Big Hungry Banana River Trout 5-25

Decided to hit the water this morning before Memorial Day weekend boat traffic hits full swing. I'm fortunate to have a customer who is also a friend, so we can officially call it a work day. We lost more fish today than I can ever remember losing (pulled hooks, broken lines & frayed leaders from mangrove roots and docks, etc.). It's still pretty fun getting freight trained; even when you lose. Despite our early futility, we landed ten trout (mostly overslot fish) and four reds (kept two slot fish) and were off the water by 10am. All the overslot trout were released. I don't keep trout and Scott agreed with my theory of sending all the big girls back to repopulate the gene pool.




I think we can all agree that it has been a phenomenal year for big trout in the Indian River Lagoon system. Given that, I have some grave concerns about our future fishery. Our usual healthy seagrass is virtually non-existant from north of Pineda causeway to Sebastian Inlet. My concern is: although we seem to have a healthy supply of breeding size trout; there is little to no nursery for a successful spawn to survive. My fear is that without the grass and all the organisms that live in it; our baby trout, snook, and reds will have no nursery to grow up in. They will die from either starvation or predation. I think our adult fish will be fine (provided we do not harvest/remove them) as there are plenty of finfish (mullet, menhaden, etc.) to eat. I am fearfull that our fishing will suffer dramatically two years and more into the future as year classes are lost due to non-existant or inadequate nursery areas. Hopefully a marine biologist or someone with more knowledge than me can chime in and tell me I'm wrong.

Replies

  • Cavanaugh68Cavanaugh68 Posts: 291 Officer
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Those are some SLOB trout!!
  • BMargioBMargio Posts: 96 Deckhand
    that thing is just ridiculous. nice trout
  • jumboshrimpjumboshrimp Posts: 820 Officer
    Those are some beautiful trout. having never fished the lagoon system that far south I can't comment on the lack of seagrass but I really hope you're wrong with your concerns, doesn't sound like a good thing at all.
  • angler18angler18 Posts: 2,035 Officer
    great trout, fat pigs!
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,220 AG
    jmsnookman wrote: »
    I have some grave concerns about our future fishery. Our usual healthy seagrass is virtually non-existant from north of Pineda causeway to Sebastian Inlet. My concern is: although we seem to have a healthy supply of breeding size trout; there is little to no nursery for a successful spawn to survive. My fear is that without the grass and all the organisms that live in it; our baby trout, snook, and reds will have no nursery to grow up in. They will die from either starvation or predation. I think our adult fish will be fine (provided we do not harvest/remove them) as there are plenty of finfish (mullet, menhaden, etc.) to eat. I am fearfull that our fishing will suffer dramatically two years and more into the future as year classes are lost due to non-existant or inadequate nursery areas. Hopefully a marine biologist or someone with more knowledge than me can chime in and tell me I'm wrong.

    Just to expand on that....the lack of grass continues down to the Round island area of the IR lagoon.

    And you bring up very good points.....

    I too fear a collapse in our fishery...
    even though the fishing for some species (big Trout) seems to be very good at this point.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 634 Officer
    Geat looking fish, all we can do is hope the grasses will return, this summer. Don't the sea grasses go dormant in the winter in some places? It seams that the places with good tide flow loose the grasses more than the ones with poor flow, like ML.
  • GarboGarbo Posts: 1,256 Officer
    Dang.



    .
  • ChasenTailsChasenTails Posts: 49 Deckhand
    Congrats on the productive morning. Good to see the big ones are still out there.

    I frequently fish the Sebastian flats area, in both a Kayak and Flats boat and have also notice the grass being scarce this year, especially around the north side of Longpoint where were some grass patches that looked like a front lawn. I share your concern over the habitat change and what impact it will have on the future.

    Hopefully a marine biologist will be reading the forums and can provide some input.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,220 AG
    Hopefully a marine biologist will be reading the forums and can provide some input.

    I would not count on that...

    It is sure to be VERY controversial....I would doubt anyone will stick there neck out on this one.


    Anyway, there is no money in any budgets (SJWMD FWC DEP et al) for studies....and if the agencies can't hang the blame on good ol' Mother nature....it will be heck to pay and a political football.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • KrakenKraken Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    Fishing around Sebastian Inlet from the river south to Wabasso and there is no grass.
    Not just a shortage, there's practically none at all.
    Just a lot of mud & sand.
    Mangroves look healthy, one theory I heard is the cold weather killed it. I don't know that I buy that, but don't really have any other theories.
    Even close to the inlet where pollution shouldn't be a factor, the grass beds are gone.
  • BentleyBentley Posts: 91 Deckhand
    very nice
  • bcnucsbcnucs Posts: 12 Greenhorn
    No grass up here in the Ponce Inlet area and I have noticed that the trout population is probably the best I have ever seen as well. The big girls are very plentiful, but the smaller 12-16 inch fish are practically every cast. I hope the grass in your area doesn't have the negative impact you are refering to. Quality fish in that pic. Got me itching to go out.

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