Fishing for redfish and trout in the Mosquito Lagoon and north Indian River remains consistent with fish willing to eat throughout the day despite the high water temperatures. A few large tarpon have made their way into the Lagoon but I have yet to see them in significant concentrations. It is the time of year when you may cross paths with a large tarpon almost anywhere. If you want to catch these fish, you will need to carry a stout rod rigged with a heavy leader. Smaller trout and ladyfish are continuing to feed on the schools of glass minnows and can provide some great action if your redfish plan does not work out.
Last Saturday, I joined Capt. Ron Presely on board his 22 Pathfinder out of Port Canaveral. We had hopes of finding some tarpon and were not disappointed. We never ventured more than 100 yards from the beach the entire day. I threw sinking DOA Baitbusters in black and silver and pearl/green back and had 13 bites, jumped 11, but only got one to the boat. The fish were from 30-100 pounds and were much more aggressive than usual despite the lack of baitfish schools in the area. We also caught a few jacks and ladyfish between tarpon bites for an outstanding day on the water.
On Sunday, I returned to the same area hoping to experience more of the same. Almost all the tarpon had vanished and we only had shots at two. Bluefish and jacks were plentiful but bluefish and sift plastics do not go well together.
Tuesday, I was joined by Diane and David, fly fishers from western Canada. Our plan was to start the day off catching some ladyfish and trout but it was tough finding the glass minnows in the morning chop. Diane managed to catch a trout, jack, and a catfish on a chartreuse clauser minnow. We spent the next couple hours throwing flies at some small tarpon that were rolling among several manatees. The closest thing to a bite we got was a manatee who tried chewing on my push pole. Next, it was off to look for some redfish. We saw quite a few, both tailing and cruising. The speed and accuracy of presentation required to catch these fish was not something my Canadian guests were used to doing. A bite from a redfish eluded us but we had fun trying.
Friday, I fished with Debbie, from Orlando, who wanted to try some sight fishing. We started off with a school of big redfish but our attempts to catch them were thwarted by some inconsiderate anglers spooking them with their motor. We left that school to look for look for others and soon found a fair number of happy fish in about two feet of water. As we were approaching a group of 5-6 redfish, we nearly bumped into a 60 pound tarpon lying motionless on the flat far from any deep water. I'm not sure who scared who more but the tarpon left a huge hole in the water as he raced off the flat. The tarpon managed to spook off the redfish but they settled down soon enough. Debbie cast to a cruising red with a 4 inch DOA CAL in a new color called stark naked. This color mimics a small finger mullet and the redfish grabbed it the instant it touched the water.
We made a short move and found a school of bigger redfish and Debbie made short work of a 21 pound 38 inch fish.
Debbie sight cast to another nice redfish using a 5 inch CAL in greene for her third red of the day. She caught a few trout throwing 3 inch CAL tails and some Capt. Joe's Shredders on jig heads to finish the day.