There is still much speculation going around about the effects of the big freeze we experienced at the beginning of the year. While the full extent of the damage may not be known for quite some time, I can say with confidence that the populations of adult redfish and black drum are alive and well. We have been seeing hundreds of fish each trip roaming the shallow flats. From big schools of redfish and drum to singles and small groups, the fish have been active, feeding, and generally happy. The weather has been the biggest foe with temperatures on many days 15-20 degrees below average. Water temperatures during the past week have been staying around 50 and the fish do not seem to mind at all.
On a trip last week, Canadians Emile and Serge joined me on a blustery day. The wind were topping 20 and the flats were dirty. With only one other boat in sight the entire day we had the water to ourselves. Both guys caught several nice redfish including an 11 and 22 pounder.
This past Sunday, I went out on a windy 33 degree morning with my Friend Capt. Drew. We started spotting tailing redfish almost immediately and they were willing to eat a three inch DOA CAL in Arkansas Glow. We visited four spots and found three of them full of redfish catching multiple fish along the way.
Monday brought some of the nicest weather we have had in quite some time. Sunny skies and light winds made for some excellent sight fishing. Wilson and Tyler had spent the previous day at the Daytona 500 and wanted to experience the Mosquito Lagoon before returning to Pennsylvania. As soon as we started fishing, we found ourselves surrounded by schools of fish. Tyler hooked up with a redfish on his first cast. Wilson landed his first red a while later. They had steady shots at redfish throughout the day including some schools of 20-30 pound fish.
Yesterday, 16 year old Cameron joined me on his first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. An experienced offshore angler, he wanted to try some inshore sight fishing. The skies were clear but the wind blew hard the whole day. Despite having to battle the wind, Cam made some great casts to tailing fish and landed four redfish from 27-41 inches.
Water levels in Mosquito Lagoon remain much higher than normal for this time of year. Most of the redfish we have been finding have been in 12-18 inches of water with plenty of grass. High winds have made casting light baits difficult but a 3 inch CAL tail on a 1/4 ounce jig works well. The key when using a setup like this with an exposed hook is to not let the bait settle down in the grass until it is near the fish. On days with lighter winds, the DOA shrimp will be hard to beat.