Banana River-St. Johns River-Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report
Quote of the Week Dept. "The difference between a job and a career is the difference between 40 and 60 hours a week." - Robert Frost
Upcoming Events Dept-
-The Old Florida Outdoor Festival, February 10, 11, and 12th. I will be there in the Coastal Angler Magazine booth, Saturday from 10-2, Sunday from 12-2. Please come visit! I'd love to see you!
-Merritt Island NWR Show and Tell Seminars- March 3 and 4. Read More Here... (http://www.spottedtail.com/Seminar-MINWR-Show&Tell.htm)
Non-Fishing Item Dept.- We live on an awesome planet, the nicest by far in this part of the galaxy. Our personal star makes that whole life thing go. In un-fishing related news, the photos of our very own personal star are here, and they are amazing. http://www.space.com/30-amazing-sun-photos-space.html
Fishing, ah yes!
It was a spectacular week, with plenty of fishing. On a windy Sunday (1/29) Scott Stroop and Joe Mercer, from Savannah, joined me for a day's fishing. The Mosquito Lagoon was the venue. We went first to the spot where all the tailers had been a few days earlier. They weren't there!
While poling, we ran over a school of redfish sitting in a white hole in the same vicinity. Scott got one on a spoon. Joe quickly follwed by nailing one on the fly rod, using a wool crab. This is good. We haven't been out long and already have two fish.
The school had blown out though. We looked in a few other spots and saw nary a fin. Back to the first spot.
We saw a couple more fish but nothing targetable. My anglers had to drive back to Savannah (pretty athletic, down and back in one day) so we bailed a little early.
Monday fly fisher Josh Carleback, a resident of Brooklyn, met me at River Breeze. We launched the Mitzi and ran about two minutes. Five minutes later we were on a school of a couple hundred redfish.
We sat on them all day long, chasing them into the wind, which was blowing 15 out of the north. Eight hours of that wore my butt out, I'll tell you that. But Josh got 10 or 12 slot reds on a wool crab, making all the effort worth it. He had a heck of a day.
Tuesday, in spite of the 15 mph east wind, I went to the no motor zone of the Banana River Lagoon. I thought I could find the big fish that have done such significant damage to my fly rod collection the last two trips.
I passed up a good number of slot reds, so determined was I to get to the big fish spot. Funny thing about big fish spots. They change. They move. They disappear. So I get to the big fish spot and I see exactly one black drum, while running it over with the kayak. I waded around for at least an hour hoping for a shot with no luck.
Our fish don't like the wind. I know that.
Figured I'd go back to the slotties. On the way I ran over a few seatrout. They looked decent sized so I anchored and hopped out. Tied on an Electric Sushi. Second cast- THUMP. It felt like a real fish, and turned out to be a trout nearly two feet long.
Knowing it could be wishful thinking I changed the Sushi for a Gurgler. Thank you Jack Gartside! First cast, the toilet flushed, another beautiful trout.
Before I gave up I had gotten a dozen or so. The smallest was a solid 20 inches. It was a fun afternoon. And, I picked up two slot reds on the way back. Not bad for a windy day. Not every trip will to produce a 20 pound fish.
Thursday afternoon son Alex and I went to the St. Johns River. We took the Mitzi this time. It proved to be a good idea.
The bite wasn't real strong but it was steady. Alex had just visited Bitters's Bait and Tackle, and bought a bunch of little crappie jigs. We started off tossing shad flies, but I wondered how a 1/32nd ounce crappie jig with a mini-twisty tail would work.
It was hard to throw on the four-weight but the fish seemed to like it. We both caught shad. Ended up with 10 or 12 between us. Alex got a chunky largemouth and a couple of crappie. I got a fat bull bluegill. It was quite a lovely afternoon.
Friday Dr. George Yarko and his brother John joined me for some Mosquito Lagoon fishing. Conditions were yucky, cloudy and windy. I had some mullet but we stopped and picked up a coupls dozen shrimp, something I rarely do. It was a good call.
There were three boats where I wanted to start, so we went to the next spot. Didn't see anything for a while. Then, we ran over a couple reds. I immediately staked out the boat. Into a white hole we cast a mullet chunk out on one line and a shrimp on the other. Less than 100 seconds passed when the shrimp line went off. Twenty seven inch red, right at the top of the slot.
It turned out that spot was finsihed. The next didn't produce, either. But the last spot produced about eight more reds and a 16 inch (yummy) flounder.
I filleted three slot reds and that flounder. All three reds had shrimp in their stomachs. The big one also had one of those damn Gulp synthetic bait things. I don't understand why people use those things, they are not good for the fish.
Last but not least, on Saturday I met Ken Muhbich, a fly fisher from North Carolina, at Parrish Park. I started the day by slamming two finger tips in the car door. WOW that hurt. My fingernail is all black. I bet I lose it.
Cruising down Haulover a fisherman was fighting a big fish. We stopped to watch. His red weighed at least 20 pounds.
At our first stop we only saw a few fish, had just one shot. Did not convert. Second spot had more fish but they were hard to see and we didn't get a single good shot. Third spot had exactly three fish. Ken couldn't see the easy one and I hardly saw the other two. No luck there.
I decided to visit the place where Josh had done such a good job kicking redfish butt on Monday. On the way there- WHAM! Ken and I went flying. Fortunately we both stayed in the boat.
I had to get in the water and cut wire for 30 minutes before we could get going again.
We get to the spot and of course there are boats around. But none of them are in the right place. We sneak in there and to my disbelief and delight some of the school is still there. They were very spooky but Ken did manage to fool one with a Homer Rhodes Shrimp Fly, all grizzly. It turned out to be the only bite of the day.
And that, friends, is this week's Mosquito Lagoon (and elsewhere) fishing report! Thank you for reading!
Life is great and I love my work.
Life is short. Go Fishing!
All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.
About The Author: John Kumiski
Company: Spotted Tail Charter Service
Area Reporting: Florida's Space Coast
Bio: Guiding fly and light tackle anglers on Florida\'s Space Coast for over 20 years.