Fishing has been consistent during the past two weeks. Most days, we have been getting numerous shots at both redfish and large trout as well as some chances at small tarpon and some black drum. The calm sunny days make the fish easy to spot but it is harder to get close to them. Quick and accurate casts are a must when sight fishing. Fishing around schools of mullet at first light has been producing an excellent topwater bite. In areas with a large amount of floating grass, the DOA Chug head on a 5" tail has been allowing us to fish topwater without fouling the lure.
Last Monday, Russ, a fly fisherman from Idaho, and his wife Kathy joined me for an early start on Mosquito Lagoon. We had multiple shots at redfish throughout the day. Russ got the EP minnow in front of a few and had one fish eat the fly. Instinct took over and Russ tried to set the hook by lifting the rod and the fly was pulled away from the fish. Kathy ended up with the only redfish of the day on a green DOA CAL.
Tuesday, I fished the Banana River no motor zone with several friends. Although I never saw the big fish we were hoping for, I did catch 5 redfish and four nice trout on both fly and spinning gear.
Wednesday, I took George and Pam out of Ponce Inlet in search of kingfish and tarpon along the beach. We found the seas much rougher than predicted and bait was scarce. Though we did get to see a king jump over the head of a pelican sitting on the water, we gave up and went back inside without getting a strike. We fished under the bridge in New Smyrna for a few jacks, a sea bass, and a sea robin before calling it a day.
Thursday, Paul joined me for a morning of tarpon fishing. We found plenty of 5-25 pound tarpon but the bite was slow. We each landed one small tarpon and had several more bites before heading into Mosquito Lagoon.Clouds and wind made the sight fishing difficult but Paul got shots at several nice reds and trout. He made two thirds of the slam by catching a trout but could not find a redfish that would cooperate.
Friday, fly fisherman Nick C., from New York, made his first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. We poled up on a school of big redfish as the sun was rising but could not quite get the fly to them before several more boats moved in on us. We left and went in search of single fish and saw quite a few throughout the day. Nick's best cast of the day resulted in a bite but he forgot to strip strike the fish and the fly was pulled away. Though he went home fishless, Nick made a great effort under less than perfect wind conditions.
Saturday, Dave P. joined me on the Mosquito Lagoon. The first stop revealed over one hundred big redfish in less than two feet of water finning and tailing. The fish never saw the fly and again, we were forced to move on when the bait fishermen arrived. After some fly casting lessons, we went to a shallow grass flat in search of more redfish. It was slick calm and our second stop produced dozens of single fish and 15-20 schools in very shallow water. Dave had hoped to fly fish but soon realized that he was not quite ready for the speed and accuracy required to present the fly to the fish. He switched over to spinning gear and we continued seeing fish the rest of the day. Dave finally landed a respectable trout around 2pm on a 5" CAL.
Sunday, Jack and Kurt from Wisconsin came back for their second trip of the year. The fish were not as plentiful as the day before but we did see quite a few redfish and big trout. Kurt landed a nice trout after seeing the fish chasing a mullet. We found several schools of black drum but were unsuccessful at getting a bite.
Monday, fly angler Randy G., from Colorado, began the day by catching several small trout along the edge of a flat. We spent an hour or so working on fly casting but Randy decided his chances of catching a fish would be greatly increased with spinning gear. We tried of school of big redfish but found them unwilling to cooperate. The flats produced multiple shots at cruising reds. Persistence paid off, and Randy caught his first ever redfish on the green CAL.
The next day, Chris and Brandon, from Kansas, joined me for an unusually windy June day on the Lagoon. They worked topwater baits at dawn and caught several trout.
The next stop produced several schools of black drum and both Chris and Brandon landed one.
We spent the next couple hours casting to a school of large redfish. We got only one bite and the fish missed the bait. Our final stop offered a decent number of shots at cruising redfish and Brandon caught the only one of the day.
Whether you are fishing with fly or spin tackle, casting accuracy is the most important factor when sight fishing for redfish. For the fly anglers,be prepared to make a 40-60 foot cast to an area the size of a dinner plate with, at the most, one or two false casts. Also practice casting into and across the wind as conditions may not always be perfect. Casting practice with all kinds of tackle in various conditions will increase your catch rate when sight fishing.