Mosquito Lagoon/NIRL 1/27/14

Greetings to All

This winter is turning out to be one of the most challenging seasons this year. With the uncontrollable winds that are ever so common on most days, sight fishing is pretty much hit or miss. During the cooler months with the low water conditions in most areas, finding the ideal place to target fish often required me to spend more time locating prime areas that held fish. Once found the bite has been pretty good, as most of them were concentrated in these areas. In the NIRL while targeting Redfish we had several 10-15 fish days typically with a few trout from 4 to 6 lbs.

We have had some really good trout action on the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River near Port St John, in the 2-4' of water depths.Lot's of fish in the 4-6lb range with a few fish in the 8 to 10 lb range on Banks soft plastics and handmade pulgs, both 4 and 5 inch. While targeting trout in these areas we also were rewarded with a nice bonus of Black Drum to 30 lbs with many shots at fish in the 10 to 15 lb range. When the wind is calm we occasionally would target Overslot Redfish and found plenty of action as these fish are pretty active this time of the year and fairly easy to locate.

With winter in full swing now, the biggest concentrations of fish will be found right where the water starts to drop off. Flats and shoals that have fast access to deep water will be the most productive areas to target. Once the water warms a bit and the baitfish start roaming the flats the fish will not be far behind. The fish will usually be on the bottom in areas with soft bottom and healthy grass that will hold warmer temperatures longer. Brown grass is usually not very productive so just keep moving until you find a healthy area. Listening to what the fish are telling you is one of the most important communication skills an angler can master, odds are if there are no bait for the fish to forage on you won't find many fish in the area. This skill can turn a 1 fish day into a 20 fish day. Learning to to listen to what the fish are telling you is not as simple as reading this report or article, it's something you get from spending a lot of time on the water. The quickest way I have learned to eliminate unproductive water is to use a lure that will cover a lot of ground, the micro pogie a small crank bait by banks lures is a good choice for covering a wide variety of water depths. Focus on the areas mentioned above and work the entire water colum from top to bottom, once you loate the pattern the fish are holding in.

Fly anglers are having good success with shrimp and crab patterns on the redfish and deep clouser minnows in chartreuse/white and baitfish patterns are working well for the trout. If you want to increase your chances of landing more fish, get out of the boat and wade. Wading offers many more shots at wary fish as you will lower your profile on the water and are able to get much closer to the fish. Look for subtle disturbances on the surface and cast your fly in the general area, not on top of the motion the fish has already moved if you see the water moving.

January has started the beginning of the most exciting as well as the best time of the year for Gator Trout fishing inshore. Large females will be lying in and or around sandy pot holes and tucked into the grass beside them, so don't Overlook a pothole because it appears to be empty. Larger fish (Trout)over 8 lbs tend to be territorial so you probably won't catch more than 4 or 5 fish of this size in the general area.The water clarity is almost crystal clear in most parts of the Mosquito Lagoon and NIRL and sight fishing the flats for tailing Redfish and Huge Black Drum and Gator Trout will be one of the most exciting highlights of the upcomming few months. Most of the pictures I take are too large to upload here, pictures of catches from recent trips can be seen on either of my websites, www.mosquitolagoonguides.com or www.orlandoflatsfishing.com

Until next time enjoy your time on the water and remember to take a kid fishing if you can, share the experience!
Tight Lines
Capt Pat

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