Space Coast Fishing Report from Capt. John Kumiski 4/14/08
Tarpon time (May and June) is closing in. Call now to reserve your dates!
I got an email from a gentleman last week. He wanted me to donate a fishing trip to his daughter. Here is part of the text of his email:
“My name is Stuart Patterson. I'm a local fishermen and father. My daughter Holly Patterson is having her third annual Charity Yard Sale and Raffle on May 17th-18th at the Masonic Lodge on Dairy Road in Melbourne. ALL proceeds of this fund raiser are donated to the American Syringomyelia Alliance Project (http://www.asap.org) to fund medical research. Holly has had fifteen spinal and brain surgeries. She decided early on to actively raise money for medical research; research that will help her and others like her. Her goal is $20,000 before she graduates high school. You can read about her and find links to local newspaper articles about her at her website http://www.helpholly.org.”
I get requests like this all the time, as well as all the scam phishing emails. Anyone who doesn’t keep their guard up during their on-line communications is being foolish. So, since he had the links there, I checked them out.
It’s legit, and heart-rending. Still in high school, Holly has already had fifteen spinal and brain surgeries. Holly wants to raise $20,000 to help fund research into Syringomyelia, with which she’s afflicted. Twenty thousand dollars! Athletes make more than that for playing one game. My heart went out to her immediately, and I sent her a certificate for the trip.
If any readers can do anything to help Holly, a check, a merchandise donation, anything, please contact her through her website, www.helpholly.org.
It will make you feel good to help.
Now about the fishing, a less important topic-
The water in the lagoons has come up over a foot in the past week. Places that were dry a few days ago are now fishable by any shallow draft boat, opening up many areas to fish, and fishermen, that have seen neither in months.
Tuesday, sunny day, real windy, blowing over 20. Dr. Matt Genovese and his father spent the day on the Mitzi in the Mosquito Lagoon, blowing from one spot to the next. I realized that day that I need to get a Power Pole. I didn’t want to admit it, but there is no longer any getting around it.
We found a few fish. Matt got a beautiful trout, four pounds or so, on a silver Johnson Minnow. Then Dad hooked a nice red on an identical bait. I stopped the boat while he fought it, and sadly the hook pulled out. They got four more hits on the spoons, and missed three. Just before quitting time Matt got a slot red, which ended a tough day on an up note. They were great guys to have in the boat, very interesting to talk to. Dad is the guy who invented the Liquid Crystal Display! Now I need to fish the guy who invents a cranial chip that will let me remember people’s names.
Thursday Michael Stanton and his twelve year old son Michael Stanton spent a half day with me on the Mitzi on the Indian River Lagoon. I had gotten a hot tip that there were big ladyfish on the surface, feeding under birds, off of Kennedy Point. The perfect thing for a twelve year old! I ran down there to check it out. We found a few fish and birds around the sunken islands. It was very sporadic and very short lived. We tried to fish beneath the birds but they were moving fast and we didn’t get a bite. After poling and looking for redfish a while I found a small school of fatties. Even chunking them we didn’t get a bite. Michael did get several quality puffers though, and we had fun watching them blow up like balloons.
Resuming the hunt, we found a flat with beautiful, clear water and decent numbers of both trout and reds. Michael got a red on a chunk, the only one we got before running out of time.
Friday was the nicest day in weeks, bright sun, very few clouds, and almost no wind. I was expecting great things. Jeff Guernin and his father, George, joined me on the Indian River Lagoon. The first spot we checked had more boats than fish, and we quickly left. The second spot was loaded with big trout. George hooked and lost one on a jerk bait, and then Jeff hooked and lost one on a chunk. Then George became ill and we had to go in. I felt bad for him. George, I want to see you again when you’re feeling better!
Friday night I attended the Orlando CCA Barbeque. There were a lot of people there, lots of beautiful art, fishing tackle, boating stuff, etc. Of course the raffle ticket girls were outstanding! It was a real nice event, and I hope to attend next year. Thanks to CCA for inviting me!
Saturday friend Karl Dienst and his friend Mark joined me. Again the weather was beautiful, and you know what that means on a Saturday! We tried a couple spots in the Mosquito Lagoon and found almost nothing. So we decided to go to where the trout had been the day before. When we got there it was after 10 AM and there were four boats in there. All but one left as we idled in. Need I say the fish weren’t there?
We went back to the Mosquito Lagoon under a freshening wind. We found a flat that was just covered up with (very nervous) redfish. We had quite a few shots, and lots of refusals and flushed fish. Mark had a strike on a black Bunny Booger. Mark is a trout fisherman and raised the rod tip instead of strip striking. He missed the fish. That turned out to be the only strike we got in spite of being in the fish for about three hours.
Sunday the forecast was for cold, overcast, and a hard north wind, with a 30 percent chance of rain. Ray Kaatz, a fly fisher from Illinois, joined me on the Mosquito Lagoon. The weather was exactly as predicted. We were pretty much relegated to searching on lee shorelines, both to stay out of the wind, and because that was the only place we might actually see a fish before running it over. We started up in the pole troll area and ended up down in Eddy Creek, hunting all day long. We did have a few shots and Ray got a small red on a black Bunny Booger (BBB). The rain started just in time to make the long, windy ride back a long, windy, miserably cold and wet ride back. We’re manly men, we made it OK.
Monday Ray was out with me again. It was cool but the sun was out and so were the fish. Ray hooked and lost a red right away, and then got one in the slot, again on the BBB. We worked over the same area diligently, and the fish responded by vacating. So we changed spots.
The second spot we tried (and we stayed there the rest of the day) was full of tailing fish. They weren’t little mamby-pamby tailers, either- when they ate something you could hear the splash from 150 feet away. They were working in singles and small groups, wallowing around like pigs. It was without a doubt the best tailing action I’ve seen in the ML in 10 years or so.
Now, that having been said, it doesn’t mean they were easy. If I stayed on the poling tower we couldn’t get a shot. I had to pole the boat from the stern deck (and that poling tower is very in the way if you’re not standing on it), getting upwind of the fish and drifting down on them until we were in Ray’s casting range. Then I’d stake out the boat and let him have at it. He picked up two nice slot fish this way, both on an olive colored Slider.
The wind kept freshening and the clouds started rolling in. The last hour was a wash. We just kept blowing out fish we couldn’t see. We decided to bag it a 4 PM.