On Monday of this week, Canadian fly angler Dave Evans joined me in Mosquito Lagoon. For most of the day, we had moderate winds and clear skies. Dave had consistent shots at single redfish throughout the day. The fish were spooky and always seemed to change direction just as Dave's leader touched the water. Dave made a nice cast with a crab fly to a redfish of about 28 inches that was tailing. The fish picked up the fly and headed straight at the boat. Before Dave could get the hook set, the fly came out. He stuck with the fly rod all day but we never managed to get a fish to the boat.
Wednesday, visitors Joe and Monroe lucked into a perfect morning in Mosquito Lagoon. The skies were blue and the water was smooth as glass. At our first spot, we were greeted by the sight of redfish backs and tails in almost every direction. The fish were in groups of 10-100. They were not the biggest fish around, but they were happy and plentiful. The guys were a bit rusty at first as they had not fished much since last year. Once they got dialed in, however, the fish started coming to the boat.
They landed eight redfish from various schools casting 5 inch DOA CAL tails. Joe left behind some 40 degree weather in Pennsylvania for some great fishing in sun and 75 degrees. Not a bad trade! Later, we went in search of some bigger reds. We didn't find them but the guys did land a few trout.
Friday, Joe and Monroe returned for round two. Unfortunately, a front had moved through the night before bringing us clouds and high winds. We didn't see the large numbers of fish this day but we made up for it in quality. After loosing a few large trout to long distance releases, Monroe landed a redfish of about 25 inches. A short time later, his drag was screaming and he was hooked up to a much bigger fish. This one measured 37 inches and we estimated its weight around 18 pounds.
Before the day was over, Monroe caught a second large redfish of 36 inches and Joe landed a 26" red. Considering the less than ideal conditions, the day was a success.
With the cooler water temperatures, black drum are returning to the flats. Unlike redfish, which will eat most any type of bait or lure, black drum prefer crustaceans such as shrimp or crabs. They can be caught on fly or soft plastics but your presentation needs to be on the bottom and moving slowly.