There has been one word to describe the fishing that last couple months - Outstanding. The flats fishing for redfish and trout could not get much better here in Mosquito Lagoon. Many of the redfish are still in schools and it is not unusual to have well over 1,000 fish per day pass by the boat. Even on the "slower" days there have been hundreds of fish for anglers to cast at. Both the redfish and trout have been feeding aggressively.
For topwater action, the DOA shallow running Baitbuster lure reeled along the surface has produced some spectacular action. Both species will readily attack this lure. With lots of loose grass floating on the surface now, standard plugs with treble hooks can be difficult to use. In addition to the Baitbuster, the DOA CAL in the 3, 4, and 5.5 inch model have also been catching both redfish and trout every day. Add a Woodies Rattle to the bait if you are blind casting for more bites.
If you are fly fishing, use a soft landing bendback style fly when the winds are calm and the water is shallow. Later in the day, switch to lead eye crab or shrimp patterns to get down quickly. Lots of baitfish are on the flats so pinfish and mullet style flies will also work well. All must have a weedguard. Some days there are tailing fish in every direction and the next there are just as many fish but not one tail breaks the surface. Having sun is the most important factor when fly fishing.
Unlike the past couple years, this has been an excellent spring for seatrout. The younger and smaller fish have been plentiful in 2-4 feet of water and can be caught by the dozens. Ultralight spinning tackle provides added entertainment. The 1-2 foot depths with a mix of grass and sand have been holding the larger female trout. Unfortunately, some anglers have been putting these trophy breeding fish in their coolers. The bite is the best it has been, however, since the devastating freeze of 2010. On clear days, you can sight fish them in the white sand holes. An easier method is to blind cast likely spots using a 5.5 inch DOA CAL and long casts. Trout are much more delicate than redfish and must be handled with care if they are to survive release. I would encourage all anglers to release the big females to help ensure a healthy population for years to come. With an increased commercial trout limit and longer season this year, the big fish in our Lagoon have even less of a chance to survive.
Phil had shots at lots of redfish and trout on his first adventure to Mosquito Lagoon. He especially enjoyed battling this big black drum along with several others.
The following day my clients had shots as hundreds of redfish throughout the morning but only one cast came close enough to the fish to get a bite. Later, they had a chance at a school of 20-30 pound redfish and ended the day catching numerous seatrout.
Dave started out the day landing a redfish on the Baitbuster and continued catching them on the three inch paddle tail as well.
After dropping him off, I went out to check some other spots. It was a successful afternoon with 4 reds on the DOA shrimp and 4 more on a rootbeer colored redfish worm fly.
Some high winds moved in for the next several days changing the water level slightly and moving the fish around. Things settled down after a couple days and the fishing was hot. Trevor had never fished the flats but had a great morning catching redfish on Baitbusters and CALs.
Seven year old Chase wanted to catch a redfish for his birthday. He could handle a spinning rod as good as many adults and slayed the trout on the DOA Deadly Combo as well as a 1/4 ounce jig. The redfish were not as plentiful in the morning as I had hoped. We finally found them just when the wind started to pick up but Chase got his wish.
Big schools of fish were roaming the flats this week. Anglers had varying levels of success catching them. The catching ratio had nothing to do with the fish not eating as every time a lure or fly landed properly, it got a bite.
Tuesday, we got to see the last voyage of the space shuttle Discovery as it flew along the shore of Mosquito Lagoon.
Steve got to enjoy the sights and catch some fish as well.
Mike and Matt had the most success and started off with this double header of redfish.
The fishing this weekend will be tough with wind, clouds, and rain in the forecast. After the front passes through, look for the excellent action to continue. Lots of lures, baits, and flies will work but they will only get bites if they are in the right spot. The number one thing you can do to catch more fish is practice your casting.
Capt. Chris Myers
Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Guide