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MOSQUITO LAGOON SOUTH END 10/26 and 10/27 New Jack City?

Got a ridiculously late start (11:30) so I figured, what the heck, maybe there is something to be learned by fishing the lagoon in the PM. Well, there is: Don't. So anyway, off to a slow start. Wind isn't too bad, water is very high, but not too murky. Reds are few and far between, and not interested. After a little while I manage an 18" trout.
Slight wind out of the north, so I go to a flat that has produced before. As soon as I get there and begin to set up, lo and behold, a big fat school of fish are pushing my way. Not too fast, not too slow. This school was so big they were easy to spot about 150 yds away with a good ripple on the water from the wind. While moving the boat about 20 yards for a perfect intercept position, I'm congratulating myself on being a fish locator par excellance. The last 30 second wait is giving me a bad case of "Red Fever." Gotta time the cast just right and I do.

It's always fun to watch fish fight over your bait and this was no exception. A few crazy swirls, and fish on! You always hope th ebigger one got to it first but it doesn't always work out that way. By the fight it's giving it feels like a mid-slotter. After a couple of minutes, I have it close enough that I can see it. What the... Yellow??? You gotta be kidding me? I had a fun time in Sebastian thursday pulling Jack after Jack over the rails to the point my arm was sore. And apparently it was fun for them too cause they followed me up to the lagoon. I know the ML is a diverse fishery but after about 3 years of steadily fishing it I had never experienced this. Oh, well. It beats catching a trout. :grin

I guess the joke was on me. Notice where the fish was hooked. I didn't think you could do that with a circle hook.

Saw a few more Reds that were completely uninterested in anything I had to offer. Saw a very big Sheepshead shadowing my canoe that I would have loved to have invited home to dinner. He was content to follow me a little ways with seeming curiosity until I reached down to pick up my live bait pole. Then it took off like a shot. Reds wish they could move that fast. Get on down a little ways and, here comes another big school. I've seen this before but they're still fun. Gonna throw an arti at 'em this this time. Cast goes a little long and have to reel in fast to catch up. They don't like it and spook, making a circle around my boat. Maybe 50 of them. School size Jacks. Do these guys have the afternoon shift? Go figure.

Make my way back to the ramp, and right before I get there... You guessed it. 'Nother school of Jacks. Managed to pick one out of it with bait, and then call it a day. Tally: 1 Trout, 2 Jacks.

Got an earlier start today, but not early. Hadn't planned on fishing but since the gear was still loaded on the truck, it seemed like a waste not to. Plus, I wanted to get the Jack... well, you know. On the water by 8:30 heading across the Lagoon to a flat I hadn't fished in a ****'s age. Wind was howling right down the pike at at least 20, making a nice little 1' chop. A little funkier than I like in my canoe, especially taking it abeam. Interesting 10-15 minute ride. Made a mental note I would NOT be going back that way. Get to the flat. very windy, no sign of intelligent life. Move around a point protected from the wind, and we have fish. First a couple tailers hard against the shoreline that I cant seem to connect to. There was another fella working that area a little east of me so I wanted to keep a respectful distance. Heard a noise behind me and turned around to see a decent school of reds get spooked. They're about halfway between myself and the other guy so it's fair game, right? I look at him, he's pointing them out, not that he needed to. Looks like I'm gonna hit 'em from the front, and he'll get 'em from the rear. Only thing I can think of is that because it was a popular spot and a little later in the morning, they had already been hammered, 'cause no one was getting near them.

Move around him and work my way across this flat that had always been a good producer. I'll blame it on high water, but I'm not seeing fish. Finally a wake a good distance away. Because of the wind, I've tied on a gold Johnson Silver Minnow. Heave the spoon at it it, Short retreive and, wait, it feels like a fish. Maybe? Yep must've foul hooked a medium sized pinfish or small Ladyfish. Get it near the boat, and... Silly me. An 18" Trout. :grin

Covering a lot of water with little to show for it. Wind is starting pick up even more and there is nowhere to hide from it. Nasty little chop even on the flats makes sight fishing impossible, so I did something I normally avoid: Started targeting sandholes, blind casting the spoon. It didn't take long before I had a little rat red in the hook. Get it to the boat and a big trout is all over it figuring how it's gonna steal the spoon out of it's mouth, not even seeing me. I tried to be accomodating and shake it loose but it was a solid hookup. Then I thought to toss the shrimp at it but too late, it was gone. Not much further than that and red #2 grabs the spoon. This one's got a little more size to it. Short battle on the Revo baitcaster and I welcome aboard a 20"er. Quick deliberation and I'm not confident with the prospects of getting a bigger slotter, so into the cooler you go. Another long dry spell with a lot of wind. Time to deploy my secret weapon. It takes a while to work, but when it does, WHAM! Fish is going one way like a train, wind is blowing me the other. Don't think Ive ever seen that much of the inside of my spool, but the fish is starting to slow down so I'm not gonna risk chasing it. Letting the wind do the work for me, the fish tired in fairly short order, but getting it back to a fast drifting boat took a while longer. Sizing it up at boatside and it's gonna be close... I may have to donate my smaller red to one of the kayakers close by. Well, no need. 27" at the fork, and 28" at the tip.

Back in ya go. Time is 12:30 and I've had enough. Glad to get the Jack stank off. Final tally: 1- Trout, 3-Reds.
A long, long drift, and a longer ride back sneaking behind the whale tail and hugging the shoreline still wasn't enough to keep from getting sprayed all the way back. Oh, well.


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