The past two weeks have brought some cold north winds to east central Florida dropping both the water temperature and level. The extreme low water has many of the areas we had been fishing high and dry, Water temps are hovering in the mid 50's and the wind has been a factor on several recent trips. Despite the conditions, the fishing has been quite good.
Last week, Capt Tom Van Horn and I fished the Mosquito Lagoon on a cold and cloudy day. The overnight low was 37 degrees dropping the water to 48. We saw redfish chasing small minnows on an extremely shallow flat and both Capt. Tom and I hooked up with several redfish using soft plastic crabs and shrimp. Tom took over poling duties while I got out the flyrod and a few minutes later I landed a nice trout on a green deer hair slider.
We moved to another location and found a school of black drum. Tom caught one on a soft plastic shrimp and I landed one on a crab fly.
Last Friday, Richard from Wales joined me for a late afternoon trip in Mosquito Lagoon. We tried to find the black drum but were unsuccessful. Wind and clouds made the sight fishing difficult but our second stop held a few redfish, Rich did not hook up with the reds but caught a few trout using a gold DOA CAL that were holding in shallow sand holes.
Saturday, Jesse from Orlando decided to brave the cold and high winds which were forecast. Despite the weather, he was able to land two nice redfish with a gold DOA CAL tail. Just as we came upon several schools of reds crashing small baits, lightning forced us off the water.
Tuesday, I fished with John from Colorado. It was windy and cold but the fish didn't seem to mind. John landed seven redfish and one trout.
Wednesday, Jay and Blair, on vacation from New York, took their first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. We began the morning by fishing several schools of large reds and black drum. Although we had little problem finding the fish, they did not seem to be in the mood to eat. We gave up on those fish and went in search of some easier targets. We saw redfish on the shallow flats throughout the morning but they were extremely spooky. The father and son team gave it their best but the fish were not making it easy for first time sight casters and we landed none. I stayed on the water after dropping them off and was able to find a school of large reds sunning themselves in a sand hole. I was able to pull one 38" fish out of the school before heading for home.
Thursday, I fished the Indian River on a beautiful winter day. My second cast with a black and silver DOA Baitbuster was crushed by a 40" redfish. After landing that fish, I threw several flies, lures, and even fresh crab to them but had no other bites. Unfortunately, my attempt at a self portrait did not work out as well as I had planned but you get the idea.
In addition to the flats, I have made several trips to the St. John's River during the past two weeks looking for shad. Although I have not gone fishless, the shad run has not turned on quite yet. The shad I have caught have been on small chartreuse jigs or flies. These same lures have also been taking bass, bluegill, speckled perch, and assorted bream. Reports indicate the shad are there one day and gone the next. Hopefully, it will turn on soon.