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Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, July 2006

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

One of the major tribulations one encounters along the 156-mile stretch of the Indian River Lagoon coast during the summer is which one of the many angling prospects will I pursue. With over 700 documented species of fish calling the east coast of Florida home, this diversity can make for some tough decisions. Will I fish offshore in the blue water, near-shore along the reefs, in close off of the beach, inshore in the lagoon, decisions, decisions, decisions? Well, this is always a good problem to have, and whatever you decide, don’t miss the boat on some of the best fishing experienced all year.

As always, nature holds the upper hand in setting the stage for water conditions and fish behavior, and during the summer, two major phenomenons influence the extent of the bite. First, we have our beloved summer squalls ushered in on the shoulders of a tropical fetch, for which we have become too familiar. Secondly, an upwelling known as the Labrador Current pushes up from the depths of the sea, chilling down ocean temperatures from the bottom up. Both occurrences can have a major impact, but their duration and magnitude is anyone’s guess.

Offshore in the Gulf Stream, water temperatures are fairly consistent, with July and August being excellent months to target yellow fin tuna for those willing to make the long run east (70 to 150 miles). July also marks the beginning of the mid summer doldrums bring calmer seas, making the long ride to the other smoother.

Bottom fishing will remain good in July, but once the cold water begins to push in, many species will either move in closer to shore seeking warmer water, or hightail it south. Depending on the magnitude of the coldwater influx, some blue water species will move inshore along the reefs and wrecks like Chris Benson, 8A, and Pelican Flats, with kingfish, dolphin, and cobia serving as the primary species. Also, cooler water has the tendency to push manta rays up on to the sandy shoals off of Cape Canaveral, bringing cobia with them.

Along the beaches, look for silver kings (large tarpon), smoker kings (large kingfish), blacktip sharks, jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of pogies (Atlantic menhaden), greenies (thread fin herring), glass minnows (bay anchovies), in close to shore. Also, look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run. Remember, snook are out of season, so if you target them, please handle and release them with extreme care.

Angling in the inlets will continue to show improvement with the larger tarpon, large redfish, jacks and sharks working bait pods during periods of out going tide, and Spanish mackerel and bonita working the smaller glass minnows.

Moving in-shore into the lagoon, target sea trout and redfish on the flats in areas of mullet schools using top water plugs during the early morning late afternoon hours, and at night. Once the sun grows hot and the top water bite slows, switch to live bait (pigfish) or jigs fished on the deeper edges of the flats. Also, July and August is the time of year when large schools of ladyfish and smaller sea trout shadow the schools of glass minnows in the deeper water. Last but not least, look for the pompano schools to be moving into the shadows around the causeway bridges where a well placed Shrimp imitation jig like the RipTide Realistic Shrimp with a Woodie’s Rattle insert tipped with either sand fleas or fresh shrimp, will place one of the sweet tasting critters on the grill for supper.

During this holiday weekend, let us not forget those who have in the past, and are now defending our freedom, because without their sacrifice and commitment, our liberty would be challenged.

Good luck and good fishing and happy Independence Day,

Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 0ffice
866-790-8081 Toll free

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