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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters

Passion for the sport of angling and the outdoors is what drives many diehard anglers like myself towards the ultimate goal of the perfect day on the water. Many of us only dream of such a day, and in my life, I’ve been blessed by more than my share. This was the case once more on Monday, as my good friend and lagoon mentor Captain John Kumiski joined me on a venture into the backwaters of the Banana River No-Motor Zone.

With the goal of catching my first respectable redfish on fly, and hopefully taking a shot at the mystical black drum, John and I have been talking about this expedition all summer. You see, my specialty has always been light tackle spin fishing, and for years, my good friends and expert fly guides Captains John, and Rodney Smith have challenge me to take the next step up into the saltwater fly fishing arena.

We started our endeavor at around 0930, as the cool 50-degree morning air deterred an early start. The skis were crystal clear with a 10-knot northwest wind, which is very manageable for winter’s day on the lagoon. As we paddled into the zone, I had one of those feelings you get in the pit of my stomach. I knew the catching was going to be good, and in this case, and my intuition was dead on as my fly-fishing lesson soon began.

Paddling into our first stop, we spooked a substantial school of large black drum and decided to stake out the canoe and wade with the hopes the school would settle down. The fish were still present as we waded back into the area, but the hip deep muddy water made site fishing tricky, and we soon gave up hopes of a clean shot. As we worked our way back to the canoe, John initiated my fishing lesson by scoring the first of what he called stupid redfish. I was next to have a good shot at a nice redfish, but I planted my fly squarely between his eyes, and as it bolted in the direction of John, John presented the perfect cast and the waking fish slammed on the brakes and devoured John’s fly. Fish number two was on, and before we departed stop number one, Johns score was three respectable redfish and two hefty sea trout to my squat.

Next, John polled me along the shore and we quickly spotted another stupid fish swimming straight at us, and I missed the strike four times before finally sticking the fat redfish. As I worked my redfish to the boat, three more redfish approached, and John hooked one for what would be the first of our four double hookups.

The hot bite continued for the remainder of the trip, and at one point John asked me when I was planning on calling it a day. Together we agreed that this day would only end when the fish wised up or the sun set. We quickly lost count of the number of quality fish caught, but a conservative estimate would be about 30 redfish up to 20 pounds, and at least 25 sea trout up to 7 pounds. All with the exception of four fish were taken on clouser minnows, chartreuse and black, orange and black, and purple and black. Oh by the way, John ended the day catching another hefty redfish on his last cast only a couple hundred yards from the ramp, as the sun settled into the lagoon.

Now, you may think this was the most unbelievable fishing story you’ve ever heard before, but today I returned to the Zone with both of my mentors, Captain John and Captain Rodney Smith, and the catching greatly improved over Monday.

We pushed away from our launch site at about 0830 facing a gentle north breeze, and clear sunny skis. As the day grew longer, the air warmed up, the breeze lay down, and our catching bonanza commenced. Combined, we each caught double the amount of fish taken on Monday, with a number of triple hook-ups, and we each caught a slam, redfish, sea trout, and snook. Top hook for the day was Captain John, with a fat 30-pound plus redfish. The majority of the fish caught were top of the slot or larger, and again taken on various flies. Yes, I am convinced there are fish gods, and this week, they have been grinning from ear to ear.

On a side note, only a few black drum were seen on the flat with none taken, so I still have a big black drum on fly on my list for later.

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

Good luck and great fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
www.irl-fishing.com
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 office
866-790-8081 toll free
 

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Interesting report! I am sitting here in Maryland with freezing rain and a 30 degree temperatures right now. Yesteday morning the low was 13.1 degrees and I don't think the daytime highs have been above freezing since the weekend. The rockfish (striped bass) season ended today but the last two weeks have just been too cold to venture out. The boat is sitting covered and iced over and the small creeks of the Chesapeake Bay are covered with ice also. Sure would be nice to have 50 degrees and fish for a change!! Enjoy it for the rest of us who are iced in!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Jerry, It's freezing down here too! Just this morning I had to break out my winter shorts. Just kidding! We are blessed to live where the fishing is good year round. Happy Holidays and stay warm.

Captain Tom
 

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Yeah, and I had to break out my winter longs (underware that is) too! With the creeks frozen over, I can't even fall back on playing with small yellow perch for the winter and I gave up on ice fishing many years ago. Guess I will just have to fall back one step more and pour and tie darts, jigs and lures for next season!
 

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Captain Tom,

Unlike the unfortunate souls in Maryland, I was able to escape to the Space Coast for some warmer weather. I'm in Melbourne for an extended holiday vacation so I can get some fishing in before th rest of the family arrives. I saw your report and was hoping you could provide me with a little info so I could try some no-motor-zone kayak redfishin' of my own. I'm going to rent a kayak from Ron Jon's for the day (unless you know of a better/cheaper/closer place to rent a kayak for 4-8 hours), but am new to the no-motor-zone area. Could you help me out with some access points and a direction I should paddle?

Thanks
Sawyer
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sawyer, The best way to access the No-Motor Zone is to launch at the north end of Banana River Drive. To get there, take the Beach-line (528) west arcoss the Banana River Lagoon. Your first exit after crossing the Lagoon is Banana River Drive. Go North untill it ends at the Barge Canal. The only portion open to the public is west of the channal and it is about a seven mile paddle to reach the end of the Zone.

Now I'm going to step out on a limb and tell you when, where , and how to catch some nice redhish. First, you need to fish on a prefrontal day when the wind is out if the west. Second, several days aftre a front passes, you will notice that the wind settles in the afternoon just before dark. There is a school of large resident redfish that live in the Barge Canal at night when it is cool. During the day, they move north out of the canal to feed when the water starts to warm up. In the afternoon when the wins settles down, the big red return to the canal, and it is easer to see them tailing. Look for the big reds on the western flat between KAR's Park and the Barge Canal. The best thing to do is just stake out on the flat and enjoy an adult beverage and watch. The best bait for the big fish is a jumbo live shrimp on a circle hook attached to 20-pound leader. You will also find tailing black drum in the same area on occasion.

Merry Christmas,

Captain Tom
 
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