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Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Fishing Update Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Fishing  
RSS 6 |  Mosquito Lagoon & Indian River Fishing

Post Hurricane Irene Fishing Report
Thankfully hurricane Irene bypassed the Space Coast this time around and as of the last report is heading towards New York city via the outer banks of North Carolina.

The weather around Titusville late this afternoon felt like the calm after the storm.  The air temperature hovered around 88 degrees and there was very little wind on the water.

My wife and I packed up our fishing rods and Elmo our wonder dog for a brief fishing excursion around the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

We didn't hit the water until about 7:00 p.m. and the water where we began fishing was dead calm.

There was very little visible fish activity in the first area we stopped to fish but it looked "fishy" and I was aching to try out a couple of new top water plugs.

I started fishing  a 100 yard stretch of very shallow water that led into a saltwater pond which usually holds a redfish or two and only got two strikes for my efforts. 

My wife was fishing with a dead shrimp and I was "walking the dog" using my new black and silver
Heddon Super Spook Jr.
top water plug I picked up at Bass Pro.

Karen wasn't getting any action so we moved up the road a bit to try the brackish water pond.

(Published: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 19:34:27 -0700)

Indian River Fishing Report For Week of August 20, 2011
This Indian River fishing report is for the week of August 20, 2011. 

The water levels in both lagoon systems has risen over the last couple of weeks and has opened up some fishing areas, particularly in the marsh areas,  that were previously on dry land.

The best bite has been early in the morning for sea trout that are targeting the schools of bait fish that can now be found in good numbers in both the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River.

Top water plugs or a live ladyfish or finger mullet free lined on the surface will get the larger fish.

As the water gets warmer in the late morning, the trout have been moving into the 3 and 4 foot depths around large pot holes and over the sea grass.

You can catch them using a variety of baits but the one "do nothing" rig that works well that my wife Karen swears by, is a Cajun Thunder clacking bobber rig with either a D.O.A. shrimp or a plastic paddle tail bait under about 12" to 18" of fluorocarbon leader.

The D.O.A. Deadly Combo Lure, Oval Float, Gold Glitter works just as well and is less expensive but be sure to use a loop knot when you fish it and give the bait time to settle between jerks.

Flip the rig out and twitch it.  When the bobber sits upright in the water,  wait a second or two and twitch it again.  Every time it flips upright, the shrimp drops slowly to the bottom and this is usually when you get the hit.

This rig is really deadly using live shrimp.

The grass beds that are in 3 to 5 feet of water in the northern part of the Indian River are loaded with good sized sea trout right now and there's not much fishing pressure in this area.

I've got a few reports about the Dummit Cove area being full of big sea trout feeding over the grass beds and some guys catching nice sized redfish in the shallows throughout that area.

The grass flats that parallel the Western shore of the Indian River from Titusville north have always been a relatively under fished area for schools of big redfish in depths from 1 to 3 feet

Some really big redfish in the 30 pound plus class are now being caught on the flats south of Titusville by sight fishermen.  I talked to a couple of guys at The Fly Fisherman who pick them off with Dahlberg Divers.

These fish are spooky right now and require longer casts with lighter line.

The eastern shores of the Indian River in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge from  Peacocks Pocket south, is still hot for redfish in the shallows and sea trout in the early mornings and late evening.

My wife and I have only been able to get out just before dusk but we have been spotting some really big redfish and sea trout throughout this area.

Again the best baits are live finger mullet, ladyfish, D.O.A. jerkbaits or top water baits.

:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 15:47:09 -0700)

Sea Trout Were Biting
The sea trout were biting late this afternoon in the mosquito control canals in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Even though it was late when I got home from work, my wife and I decided to take Elmo for a little fishing trip.

We didn't even get out until about 6:00 p.m. and then lucked out netting bait.  My first cast picked up several nice fat finger mullet and four ladyfish that were about 7" long.

The thermometer registered 89 degrees and there was a moderate wind blowing in from the west pushing the water in the lagoon to the eastern shore.

There was a stench of rotting vegetation that took a while to get used to which is probably why we only saw one other soul in the preserve.

Karen baited up her rod with a fat 7" finger mullet and I did the same with a ladyfish on one of my other rods.

:: Read More
(Published: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 19:36:18 -0700)

Playalinda Beach Bluefish
The Playalinda Beach bluefish and Spanish mackerel were supposed to be hot this month, so I decided to give it a try.

After finishing some chores, I grabbed a matched pair of 10' surf rods seated with a pair of
Okuma Baitrunner Coronado Saltwater Spinning Reels 
  and headed for Playalinda Beach to see if the bite was on.

The tide was out and the water was relatively flat at the beach. According to the tide tables, good fishing should have been from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm plus or minus an hour or so.

I hit lot #6 first at about 2:30 pm and saw only two serious surf fishermen.

One was catching whiting and the other guy didn't seem to be doing anything worthwhile.

There weren't many people at the beach today but there were quite a few surfers and sea kayakers on the water.

I took some pics and moved on to lot #8 at Eddy Creek. This area is usually crowded with fishermen and beach goers and today was no exception.

Again, nobody was catching bluefish or Spanish mackerel, only whiting.

Again I took some of these pics and moved down to lot #10 where it is usually free from beach goers.

When I got there I loaded up my rods and trudged to a spot that looked "fishy". There was a slough about 30 yards from the beach and another about 50 yards out from that on a little bit south of that one.

I baited up a sliding sinker rig with a frozen whole ladyfish about 6" long and waded out as far as I could safely go before tossing out my offering.

I waited patiently for something to bite, all the while looking for signs of fish.

I spotted a large school of menhaden that were jumping out of the water trying to escape from some unknown predator, but they were too far out to cast to.

I saw lots of glass minnows jumping out of the water closer to me but my bait was too large to "match the hatch". Whatever was chasing them didn't want my ladyfish.

After about a half an hour I got a savage hit that left me with only the head of the ladyfish.

I baited up with another one and cast out to the same area. After another half hour or so without a bite, I started reeling in my bait and almost got run over by a pair of tarpon cruising parallel to the beach.

There was definitely fish activity in the area but everything was beyond casting distance.

Finally, after getting another ladyfish cut in half, I decided I had enough fun and sun so I packed it in.

On the way out of the beach, I decided to take a ride over to Haulover Canal and use up the rest of my ladyfish.

The current in the canal was relatively strong but there weren't many weeds for a change to bog down your line.

There were some people canoeing the area and one serious fisherman anchored over a rock ledge who was catching mangrove snapper. Several other people were fishing from the bank.

I baited up with a whole ladyfish and had been fishing for about an hour before hooking up with one of those Bull Redfish you hear about being caught in the canal.

The fish but up a great fight and appeared to be around 40 inches long, but I lost it when it wound around a coquina outcropping near the bank.

Anyway, it was a damn good fish if it could break off from a 65lb. Class, Power Pro Spectra Fishing Line above the leader.

Disappointment wasn't the word for what I was feeling today. It was much worse than that.

Feeling like I lost a 12 rounder, I packed it in and headed for home and a pizza instead of a fish dinner.

Tight Lines to you all!

:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 14:18:54 -0700)

Night Shrimping On The Indian River Is Still Going Strong
Night shrimping on the Indian River is still going strong in August.

Normally in August the sport shrimping run on the Indian River is over and done with.  However, this year the norms have been redefined by this past winter's severe cold fronts.

It seems like everything has been pushed back a month or so.

Sunday evening I got bored watching the doom and gloom on the boob tube, so I decided to drive down to our new fishing piers and check out the action, if any.

I didn't expect to see many people doing anything but partying at the pavilion but was pleasantly surprised by how many people were on both piers shrimping, catching blue crabs and fishing.

I took these pics of the activity and composed this short video to show the "goings on".

I arrived about 10:00 pm armed with my trusty Nikon and a 7' spinning rod baited with a Rootbeer/Gold D.O.A. Shrimp just in case the trout were biting.

It was windy and there was a little chop on the water.  The shrimpers had their shrimp lights out and the fishermen were doing their thing using mostly live or dead shrimp for bait.

This gentleman in his motorized wheelchair was catching a good number of shrimp and had the bottom of his bucket covered when I got there.

He had only been shrimping since it got dark and expected to net up quite a few more before heading for home.

He told me that he comes to the pier about once a week to shrimp and that this is the first time the shrimp were still running in good numbers through the month of August.

I moved on down the length of the pier taking pictures of all the people enjoying the evenings activities.

One couple even had a crib out there with their kids while shrimping and several others were lounging around on the chairs they brought with them.

I flipped the
D.O.A. Shrimp
out a few times around the lights, caught a couple of under size sea trout and missed several more before calling it a night and going home.

On the way out, I took a snippet of this guy's cooler that he was filling up with blue crabs which were drifting by on the surface along with the shrimp.

He told me that he planned to fill it up before leaving.

I wished him well but personally I hate messing with cleaning them.  Especially the smaller ones.

I much prefer soft shelled blue crabs in sandwich form!

I'm happy to be able to report that the night shrimping is still going strong on the Indian River.

Till my next report, Tight Lines.

:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 13:51:43 -0700)

Why The Mosquito Lagoon Got Its Name
Now I understand why the Mosquito Lagoon got it's name.

Because of the mosquitoes, I didn't get much fishing in on Friday even though I did give it a half hearted attempt.

When I got home from work Friday evening, my wife didn't feel like wetting a line in the blistering heat so I took Elmo our wonder dog with me to see if anything was biting in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Preserve.

It was late in the afternoon so I headed for Gator Creek road first to check out the water levels.

The water levels in the swamp areas were up, probably due to thunderstorm activity in the late afternoons this past week.

There were a lot of fishermen parked in various locations throughout the area but no one was catching. Everyone was just fishing.

The cutting crews had mowed some time this past week and the mosquitoes were deadly.

Poor Elmo wouldn't leave the safety of the truck and I had the windows closed to keep the mosquitoes out.

I left the confines of the truck two times to make halfhearted casts to a couple of oversize redfish I saw attacking baitfish in the shallows, right on the bank.

Both fish didn't care for the D.O.A. shrimp I offered them.

I saw a lot of sea trout activity but didn't even bother casting to them because of the hordes of mosquitoes.

I took a few of pics of the scenery but unfortunately today I couldn't come up with any pictures of fish.

I'm not sure if the full moon had anything to do with the fishing but it was definitely full as we left the preserve.

Today, Elmo and I should have taken my wife's advise and stayed at home.

Anyway, I'm hoping to try out Playalinda Beach tomorrow for some bluefish that are supposedly hitting in the surf.

Tight Lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 21:02:33 -0700)

Sea Trout Bite Best When It Rains
Apparently the sea trout bite best when it rains during the summer months.

It was about 6:30 p.m. before my wife and I decided to get out of the house and escape the depressing news about our economy.

Fishing keeps down ulcers and clears the mind. Or so they say.

Anyway, we left the house and headed to the Indian River for some sea trout fishing.

After netting a few small ladyfish for Karen to use for bait, we proceeded to one of our favorite spots.

Karen impaled her bait on a 4/0 hook under a Cajun Thunder bobber and I decided to use paddle tail swim baits and DOA shrimp to see what I could roil up.

Karen got the first and largest fish of the day. A nice fat 20" sea trout on the ladyfish.

I unhooked the fish fully intending to release it, but it was gut hooked, bleeding badly and I couldn't get it to revive in the almost hot water of the marsh canal.

I took a pic of the fish and continued with my fishing up from where my wife was fishing.

The Creme paddle tail swim bait that I initially used wasn't producing any bites so I changed to a glow white DOA shrimp.

Thunderstorms were moving through the area and what has become the norm during this time of the year, the sea trout started to get more active and bite.

I hooked a twin to Karen's fish and released it without taking a picture. The water temperature today didn't allow for photographs if you wanted to release fish alive.

In about an hour I managed to land two more nice trout and missed about the same number before the mosquitoes started to get unbearable.

The grass around the road hadn't been cut in a while and the mosquitoes were literally everywhere.

Elmo, our perfect "wonder dog" was being tormented and wouldn't leave the confines of the truck .

It rained a bit and after it cleared up the fish stopped biting so we decided to leave the area and head for home.

I took these pics of the scenery you might enjoy.

I'm not sure why the sea trout bite best when it rains, but every time we fish before and during a rainstorm we get some great action.

Till next time, Tight Lines, hang on to your money and go fishing to clear your head.

The stock market is going to tank tomorrow!
:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 07 Aug 2011 21:40:33 -0700)

Indian River Trout Bite
The Indian River trout bite is still good early in the morning and just before dusk in the evening along the shallow flats.

My wife and I fished Peacocks Pocket road Friday evening just before dusk.

Since it was late, I didn't feel like fooling around with a cast net getting live bait. Instead I used a D.O.A. white paddle tail swim bait on a 7' graphite spinning rod loaded with 10# mono tied directly to the lure.

The setup was apparently what the fish wanted.

I missed several smaller trout and landed one about 22" in about an hour of fishing.

The fish were attacking small baitfish that were meandering close to the bank in very shallow water.

As I released the fish, I couldn't help but notice how hot the water temperature was.

Although I didn't have a thermometer with me, the water had to be at least in the upper 80s.

I took a some pics of this big wild boar we saw in the marsh area along with the beautiful scenery and a quick one of one of the fish I caught here.

Although Karen and I didn't get into the area until about 7:30, we never saw a single soul fishing or sight seeing in the area.

I just love having the area to ourselves!

Hope to get out tomorrow and try out the bluefish that are supposed to be running in the surf from Playalinda Beach south.

Till next time.

Tight Lines and good fishing.
:: Read More
(Published: Sat, 06 Aug 2011 08:45:25 -0700)

My wife and I decided to try Peacocks Pocket road Saturday evening to see if we could rustle up a few sea trout or a redfish and we both got skunked!

I guess it was overdue. We have been catching instead of fishing on every outing ever since I can remember, but this evening was unbelievable. We both couldn't hold our mouths right.

I netted some small ladyfish and a couple of large finger mullet for bait at the entrance to Peacocks Pocket road before proceeding to a couple of spots we regularly fish.

Karen baited up with a small 6" ladyfish and I started flipping damn near every lure I had with me in the truck.

I had a couple of hits on a small gold Johnson's spoon from small trout and one half hearted topwater hit on a chartreuse colored Chug Bug, but other than those two hits my artificial lures were not attracting any attention.

We moved several times and finally settled on a spot about half way through the road near a culvert and small backwater pond where I hoped we could pick up a redfish before dark.

I baited up with one of the large finger mullet while Karen put on another smaller sized ladyfish on a Cajun Thunder rig.

There was a lot of activity in the water. Fish were being chased all over the place but the bite just wasn't there.

Karen missed three bites and lost all three ladyfish and I finally lost my finger mullet to a redfish that was cruising down the canal. I saw it's wake as it was swimming towards the mullet and as it hit, I tried to set the hook too quickly and lost the bait.

I guess I'm not much of a live bait fisherman.

The scenery was beautiful despite the fact that the temperature was hovering in the low 90s, but it was the mosquitoes that finally ran us out of the preserve.

Poor Elmo wouldn't come out of the truck because of the skeeters.

Anyway, here are some pics of the area sans fish this time around.

That's why they call it fishing folks!

Till next time, Tight Lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 20:15:59 -0700)

Windy Evening On The Indian River Lagoon
Although it was a windy evening on the Indian River Lagoon and my wife and I weren't even sure that the wildlife refuge would be open we still decided to give it a try.

It was late afternoon before I got home from work and after packing a few rods, some lures and the cast net, it was after 7 o'clock before we got to a spot where I can usually pick up some bait.

This evening, there were lots of small ladyfish and a couple small finger mullet for the bait well.

Karen and I looked for signs of where the wildfires last week had caused the refuge to be closed and we quickly found areas on the east side of the road that were burned.

The wind made it difficult to spot signs of feeding redfish or sea trout, so we finally decided to try the last spot we fished and hoped for the best.

I dropped Karen off at her spot and I drove a few yards up the road to fish another area I hoped would be productive.

I tossed a green DOA jig head with gold and chartreuse jerkbait body on one rod and baited up my other rod with a 5" ladyfish for bait and didn't get a bite on either offering the entire evening.

Evidently I wasn't holding my mouth right.

Karen on the other hand yelled that she had a big trout on so I picked up my Nikon CoolPix and ran to help her out with her fish.

The gator trout was over 24" and inhaled the live ladyfish Karen was using for bait.

I took her picture and after I snipped off the hook, Karen released the fish unharmed.

It started raining again and after the wind died down the bite stopped dead.

The fish seemed to have lockjaw; nothing was hitting anything.

Since it was getting dark and the mosquitoes were eating me alive, we decided to call it an evening.

I didn't get a fishing report from any of my friends this week, but the fishing should still be good early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. At leas it was this evening for my wife.

Till next time, Tight Lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 20:14:36 -0700)

Shiloh Marsh Road Fishing
My neighbor told me that since the water levels in the marsh areas have come up, fishing for sea trout and reds has picked up considerably around Shiloh Marsh road.

This past weekend was pretty much a bust for my wife and I as far as fishing was concerned.

The areas we normally fish were closed because of the wildfires in the area and instead of taking our Maverick flats boat out on Saturday as I had planned, I wound up doing a bunch of yard work instead.

Late Sunday afternoon, despite the windy conditions, Karen and I decided to take the long drive around Shiloh Marsh road and scout out the area.

The wind was blowing in strong from the northeast pushing the water in the Indian River lagoon towards the west bank.

Water levels in the marsh area were up considerably since the last time we drove through the area and fish were chasing finger mullet all over the place.

I spotted several nice size sea trout and a couple of large redfish that were well over the slot limit but the wind made casting to them almost impossible.

Although had I brought a light casting rod loaded with a DOA CAL and a spinning rod with a Chug Bug, I didn't bother casting much. The mosquitoes were vicious.

Because of the direction of the wind, the water levels on the Indian River side of the road was only inches deep throughout most of the drive.

A few areas like the one in the video below were fishable but except for the few places where I tried making a cast to a feeding fish, we never did any serious fishing.

When we drove through the area, almost no one was fishing.

About half way into the drive, two barefoot kids asked us if we could give them a jump and a lift back to their truck where they had a dead battery.

Since I had battery cables, I loaded the kids into the truck bed and drove at least 3 miles along the pot holed road back to the northern entrance of Shiloh Road where they left their ride.

A wrecker they called had gotten there first, so we left them with their friends and headed home.
Let's hear it for Herb Daniels!

Shiloh Marsh road is no place to have car trouble, especially with no one around.

Those kids were badly sun burned and must have lost a pint of blood each to the mosquitoes.

Anyway, with any kind of luck the fishing conditions next weekend should get better.

Till then, tight lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 20:09:42 -0700)

Controlled Burn In The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Got home late this afternoon hoping to catch another gator sea trout or at least a redfish only to find a controlled burn in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Despite the thunderstorms that were rolling through Titusville late this afternoon, my wife and I still hoped to get in a little fishing.

We loaded up and headed to McDonald's to get a couple of smoothies before heading to the swamp, only to find that the entire Peacocks Pocket area was closed.

Before driving down to the easternmost entrance to the Pocket I stopped to take these photos of the area.

I was hoping that only part of the refuge was involved in the burn but as we drove closer to the area it was obvious that the entire marsh area was up in flames.

Since there the thunderstorms were moving to the east and because it was already close to 7 o'clock, Karen and I decided to give it up and head for home.

If the area isn't open tomorrow, we plan to take out the Maverick and try our luck in the Mosquito Lagoon flats around Whale's Tail for some trout and reds.

At least that's the game plan providing the weather doesn't put a monkey wrench into the mix.

Till next time,

Tight Lines
:: Read More
(Published: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 17:17:07 -0700)

Sea Trout And A Fireworks Display On The Indian River Lagoon
Catching sea trout and a fireworks display on the Indian River Lagoon makes for a great fishing trip.

My wife and I almost didn't bother to go out fishing this afternoon.

We thought that the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge would be loaded with visitor traffic due to the Independence Day holiday.

We didn't bother even packing our gear until about 6:00 pm and then took our time getting to one of our favorite locations.

I netted up about a dozen 6" to 8" finger mullet for bait and moved down the unimproved road on to one of our spots.

We came into Peacocks Pocket road at the eastern most entrance and passed by only three other groups of fishermen who had staked out their spots on the Indian River.

Everyone seemed to be having a great time enjoying the wildlife and the outdoors in general.

The alligators were out in force. Karen and I spotted at least five good sized ones on the way in on both sides of the road.

When we staked out our spot, Karen moved up the road to where she saw a large redfish pushing water right onto the bank. She put on a 6" finger mullet and free lined the bait at her spot.

The fish today were holding tight to the shoreline in the canal and on the river side.

I impaled the biggest finger mullet in the bait well (almost 8") and tossed it to the opposite bank of the canal near a closed culvert.

The bait lasted all of 5 minutes before a 24" sea trout inhaled the bait and took off up the canal.

I came prepared today with a casting reel loaded with 60# Power Pro braid, an 8' section of 15# fluorocarbon leader and a 5/0 Owner hook.

The sea trout didn't have much of a chance but it still put up a respectable fight.

I landed the fish and intended to release it but it was hooked in the gills and was bleeding badly so I decided to keep it for dinner.

Karen was way up the road so I just took these pics of the fish and the rod for size reference before putting on another bait.

To make a long story short, neither Karen or I had another bite until just before dusk.

Another big sea trout picked up the live finger mullet and headed towards an open flats area.

I briefly fought the fish before taking it's picture and releasing it to fight another day.

One trout for dinner is enough.

The mosquitoes were draining the blood from our bodies and Elmo was looking just plain miserable in the truck. He refused to get out of the truck because of the mosquitoes.

Karen missed a redfish but didn't get another bite so we decided to head for the exit.

On the way out, we found a spot to park where I managed to take this video of the fireworks display that the city of Titusville put on.

We didn't catch the redfish we were hoping for today, but what could be better than some nice sea trout and a fireworks display on the Indian River Lagoon.

Till next time,

Tight Lines and a Happy Independence Day!

:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 03 Jul 2011 21:19:37 -0700)

Pelican Island In The Mosquito Lagoon
The Whales Tail area of the Mosquito Lagoon is noted for the resident schools of big redfish, sea trout and an occasional tarpon.

However, Pelican Island which is seldom talked about is also a great area to fish and is usually free from competition.

The best way to access both areas is from the Eddy Creek boat ramp off of Playalinda Beach.

View Larger Map

With a Ghenoee, kayak or a shallow draft flats boat, you can access the southernmost reaches of the Mosquito Lagoon where there is relatively little fishing pressure.

From Eddy Creek you can go south west to Pelican Island or due south to a smaller (unnamed) Island and can get in some great fishing for big redfish or sea trout on the flats around both Islands.

There is a deeper area just west of Pelican Island that holds a lot of redfish, slot size and larger sea trout and sometimes tarpon.

To get to Eddy Creek, follow the road through the pay station at the Canaveral National Seashore all the way north on the beach access road past parking lot #7.

The parking area for Eddy Creek is on the left side of the road just after the #7 beach parking area.

At Eddy Creek there is a small fishing dock at the boat launch that is usually occupied however, the shorelines along the southern edge of the cove are great for wade fishing.

Fish live a shrimp under a Cajun Thunder bobber for redfish, sea trout, and a variety of other species such as mangrove snapper, sheepshead, black drum and even an occasional gag grouper.

You never know what's going to hit in this area.

My wife and I have had good luck fishing both in the cove and out on the lagoon from our old 16' canoe. We never tried taking out our Maverick flats boat but I'll probably give it a try when I get it back from the shop.

The last time we went out she picked up several bluefish, a whiting, some sea trout and missed a nice redfish.

Outgunned again!

A friend of mine asked me about fishing in the area which is why I'm devoting time for a reply.

We didn't get a chance to get any fishing in today because of yard work but tomorrow is another day.

Till then.

Tight Lines!
:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 03 Jul 2011 13:45:30 -0700)

Fishing Peacocks Pocket Road
Fishing Peacocks Pocket road is becoming a habit for me and my wife.

Every Friday evening after I return home from work I'm usually jonesing to go fishing and the closest place is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge around Peacocks Pocket road.

The thunderstorms this afternoon died down at about 5:30 p.m. so we packed up a few rods, netted some bait and headed for a couple of our favorite spots.

Our first stop netted me a couple slot sized sea trout. One was caught on a live finger mullet and the other on a CAL DOA white paddle tail bait fished just off the bottom.

The water was almost dead calm this afternoon and longer casts generated more hits than the usual lobs I use when fishing this area.

There were plenty of finger mullet in the marsh side of the road and because of last weeks incessant rains, the water levels were up a bit from where they were last week.

Karen was fishing live finger mullet for a change and when we were almost out of bait changed over to 6" live ladyfish.

At our second stop, Karen missed a nice redfish that ate her finger mullet and pulled off.

Several minutes later she hooked this nice slot size 20" sea trout on a free lined ladyfish, which she promptly released.

At our second stop I missed a nice redfish and landed another slot size sea trout that I also released.

A couple stopped to talk to me about the fishing and the bird life in the area and while I was talking to them, I didn't realize I was standing on an anthill.

As they left, I started feeling real pain in my leg all the way up to my crotch as the angry ants chewed away at me. I got rid of my sneakers and swatted away the ants but I was in real agony for awhile.

It was getting late but we continued to fish even though I was feeling miserable from the ant bites and just as I was ready to ask Karen to call it a day, she missed another redfish on a live ladyfish.

We finally decided to give it up and come back tomorrow for another try.

As we were leaving, I stopped to talk to the only other fisherman we saw in the preserve. I noticed him casting a CAL type jerkbait up the road from where we were fishing and decided to ask if he had any luck.

He told me he caught three sea trout and two smaller redfish which he released. I didn't get his name but I did give him the name of this website.

Jokingly, he asked me if I wanted to by his flats boat. He said he didn't need it with the fishing as good as it was in this area.

I told him that I have a Maverick I seldom use, for exactly the same reason.

One this is for sure, fishing Peacocks Pocket road is getting better if you know how to fish it and hit it at the right time.

I'll never get over the beautiful sunsets.

Till next time,

Tight Lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 19:38:05 -0700)

A Great Afternoon Fishing Trip In The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Well, despite the rolling thunderstorms that hit us this afternoon, my wife and I had a great afternoon fishing trip in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

I had to stop mowing the lawn a couple of times because of the severe lightning but as soon as I finished up I rounded up Elmo and Karen for a trip to the Refuge.

I cast netted about a dozen finger mullet and a few small ladyfish for bait as we entered Peacocks Pocket then headed for where we caught some nice fish the other day.

The thunderstorms stopped but we could see them off of the horizon.

Today we stopped at three spots and caught fish at all three locations.

I picked up a nice 22" sea trout on a finger mullet at the first stop and missed a nice redfish of about the same size.

Karen didn't get a bite and was too busy freaking out because of an alligator that kept following her in the canal.

We moved on down the road to our second spot where I picked up another sea trout a little larger than the first.

The pic below is not good quality because it was taken along with all the other pics on this post with my Nokia cell phone.

In our rush to go fishing, I neglected to take my trusty Nikon along on this trip and true to form, we missed some great photo opportunities.

It was getting close to 8:00 so we moved to our final spot where Karen picked up a nice 32" redfish on a free lined finger mullet.

I heard her yelling as I was releasing another sea trout so I dropped my rod and ran for the boca grip in the truck.

The fish put up a great fight (part of which I captured on the cell phone) and as it finally gave up the battle, I skidded down the bank and gripped the bull redfish onto the bank.

I took these pics of Karen holding the fish and released it back into the canal. It remained motionless for some time but finally swam off into the depths.

I normally revive the fish I release but the alligators were out this afternoon and I didn't want to take a chance of losing my arm.

Since it was getting on towards dusk, we decided to call it a day.

It was definitely a great afternoon fishing trip in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge with no one else around but two other people in the entire preserve.

Till next time, Tight Lines!
:: Read More
(Published: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 17:27:48 -0700)

Oops, I did it again
Oops, I did it again! Got another gator sea trout.

The gator trout are definitely biting in the Indian River lagoon.

It was raining and lightning when I got home from work late this afternoon but when it slowed down a bit, my wife and I decided to go fishing and try for another gator trout or two.

The alligators were out in full force looking for food in the marsh area and there were plenty of fish around for them to feed on.

We didn't get to the river until about 6:30 and the weather was just plain nasty.

I netted up a few 6" mullet for bait and we drove to an area where I caught a near gator trout earlier this week.

We made a couple of stops and I had a few hits on a gold Johnson spoon but missed both fish. It seemed like everything was chasing finger mullet.

The weather got progressively worse as a huge thunderstorm moved in. The wind started really blowing and the temperature must have dropped at least 10 degrees.

Karen was afraid of the lightening and stayed in the car while I pitched out a finger mullet on one rod and started casting to fish with my gold spoon.

After only a couple of minutes, I saw the line with the mullet paying out and after a few seconds I set the hook.

The water exploded as a gator sea trout jumped clear out of the water and made a couple of super quick runs. The fish reacted just like a snook.

After the second run I played the fish to the bank, landed it and got Karen to take a couple of pics. The fish measured in at hair over 27".

I was going to let the fish go but the fish was bleeding and I wanted some fresh trout for dinner so I put it in the back of the truck. It couldn't fit in the small cooler we were using.

The weather didn't let up a bit but after I caught my fish, Karen decided to start fishing despite the lightening.

She pitched out a mullet on her clacker bobber rig and after a brief wait hooked onto a nice sea trout.

As she got it to the bank she tried to pull it up but the fish was too big and broke off at the hook.

For a brief couple of seconds the sea trout just sat there in the shallow water so not thinking about the alligators, I just slid down the bank and grabbed the trout around it's midsection.

The fish was at least 20" and as I tried to stand up I lost my balance and almost slid head first into the canal.

Karen was laughing herself silly and I wasn't having a good day at this point.

As she pulled me out of the water and I figured "what the hell" as long as I was drenched, why not keep fishing.

The thunderstorm activity sparked a feeding frenzy and the baitfish were being chased all over the place by big sea trout and redfish.

We continued fishing and just as it started getting dark, I hooked onto another gator trout that was quite a bit larger than the one I landed earlier. This fish was at least 30" and jumped three times before the hook pulled out.

Karen and I were drenched to the bone and we were both getting cold, so we decided to head for home to change our clothes and fillet the sea trout for dinner.

I believe we could have caught more fish if we had stayed out there but it wasn't worth getting a case of pneumonia.

Maybe we can repeat the performance tomorrow.

Until then, Tight Lines!
:: Read More
(Published: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 20:29:25 -0700)

Another Gator Sea Trout
Late this afternoon, my wife and I decided to try our luck in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge for some redfish and hopefully another gator sea trout.

The temperature was 94 degrees when we left the house and settled in at 89 degrees as we pulled into Peacocks Pocket road.

I didn't forget my cast net for a change, so I stopped at a place I know where there are always some small ladyfish and finger mullet.

After netting a few for bait we moved to the first of four stops we made today.

The first was at the culverts just past the Peacocks Pocket kayak launch.

Karen fished dead shrimp and a small ladyfish under a bobber and I used a gold Johnson's spoon.

After about 20 minutes of fishing we decided to move on up the road. I caught a long nose gar fish of about 28" and Karen never got a bite.

The next two stops didn't produce anything but a couple of light taps. We saw feeding redfish but they weren't hungry.

Our last stop proved to be the best spot of today's trip.

I stopped when I saw a lot of feeding activity in the shallows next to the opposite bank of the marsh canal.

Karen tossed out her two rigs and I loaded up a rod with a lively 9" ladyfish on a 4/0 Owner hook.

I put out a second rod with a dead ladyfish cut in half while I tossed a white D.O.A. Paddle tail bait around the opposite bank of the canal.

After about 15 minutes, I hooked onto a nice redfish on the ladyfish baited rod.

I fought the fish for about 10 minutes or so before the fish wrapped around a stickup and broke off. That fish was at least 30" long and definitely not a keeper.

After only a few minutes, Karen yelled that she had a redfish on.

I grabbed my camera and took a few pics of her fish. It was just legal size but we let it go anyway.

I hooked up with a lively fat 7" mullet and tossed it out to where I saw a fish swirl.

It took only a few minutes before the fish took off with the mullet in it's gut.

At first I thought it was a redfish because of it's size but I quickly realized it was a gator sea trout by the way the fish fought. It just sloshed around instead of making a long run like redfish are notorious for.

I landed the fish and had Karen take these pics with my Nikon.

Although I look like hell, it was a nice sea trout (about 24") so I decided to crop the pic and post it. The second pic is what the fish looks like just before I cleaned and ate it.

We were both tired and because it was getting dark we decided to call it a day.

It's nice fishing on a weekday in the Refuge. We only saw two other people in the drive and the fish were feeding just about everywhere.

Weekend fishing is much more challenging because of all the activity. The fish get spooked and you don't usually catch anything until just at dusk.

Till next time.

Tight Lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 21:31:13 -0700)

The Shrimp Are Still Running In The Indian River
A friend of mine told me the shrimp are still running in the Indian River and that the regulars were getting up to a couple hundred shrimp a night.

There wasn't anything exciting on the boob tube so I decided to take a ride down to the new fishing pier and check out the shrimping activities.

Since it was Monday evening, I didn't expect to see many people out and about but boy was I wrong!

When I parked at the pavilion near the fishing pier it was about 11:45 p.m. and the place was loaded with people.

Some were shrimping, some were catching crabs and many were fishing for the sea trout that were competing with the shrimpers.

I brought one rod and my trusty Nikon and took these pics of the evenings festivities.

There was a steady wind blowing from the south and it was hard to spot shrimp under the lights but despite the challenge, several of the shrimpers I spoke with had several dozen large to jumbo shrimp lining their 5 gallon buckets.

I took some more pictures and decided to try my luck on the sea trout that were just above the lights. Occasionally you could see them dart out from the depths to snag a shrimp or small bait fish from the surface.

I tossed a Creme paddletail swim bait, a Lazer eye jig, and a D.O.A. shrimp at the fish with no takers. Finally I changed over to a Johnson gold spoon and that did the trick.

I discovered that when I cast just outside of the shrimp lights and brought the spoon in about a foot under the surface, the trout couldn't let the lure alone.

I caught five fish in about a half an hour and missed three more.

All the fish were undersize and released but they were still fun to catch.

I finally got tired of messing with the trout and left the pier to the shrimpers at about 1:30 a.m.

Hope to get out tomorrow and catch a red or two.

Till then, Tight Lines!
:: Read More
(Published: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 20:36:13 -0700)

Shiloh Marsh Road Water Levels Are Dangerously Low
Because of severe thunderstorm activity in the Central Florida area yesterday, my wife and I never got a chance to get out and wet a line.

This afternoon we decided to see what the water levels looked like around Shiloh Marsh Road in the Indian River.

I was hoping for a chance at a tarpon but would be happy with anything I could catch.

There is a meandering narrow creek at the uppermost part of the Indian River where tarpon occasionally inhabit and where fishermen almost never bother fishing. So, that was the first place we hit.

There was a lot of activity all along the creek but no tarpon. For the most part there were large sea trout chasing finger mullet in the shallows right up onto the bank.

I spotted a couple of slot size redfish, but never could get a lure close enough to attract a bite.

It was late in the afternoon and the temperature hovered in the high 80s. There was a brisk wind that was blowing water in the lagoon northward.

As we moved south on Shiloh Marsh Road, the water levels on the marsh side of the road were dangerously low.

Areas where we previously caught redfish, sea trout and sometimes small tarpon are now completely dried up.

One area I particularly liked to fish was dotted with dead horseshoe crabs and the odor reminded me of a Savannah crab shack.

I took some pics and we continued to scout the road looking for some fish activity.

At one stop I netted a few juvenile lady fish and a couple of mullet for bait. There were schools of bait fish moving close to shore but very few fish were chasing them.

One of the spots that we planned to fish was already taken by several wade fishermen who were casting live finger mullet.

Another good spot where we sometimes fish for bull reds was also taken by a couple of wade fishermen who even had their cooler on the water.

Our last stop turned out to be around a culvert where Karen usually catches some fish.

I tried several lures and managed to miss a couple of sea trout with a white Terror Eye D.O.A. Everything else I tossed at the fish was a waste of time.

Karen missed a couple of fish using dead shrimp but finally changed over to a 6 " live finger mullet.

Fishing today was slow and difficult due to the windy conditions but just as we were preparing to leave the area, Karen picked up a slot size sea trout shown here.

I was planning to release the fish but it was gill hooked so I decided to put it on the dinner table instead.

Hopefully, I'll get my Maverick out of the shop tomorrow so we can get into deeper water at the edges of the flats.

One of my guide friends tell me that the trout are still hitting well in the early mornings and just at dusk.

During the full moon nights, fishing is also very productive using top water plugs like Mirror Lures, Chug Bugs or Skitter Walks.

Till next time, Tight Lines.
:: Read More
(Published: Sun, 19 Jun 2011 20:06:55 -0700)

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