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Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast

574 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Captain Tom Van Horn
Indian Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, May 2006

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

There may be some truth in the saying “the one who dies with the most toys wins”, but life’s true successes are not measured by fiscal value. Instead, they are measured by the personal rewards one receives only through hard work, dedication, commitment, passion for life, and the love and respect of others. This past weekend, I was once again humbled and honored by the opportunity to guide a team of anglers in the 6th annual Mosquito Lagoon Redbone Celebrity Catch and Release Tournament to catch a cure for cystic fibrosis. Many young lives are challenged by this affliction, but many positive strides have and will continue to be made through research funded by the generous donation of anglers and guides fishing for a cure. This year, the fishing and weather was tough, but all who attended had a great time, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.

Longer days and increasing water temperatures both set the stage for increasing fishing opportunities experienced in May on Florida’s Indian River lagoon Coast. May is one of the best months to fish Florida’s east coast, with outstanding opportunities both inshore and offshore.

Near-shore along the beaches, focus your efforts in the areas of active bait pods (Atlantic menhaden or pogies). Pay close attention to concentrated areas of bait with birds feeding on the surface. Large game fish pressure these schools from underneath, and the level of feeding activity underneath is usually proportionate to the activity above the surface. Species feeding on these pods include silver kings (tarpon), reef donkeys (large jack cervalle), redfish, cobia, and sharks, and, near the end of the month, you can add smoker kings (large kingfish) into the mix. Also, tripletail and flounder numbers should be improving around the Port Canaveral buoys. At the inlets and beaches, Spanish mackerel, snook, redfish, jack crevalle, bluefish, flounder, sheepshead, and black drum are just some of the species available this month.

Blue water trolling should be excellent in May, with the larger dolphin being the focus of most anglers. Also in the mix are tuna, wahoo, kingfish, sailfish, and an occasional marlin. When targeting these species, work areas of color and water temperature changes (lines) in 120 feet of water or deeper, and in areas of concentrated floating weeds and debris. In addition, don’t forget that kingfish and cobia are present on the near-shore reefs and wrecks like Bethel Shoals, Pelican Flats, Chris Benson, and 8A reefs.

On the lagoon flats, redfish and spotted sea trout will provide the majority of the action for light tackle spin and fly anglers. For sea trout, fish your favorite top-water plugs at first light in about two feet of water concentrating in areas were you see active bait. After the morning top-water bite fades, switch to your favorite soft plastic jig, like the RipTide 3” swimming mullet with a Woodies rattle capsule inserted, fished in three to five feet of water alone the edges of flats or spoil islands. Additionally, the water has warmed to the point where the jack crevalle, ladyfish, snook, and tarpon will begin to show up in good numbers. Currently, the Port Canaveral Locks and the power plants in Port Saint John are loaded with jacks and ladyfish. May also marks the last month of snook season on Florida’s east coast, so don’t miss out on your last chance at putting a linesider in the boat.

In closing, be sure to mark your calendar for the Coastal Angler Magazine Fishing and Boating Expo, to be held at the Melbourne Auditorium may 19th, 20th, and 21st, and the FishStock event held in New Smyrna Beach on Memorial day weekend.


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

Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 office
866-790-8081 Toll free
If you would like to be added to my mailing list, just reply back to [email protected]
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