April 2014 Daytona Beach Fishing Report
The Indian River is coming to life from Ponce Inlet in New Smyrna Beach down through Oak Hill and into the Lagoons. Schools of jack crevalle and ladyfish have been feeding on the surface filling themselves with shrimp that are pouring out on the out going tides. This makes great rod bending action especially with kids on the boat. As the water temperatures rise through April and into May mullet will be on the move migrating through the ICW and passing through both the Mosquito and Indian River Lagoon.Once you’ve located the mullet schools work the surface with some top water lures.
Great Gains – The Aqua Dream Spoons and More…
There are a variety of plugs that will work. One of my long time favorites lures “plugs” is the Super Spook Jr. It works well for the walk the dog action on the retrieve. Another favorite lure of mine is a mullet pattern designed by Unfair Lures which is the floating mullet 90 or the 120. These models imitate the finger mullet very well with just a steady retrieve on the surface with an occasional twitch and these lures cast a mile. When there is floating grass present DOA 5.5″ jerk shad rigged on a 3/0 Owner twist lock unweighted will still get you the surface strikes or a DOA airhead rigged weightless on a weedless Owner twist lock hook. Once the sun gets high switch to sub surface plastics or hard baits rigging the plastics on either 1/8oz or 1/16oz owner twist locks in 3/0. Pin fish are also a bait to imitate as they are starting to show in good numbers on the edges of the flats and in the sand holes. Aqua Dream Spoons pinfish lure works excellent over the shallow grass and is completely weedless. Working these aqua dream spoon through the sand holes, edges, and mullet schools will produce redfish and trout of all sizes. For my fly anglers fishing around the schools of mullet can be exiting using surface flies if the floating grass is non existent. Patterns to use are muddler, and gurglers in the 3″ range, and the 5 minute mullet designed by Drew Chicone author of the book Feather Brain. Once the sun is high enough sight casting redfish and trout with Puglisi bait patterns that resemble mullet or pin fish in natural colors will be very effective. The redfish slider is a year round go to fly in a variety of colors depending on the water clarity and works well on tailing and cruising redfish and works well for cruising and laid up trout too.
Using Live Bait
Live finger mullet free lined on the surface over shallow grass, sand holes and the edges of the flat where mullet are present will surely get the attention of any redfish or trout in the area. Live pin fish will also work on a free line preferably over sand bottom to keep them out of the grass. And if the redfish are tailing live shrimp are hard to beat using sizes that are easy to cast getting distance, nothing to big “lobster size” scaring the fish off unless the water is deep and the redfish are well oversized.Look for these patterns to work over the next few months with only having changes to techniques and tackle. Here’s a look back at some of my client catches during the month of April.
David a repeat client and his wife Martha from Maine joined me for a day of fishing in Mosquito Lagoon. Martha had never fished in Florida before but has experience fishing for stripers up north. Although sight fishing would have been good it would have been a major learning curve for them in just a short time so we fished with live finger mullet. Dave hooked up first landing a nice trout.
We made a move and shortly after we found a happy group of fish. Here’s Martha with her first redfish she’s ever caught.
We caught quite a few from the school and finished with a nice double up.
Kevin and his brother Brian from NY are regular clients of mine and fish with me each year when in New Smyrna Beach for Easter. Wind, wind, and more wind its become the norm the past few months and not sure I would know how to fish the slick calm days anymore. We spent the day fishing areas that were holding fish using live finger mullet and producing some violent strikes on the surface. Here’s Kevin with one of his redfish that caught on a aqua dream spoon; great catch.
Brian hooked up just after Kevin with a nice redfish from a small school.
We finished the day casting live shrimp into a slough catching a dozen or so small reds. Kevin finished landing a nice trout that put on a show jumping out of the water multiple times.
The next day the winds laid down a bit and my buddy Casey joined for the morning. Lots of boats were out so we fished in the backcountry of New Smyrna Beach
and Daytona Beach just to change it up a bit. The water was pretty low and near the bottom of the tide to start and man the Sand Gnats were in full force letting us know warmer days are upon us. A few minutes into fishing and smacking Gnats Casey sight fished a nice redfish on a DOA paddle tail to start the day.
After hooking that fish the school took off not to be seen again. We spent some time in the area finding a lot of big trout and had a few more shots at reds with no success. We scouted a few more spots with the same results. The sun was high and the sky was clear so we did something different and went after some triple tail. We found only one but he ate and came to the boat for a quick Mosquito Lagoon, Daytona Beach & East Central Florida Fishing Report April 2014.
The next day I headed out solo to scout for the 3rd Annual Mosquito Lagoon Fly fishing Tournament. I never touched the fly rod just poled around throwing DOA plastics and finding lots of fish. I sight fished my biggest trout to date on a DOA 5.5″ jerk shad from a sand hole and to watch this fish eat was incredible. Here’s a selfie of me with the trout from my Go Pro.
After looking around a bit more for redfish and trout I did a little searching for some triple tail. Managed to find a few and landed this one on a DOA shrimp in the root beer color aka “Oak Hill natural”. Sorry for the poor photo!
The next day me and my good friend Capt. Joe Roberts fished the fly tournament and came up empty handed only getting a few eats.A few days later I took out a regular client Vic and his friend Ken to do some fly fishing. Winds were supposed to blow 15-20 NE-E and they did with solid cloud cover. They were leaving the next day for the Bahamas and said the wanted the practice so we went. We tucked away the best we could catching a handful of small trout and micro snook to 2lbs. The winds seemed to back down a bit so we fished some coves spotting fish but to close for shots. Vic had a nice shot at a tailing redfish and before the redfish could see the fly this trout came out of no where and and ate.
Ken took the bow for the remaining time and we fished the leeward side of some shorelines in hopes of getting a shot at a fish. We were pushing over a few fish before spotting 3 singles cruising with their backs out of the water down the shore in search of food. Ken made the perfect cast and we ended the trip on a good note!
Bert and his wife Debbie from WY joined me for the day to do some fly fishing. Bert and Debbie manage and run a fly fishing and hunting lodge on the border of MT. Bert wasn’t sure with the winds his casting and accuracy would be good enough so they stuck with the spinning rods all day catching 8 redfish on DOA paddle tails. We also found a large group of black drum that were not cooperative. Here’s some pics of there fish.
Last month Tiffany Evers a journalist from a local paper the New Smyrna Beach Observer asked if I would want to be their featured article for the month of April and I said yes. Here’s a link to the online version. And a big thanks again to her and her photographer Kelsey Arnold.http://www.nsbobserver.com/captain-justin-price-right-sight-charters/
Thanks for reading!Capt. Justin Price
Right In Sight Charters
Fly Fishing and Light Tackle
Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Lagoon
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