This can be one of the easiest times of year to catch a trophy sized redfish in Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River. The huge redfish are schooled up for the fall spawn and are about as aggressive as you will ever find them. They will willingly take both surface baits and a variety of flies. While this sounds easy, it does offer its own set of challenges. First, these big fish are almost always moving and can cover miles of water in a day. Sometimes they are exactly where you except them to be and on others they are nowhere to be found. Second, dozens of others boats are searching for the same fish on any given day. Just because you find them first does not mean you will not be surround by boats in a matter of minutes. Catch a few and move on. Pounding these schools by following them all day long affects both their behavior and spawn.
If you are looking for some more laid back fishing, head up shallow.Clean water can be found in the Indian River, and, I am happy to report, the Mosquito Lagoon as well. On the flats, not all the fish are over twenty pounds and they are not all in large schools but there is far less pressure from other boats and the fish are just as aggressive and happy to eat. In both areas, but especially Mosquito Lagoon, there is a large amount of dead grass both floating and sub surface. Weedless rigged baits are a big help in most locations and nearly mandatory in some. We have been using the dark Golden Bream color and the green backed Silver Mullet colors with lots of success in both clear and stained water. The addition of a Woodies Rattle has especially helped the fish find the bait in cloudy water conditions.
Steve and Stan had some success fishing the Indian River with me this month. The 5.5 inch DOA CAL accounted for both redfish and seatrout including Steve's fish in the 30 pound class.
Chris used the same bait to land himself a trophy sized seatrout a few days later.
My friend Capt. Drew was kind enough to push me within range of some big redfish this week. Using a mullet fly I made from EP fibers, I hooked four big reds but only got one to the boat.
Drew threw the DOA Baitbuster at them when it was his turn. He worked the lure up to the fish.
A huge explosion followed as several giant redfish tried to grab it at once.
Yesterday, we could not find the big fish anywhere. Fortunately, we were able to find some cooperative redfish and trout on the shallow flats. Chris and Vern both caught and released some of each.
As millions of mullet migrate down the east coast, many make their way through the inlet and travel down the Lagoon system. Lures that imitate mullet will do well this month. My favorites are the shallow running Baitbuster, which I work on the surface, and the 3 inch DOA CAL on a jighead or worm hook. Tarpon are still a possibility on any day this month as are a variety of other migratory species. Be prepared for different species in case the opportunity presents itself.