Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report July 2014
The Heat of The Summer
is upon us and the fishing has been just as hot. it is the perfect time to write a Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report.
The image above is a small example of the early morning scenery with giant red fish backs creasing the surface and their tails flailing around as they search for something to nibble on. Red fish of this size are very intelligent in our area and need to be approached with patience in mind and your presentation needs to be flawless at times. These fish will take artificial lures early using surface plugs especially if there is a lot of mullet present. Some of my favorite surface baits are the Unfair Lures Dinkum mullet, DOA Lures shallow runner baitbuster, Super Spook Jr., or a Mirro mullet for a more subtle approach.
Once they are aware of your presence the live baits have been the ticket from live finger mullet, pin fish, and cut bait.These fish have been found in both the Indian River Lagoon and the Mosquito Lagoon and for a few months now and tend to stick around in one area to long in my opinion and once people start to find out about them they get hammered everyday. This again brings me back to the approach of these fish. I see a lot of people chase these fish around on trolling motors and way to fast on the push pole making their attitudes change dramatically from day to day. Its simple once you are aware of the area on the flat they like shut the boat off a good distance away and approach them on the push pole and if there is another boat working the area give them their space by going somewhere else. When poling your boat avoiding hull slap is crucial and and going slow on the pole as well so you do not create any pressure waves from the hull that will give you away. Once in position take some time just to watch them and understand their movement and this will help you to decide how to feed them. Also remember when leaving pole away from the fish a good distance before you jump on plane just something else you can do to eliminate more pressure on the fish. Using these techniques will allow you to catch more then one at times and keep the school happy without chasing them around.Through the month of August continue to target areas with lots of bait activity on the flats and the edges. The red fish and trout will not be far from large concentrations of mullet and can be caught on a variety of soft plastics, hard baits, and live baits. Look for the fishing to be best from early to late morning in the shallows then move to a little deeper water like the edges of the flats or flats in the 2-3ft range where the water is cooler and the levels of oxygen are higher. Schools and small groups of black drum have been roaming the flats as well which is usually more of a winter/spring pattern but I'm not complaining. They have been very cooperative eating live baits and flies. For the live baits either a tail hooked shrimp or a dead shrimp have worked best and as for flies small dark shrimp and crab patterns have been best. Small tarpon in the 4-10lb range have also been feeding well and can be seen rolling up shallow in good numbers in both Lagoons.
For Spin Tackle
The DOA lures shad tail rigged weedless on an unweighted owner hook and worked on the surface will make for some great strikes or rigged weedless on 1/16 oz owner hook and cast just in front of the rolling tarpon and just swim the bait with a steady retrieve and you should get a reaction.So far so good with the water water quality in both the Lagoons this summer and no signs of an algae bloom like the past two years. The water temps have stayed cooler for the most part this summer do the higher water and a good amount of rain fall unlike years past when the algae bloom started showing signs when the water levels were low and the salinity levels were high do to the lack of rain and then we would get a few days of torrential down pours causing run off and the blooms would start. As of know it seems just like a typical summer here with some dirty water in a few places and really clean water in others…..all we can do is hope it remains this way through remaining days of the summer!!!!! The month of July has boasted some great catches and here are the stories and images of my trips with my guests. I started out the month with Glen and his daughter Alex from the UK who both had very limited knowledge when it came to fishing but that was not a problem. We were greeted with north to northeast winds all morning gusting to 20mph which is unusual this time of the year but we made it work. They both landed a few red fish and trout on live baits and had a great time doing it.
A few days later I took out Chad and his two boys Cam and Cale who were in New Smyrna Beach visiting for the July 4th holiday. High winds again but from the SW 15-20 and the red fish were hungry these guys all got a chance to pull on some fish landing 11 red fish from 5-10lbs all on live baits. Here they are with a few of their fish!
The following day was July 4th and I had some long time regular clients from FL, Charles and his two boys William and Nolan. A few weeks back William and his cousin and uncle fished with me and William caught a nice 42lb red fish. We started out fishing for smaller red fish where I had caught good numbers they day prior and it wasn't long and we were hooked up.
After catching their share of red fish and trout they were bored and Charles and Nolan were tired of hearing about Williams big red he caught a few weeks back and they wanted their shot at hooking a few. I told them being this late in the morning and all the boat traffic odds are boats were probably already fishing on the large fish but they insisted we go……..so here were are leaving fish to find fish! It was about a 20 min ride south and when we arrived there was no other boats around. I jumped up on the platform and began looking for signs of these giant red fish. It was tough to spot them in the chop especially with the cloud cover in place. We almost gave up the search and I spotted them and Nolan was the first to hook up.
After a few quick photos and a healthy release we started our search again. Those fish swam out deep off the edge of the flat and were not easy to spot. Nearing the end of the trip we gave it just a few more minutes and I'm glad we did because they came back up shallow and started to tail. Still a little choppy we had to get in range for a cast and keep the boat quiet in the waves. We came into casting range and this time it was Charles turn and he made a good cast without spooking the group and seconds later the drag was screaming. This was a good fish and finally came boat side after 15mins of pulling. Not a bad way to end the trip and they got their wish!!
Chris and his daughter Amy joined for a day on the Mosquito Lagoon and were blessed with nice conditions. With the light winds I decided to head down and check on some big tailing red fish. We made the run and the fish were as happy as can be and putting on a great show for us with their backs and tails out of the water. Here are a few pictures of Amy with her first red fish ever and her followed by an even larger one.
Chris finally got his turn and landed a nice one too.
We finished the trip targeting some smaller red fish up shallow before being chased off by the rain.
Rob from NJ came down to New Smyrna Beach for a little vacation and some fly fishing. The conditions were excellent and fish were super sensitive. We had to work hard for our fish and it payed off with Robs first red fish ever.
It was a learning curve for Rob to spot the fish in time to make a quick shot but managed a few good shots to only be refused. We switched to throwing DOA Lures paddle tail rigged weedless along the edges of the flat while I try to spot fish. We started getting good shots at red fish and trout on top of a sand bar seeing them laid up from a good distance. Rob finished the trip sight casting a few nice reds and trout.
The next day I fished with Larry and his son Richard from FL. They live in the SE region of Florida and are experiencing terrible water quality do to the massive amounts of fresh water being dumped into the river from Lake Okeechobee. They said the fishing has been terrible at home and the water quality was nothing like they had ever seen so they made the trek north to check out the Mosquito Lagoon and were both in shock at how clean our water was. We had a pretty slow day to say the least and started by targeting some big reds. Neither one of them had red fish tails like they saw that morning. We finally lined up to get the right shot and Larry hooked up.
We gave those fish a little more time to relax but we never hooked another one. We made a move to check out the edge of a flat with lots of mullet that also had reds and trout the day prior. Only seeing a few fish we going to make another move and all of a sudden a couple of hundred jacks came down the edge of the flat eating everything in site and Richard made a cast and hooked up fairly easy. The jacks were moving quick and did not stick around. We made another move and finished trip catching some slot red fish on a shallow flat.
One of my long time regulars Shane from FL joined me and brought along his friend Chris for a little Mosquito Lagoon action. They both fish together quit a bit on Shane's boat and do pretty decent on small reds and trout so the goal today was large red fish. We accomplished that in the first 10 mins of fishing. Here's Chris with his biggest red fish to date.
After hooking this fish we never found the group again so we moved on. We spent a little time on a shallow flat finding some random schools of red fish that were very unsettled and only allowed us to hook one. We then made another move to a flat that had some good numbers of black drum. There we caught quite a few trout between 2-3lbs and got our patience tested with the black drum and only managed one to the boat and pulled the hook on a few others. We didn't have much time remaining in the trip so moved out to another flat to target big reds. No other boats around and very happy red fish just tailing away and could be seen from 75yds. Excitement mounted as we moved closer and close was an understatement they how now care in the world we were there and didn't mind eating our live baits either. Chris hooked up first.
After landing the fish that Chris caught the fish went right back to tailing this time Shane was taking the shots. Cast after cast Shane was getting denied and lost his patience and let Chris step up to take the bow again. Clear skies and slick conditions the shot had to be just right and just moments after Shane stepping down Chris hooked up again to complete the trip.
The following day I took out Kane from New Zealand who was in Orlando for the 2014 Icast show representing Accurate Fishing Reels. We took our time through the day working some big red fish and taking just the right shots. This was a unique experience for Kane seeing fish of this size in clear shallow water. Here's Kane with his first red fish of the day.
We moved from one school to the next trying to stay on cooperative fish.
Kane was having a blast pulling on these giant reds and although we didn't catch a bunch we caught some nice ones. I had a great time fishing with Kane and hope he gets to return before to long. Here's the final fish of the trip.
Kane saying farewell till next time.
Art and his uncle Sammy from NJ joined me for a short morning trip in the Indian River Lagoon. I started them out throwing soft plastics catching trout after trout for the first hour while looking for red fish. They were great anglers and they fish together a lot at home for crappy and bass. This would be their first experience at shallow water sight fishing. After catching some trout and not seeing any signs of the reds yet we moved on to small tarpon. They were rolling everywhere but being pretty picky. Art had one track his plastic all the way to the boat and ate within feet but missed the bait. We made another move to a flat like for sight fishing reds to only find two large schools of black drum. They were hungry and bent the rods!
After catching a few the fish stayed on the move and were not willing play nice anymore so we moved back to a flat to look for some big reds before heading in. The fish were not showing themselves but I new their routine so we placed out some live baits and Sammy hooked and landed his first red fish ever to complete the trip.
The next day Champ and his dad Kamren joined for a day of fly fishing. Champ was the fly angler and dad was just along for the ride. I told Champ about the juvenile tarpon and was excited unfortunately his cast could not be delivered quickly and accurately for the small rollers so I switched him over to a spinning rod and after a bit he got one.
We spent the day doing a little more sight fishing with the fly rod so Champ could get a feel for it but with no success. We switched back to plastics catching a good handful of small trout. Just before finishing the trip we noticed pelicans diving on a bunch of mullet and all around the pelicans we could see a bunch of surface strikes. We moved closer and realized it was a couple of 100 jacks so we could not pass it up. Here's Champ with a nice jack he managed from the large school.
I spent the next two days with Shane a regular from FL. He was on vacation in New Smyrna Beach with his family so we broke up the days with three people each day for a morning trip on Mosquito Lagoon. Both days I picked them up at JB's Fish Camp and made a very short run and we bent the rods nonstop using live baits catching both red fish and trout. Here are some of their catches from day one.
Day two was much like the first and the fish were chewing. Not a bad way to end the month!!
Start planning your fall trips to East Central Florida and come experience our amazing fishery. The fall tends to be our slow time of the year but is one of my favorite times of the year for fly fishing our area and sight fishing with spin tackle. Thanks for reading and visiting my RightInSightCharters.com!Capt. Justin Price Right In Sight Charters Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Mosquito Lagoon-Indian River Lagoon-New Smyrna Beach www.rightinsightcharters.com [email protected] cell#-386-566-4687 Facebook- RightInSightCharters Instagram- @capt.justinprice