The east central Florida area backcountry saltwater flats’ fishing is beginning to take a shape of spring time. Although this winter has been anything but perfect, it still has been better than most in the past. Now that it seems the clouds and high winds have begun to subdue themselves, this will open up superb days of sight fishing. As well as optimal water temps and air temps make for perfect days to be on the boat targeting fish. The redfish, spotted seatrout and black drum fishing will continue to get better as days go by.
The past few weeks have been great for black drum and redfish especially. The black drum have been nonstop throughout the entire lagoon systems, seems like they are showing up all over the place. Including, the entire Mosquito Lagoon and the north Indian River Lagoon system in the Titusville and Mims areas.
At first light it has been like clockwork; tails all over the place. Large schools of red fish and black drum moving across vast grass flats, in a rage of feeding frenzies. Getting to areas before sunup is, and will always be, number one priority when being a serious flats fisherman. Whether you are doing it as a professional, like I, or as an angler just looking for a great day at sport fishing, this has to become habit. The reason is many. First off that golden light period, we have all been there and know what that is. So no reason to go into detail on that one, you know the answer. Secondly and probably one that seems to have disappeared with honor and pride is water etiquette. Yes ETIQUETTE.
The past several weeks I, along with others, have witnessed those that just do not care that you make such a strong effort to get into positions for this “golden hour” just to have those that do not display the “water code of ethics” decide they will come in on top of you. They know who they are and they know what they do is unacceptable however it is not “illegal” to say, it is most definitely not right. Poor taste in professionalism. This, my friends, is where you take a deep breath and feel the karma snake one day will bite them. So I ask just for everyone to show respect and learn the basic skills of flats fishing etiquette to improve the day for everyone.
I have said this numerous times for a good analogy to use. If you are going out to dinner with your wife or girlfriend and you show up to the restaurant late, and you have a very special “table” you were wanting to sit at do you just go in and sit on top of someone already sitting there having their dinner? No, of course you do not. Then why I ask myself does this happen on the flats? Makes you think about it, does it not.
When into position and you have located your targets, as always have a game plan in your mind. Once into position a well place light colored shrimp fly, live shrimp on a circle hook or DOA Shrimp with a small bullet weight is one of the best choices for these flat roamers. Along with soft presentations, and of course the magical ingredient, accuracy is the utmost key for landing the black drum and redfish. When targeting singles just take that same approach but then you are just scaling down your target area to a smaller zone.
Those of you who love the top water action cannot go wrong this time of year. As the days begin throw a DOA Shallow Running Baitbuster for a while until the sun light gets high enough in the sky to sight fish or see what you are doing. This has got to be one of the best lures to throw to fish, anywhere.
As always please practice catch and release. Also please handle all of your fish horizontally and not use grips and hang them by the jaw. This just will help their survival upon the release.
Until the I wish for everyone out there to have a safe and happy spring time!
Captain Drew's Cell • (352)223-7897 • email • [email protected]