Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.
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August 7th, 2009
Well you can most definitely tell it is summer time here in central Florida. The weather is extremely hot and the fishing has been hot right along with it. The past few weeks have brought water levels to very low levels here on the Mosquito Lagoon. Some areas are at winter lows and with this it is pushing fish into confined spaces. Confined spaces makes for great to awesome fishing at times. This makes for a whole lot of pressure as well, not just for the fish but for the angler too. As always with low water be careful on your navigation here. It is very easy to stray off course and not just cause harm to yourself or your boat but to the grass flats as well.
Redfish have been a major target at day break for my clients along with myself. Tailing fish can be seen at first light in very shallow water in thick grass lines. Feeding aggressively on all types of bait. Almost surreal looking at times how these fish like some of the warmest/hottest and shallowest of water there is to find. You would almost think to yourself that they would not like that - however they do - not just like it - THEY LOVE IT! A very cautious approach is required when targeting fish in the warmer summer months. They tend to be very alert and can hear every little noise in and out of the water. Even your conversations on the boat should be kept to a minimal level along with movement of yourself and your gear. I have been watching a few boats here lately move in on fish like a military special forces operation with trolling motors blazing away with multiple boats merging in on the same fish/schools regardless of who is around. Fish; not just redfish but all creatures underwater can hear the noise of a trolling motor on full speed cutting towards them from far distances. As I state most of the time if you start early(like the saying the early bird gets the worm), take your time and approach(Use Your Push Pole - this effort will pay off)these fish with turkey like caution and you will be able to sneak up on them. Trust me, it works. I too like to use my trolling motor as much as the next person but there are just times when a little extra effort is needed to aquire a good position to make a better cast...(It is nice to have it incase you need it rather than not to have one and really need it). This may mean poling to them or sometimes even stopping and they may come to you. Adjust your approach as they adjust there position. Have a good tactical plan for getting into position. Figure out which way they are going and the speed in which they appear to be moving. Reds are feeding on numerous baits at this point and time in the summer. A softly placed finger mullet will work as well will a nice shrimp(if you can get them in a decent size). DO NOT land on the fish, it must be away from them or they will spook. Soft plastics work as well too. I like using the Berkley Gulps myself. White is my color of choice in a shrimp pattern. Hooked just on a 4/0 or 5/0 circle hook...No weights usually. Slow retrieve will get their attention. You will get the bait fish nibblers but that is part of summer time life here on the Mosquito Lagoon. Also remember there is quite a bit of water out there...Show courtesy to your fellow anglers around you. If an area tends to be crowded there are most definitely other places to go within the lagoon. Explore new places...you never know what you may discover. Don't let yourself get frustrated.
The trout bite has been fairly steady as well. I like to target these fish using top water and/or soft plastics. There is nothing like the explosion of a sea trout busting that lure at day break! The bigger females have been moving throughout the flats and are usually onto you well before you are onto them. Sand holes surrounded by grass flats are perfect areas to target these fish. As always, please handle these fish with extra & extreme caution. They are the breeders and we need them for future fisheries. Handle all of your catch this way. Smaller schooling trout are still being caught along drop offs and grass beds mostly in 2-4 feet of water in areas along bars/grass flats. Shrimp like soft plastics or mullet imitations will be able to bring in good numbers and produce quality action. Along the deeper waters off the flats ladyfish are still busting baits left and right along with a few jacks. watch for the massive schools of mullet roaming. Might even see a few tarpons as well. These fish hit almost anything and are extremely fun to catch. Black drum are still in good numbers all over the entire lagoon system. It is hard sometimes to figure out what they want to eat though. Shrimp, clams, gulps, flies and even small crabs work at times and at other times it seems nothing works. Again approach these fish with great stealth...If you start chasing them with your trolling motor they will become so nervous they will most likely spread out and make it even harder for you to get to them. Use your trolling motor to make up huge distances in deeper water to where it can be worked safely and quietly. Then when you are say 300-500 feet from the fish you are targeting push towards them from your poling tower. This will help in your approach tactic allowing you not only to get on them without being heard but you being able to see them well in advance. Again casting to them and presentation is 90% of the battle. If you land on top of them they will become like that flock of ten thousand birds in the air; one turns - they all turn. Once this run-away train starts it is hard to get back with them and for them to stay calm. Get the bait in front of them then a slow lift presentation as they get to it will work...become that shrimp!
As always I look forward to seeing you all on the water. Have a safe and productive fishing trip.
Tight Lines and Bent Rods!
Captain Drew Cavanaugh
Florida Inshore Fishing Charters
Fish The World Famous Mosquito Lagoon - The Redfish Capital Of The World!
Light Tackle Fishing At Its Very Best!
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