I spent three days this week looking for tarpon with mixed results. Although there are a lot of places holding a few tarpon, there have been few places holding a lot of tarpon. The redfish and trout, however, continue to be plentiful.
Tuesday, I headed north to the Tomoka River near Daytona. Paul and I planned on catching a few tarpon and maybe some snook. During four hours of searching, we saw only a handful of tarpon. Most of them were too far away to reach and we left there without a bite. In an attempt to salvage the day, we drove down to Mosquito Lagoon. We tried two spots and found multiple schools of redfish at each location. I used a 5 inch DOA CAL in greene with a Woodies rattle to land the first two fish. I then switched to a gold Baitbuster and we landed ten redfish during the next couple hours. Working the lure right on the surface drew some spectacular strikes as the fish were quite aggressive.
Wednesday, I searched some of my favorite tarpon spots in the Indian River and did not see a single one. I threw the holographic shrimp for a while catching one redfish, one trout and several ladyfish before giving up.
Thursday, I headed south of Melbourne, again, looking for tarpon. This time, I found at least enough to cast to. The strong winds was keeping the fish from rolling as much as I had hoped but there were many more fish than I had seen the previous two days. I landed two tarpon of about 30 pounds on a black and gold Baitbuster and jumped a few more on the holographic DOA shrimp. A tiny TerrorEyz accounted for a few ladyfish and one snook that were feeding on schools of glass minnows.
Friday, I fished Tom and Bill in the Mosquito Lagoon. Unusually high boat traffic had us scrambling for a fishing spot. Bill landed a nice trout on his first cast with the gold Baitbuster and Tom followed with a ladyfish and trout. They had a few shots at some passing schools of reds but did not hook up. We moved on and found a school of bigger reds and Tom had one eat his Baitbuster but the hook did not stick. For the next couple hours, they had shots at both singles and schools of reds. Tom landed one red before we gave up and moved on to some trout fishing. Both guys caught some trout on three inch CAL tails in assorted colors.
Low water levels and high grass on the flats have made many areas difficult to fish. A lure that is rigged weedless is essential when fishing shallow. The edges of flats where the bottom transitions to a mixture of sand and grass has been the most productive for both reds and trout.