Mosquito Lagoon October Report

Mosquito lagoon fishing report October 2013

The Canaveral National Seashore and the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, remained on lock down at the beginning of October do to the Government shutdown making the Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River Lagoon off limits to everyone.  Our area has a pretty diverse fishery so being shut out of the lagoons was not a big deal to the anglers and guides that know how to fish the mangroves and oyster beds just outside of the parks in New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater.

We also faced other challenges at the beginning of the month with high water which is not uncommon this time of the year but matched with the full moon it was above normal. I welcome the high water this time of the year it helps to spread the fish and the anglers out “giving everyone there own space”. But the levels we saw were super high and dirty making it tough to locate fish.

Finally our first sign of Fall weather helped to lower our water levels with a few days of north winds. Cooler air temps dropped the water temps down just enough to clean up some of the water in a few places. With this slight change the redfish and trout started to move about the shorelines and sand holes feeding aggressively. This has to be my favorite time of the year for fly fishing in Central Florida. The temperatures and water levels are just right for to stalking redfish and tout anywhere in the lagoons and back country.

Fellow guide and friend Capt. Mike Savedow joined me for day on the water during our Government shutdown. The plan was to target redfish with our fly rods in the back country of New Smyrna Beach in tucked away places. With extreme high water levels it was tough to find them but when we did we had shots pretty consistently. Some fish were so tight in the mangroves laid up it was impossible to make a presentation. After a few good follows from redfish it was time to change flies and that was the ticket for our first hook up of the day.

Mosquito Lagoon - Red Fish - Mosquito Lagoon October Report

After a quick photo and healthy release of my fish it was Mikes turn on the bow. Mike doesn’t get to fly fish much but he hasn’t lost his touch and after only a few minutes of me poling him around we spotted a redfish on a shoreline. I think the redfish felt our presence because he started to move slowly, he was now within feet of the boat. Mike made his cast and the fish ate putting a nice bend in Mikes 6wt.

A few days later me and my wife Miranda got to spend the day on the water together which has been long over due. The Government shutdown was now over and with still high water levels we had endless options on where to fish. We started out exploring some new areas that looked really good minus the fish. We switched and I got on the bow, my wife has been getting good on the back of the boat pushing me around and I was quick to get on the front with a rod. Decided to throw spinning gear for a bit tossing around a Unfair Lures top water mullet and it was a good choice or at least this trout thought so.

Mosquito Lagoon - Spotter Trout

We pushed around a bit more only seeing a few fish so we decided to go to JB’s Fish Camp for lunch. Shortly after we left JB’s we decided to keep exploring new areas with my wife on the front. As we eased onto the flat I told her to make a few casts  and as soon as her DOA paddle tail hit the water she had a fish on. It wasn’t a giant but it was a surprise…..a baby snook and her first snook ever.

Mosquito Lagoon - Snook Release

We finished the day cruising around taking in the beautiful weather.

Mosquito Lagoon - Flying Birds

The following Wednesday I took out one of my regular clients Micheal Stringer and his co-worker out in Mosquito Lagoon. I always keep in my tackle box, top water plus as its action was an excellent match for the remnants of a passing cold front and cloud cover that lingered over head. We landed a few redfish and a good amount of trout pretty quick. Conditions became tough quick once the front passed and the wind picked up to 20kts out of the north. Here’s Mike with one of his redfish he caught throwing a Unfair Lures top water dawgwalker a most everyone’s tackle box.

Mosquito Lagoon - Red Fish - Mosquito Lagoon October Report Release - Top Water Plug

The next day on Thursday October 24th my fly fishing club The Mid Coast Flyfishers hosted a Project Healing Waters Event out of JB’s Fish Camp. It was a huge success for the 1st annual with 13 guides from our area donating they’re time to take out these wounded veterans for a day of fishing. We finished out the day all meeting back at JB’s for lunch where we all talked about the days fishing. All of our veterans were new to the sport of fly fishing and few stuck with the long rod all morning but the conditions were tough once again with wind and cloud cover making it difficult to spot fish. Most of us had spinning gear on our skiffs just in case this occurred.

I had the pleasure of taking two veterans Todd and his wife Kim out for their first lagoon experience. Todd is an avid fly angler but a newbie to the saltwater sight fishing game. We started out with spinning gear throwing top water lures and soft plastics. Todd was quick to hook up on a big trout that we lost boat side.  A few minutes later Todd caught his first redfish ever on a DOA cal casting to a shoreline. Here’s Todd and Kim holding a nice Mosquito Lagoon redfish.

Mosquito Lagoon - Red Fish - Mosquito Lagoon October Report Release - Mirro Lures

The following Sunday I ventured out on a solo mission with the hopes of bending my fly rod. The water levels had dropped significantly with the few days of north winds. Once I arrived at the first spot I new it was going to be a good day. There was a light north wind so I started on the leeward side of an island poling into the wind. Some people would be discouraged poling and trying to fish alone but I enjoy it because you never have to take turns with another angler you get to fish the whole time.I started by throwing a spinning rod just to get a feel for what was going on and it didn’t take long and I landed one redfish and three others that were on for a short period throwing DOA cals. At this point it was time to get the fly rod out. And the way the fish were acting I decided to put my GoPro on my head to get some video. The redfish were loving the weather and were very hungry cruising shorelines with there backs exposed in search of food. I screwed up my first half a dozen shots just from shaking. I finally got it together and by the end of the day I had eight eats on fly landing five. Should have been in the double digits if it weren’t for my screw ups early and the fish spitting the fly. I managed to fish one fly all day without needing to change patterns and without refusals. Fly of choice a olive redfish slider variation I tie with a rabbit strip for the tail.

Mosquito Lagoon - Red Fish - Mosquito Lagoon October Report Release

These conditions should continue and we should start seeing redfish grouping up  in pods on the flats tailing in the grass in search of shrimp and crabs. Big  gator trout will be spawning in the months of November and December taking to sand holes in good numbers taking a variety of artificial lures and live baits. After landing these big trout  handle them with care by leaving them in the water. There is no longer a closed season on them in Nov/Dec but we still need to do our part and CPR these big trout that are very important for our fishery.

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