The weather has been up and down here in east central Florida with some days sunny and warm and others cloudy, cool, and windy. We have been getting decent catches most days despite the weather and high water.
Last Wednesday, Chris, from Buffalo, left the snow behind and joined his friend Debra for a day of fishing Mosquito Lagoon. High winds limited our options but we did manage to catch a black drum around 20 pounds along with a few redfish.
Thursday's weather was terrible but the forecast for Friday looked decent. Dr. John from Texas wanted to try some fly fishing for redfish. Unfortunately, the conditions were not as predicted. Winds of 15-20 made for some tough fly fishing. We saw a few tailing redfish but as the weather deteriorated, so did our shots at fish. We tried our best but ended up skunked.
Monday, the winds were blowing over 20. I fished the St. John's River with friend Paul. The narrow winding stretch of river northeast of Orlando provided some shelter from the wind. We were hoping to target American Shad with fly and ultra light tackle. We caught a lot of fish but only two shad. The variety, however, made up for the lack of the target species. We landed a few speckled perch, eight or nine nice bass, redbreast sunfish, Nile perch, and a few sailfin catfish. These prehistoric looking creatures are often mistakenly called armoured catfish. They have a tough skin and normally feed on algae and other plant material. On this day, however, we caught them on jigs and mini DOA shrimp. Quite an unusual hook and line catch.
On Tuesday of this week, Dr. Valerie F. and her son Matt enjoyed a great day of fishing the Mosquito Lagoon. We started off fishing for some black drum. Matt hooked up first and had a great battle with a fish of 20 pounds.
Next it was Mom's turn and her first black drum turned out to be her biggest fish ever and weighed in at 24 pounds.
We left the drum and went searching for redfish. Our first bite from a big fish ended when the line broke. The next three redfish, however, were brought to the boat by Matt and were between 25 and 33 inches.
Thursday, John from Colorado, joined me for an early star on the Mosquito Lagoon. We found a few schools of redfish at the first stop but they quickly vanished. The next spot was holding numerous single redfish but the clouds prevented us from seeing them before it was too late. By mid day, the clouds parted and John hooked up to a huge redfish that gave his drag quite a workout.This fish nearly filled up my 48 inch landing sling and weighed over 30 pounds.
We ended up catching only one more fish, a 24 inch trout but our lack of numbers was certainly made up for in size.