Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. We wouldn’t be here without you.
This week we feature a Mosquito Lagoon fishing report with side orders of Indian River Lagoon and Econlockhatchee River. It’s pretty rare to hook a seatrout and have it go on a hot run that peels line off the reel. That happened a few times this week! But once again I get ahead of myself…
Sometimes I wonder why I go scouting. I went last Friday to find fish for Sunday’s paddle flyfishing charter with Dr. Ron and Colby Crabtree, father and son from Texas. We went to the places I found the fish Friday and they were gone. We probably put in seven miles, saw maybe a half dozen fish, and did not get a shot at any of them. Verily, the skunk was upon us…
Monday at 7 AM I was in the seat of Jill, my lovely dental hygienist. As soon as I got out of there I went home and hitched the boat trailer to the van, picked up Scott Radloff, and went to the Indian River Lagoon to scout for my Tuesday/Wednesday trips. Not an early start.
We found some redfish, caught two on jerkbaits. We found a lot of big trout that would not eat much of anything. Scott hooked a couple on a swimbait, but both shook off. The puffers were thick and we went through a lot of baits. I got a crevalle of a couple pounds, my first this year. The day was stunning, not a cloud in the sky, always tough weather for trout.
Tuesday morning I met Dr. Aubrey Thompson and his doctor buddy, Steve Widen, fly casters both, at Haulover Canal. We got nothing at the first spot, nor anything at the second. The third though, would provide a day and a half of sight fishing for gator seatrout.
Aubrey opened the festivities with a couple of modest 20 inch trout. Steve got a modest sized redfish. Then we started seeing the big trout, which just kept fleeing away from us. The intrepid guide suggested that with bright sun and spooky fish wading might be a better option. Aubrey is from Texas and Steve lives there now. They didn’t need any convincing.
Even wading, this is tough fishing. The fish are hard to see and most casts result in refusals. However, both gentlemen managed to get a trout in the six or seven pound class, both on streamers, and had shots at many more. The trout Steve got was the biggest he’s ever gotten on any kind of tackle.
As the day ended and we prepared for the road, Aubrey suggested we start earlier the next day “to catch the topwater bite.”
The Mitzi was in the water at 6 AM the next morning. For the most part the topwater bite did not materialize. I got a dink trout. Aubrey got a couple of jacks and ladyfish. Steve, whose day it turned out to be, got a 27 inch trout on a Floozy popper though, certainly worth the price of admission.
I had switched to an Electric Sushi streamer and was looking for a fish when I spotted the tips of a couple tails. The fly hit the water and the fish nailed the fly. It was modest, but a redfish nonetheless, my fish for the day.
Aubrey and I made a thousand fruitless casts between us, but Steve kept getting bit. He missed a number of strikes but got another slob trout on a small Clouser Minnow.
I saw the biggest snail I’ve ever seen that was not a queen or helmet conch and took some pictures of it. It was the Methuselah of snails, with an entire ecosystem growing on its shell.
The day ended too soon and we headed back to the ramp, loaded up at 3 PM.
Aubrey had this to say about our two days together: “John, we had a great time! All anyone could possibly ask for. We had plenty of shots at trophy fish, Steve caught a personal all-tackle record trout. Fishing is about quality time spent with congenial souls, and I don’t know what would have made that trip any better. Well, maybe a few more, just a few, of those humongous trout on the rod; but if it were about numbers I’d leave the fly rod home.”
Friday morning I went to the Econ for a little kayak fly fishing for bass. It was not as good as it’s been, although I caught three on a popper and missed four others. They’re easy to miss when the fly is behind you, there’s slack in the line, etc. I feel like I learned a couple things, though, and certainly enjoyed the morning.
And that is this week’s Mosquito Lagoon fishing report.
Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short. Go Fishing!