As the cooler months of winter begin to arrive here in central Florida we are expecting some outstanding fishing to come with it. Now, that is not to say that the fishing the past few weeks have been bad, but will just get even better. The forecast I predict is some of the best fishing we have seen in years. This is why winter months of fishing is looked at as some of the best there is in the world.
As in every winter here in the central Florida area on the Mosquito Lagoon and north Indian River we get crystal clear waters that allow for some of the best sight and backcountry flats fishing opportunities the world has to offer. A sport fishing paradise, in the southeast United States, that is sought after worldwide. Bluebird skies, great temperatures and epic fishing is what it is all about. What more could an angler ask for.
The nice thing is about this past year, more specifically the summer and fall, is that the bad algae bloom that has happened the past several years did not occur this time on the Mosquito Lagoon. This brings hope and good feelings of a great forecast ahead of us for the next several months.
The past several weeks have been steady with charters and producing some very decent days on the water. Some days I was fishing the north end of the lagoon near Edgewater and Oak Hill, and then on others finding fish in the river near Titusville and Mims. What does this mean? It means that the fish are spread out and all over the place. Not just in one particular place. This is very good due to the amount of pressure the area gets. (On that note please keep in mind to give anglers a massive amount of space between one another and do pay attention to the rules and regulations on each “specific” body of water you fish. This changes at times from area to area.)
The main species the past few weeks have been the redfish and spotted seatrout. Along with this we even got into several days of some outstanding black drum fishing. The redfish, as usual, can be found at first light and throughout the day on the backcountry grass flats, sandbars and island areas. Searching areas of activity; birds, bait fish, “nervous” water, etc. Remember if you are sight fishing red drum to approach them with a hunting tactic in mind. Sun at your back, slow approach, steady hands, and soft presentations with the casts, stealth is a must and of course accuracy. If you do not hit your target, their mouth, it will not matter. The tail does not eat.
The spotted seatrout are thick along the drop offs and ledges. However the big boys, the gators, are back in deep thick backcountry waters. Searching the white holes or sand spots and always keeping in mind your posture, bait movement and signs of their presence. They will spook very easily, so take your time. Using a DOA Shallow Running Baitbuster at low light or blind casting this can produce for them but a well-placed soft plastic or fly is even better. The same will apply for the redfish, a DOA Shrimp or CAL is best for sight fishing them. When using the CAL I do like to use a weed-less hook configuration, just a small tip for you.
The black drum we have gotten the past few weeks were landed with fly and small live blue crab that I hand pick.(You cannot buy crabs under 5 inches I believe, I am getting them by hand at around the size of a silver dollar or smaller) Either a white shrimp pattern fly or black crab pattern is your best bet. Sinking pattern as for the drum are mostly watching the bottom for crabs and shrimp on the floor. The crabs I am placing on a 2/0 circle hook with a small weight to get it down to them. You just need to watch your presentation and cast with them, for they will spook very easily.
I want to wish every a safe and happy holiday season and may the year 2015 be even better than ever.
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
DRC Enterprises of Central Florida, INC.
Orlando Saltwater Fly & Spin Fishing Guide