Mosquito Lagoon fishing Report
The month of March has passed and what a great month it was with clients and great catches. The weather was still very unpredictable with air temperatures up and down and high winds dominating the majority of the time. Learning to adapt to these conditions on a daily basis and following the fish can be challenging at times but rewarding.
Between cold fronts we have experienced very few calm days and the start of the transition from Winter to Spring is finally here. The Speckled Trout are starting to gorge prior to their spawn feeding on glass minnows, mullet, pin fish, and shrimp. A variety of artificial baits and flies have been working well such as a lot of DOA Lures patterns from paddle tails to jerk shads, and the airheads to baitbusters. The fly patterns that have been working well for me are small clousers, deceivers, and gurglers for the surface strikes.
The weather has really dictated where and how I’ve targeted the redfish this month with a few weeks of high water then the water levels dropping and either trapping fish in places or pushing them out. We also experienced a lack of large redfish schools this Winter with the higher than usual water and warmer water temps. But a few schools stayed together in a few places making for some fun fishing while others started to spread out and roam the flats on their own.
Ken and his on Chris joined me for a windy and rainy day on Mosquito Lagoon. They have been fishing with me annually for 4yrs. now. The winds were strong and limited us on where we could fish. Live finger mullet were the baits of choice in these conditions and helped to boat a few quality fish.
Johuan Brower and repeat client and Striper Guide from Maine joined with one of his clients David for two days in the Mosquito and Indian River Lagoons. David had never fished in shallow water sight fishing for redfish or had never caught a redfish before. The first day welcomed us with a beautiful day with no wind to speak of and some hungry fish. Here’s Dave with his first redfish of the trip and first to date.
The fish were ultra sensitive with the slick conditions and stayed on the move so it was time for us to move. The sun was high enough to sight fish and Dave caught a few using live shrimp.
Later in the afternoon some clouds moved in and we had a slight sea breeze starting. We finished the trip targeting some bigger fish that were tough to see with the clouds. Some days these fish are up shallow and other days staying in about 3-4ft which makes them tough to spot without the sun. Dave was patient in hopes of catching and holding one of our trophy fish and it paid off…..not quite the size we were hoping for but no complaints here or from Dave.
Day two with Johuan and Dave and mother nature was not as nice as the day prior. With an approaching front with rain and winds in the forecast to gust as high as 30mph we had to act fast. We made a few moves with limited success. The clouds and rain helped to fire up the trout bite and we caught 3 nice trout to 4lbs and lost quite a few others. Sorry no pictures of the trout due to the down pour. Once the rained past and the tide came up we moved into a protected cove out of the wind catching a few nice redfish to finish the trip. I think Dave will be back!
Between charters I’ve managed to get in a few days myself and do a little fishing with good friends.
Me and my buddy Brian headed out for a few hours in the Indian River Lagoon and found some nice trout and small groups of redfish. Brian caught a nice trout on a DOA paddle tail in the glow color and a few small redfish on DOA shrimps.
The next day I headed out with my friend Casey. The winds were out of the west at 10-15mph and cloud cover most of the day limited our sight fishing plans. We worked the surface with top water baits with only a few strikes from small trout. We switched to soft plastics and Casey produced a small redfish pretty quick.
The winds kept shifting from the NW to SW and the fish were not showing and the bite was slow. We moved into a few creeks and started to see life from small schools of glass minnows to schools of finger mullet being harassed by hungry seatrout. The trout were coming up underneath the boat chasing mullet to the surface without a care that we were there. Moments later we spotted a good amount of juvenile tarpon rolling. I grabbed the fly rod and grabbed the push pole easing me into casting range. After a few good shots I felt a bump and the line came tight. As I was anticipating some jumps from the tarpon it never happened and as the fish came closer I realized I had a large trout on. After a few good runs and attempts to get away under and around the boat I landed my biggest trout to date on fly….”super exited”.
After all that commotion the majority of the tarpon had moved off but not before Casey hooking one on a DOA jerk shad for a brief second. All in all a great day!
The following day a longtime client and friend Shane joined for a day on the water and the target was big redfish. We caught our first one from a group of tailing fish on a live finger mullet and the surface strike was explosive.
The fish spread out a bit but continued to tail for us allowing us to get shots. Any time they swam near the live baits we hooked up.
A few action shots of the endless endurance from these large redfish.
I was asked to help a fellow guide on a multiple boat charter. Another day with high winds and a lot of boats on the water. But we prevailed catching a few nice redfish while sight fishing with live shrimp and DOA Lures.
Another cold front has passed by and had left us with clear skies, high winds, and cold air temps. Some regular clients of mine Mike and Troy had booked the day and requested another boat for Troy’s parents so my buddy Capt. Joe Roberts had the day available to help. Despite the freezing cold north winds we caught some good fish just before calling it quits by 11am.
Had some regular local clients join me Scott and his two boys Parker and Riley for a day of chasing redfish and trout. We were greeted with some breezy winds and cloudy conditions. We fished areas that had been holding fish using live finger mullet that I caught that morning. We caught a few trout to start and then Scott hooked into a good one.
We stayed a little longer hoping to get another of this size but only had a few more strikes from small trout. We moved to a flat that’s had some tailing redfish lately. We searched for a bit and just as we were getting ready to leave the flat Riley spotted one before I did and made the perfect cast catching and sight casting his first tailing redfish.
It was that time of year again for the Annual Fishing For Freedom Tournament. This was my 3rd year donating my day to the cause guiding wounded veterans and giving them a day to enjoy and remember. My anglers for the day were Harley an d his wife Christie. Harley put in a few years in the army before being badly injured in some intense training. Bad weather was in the forecast with wind and rain. We were able to catch the fish we needed for the tournament and many others as well. We made it off the water before the storms and headed to the weigh in. Overall we took 1st place in the guided division, 2nd place over all, and 2nd place lady angler. My anglers had a great time competing and found a new love for fishing. Here’s Christie a oversize redfish and one of her first.
A few days later some long time regulars Kim, Doug, and Bruce joined me for their yearly outing. They helped to finish the month with a bang catching a bunch of redfish. We started the day fishing a school of about 40 fish landing quite a few. Bruce had the hot hand to start with the first few fish of the morning.
After fishing that school for a bit they were onto us and our plans so we made a move. It only took a few minutes at the next spot before hooking up. Here’s Kim with a nice one.
We caught a few more at this spot before moving on to look for some big redfish. We almost gave up on the big ones and Kim’s finger mullet got blasted on the surface resulting in a nice fight and a giant red to end the trip.
The fishing will continue to heat up through the month of April and May with more predictable weather and fishing patterns. Thanks for reading my blog and visiting my site!Capt. Justin Price
Email: [email protected]