The dog days of August are upon us. While the temperatures are red hot, it hasn’t slowed the fishing much on the coastal waters around Central Florida. Generally the heat affects fisherman more than it does fish. Redfish dominated the action over the previous month with nearly double digit catching almost every day. We fished for tarpon less in July, but the next two months are the best of the year. Speckled trout have been eating a variety of lures and baits early in the morning before laying up late in the day. We’re knocking on the door of fall, in fact, the fall bait run will be getting underway later this month.
The Redfish bite has fantastic during the entire past month throughout the whole Mosquito Lagoon and the tidal creeks around New Smyrna Beach. On an average day lately we are getting 10-15 redfish to bite. Water levels are seasonally low, and outgoing tides have condensed even more the areas fish have room to move. Schools of juvenile redfish in the 5-10lb range are schooling overnight near the schools of bait, then scattering into the grass or along shorelines once the sun gets up high. Topwater plugs have connected on a number of fish lately, with swimbaits, soft plastic shad jerkbaits, or DOA shrimp scoring when fish won’t commit to a plug. Live finger mullet or pinfish have been the top producing live bait. Fly anglers have been connecting on spoon flies and shrimp patterns, unless the fish have been on shorelines where a small crab pattern has been dynamite. Schools of trophy sized GIANT bull redfish over 20lbs are schooling in the North Indian River Lagoon and Mosquito Lagoon. Early in the morning these fish will eat a variety of lures or fly, but as the boat pressure picks up through the day you’ll have better luck with a live baitfish or crab.
Tarpon are still in the ICW, the old channels, and in the Mosquito Lagoon in singles and in small schools. Many fish made a run to spawn around the last full moon; they will be returning in big numbers this month, however, before beginning the migration south in September. Most days in July it seemed I had conditions that were too breezy to get good shots or I had anglers that weren’t interested in targeting them. We still hooked several fish during the month when I got a chance to fish them, and landed a couple over 100lbs and a couple more in the 60-80lb range. Live finger mullet or pinfish have been the best live bait, the DOA baitbuster, a swimbait, or a Hogy have been the best lures. We’ve hooked up nearly 40 tarpon so far in 2010 on my boat, landing roughly half that. With two of the best months still to go, there’s a good shot of hooking over 100 tarpon this year.
The other option for fishing inshore is Speckled Trout. Good numbers of trout are staged around the bait schools early in the morning. Once the sun gets up high, the fish are either retreating to deep water or moving into shallow thick grass to hide the sun from their eyes. Finding active bait pods and throwing topwater plugs, twitchbaits, swimbaits, DOA shrimp, or soft plastic jerkbaits around the action will catch trout. A live finger mullet, pigfish or croaker will be the best live baits. Later in the day an unweighted soft plastic shad jerkbait worked through the shallow grass or bouncing a jig in deeper 3-6’ water depths will connect on trout of all sizes.
The next two months can produce some of the best fishing of the year. It’s the peak time for giant tarpon and catching big bull redfish, so don’t miss out if those are on your bucket list. I still have several remaining dates in each. Call or email now to reserve/book a date. Short notice trips are accepted if I have the date open. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.