Orlando Area Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 2/28/10
Last weekís report had me whining about the lack of fish on my late week charters. I had a trip on Monday, Mr. Ed Shea of the great commonwealth of Massachusetts and his grandson A.J. Ed wanted a big redfish for AJ. We couldnít get across the bridge in Titusville (and the bridge is still stuck open as of yesterday and still not passable) so we launched next to the Praxair plant.
It was overcast but not very windy. We ran across the IRL and went through the Haulover Canal. I anchored at the Mosquito Lagoon end of the canal and deployed two bait lines, one with a large chunk of ladyfish, the other with a half blue crab. Thirty minutes passed without a touch, so we pulled anchor. I went to two spots where I had seen large reds recently. We anchored and fished at both after seeing the fish there and did not get a touch.
It was only a half day trip and by now I was thinking ďmaybe we should be happy with just getting a fishĒ so we tried a next-to-shore spot. We could see the fish waking away but fishing with both shrimp and cut ladyfish we did not get touched. Second, similar spot, same deal.
We went through the Haulover Canal and anchored at the Indian River end, putting out two bait lines, one with cut ladyfish and the other with a half crab. Did not get touched. Ed finally said, ďIíve had enough of this.Ē We were utterly skunkified, there was major skunkification going down. Ouch-a-ramA!
Needless to say after getting one small fish in three trips Iím starting to feel completely inadequate.
Wednesday morning the weather was looking pretty good. After taking care of some of lifeís minutia I decided maybe I should just take a kayak to River Breeze and look around. I hadnít done that all winter and needed a break from the books and webinars already! So at 10:50 AM I rolled out of here and drove to Oak Hill, Ocean Kayak strapped to the roof of the chariot.
By noon the boat was in the water. I paddled at least an hour without seeing anything more exciting than mullet. Iím thinking pretty negatively when Holy Cow, thereís a redfish! I was paddling along when I spotted it only about fifteen feet from me. I kept going, then stopped and turned around. Of course it had vacated the vicinity. But it was an honest to God fish, and suddenly things were looking up, if only a little bit.
Ten or so minutes later I paddled over another one. I decided to stand up to see better. What a mistake. I was right in the middle of 20 or 30 fish and they blew out everywhere. I called myself a few choice names, then staked out the boat and got out.
Fifty of so feet away there was a white hole. I figured that might be a likely spot for the spooked fish to run to, so I waded over there. I could see the occasional fish but the water was murky and it was hard to see. I just blind cast into the hole.
On the end of my leader was a fly I havenít tied on in several years, but which apparently has not lost its effectiveness. It was a #4 chartreuse Clouser Minnow. With it I pulled three redfish out of that hole, and missed two more strikes.
Feeling better now I got back in the kayak and got close to the nearest shoreline. Standing up again to see better I poledled along the shoreline. Suddenly, 50 feet away, thereís a fish! Heís in four inches of water! Holy Cow, his back is OUT OF THE WATER! Most unbelievably, HEíS COMING MY WAY!!!
I quickly sat, holding the boat in place with my feet, and made a cast that landed about 20 feet in front of the fish. Patience John, patience, heís coming, heís close, heís there, twitch the fly, rush of fish, boil of water, heís ON YESSSSS!!!!!
It was a gorgeous fish, slightly above the slot, and it had been way too long since I caught a crawler like that. I kissed it and let it go, feeling oh so much better. But not so good I didnít want another one.
A few minutes later on another shoreline, thereís a tail. Dang, itís gone. No there it is again. Paddle to get closer. Gone again. There it is up ahead of you, paddle after it. Try to head it off. There it is again. You have a good angle, stop and cast. Twitch the fly now. Heís there! You got him too! Life is great!!! This one is just slightly smaller, right at the top of the slot. Another kiss, another release.
I was close to a big white hole thatís been good to me in the past. I stood up and floated over the end of it, flushing several fish. I staked out boat and got out, fan casting blindly into the hole.
I missed three strikes and pulled three more reds out of that hole. Being somewhat piggish I wanted to make the total ten, but then chastised myself for even counting. Iím not a fan of counters and was a little embarrassed at myself for doing so. It felt good to get those fish though. Maybe some work at the vise tying #4 chartreuse Clousers is in order, too.
It was getting late, so feeling fairly satisfied I headed back to the dock. It was dark when I got home.
The past three days the weather has been snotarific so Iíve been in the books and on webinars. No fly tying. I feel better about the fishing, and look forward to another kayak trip soon.