With very low water levels in the Mosquito Lagoon, the redfish have less areas to roam making them easier to find, on most days. Tailing and finning reds have been plentiful. Persistent clouds and haze have been presenting a problem for the past couple weeks. When the fish have not been tailing, they are nearly impossible to see unless the sun is out. When sight fishing, good visibility is extremely important. Despite the sometime challenging conditions, we caught fish every day.
Last Monday returned for their second trip to the Mosquito Lagoon with me. We started the day looking for big redfish. We did not find the fish we were looking for but we did find multiple schools of 5-10lb reds. Unfortunately, the fish were not in the mood to eat. After repeated refusals, we moved on to look for other fish. We found plenty of redfish in our second spot. Most of them, however, seemed to be taking a mid-morning nap. We came upon fish after fish that were lying motionless with their heads in the grass, seemingly unaware of our presence. We did encounter some that were cruising in the shallow grass but did not connect. Spot three held a couple schools that spooked before Bob could get a hookup. As time ran out, we moved to deeper water and caught some trout on the Deadly Combo to end the day.
Tuesday, my charter cancelled just as I was leaving my house. I decided to go fishing instead of returning to bed. I hoped to find some tarpon in Mosquito Lagoon. I did see a few large fish but not enough to cast at. I tied on a DOA Chug Head and worked the edge of a flat holding mullet and landed a 24 and 27 inch trout. A couple redfish and a dozen spotted and silver trout later, I called it a day.
Thursday, I was joined by Ken and his son Levi. We found a school of redfish at our first spot and Levi got his first two Mosquito Lagoon redfish.
Thick clouds made sight fishing difficult but we did see plenty of very shallow tailing reds. We managed to get three more before the day was through.
Friday, I was part of a multi-boat outing. I fished local residents Scott and John. The morning began with several schools of happily finning redfish, Scott was soon connected with one.
After releasing that fish, Scott soon landed another before the schools moved on. We spent the next couple hours casting to tailing and cruising reds in the shallow grass. Scott ended up getting one more redfish to the boat.
This Monday, I went on another tarpon hunting excursion in Mosquito Lagoon. Like the last one, I saw a few large fish in various places but got shots at none of them. I did encounter several schools of happy redfish and landed 3 on a Baitbuster along with 3 more on fly.
Tuesday, I fished with Canadian angler Doug and his sons Iain and Nairn. Their goal was to catch a Mosquito Lagoon redfish on fly. Doug was first to hook up with an EP mullet style fly. Both of his sons followed up with reds of their own on the same pattern.
Later in the day we target some very shallow tailing and cruising reds. We switched to a green and copper bendback pattern and Doug hooked his second red of the day.
We added a couple more redfish and trout on the spinning rod for an excellent day on the Lagoon.
Wednesday, I was joined by Eric and his son Malcolm. On the very first cast of the day, Malcolm brought his DOA Baitbuster across a school of finning redfish. We watched the fish inhale the bait off the surface and soon his drag was screaming. The fish measured 44 inches and was his largest fish to date.
Throughout the rest of the day, they had shots at schools of redfish and black drum and some tailing redfish. Unfortunately, Malcolm's redfish was the only one landed but it was certainly a good one. We ended on a positive note catching some trout on Cal's and the Deadly Combo.
With the fish having been plentiful the past three days, I called my friends Captains Duber and Ray Winters and told them they should drive up from their home in Stuart and get in on the action. With thick clouds covering the sky all day, our hopes of a great day of sight fishing were looking slim. I told them not to worry as there were hundreds of tailing fish the past two days. We searched and searched and only saw an occasional tail break the surface only to vanish when we got near. Fortunately, as fellow fishing guides, they were all to familiar with, "you should have been here yesterday." Both guys managed to land a redfish but it was certainly not what I had hoped for.