Flocks of blue wing teal, pintails, and other migrating ducks are being seen in the Lagoons, which can only mean that cold fronts are blowing through and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Fall has definitely arrived here in Central Florida, and we have already seen morning temperatures dip into the low 40's. But as expected, the fishing turned on when the temperatures dropped. The waters are crystal clear again, big schools of redfish are starting to form, some giant speckled trout are spending the entire day up on the shallow flats, and snook are stacking up in deeper water. We are averaging 10-20 fish lately on most days, and we are back to seeing over a hundred fish a day. Another 10 charters on the books for last month, and 21 days on the water (on pace for 260 days total days on the water this year!) On to the report...
Sight fishing for Redfish around Mosquito Lagoon has been the number one opportunity as of late. The waters are crystal clear and cooler water temperatures have pushed the bite into an all day event. While there have been some fish cruising shorelines, the best chance for catching good numbers has been deeper on the grass flats and around sand spots and sloughs. Search lures like swim baits and topwater plugs have been our choice to start the day working areas with good bait flow; once the sun gets up and we start to pick apart the flats sight fishing, we have switched to soft plastics on jigheads and swimbaits. If casting lures is not high on your list, or the winds are blowing too hard to sight fish (they normally do this time of the year) we have been throwing out chunks of pinfish and doing quite well. Either way we have been averaging about 10 redfish a day. Schools are starting to form and the falling water levels will help ball them up even more over the next month. A couple days ago on a falling tide cycle I found a school of 150 redfish in the 3-10lb range balled up and tailing in the corner of a bay. Top flies for fly anglers have been my crab fly, clousers, or a deer hair mullet fly I tie.
Sight fishing for trophy Spotted Sea Trout has to be running a close second lately. The cooler water has pushed loads of 5-13lb trout up shallow to spend the day sunning in sand spots. I have seen three fish lately that are easily 13-15lbs and one fish last week that was the biggest trout I have ever seen in Mosquito Lagoon (she could have broken the world record, estimating the fish was 15-17lbs and approx 38 inches long...a trophy of a lifetime). Mullet pods and sand spots are where the action is. Soft plastics, plugs and/or live mullet are all you need. Top flies for fly anglers will be clousers, seaducers, or my mullet fly (heck any baitfish fly). I have landed a bunch of fish in the 4-6lb range lately, and two that were over 8lbs. Sight fishing for these giants trout will only improve as it gets colder and water levels drop.
The recent cooler weather moved all of the Snook, they are not spread out anymore. Several holes and shorelines between Edgewater, New Smyrna Beac, and Port Orange are filling with schooling snook. There is also a few docks around deeper water that have fish on the right tides. Having a sonar/fish finder on my skiff really helps me find all the holes in the area, and the bite is on if you know where they are. On a few scouting trips recently I caught 5-10 snook (2-5lbs) each day, then pulled out a nice 9lb fish one night. Plugs, DOA lures, or live bait is the way to go.
The ever present Black Drum are still around. On a couple recent charters we caught 10-15 of them each day. But they've taken a back seat to everything else. Live shrimp has been the way to go for easy catching success. Tarpon are grumpy and gone. Well, not gone, I have seen a few small juveniles rolling, but they aren not interested in eating. The big adult fish are migrating south for the winter. We might get a bite here and there through the winter, but for the most part we are done with tarpon until March.
Good openings are available throughout November, Thanksgiving is generally busy so reserve dates as soon as possible. Book a trip with me now to experience some of the best fishing of the year. I look forward to fishing with you soon, please call 386-212-4931. Here is a sample of recent pictures just added to the Galleries. You can also read reports from the past year by visiting my Report Archive.