During the past two weeks, high winds have made for some tough fishing in east central Florida. A cold front last weekend dropped the temperatures into the 40's but over the past week, they have climbed steadily reaching the 80's this weekend. The rising temperatures have brought even more bait fish to the flats and clear skies the past few days offered some great sight fishing opportunities.
On Wednesday, the 14th, Bruce from Orlando brought along his son and daughter to fish the Mosquito Lagoon. The day started out calm and we were able to find a nice school of black drum. Bruce's 11 year old daughter, Hannah, hooked a black drum between 10 and 15 lbs and did an excellent job of fighting it by herself. We were able to get a few more casts at the drum but could not get another bite before they moved off. The wind picked up and the action died and we headed in with Hannah having caught the only fish.
Two days later, Casey and Alec from Virginia had planned on a day of fly fishing for redfish. The winds were blowing about 10 knots when we started and quickly increased to 20. A heavy cloud cover prevented us from having any chance of seeing the fish before we were right on top of them. Despite the unfavorable conditions, the couple stuck with their fly rods and made the best of a bad situation. Although they did not catch any fish, they did get to practice casting under windy conditions and hopefully learned a few tips that will help them on an upcoming bonefishing trip.
Sunday, Glenn and Aaron along with 10 year old Grayson faced tough conditions on the Mosquito Lagoon. A cold font had blown through the day before dropping the water temperature 15 degrees. On a windy 47 degree morning, we set out to find some redfish. Within the first ten minutes, Grayson caught his first redfish.
During the next couple hours, however, we only saw a few fish. By mid morning, we found a flat holding a few schools of redfish but the high winds made both casting and keeping up with them difficult. Grayson caught a second red with a DOA crab before we decided to call it a day.
High winds kept me off the water this week until Friday. I was joined by Charlie and his wife Linda for two days of great fishing weather. Blue skies, warm temperatures, and moderate winds, just what we had been hoping for. We saw tons of fish and managed to catch some of them both days. On day one, Linda broke the ice with a trout caught on a DOA CAL in Arkansas shiner with a Woodies Rattle. Charlie was next with a 38" redfish.
We moved to a flat holding a good number of large trout and Charlie was able to fool one with a gold CAL tail. Linda used the same bait to catch her redfish nearby.
On day two, we found a school of feeding redfish in some muddy water. The couple each caught two reds using spinner baits and a DOA crab.
When the sun came up, we located some bigger redfish and spent quite some time trying to get them to eat. Despite our efforts, the big fish were not in the feeding mood so we moved on. During the rest of the day, we got multiple shots at both redfish and large trout. Linda was able to make a perfect cast to a redfish with her CAL tail and brought her third one of the day to the boat.
The spring trout spawn has brought some large females onto the shallow flats. The fish are holding in clean water with a mixture of grass and sand holes and a good supply of mullet. Soft plastic jerk baits and the DOA Baitbuster can get you a trophy sized trout. These fish are much more fragile than redfish so please handle them with care and return them to the water quickly. Smashing down the barbs on your hooks will make catch and release easier.