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Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, October, 2005

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

Shorter days and cooler nights, acorns dropping from my live oak trees and the love bug hatch are all signs of fall on the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. Another sure sign of fall on the Lagoon Coast is the waves of baitfish working their way south on their fall migration through the lagoon and along the beach. We are currently in the middle of the fall bait run consisting primarily of silver mullet, a tropical species, with some Atlantic menhaden (pogies), bay anchovies (glass minnows) and black mullet mixed in. These tasty little baitfish create a smorgasbord for a large array of hungry predators looking to fatten up for the winter. As the water cools, waves of bait move in pulses heading south, and locating bait concentrations is the key to catching fish. Also, October and November are notorious for blustery breezes and nasty weather, but they’re also one of the best times of year for angling on the Lagoon coast, so watch the weather, pick your days on the water, and catch-em up.

Weather permitting, near-shore opportunities are the best you will see all year. Along the beaches, target areas of concentrated bait schools for a mixed bag of snook, tarpon, smoker kingfish, cobia, jack crevalle, oversized redfish, and sharks, lots of them. Also look for schools of glass minnows to begin showing up near the latter part of the month bringing larger Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and tarpon with them.

In and around the inlets of Ponce, Port Canaveral, and Sebastian look for flounder, snook, tarpon, jack crevelle, and oversized redfish feeding on migrating baitfish along the jetties. Easterly swells and falling tides can make for sporty sea conditions when operating your boat in these inlets, so pay attention, stay focused, and enjoy the rewards. Currently, shore anglers working from the beach are catching some nice snook and redfish by pitching live finger mullet along edge of the surf, even in the dirty water.

In the north Indian River and Mosquito Lagoons, higher water levels will allow anglers to venture into areas that were inaccessible during the summer. Look for slot redfish in close to grassy edges along the shoreline shadowing pods of finger mullet and the larger breeder reds staging in deeper water ambush sites where migrating fingers are forced to venture out away from the safety of the shallow flats. In deeper water, look for ladyfish and sea trout feeding on schools of glass minnows. These schools are easily located by watching for bird and fish activity. When fishing conditions are favorable, these schools will produce explosive action on top water plugs and popping flies. Another productive method is to target these fish by jigging with Rip-tide’s Realistic Shrimp on a ¼ to ½ ounce jig with a Woodie’s Rattle inserted. Also look for pompano skipping on the lagoon flats around the Titusville area, and black drum around the IRL Bridges.

In closing, I would like to inform everyone of Coastal Angler Magazine’s Third Annual Indian River Lagoon Fall Classic Catch-Photograph-Release Tournament to be held at Chowder’s Restaurant in Melbourne on the 28th and 29th of October. With an entry fee of only 50 dollars, this tournament is open to all anglers regardless of where and how you fish, and the angler’s bags presented to the first 200 anglers registered are worth at least that. Features eight different species of fish, this is a fun event intended to promote the use, not the abuse of the IRL, with proceeds donated to Lagoon projects. To register, pick up a copy of Coastal Angler Magazine or call CAM at 321-777-2773.

As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
[email protected]
407-416-1187 on the water

If you would like to be added to my mailing list, please contact me at [email protected]
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