The past several days the fishing in Mosquito Lagoon has been about as good as it gets. The month overall has been up and down with some fantastic sight fishing and some days when the fish were few and far between. The warm and calm weather as of late has certainly been to the angler's advantage as the fish have been happy and tailing. The dead calm days have made the fish easy to spot but they are also easily spooked by unnatural noises. I saw hundreds of fish spooked by squeaky shoes on the deck alone. Be extremely aware of your noise discipline as you approach tailing fish.
With water temperatures in the morning in the high 60's and near 75 by day's end, the fish are aggressive and will eat even large baits. Unfortunately, the water is still not crystal clear like it should be this time of year. It is clear enough to see the fish though. Most of the month, we experienced extremely low water levels. The water has risen this past week and with it came tons of floating grass that had been washed up on the shore. Weedless jerk baits are a necessity when the grass gets to be too thick. Color has not seemed to be too important as we have caught fish on a variety of shades. Presentation, however, is very important. Trying to catch tailing redfish means you are casting at a stationary target but your bait must get within a foot or less of them or they will not see it.
Ray had an excellent day on the Lagoon before he had to go to a job in Iraq. He landed double digit redfish, mostly on the 3" DOA CAL tail and a 1/8 ounce jighead.
Joe wanted to try his hand at fly fishing for redfish. A steady 10 mph wind was a bit much for him to overcome with the fly but he did manage several nice reds on the 3" CAL.
Jim fished Mosquito Lagoon with me the following day. He threw the fly all day long. We tried feeding some uncooperative black drum. We never convinced one to bite. Jim used a small tan shrimp imitation fly of his own creation to catch several redfish.
Mike was my next fly angler last week. We began the day throwing a bendback to some very shallow schools of redfish. While he came close a number of times, 10 feet more on his fly cast would have resulted in some hookups. Again we tried a multitude of flies on some black drum. The only bite he got ended when the leader broke on the hook set. Mike was able to get his first redfish to eat a fly he tied on a #4 hook with some orange/brown chenille, small lead eyes, and a tan wing. With shots at hundreds of fish throughout the day, we called it a success.
This Monday I took a trip to the St John's River for some fly fishing for shad. While others I spoke to reported catching 30-40 shad, I caught that many fish but only 8 or so were the target species. The rest were a mixture of crappie, bass, bluegill, sunfish, and redbreast. The shad are there, however, and it seems to be a good run of them this year.
Tuesday, I fished with Jeff and Jim on their first flats fishing trip. We found the black drum a bit more willing to cooperate and even got a double header.
Tailing redfish were our next target. The tails were easy to spot as the water was smooth as glass. Soon we had tail in every direction. With lots of floating grass to deal with, I elected to go with a weedless CAL in melonback color. A Woodies rattle inserted near the tail helped the fish find the bait. The next few hours were filled with shots at hundreds of reds and some bent rods resulted.
We ended the day completing a Mosquito Lagoon slam by using the DOA Deadly Combo to catch numerous seatrout off the outside edge of the flat.
Wednesday was nearly a carbon copy of the day before. The only improvement was we had much clearer skies making it even easier to spot the fish when the sun came up. Rick and Cynthia started off the day bringing a few black drum to the boat before we moved on to tailing redfish. The first red came on a DOA shrimp but the weedless CAL bait proved to be a better choice with the heavy floating grass still around.In addition to landing numerous redfish, both caught a seatrout as well to complete a double slam for the second day in a row.
As long as the weather remains stable, the fishing will continue to be outstanding. Should a cold front blow through and drop the water temperatures significantly, the fish will drop off the flats for several days. If you must fish during those times, target the deeper edges of flats and sand troughs with jigs. As long as the water remains warm, however, the fish will be happy, schooling, and feeding.
Capt. Chris Myers
Mosquito lagoon Fishing Guide