Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 3/3/08
-On March 30 Iíll be giving a program on Fishing Opportunities on Floridaís Space Coast at the FFF Flyfishing Expo in Lakeland, Florida.
Dumb Ideas Dept : NASA is considering putting a commercial launch pad on the west shoreline of the Mosquito Lagoon, in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, about in the middle of what is now the Bio Lab Road . See the official information at this link: http://environmental.ksc.nasa.gov/projects/ksc-cvlc.htm
Locally, the idea hasnít gone over too well with fishermen and birders. It would result in the closing of the southern half of the Mosquito Lagoon to all entry, from the Haulover Canal south. If this were the only site available that would be one thing, but the Canaveral Air Force Station is littered with old, no longer used launch pads, many of which could be adapted for the use of the commercial launch area. NASA evidently is unwilling to ask the Air Force for permission to do this.
I adapted a letter I got from Doug Olander and forwarded it on to Mario Busacca at this email address: KSC-CVLC@nasa.gov See my letter here: http://www.spottedtail.com/NASALetter.htm Please feel free to copy/adapt it as you need. Please send it along to Mr. Busacca and let him know what you think of NASAís idea.
A Plausible Explanation for River Rage
Due to a major honey-do that took me four days to complete, the only day I fished this week was Friday. I was supposed to fish with TC Howard but he had to cancel at the last minute. I ended up taking a kayak, alone, out of River Breeze on Friday morning.
It was about 60 degrees, the sun was out, and there was a breeze of about 12 mph out of the east, just a beautiful Florida winter morning.
The water was REAL low. I literally had to drag the kayak much of the way into the pond that I ended up in, wrapping the painter around my waist to better pull the boat over the mud. I didnít know what to expect, and was surprised and delighted to find a pair of fish tailing less than five minutes after getting there.
My first cast (with a squirrel tail slider) landed about three feet away from them. One of the fish bolted and I thought he had spooked. What actually happened was that he heard the fly hit the water and rushed over and ate it. Releasing a twenty five inch red hooked in four inches of water was a great start to the day.
The amazing thing was that the second fish never spooked. For a good part of the fight with the first fish I really thought Iíd get a crack at the second. Didnít happen of course, but you get the idea that the fish were very relaxed.
Within a couple minutes I found another tailer. I followed this fish around with a camera for at least ten minutes trying to get tailing photos. I got a few, although theyíre not great. That fish finally swam almost in to me and spooked.
Iíd just put the camera away and there was another fish tailing close by. I pooched the first few casts. By now the fish was real close. The next cast was good and I watched him take the fly. Another release soon followed.
Clouds started to show and made visibility harder. But there were fish cruising and tailing all over the pond and I missed a few more strikes, broke off two fish (no excuse for that except for angler error) and released another. I went to the far end of the pond and determined that it was so shallow (grass tips sticking out of the water) that it would be too hard for me to get out that way. Since there were plenty of fish where I was it was easy to stay there. I stopped for lunch, and then went back to fishing.
By now there were lots of clouds. It was hard to see. I was working harder, and fishing blind. Deciding wading might work better, I tied the painter around my waist and with kayak in tow started stalking the fishies on foot.
It often happens when you kayak fish in the River Breeze area that you frequently hear, but seldom see, motor skiffs. When the water is low, especially when youíve dragged the boat over extensive damp mudflats to get to your spot, skiffs just canít get to where you are. So when I heard the outboard getting louder I didnít think that much of it.
Imagine my surprise and dismay when this yahoo comes roaring around the corner of the pond, heading right for me. He runs right through where Iím fishing. Since the pond id a dead end at the other end, after he passes me he turns around and comes right past me again. In the meantime you can see the wakes of the terrified fish going every which way.
I tell you, Iím not a violent person, but had a had a piece Iíd have put a couple of caps through his hull. First off, he ran the skiff through the water Iíd already determined was too shallow to paddle through. I wonder why all those prop dredge marks are in all those shallow ponds back there?? Secondly, he boogered up every bird and fish in that pond.
I stayed almost three more hours and only saw one fish tail in that time. I didnít get another bite, and thought what a jerk that guy was all afternoon. Maybe Iím being selfish, (after all, I donít own that spot) but he really ruined my afternoon.
Why would anyone do that to another angler? You might think it was ignorance, but this was a new, high-tech skiff- tunnel hull, jackplate, the whole nine yards. Anyone with a skiff like that ought to have some familiarity with the concepts of etiquette and consideration. It seemed like he deliberately went out of his way to burn the pond while I was standing in it.
Incidents like this give a plausible explanation for river rage.
In spite of the occasional jerk encounter, itís March, one of the best months of the year to fish the Space Coast . So-