Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, July 2005
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
The mid summer doldrums are currently upon us and there is no mistaking, summer has arrived on the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. July is also the time of year when summer squalls (tropical weather systems) and offshore water temperatures are unpredictable. Just when the bite is on and you think you’ve got things figured out, a summer squall will blow in and kick up the seas, or the cold water Labrador Current will move in and shut down the seaward bite. Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventures exist for us both inshore and offshore on the lagoon coast in July.
For those who are equipped and willing to venture offshore into the Gulf Stream and beyond, the yellow fin tuna bite has been and will continue be exceptional trolling with cider plugs. These expeditions require dependable equipment, a sea worthy vessel, and a knowledgeable and skillful skipper, and it’s prudent to make sure all of your safety equipment is in order before even considering a tuna trip.
Near-shore, kingfish will be the staple on the reefs and wrecks in 70 to 90 feet of water, with a mixed bag of three, wahoo, dolphin, and an occasional sailfish, thrown in. My preferred method for targeting these species is slow trolling live bait (pogies) on steel stinger rigs.
On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches, an assorted beach bag is available with smoker kings (large king mackerel), silver kings (tarpon), cobia, sharks, barracuda, and colossal jacks (school busses) all available at any given time. To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations. This past week, pods of large tarpon and sharks were located between Patrick AFB and Satellite Beach, and some nice fish were taken on the Port Canaveral buoy line. As the month progresses, these fish should begin moving north along the beach to their favorite summertime haunt in the forbidden zone off the bight of the Cape.
In the Port and inlets, Spanish mackerel, summer flounder and mangrove snapper numbers should remain steady. To target the flounder and snapper, try using Rip Tide’s new realistic shrimp on a ¼ to ½ ounce jig head in the areas of structure and along sandy drop-offs. Cast the jig as close to the structure as possible without getting snagged, and let it sink to the bottom. Once it’s reached the bottom, slowly drag it back letting it rest every foot or so.
Inshore, July is the best time of the year to catch redfish in shallow water. Large redfish schools have already started forming up for their late summer spawn, and the sight of 200 feeding redfish is incredible. Also, look for snook and mangrove snapper along shoreline edges, docks, and other structure, and juvenile tarpon in the creeks, canals and backwaters where water is flowing out of impoundments and creeks. In deeper water, look for ladyfish and small trout to be shadowing schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) under clouds of feeding terns, and let us not forget the early morning and late evening sea trout bite on top-water.
In fresh water, largemouth bass fishing has been going off the scale, fishing around the spillways and flood control structures in the Stick Marsh and Farm 13. On a bass charter this past week, my clients Tommy Djernic and Jimmi Gottsch from Denmark boated over 50 bass, with 7 over 6 pounds and the largest reaching 91/2 pounds, on live shiners and artificial.
In closing, let us be respectfully of the resource, the fishery, and each other while on the water over the holiday, and be thankful for those who have served this great country of ours in the name of freedom.
As always, if you have any questions or need information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
866-790-8081 toll free
407-416-1187 on the water
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