All is well on the east coast of Florida after Hurricane Irma blew through the New Smyrna Beach area a week ago. In fact, I spent the last few days on the water in Mosquito Lagoon and experienced a phenomenal redfish bite with nearly 20 caught each day on lures. Our area received flooding rains and storm surge, so water levels in the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon are considerably higher. Many of the ICW docks near Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach are heavily damaged which may impact snook and trout fishing over time. But the grass flats in Mosquito Lagoon are in great condition with clean water, healthy grass, and loads of baitfish. Since the hurricane I’ve located huge schools of redfish, black drum, saw several tarpon and some giant speckled trout. Fall fishing looks to be outstanding!
Fishing for redfish in Mosquito Lagoon and near Ponce Inlet has been on fire both before and after the hurricane. We are at the peak of spawn time for redfish on the east coast, so we’ve been targeting schools of big bull reds over 20 pounds. Catching has been outstanding with multiple bull reds landed each day. On the shallow grass flats in Mosquito Lagoon, smaller 5-10 pound redfish have been schooled up by the dozens, if not more. Sight casting and catching has been outstanding with multiple fish landed each day on lures or live bait. Fishing for redfish will continue to be strong all through the fall and winter.
Prior to the hurricane there was excellent fishing for spotted sea trout in Mosquito Lagoon using live pigfish. croakers, and mullet. The hurricane has severely limited our ability to catch and maintain these baits for the time being. So for now, fishing for trout will strictly be via lures and/or live mullet. While we still catch some, it won’t be by the dozens like during the summer months. Big gator trout over 7-8 pounds will get a lot more feisty in October and November as cold fronts move through, thinning out baitfish supplies and moving them up into shallow water.
Fishing for tarpon around New Smyrna Beach and down into Mosquito Lagoon also was pretty good prior to the hurricane. During September we were locating fair numbers of 60-100 pound tarpon laid up in Mosquito Lagoon and connecting on soft plastics and jigs. As things have calmed down this past week, they are still here, just a bit more scattered and on the move. Tarpon will only be on the radar for the next few weeks, then approaching cold fronts will drive them south for the winter.
Prior to the hurricane we were starting to locate a lot of snook in Mosquito Lagoon and catching them regularly around docks in New Smyrna Beach. Since then, snook have been tough to locate. We saw the same thing last year for hurricane Matthew but things stabilized within a couple weeks and took off. Snook fishing should repeat and stabilize over the next week and then take off like a rocket the remainder of the fall and into December.
Fall fishing is an excellent time to hit the coastal waters around Central Florida, I’ve got 5 days left open for September and around 14 days left open for October. Don’t wait till last minute to schedule a trip for you or your family. I take last second scheduling if I have open days. Call me at 386-212-4931 or email to secure a date. 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…