Drew Cavanaugh

July 19th, 2013 New Smyrna Beach Inshore Fishing Charter Report

With the arrival of summer time here in central Florida we have also received some very nice days and opportunities to get some great sight fishing in on the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River backcountry flats. Whether you are fishing the northern sections up in New Smyrna Beach, Oak Hill and Edgewater or fishing the south end of the lagoons in Titusville and Cocoa Beach, the flats fishing has been outstanding.

Despite the recent algae bloom that the northern Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon had, along with the dramatic publicity it has received, it is by no means as bad as the media has portrayed it to be. My eyes see it differently each day I am on the water. Besides that I have been to the dock every day to look for myself. It is definitely not as bad as it was at this exact time last year and I honestly see day after day the waters here clearing up a little at a time.

With the afternoon thunderstorms we are getting, steady weather and the nice patterns, it is my opinion it is helping. It actually looks a lot like it should look for this time of year, the hot days of summer time here in Florida. On top of this I have been able to find some areas inside both bodies of waters that contain some "winter" like clean water.

The past few weeks I have been able to get my clients on some very high quality sight fishing. On most days we are getting shots not at just a few fish but several. Numerous casts and fish are being landed whether for the intermediate, advanced or the professional grade angler, throughout the day's charters on the water. Even at times at day's end they would have seen over a thousand fish that are within rods reach, and right at the boat. How you say? Stealth, patience, distance and accuracy, this is the key to sight fishing.

As usual the days will start very early, with no room for movement there if you want a higher quality day on the water. This is for a few different reasons. The redfish, black drum and trout are feeding aggressively at first light and getting onto them as well into position requires one thing. Do not rush it. Take your time when approaching fish on the flats, they will spook very easily. Now do not get me wrong, they will feed almost all of the time and throughout the day, they are animals, but there are times better than others. Plus who does not like the sunrise and that time of the morning where you can just feel the bite.

Red drum or redfish are feeding on bait fish like mullet and pinfish along with the usual meal of crabs and shrimp. Look for signs of life on the open flats, birds feeding, bait exploding on the surface, nervous water and so on. At this point in time figure a good game plan out, your approach to them, position you want to be in.

Avoid making any excessive noises or movement that you have too. Watch your shadows as the sun comes up, remember they have one big thing on their (reds & trout) mind, death from above. These game fish will spook very easily, not just from sound but physically seeing you as well.

We have been getting redfish and trout on several forms of lures and flies. If, at first light, and you want some really great excitement, try throwing a top-water lure. Of course I like to use the DOA Shallow Running Baitbuster along with the Airhead, un-weighted of course, for this scenario. For those of you wanting to cast to a tailing redfish and try your targeted casts, use DOA Shrimp or CAL rigged on a weed-less hook with a very small weight. The same with the fly fisherman, you cannot go wrong while flats fishing Florida's waters for redfish and spotted seatrout using a shrimp patterned fly. If you choose you can throw bait at them but you still need to get that in front of their mouth in order for them to eat it.

Speaking of seatrout, I am seeing and catching some extremely high quality fish. Most are being caught at the exact same time we are sight fishing the redfish or throwing the top-waters. However I do ask you that when you get them close to the boat, do try to release them without bringing them on board. At this time of year with the heat, water temperature and the stress that they receive on the hook up their survival rate tends to decline. This will help them and in return will help you for the future when you go back out to catch them again. Makes sense to me.

Also please remember that you really should never hold any fish by the lips with any kind of "gripping" device or vertically, Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Charters they really do not like that. Hold them horizontally. Try to also keep your hands wet and keep in mind the number one priority is the survival of that fish upon its release. I like to say hold them with respect as for what they have given you, a great fight and a fun day. If they are not there then the day would not exist.

I have also been getting reports from fellow colleagues and friends who are seeing and catching good numbers of tarpon along the beaches and inlets. Also a few nice cobia and some nice sharks as well are being landed along our coastal beaches when weather permits the smaller flats boats to get out there in the Atlantic.

Captain Drew Cavanaugh

Fish Species: Redfish
Bait Used: DOA
Tackle Used: Light
Method Used: Sight Fishing
Water Depth: 2 feet
Water Temperature: 85
Wind Direction: East
Wind Speed: 10k
First Redfish
First Redfish

Indian River Redfish
Indian River Redfish

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Drew Cavanaugh

About The Author: Captain Drew Cavanaugh

Company: Florida Inshore Fishing Charters

Area Reporting: Mosquito Lagoon/East Central Florida

Bio: 20 Years plus of inshore fishing experience along Florida\'s east coast. Specializing in back country light tackle flats fishing at its very best. Located just 45 minutes east of Orlando. we supply all licenses and tackle. Call today for the trip of a lifetime...

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