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Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, November 22, 2005

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

For starters, I would like to say happy Thanksgiving, and I wish the best for you and your family during the holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to spend some time with family and friends, count our many blessings, and then go fishing.

As many of you know, angling on the lagoon coast this past few weeks has been difficult to say the least. Small craft advisory has been the dominant theme over the weather radio, and for the first time in 24 years straight, I was reluctantly forced to cut my annual Thanksgiving Sebastian fishing vacation short. Each time we pushed the envelope, high winds, heavy seas, or driving rain frustrated us, or we were driven ashore by threatening conditions. To add insult to injury, a strong cold front finally managed to push in on Monday night bringing us clear skies, only to slap us around with gale force winds. All in all, it still beat the heck out of a week of work and was enjoyable nonetheless.

When we first started going to the city of Sebastian, it was a quite little fishing village rolling up its streets at sundown. Sebastian has evolved into a booming island style seaside resort, loaded with after hour entertainment and fine seafood dining. As usual, we rented a boat slip from Captain Hiram’s resort, which features a beach bar, restaurant, lodging, and marina with boat rentals. The weather was so bad, Three Quarter Time stayed on the trailer most of the time, and the resort dock master refunded my weeks stall rent after being blown out weather wise for the week. The City of Sebastian is located on the mainland directly across from the Sebastian Inlet, and is also home to the Sebastian River and the Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge.

November is the prime time, weather permitting, for the flounder migration. Good catches of flounder were reported in advance of the bad weather, but we only managed a few, fishing the wrong tides under adverse conditions. Once this cold weather settles in and the water cools, another heavy wave of flatfish should pass through the inlet. We also manage to catch a good number of ladyfish, jacks, and large sailcats while targeting flatfish, so we did have some fun. All fish were caught by drifting the inlet bouncing RipTide’s new Mud Minnow Jig on the bottom, tipped with a tiny chunk of fresh shrimp for flavor.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of fishing with Captain Rodney Smith, my good friend and Lagoon mentor, and we did manage to locate some respectable sea trout in the area of the clam lease near Black Point, south of the inlet. In spite of 15 to 20 knot winds, we caught some respectable trout drifting across the flat jigging with RipTide Realistic Shrimp on a ¼ ounce jig, season with shrimp flavored Lunker Sauce. Remember, sea trout are out of season in November and December, so all trout must be released, but they are still fun to catch.

Additionally, the inlet has been loaded with snook, but again the weather prohibited us from any attempts during the proper conditions. Good reports of snook were received from shore anglers I talked to, but we selected not to push the envelope of a nighttime lagoon crossing during difficult weather. If the current weather conditions settle down, the moon is right for an excellent snook bite this weekend. I like to target inlet snook at night, starting about an hour before tide change, and than fish through the slack tide until an hour or so after the change. This window of opportunity is wider during the first quarter moon, because the tidal flow is weaker. For bait selections, I like using large artificial hard baits like Bombers and Wind cheaters, one ounce bucktail jigs, and best of all, live pigfish and pinfish. Snook are ambush feeders, so you want to cast up current and let the bait swim natural with the tide just bumping the bottom every now and then. There is an art to catching snook at Sebastian Inlet, so if you chose to undertake this venture, watch the locals closely and be safe, because it’s an intense style of fishing.

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

Happy Holidays and good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 office
866-790-8081 toll free
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