Mullet Run In Mosquito Lagoon
Monday, 9/14, Scott Radloff and I launched the Mitzi at River Breeze for some scouting. I had a trip Tuesday and wanted to find a few fish. We went as far north as JD's Fish Camp, and as far south as Tiger Shoal. All the water around the Oak Hill area was very dirty, quite high. We only saw a couple of fish there. South of George's Bank the water was cleaner but we still didn't see very many fish. We got no strikes and caught nothing, much to Scott's chagrin.
Tuesday morning I picked up Bob Martin and his friends Dan and Pete, quite a crowd for the Mitzi. Pete had a broken hand, in a cast, so he couldn't cast. I may not have caught a fish the previous day but I had seen a few. We started our fishing day staked out by a white hole in the grass. I cast a couple of mullet chunks into it and Dan shortly got a shorty redfish, a puppy drum as my Carolina buddies would call it, barely a foot long. It was the smallest redfish I've seen caught in a long time.
Dan also caught the next fish while blind casting a Johnson Minnow. This fish was better, about 20 inches long.
I was poling along the flat behind Tiger Shoal when a school of reds spooked off of Bob's lure. I cast a mullet chunk out and handed the rod to Pete, who then reeled in a 23 inch red, broken hand and all.
While searching over by the clinkers for fish we found a school of crevalle going off on bait fish, complete with diving gulls and terns. We had double and triple hookups for about 20 minutes. Bob was tossing the Johnson Minnow, Dan a Chug Bug, and me (for Pete) a RipTide weedless jig. All were equally effective to those ravenous fishies.
Finally, while bait fishing in a hole which has long been good to me Bob got a 26 inch red on a mullet chunk. So while it wasn't a hot day or a spectacular day, we did catch some fish. I've certainly had worse fishing.
Wednesday I went scouting by kayak in the Mosquito Lagoon for an upcoming trip. I started late, not putting the boat into the water until 10 AM. In the first several places the water was high and dirty. All I found were mullet.
I did find some clean(er) water though, where I found a few redfish and some baby tarpon. I had solid shots at three reds. All spooked off the fly. Again, I didn't get a strike, and was off the water at 1:30.
Thursday Tom Van Horn invited me to fish with him in the no motor zone. As in most other places in the lagoon system the water was high and dirty. We saw six reds (no shots), six black drum (one shot), and one tarpon (no shot). Although I wanted to fly fish and had the rod out and ready, I only had the one shot at a black drum. Other than that I tossed a Chug Bug, with which I got small trout, jacks, and ladyfish. We were off the water before noon.
Friday Scott Radloff and I tried to take the Mitzi out of Port Canaveral. We cleared the jetties, checked out the sea conditions (too rough!), didn't see any bait, fish, or birds, and turned around and went back in. On the way back to the dock Scott got a lookdown and a small gag grouper on a jig.
We re-launched at Port St. John, went to the power plant. We got a few ladyfish and a decent trout there, all on DOA CAL jigs. Then we went looking around in the Indian River Lagoon.
We poled a shoreline for a while (yes, the water was high and dirty) and came to a spot where we saw three redfish. I staked out the boat and we cast out a couple ladyfish chunks. In about 40 minutes we got a couple slot reds and a few CATfish. I am not a fan of CATfish. We released all the fish.
We spent a little while longer looking about but didn't see much and went in shortly after 1 PM.
Where are all the breaking fish???
Sunday and Monday I fished Don Bennett, a fly caster from New York. He wanted to kayak fish so against my better judgment we went to the Mosquito Lagoon. Traffic was light for a Sunday. We went to the place where I had the shots at fish on Wednesday. They weren't there.
We pulled the boats and went to one of my favorite Indian River spots. The water was high and really dirty. We didn't see a fish. We pulled the boats about 1:30.
Today we took the Mitzi instead of trying to paddle again, but were again on the Mosquito Lagoon. The first thing we found was a large school of finger mullet. As we watched we saw a few fish busting through them. Don cast a streamer for a while and got several trout to 17 inches.
That action finally died out, so we went searching again. I saw a shoreline with a lot of egrets along it, so poled in to investigate. We only saw two redfish in there, but Don got one on a streamer, a lower end slot fish. Congratulations of your first red on fly, Don! We saw another fish actually tailing (!) but couldn't get close enough for a shot.
The last place we looked there were quite a few baby tarpon. Don put a small gurgler on and got two strikes, both of which he boated. Congratulations on your first tarpon on fly, Don!
After the tarpon action faded we called it a day, and had the boat on the trailer at about 1:30.
Thanks to all my fishermen this past week. I appreciate your business!
Life is short- GO FISHING!
And life is great and I love my work!
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.