats up. Cooler water temps slow the fish down so working the baits slow is imperative. As the sun gets up on those blue bird days the fish will become more active and chase the baits down a little quicker. When using live baits shrimp and small finger mullet have produced well. Casting live shrimp in front of schooling redfish should bend your rod depending on how you approach them but usually at least one fish out of the group will take the bait. If the fish are being skittish on calmer days make sure to keep your distance and figure out their routine and place the baits accordingly well out in front of the fish…..if you make it their decision to eat and not yours your success will increase. When throwing artificial lures to the schools of redfish when up shallow I’ve been using DOA 3″ paddle tails and DOA 3″ shrimp rigged weedless, when working the deeper sand holes and edges RONZ Lures rigged on 1/16oz to 1/4oz hook up jig heads have been producing great and am very impressed with the action of the bait and reaction from the fish. Redfish flies that are working best have been small on size 4 and 6 hooks imitating shrimp and crabs with different weights depending on depths and wind conditions. Lighter to natural colors are working best worked slow while prospecting and adjust speeds when judging the mood of the fish when the sun is high enough to see fish moving.
Finding big trout up shallow has not been a challenge recently and depending on water temps they will eat good. Keeping a great distance between you and the trout is highly important and using a light and long leader helps too. Most of the trout have been found around the shallow grass in the sand holes in small groups, and swimming over sand bottom with large schools of mullet. Also look over mud bottom flats following days of cooler temps where they move into stay warm, but can be a bit lethargic and not willing to eat. Live baits of choice have been finger mullet and live shrimp and as for flies dark redfish sliders and EP baitfish in natural to dark colors. Look for all these patterns above to continue in the Mosquito and Indian River Lagoon through early Spring.
My first trip of the year was spent with my son Hayden on Mosquito Lagoon casting live shrimp and soft plastics to schooling redfish. Here he is admiring the blue hued tail that was very vibrant.
We had multiple double headers….here’s Bruce with a nice fish and Doug in the background hooked up.
Russel who was in town for business joined me for a short 4hr morning trip and once the sun came up a bit we were able to get some great shots and landed his first redfish on fly.
Fly Fishing & Light Tackle
Mosquito Lagoon-Indian River Lagoon-New Smyrna Beach