Good Redfishing This Week- Indian River/Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report
The Report from Spotted Tail 11/15/11
The gauge was at 1.5 all last week. I like it at 0.5 or lower, especially for paddle fishing. It has dropped the past couple days, though- good news!
Why paddle all week? I had a kayak charter on Friday. Scouting was needed. Besides, I really like paddling.
Wednesday found me at one of my favorite paddle spots on the Indian River Lagoon. Of course the water was too high. That's been a recurring theme. The water was also very dark. I lost sight of the paddle blade about halfway down. And it was windy, out of the north. Then just to complete the picture, it got overcast.
In spite of all that there were fish blowing up along the shoreline.
I couldn't see them, even when I tried wading. They kept spooking off of me. After changing flies five times I finally had one eat on a Mosquito Lagoon Special and was so surprised I pooched it. That was the extent of my catching.
Thursday found me at a different spot on the IRL. The water was still high and dirty but the wind was less, and it was gloriously sunny. The bird life was rich and varied, and there were loads of mullet around. But in three hours of paddling I saw zero fish, although I ran over two. Didn't even make a cast.
My trip Friday was an afternoon half day. A front came through Thursday night, dropping the water temperature to 67 from 71, not a good thing. The wind was blowing 20 out of the north. The water level dropped to 1.3, a little lower but still too high. At least the sun was out!
When I left the house I still didn't know where we were going to fish. We (Patrick Gallagher, a fine Irish-American lad) ended up launching at Eddy Creek, fishing the north side. The water was very green and ridiculously high. I wondered after we got there if the wind hadn't piled up the water at the south end of the lagoon. If so I certainly erred going there.
We rounded the point and fought the wind up into Galinipper Basin. We had a nice lee shoreline at the north end. Patrick was tossing a Johnson Minnow, mostly catching grass. We saw a minnow skip and he dropped the spoon there, I mean right now. A fish bit and he pulled in a nice flounder. It was the only fish (other than mullet) that we saw, and we were out until sunset.
Saturday I was part of a two boat trip with Capt. John Turcot. We picked up our anglers at 9AM at JB's Fish Camp, giving the air a chance to warm first.
My anglers were Nadim and Terry. As their daughter says, "My dad is from Iraq and my mom's from Arkansas!" Needless to say it was an interesting and entertaining day. They were a wonderful couple.
The weather was outstanding. We began searching shorelines and lo and behold- there were redfish working them. Our first was a little 12 inch rat, caught on a piece of mullet, as were all of our fish.
Shortly, Nadim hooked an in-the-slot red. Unfortunately for the fish, it never made it out of my boat alive.
Terry's red came into the boat a while later. It joined Nadim's fish in my cooler.
Once Terry realized that she couldn't keep any more fish, she didn't want to fish any more. I was able to use almost an hour of our time to scout for the next day's trip.
When I cleaned the fish one of them had an empty stomach. The other had a fairly large (for the size of the fish that is) blue crab in it.
When I washed the boat I also washed the cooler. I forgot to put it back in the van and left it at the car wash. Dang!
John Turcot and his family could use some prayers for those of you who have some to spare.
Sunday morning I met Joseph Modrano, an angler from Seattle, at River Breeze. We mounted up on the Mitzi and went forth seeking the elusive red drum. Again, the weather was outstanding.
We fished about a half dozen spots over the course of the day. The water at the north end of the lagoon is way cleaner than at the south end, and actually looks just like it's supposed to in many places. We found fish everywhere we looked except for one spot.
Again, all the fish we caught were in the slot, actually, towards the lower end. We're not seeing six and eight pound fish. I don't mind the smaller fish, heck, it's way better than it had been! But I want to find some bigger fish too.
I was also encouraged to see quite a few seatrout. They took a severe beating in that winter freeze a couple years ago. It's good to see some decent ones up on the flats.
Modrano used a Johnson Silver Minnow all day. He was pretty darn good with it, and he had never been sight fishing before. We pretty much had shots all day long, putting four or five fish in the boat. All managed to make it out alive.
Monday I had the pleasure of fishing Capt. Chris Myers, one of my favorite people to fish with. We launched at River Breeze and fished north of Georges Bar. Again the weather was superb. The water had dropped a few more inches, we found lots of clean water, and saw good numbers of fish all day long. We actually caught several redfish while using those dangfangled fly poles, Myers with a black Redfish Worm and me with a small (#4) tan crabby, shrimpy looking thing.
In the afternoon after the breeze kicked in Myers switched to a spin pole and proceeded to get a few more using a three inch DOA Shrimp. It was an outstanding day.
The week started kind of slow but picked up a good head of steam. The water is slowly dropping, clean water is available, and there are fish around. They are eating. It's an encouraging trend. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week.