As fall begins to set in here on the backcountry waters of east central Florida on the Mosquito Lagoon and the north Indian River Lagoon system, the fishing is starting turn into a different feel here, and for the better. With having a few small cold fronts come in and a ton of rain the past several weeks it has caused several different changes in the water and on the water. The main changes for days on end were the rains. With the rains came high water and even a few places where dirty water was present. The next was and is the change in temperature. What is this doing you ask? Nothing, other than it feels GREAT!
The backcountry flats fishing is starting to get back to normal with the water finally dropping. What the problem was when the water came up is that it spread the fish out. More water equals more areas for the fish to move into too. Therefore more water for you, the angler, to search and find them. You have to remember on the Mosquito Lagoon we do not get tides going in and out to effect this area. Only weather and wind influence it.
Fishing the past few days here has been outstanding. We are getting some really nice early morning bites along with a steady flow of action until mid-morning and mid-day. Starting off at first light and throwing a DOA Shallow Running Baitbuster or an Airhead will get you some top water action with both redfish and spotted seatrout. The reds we are landing range in many different sizes, from 2 pounds up to 15 pounds, with an occasional bull mixed in. The spotted seatrout are ranging from a pound to six pounds on average. As winter gets here it will be prime time to go after a 10 plus pound trout on the gin clear grass flats.
As the sun begins to rise and you have enough good light to start looking for tailing fish, switch to a soft plastic if sight fishing, or find an area with bait flow and use some live mullet. A DOA Shrimp or DOA CAL is a good go to lure for this, the sight fisherman. For the fly fisherman throw a crab pattern #4 size, black crab. I like a weedless one myself. We even for a few days got into several nice 5 to 40 pound tarpon in the backcountry ditches along the banks of the Mosquito Lagoon. As long as this pattern of weather stays on track they will remain here for several more weeks to come.
The other fish that tends to play hide and seek with you for weeks on end out here is the black drum. Seems like one day they are all over the place and the next just vanish. I am sure they go deep and you just cannot see them, then they pop up on the flats to feed. However if you are targeting them and want to get one, either fly or spin, stick with the shrimp or crab. Either the DOA Shrimp, live shrimp and again a crab patterned fly. A shrimp patterned fly is a great choice as well. If you can get small hand picked "live" blue crabs, say the size of a silver dollar, this my friend is gold to both a redfish and a black drum. I will try and make a video soon on how to rig a live small blue crab. I will not do this unless I am going to use him as bait, so I need to fishing when I film this.
As the morning proceeds and the sun begins to get higher and higher in the sky, with the massive mullet run along with all of the bait-fish we have here searching areas along mangrove tree lines or massive grass flats with nice sand holes will be your best bet. The fish have plenty of food source out here so key is to have a perfect presentation, soft landings on casts and do not get them to have to work for it. Make them want that lure.
I would also like to say it looks like this will be the first year in many years we did not get an algae bloom here on the Mosquito Lagoon or the Indian River. I will say this tells me that the winter fishing here will be a great one this year. Thank you and everyone have a great fall fishing season.Captain Drew's Cell: (352)223-7897 or email [email protected]