fishing Forecast

  • 11/02/2016 4:41 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Fall is time to change your tactics
    by Capt. Charlie Conners

    November is always a fun month to enjoy the fishing along the Treasure Coast. We are in the middle of our winter transition and you can also count on cooler temperatures that will start the thermometer sliding when it comes to the water temps as well. The days will remain nice and warm, but the nights will become cooler this month. It’s time to change your fishing tactics out on the water. We enjoyed a very mild winter this past year and hopefully it will be the same again this winter. The fall mullet run will continue into November and bring lots of action to the inlets, rivers and beaches throughout the area.

    Trout will continue to be a target of many anglers. The trout bite will be good on the flats, but you must move to the deeper areas as the temperatures cool the water down. Look for them to be in three to six feet of water this month. My favorite lures are DOA shrimp or Deadly Combos when trout fishing. Don’t forget to fish the sand holes and drop offs on the flats. Many sand holes are much deeper than the flat and you can expect some nice fish to be hiding in them waiting for that easy meal to drift by. Harbor Branch is especially productive for me during this time of year as well as the Midway Road area. The pompano beginning to return to the river and will be a favorite target for anglers throughout the winter. When fishing the surf, use sand fleas or clams and the same in the river. Don’t forget to try a Doc’s Goofy Jig for the pomps. Many are located when they skip behind the boat wake. Keep your eyes open for them.

    The snook bite will continue to be good, especially at night. The inlet, jetties, bridges and docks around the river will be holding snook. Lighted docks are very popular when night fishing. Live baits, Bait Busters and Terror Eyz are very popular for snook fishing. Don’t forget the spillways when the water is running over them. They can be another very productive area for snook. Redfish can be found hanging under mangroves during the day and will strike a DOA shrimp or CAL jerk bait. You might also find some hanging under some of the docks around the river. Look for them in shallow water as long as the sun keeps the temperatures warm. I love the CAL grub tails this time of year around the mangroves. A gold spoon can be another good lure in winter for hooking up on a redfish. We had a record year for over slot redfish this year. The population continues to grow in our area.

    Docks and bridges will hold black drum, sheephead and the sand perch should also show up this month. Live or dead shrimp always works best on these fish. I love fishing docks this time of year. You just never know what might be lurking under one. I fish my lures from up tide of the dock, so that it will stay under the dock. You only have to twitch it and can fish it much longer that way. It’s always a challenge in getting a fish out from under one, but the excitement is well worth it. You should still find some flounder around on the sand flats of the inlet and river. The mackerel, bluefish and jacks will fill up the inlet this month. Most shiny lures will work on these predators. You can also find them hanging in the channels up around Harbor Branch. It might be breezy out there…..but the fish will be feeding!

    As always, remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!!

    Good Fishing and Be Safe,
    Captain Charlie Conner

  • 10/01/2016 3:29 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Tarpon on the beaches
    By Doug Stamper

    October is upon us, and so we begin the gradual transition from hot to the beautiful "this is why we live in Southwest Florida" weather. Traditionally October is the first month when we finally see daily high temperatures that aren't in the 90’s. This turn of events rings the dinner bell for those pelagic and local species to fatten up as they migrate south, or for some species, the last few months of easy pickings in their hometown.

    Tarpon traditionally make their way here along the beaches following massive schools of threadfin herring both this month and the next. Cobia, kingfish, bonito, and even tripletail will be on the move while getting fat on the buffet of baits moving south. If you fish offshore and nearshore during this time frame, pay attention to what you're passing, as you’ll see many of these species crashing baits within the first few miles of shore. The good thing for those that find these pushes of fish, is that when we don’t receive any real cold fronts from up North, often the massive schools of bait will stick around -- and so do those fish. To give an example, last year we had amazing fishing all the way through December, as no true cold fronts pushed South of Tampa till the first week of January. The year before was pretty much the same scenario; easy fishing was over mid-November, with spurts of awesome until our first true cold front arrived.

    Fishing for reds in October can be fantastically ridiculous at times. Fish school up in great numbers and often you’ll see them pushing a wall of water ahead of them. Look for pushes of water, and then work fast to get baits in front of them, it’s that simple. You’ll also find massive schools of jacks and occasionally snook pushing water as well, not a bad bycatch. Topwater, jerk baits, live bait, and old school popping cork techniques will all work excellent. Redfish are consistent throughout the month and, as the tides move in, will be found up tight to the mangroves, versus along the edges of bars and flats during the lower tides.

    Trout will continue to get bigger in size and often eat baits meant for redfish during this time. Most trout will be found along the grassy edges in water as deep as 4 feet, but the big ones are usually up on the same flats as the redfish.

    Snook fishing begins to transition to the backcountry areas in October, but that too can be on a delay depending on our water temperatures and the first “cool fronts." The rivers and creeks can see snook of all sizes this time of the year and, depending on water quality, you can often sight-cast to these fish. When trying to locate schools of snook, occasionally throwing out some "freebies" of live bait can give away their hiding spot.

    You’ll have to experiment a bit with line, leader, and rod sizes to figure out what works best for the fish you’ve found. I like to start with 2/0 circle hooks and 30# leader on a medium heavy fast action rod. However, when a big snook in the 35” plus size range gets a hold of your line, it may not be enough. These are good problems to have though so I bring at least one other rod as my upgrade, and usually it’s a tarpon rod with at least 40# leader and a 3/0 circle hook since we all know exactly what that snook is going to do when it feels that hook!

    Tight lines, Capt Greg Stamper

  • 10/01/2016 3:11 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Fall transition and migration
    By Capt. Michael Manis

    This is one of my favorite months as southwest Florida transitions out of summer but is still a month or so away from the first front that suggests winter is approaching. Cooler water temperatures put game fish on the move. This combined with moderate breezes provides opportunities from inshore shorelines to the beaches. Looking for redfish and snook, I still won’t venture too far into the backcountry, as I’ll stick to shorelines bordering the harbor’s perimeter. However, I will make my way off the beaches looking for migrating bonito. 

    Snook, in postspawn, are looking to fatten up and will begin making they’re way from the passes and adjacent channels. They’ll begin the transition to river, and backcountry creek systems where the brackish water will help them tolerate the cooler months ahead. For this reason, the west wall is one of my favorite spots. However, it’ s not really a spot but an eight-mile long mangrove shoreline from Cape Haze Point all the way to the Myakka River. It’s a mix of new and old growth mangrove, broken timber, oyster bars, and creek systems that typically holds good schools of scaled sardines.

    Redfish are still schooling and throughout our bays and sounds there are good options. From the Placida ramp, I like Catfish Creek and the Three Sisters Islands flats. North up the intracoastal, the grass flats in lemon Bay on either side of the intracoastal both north and south of Stump Pass are worth a look. Out of Pineland in northern Pine Island Sound, the grass flats and oyster bars south of Cabbage key and Useppa can fish well. In addition, from Ponce Park in Punta Gorda, the mixed sand and grass from Mangrove Point to Alligator Creek has been holding fish since last month.

    For a change of pace, bonito are migrating down the coast following schools of baitfish. Again, from the Placida ramp, take a run outside Gasparilla Pass and if it’s going off, you’ll know. Keep an eye out for diving birds as they’re picking at the scraps from the bonito blowing up on bait. It’s a feeding frenzy and you can get close enough to throw just about anything into the mix. It’s a great opportunity to get into the backing with a fly reel.

    Lastly, schools of black drum are bouncing back and forth between the U.S. 41 Bridge and the perimeter canals of Punta Gorda. They eat flies and will also get you into the backing.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895

  • 10/01/2016 2:57 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Fall transition fishing on Treasure Coast
    By Capt. Charlie Conner

    October marks the transition into the fall weather patterns along the Treasure Coast.  You can expect temperatures to begin to cool down somewhat into more comfortable days to enjoy the outdoors.  Water temperatures will begin to slowly cool off as well.  This year has brought us lots of rain and a quiet hurricane season so far. October provides great weather and hungry fish. It's a fantastic month to be fishing!

    The fall mullet run will continue to dominate the area as large schools of finger mullet fill the beaches, inlets and rivers of the area.  You can expect lots of big fish to be feeding on them both day and night.  Snook fishing will be best during the night hours on the higher ends of the tides.  Live finger mullet, croakers and pigfish will be the best live baits to use.  DOA Terror Eyz, Bait Busters and feather jigs will be good artificial lures to use for snook.  Try around the jetties, turning basin and bridges as well as many of the deeper docks around the river.  Lighted docks are especially productive when fishing at night.

    Redfish has continued to be a wonderful fishery for us again this year.  Each year has seen their population increase and many anglers have enjoyed the experience of fishing a large school of reds this year.  October will continue to be a productive month for those who seek redfish on the flats.  The new DOA 2 3/4 “ shrimp or CAL grub tails are two of the best choices for redfish along with a variety of live and cut baits.  The west shoreline south of Fort Pierce is always a good area when looking for redfish.

    The trout bite will be good this month.  Get out early with a top water lure for some exciting action on the river.  Switch to a DOA shrimp or CAL jerk bait later in the mornings.  Harbor Branch, Queen's Cove and Middle Cove are all great areas to fish for trout around the Treasure Coast.  Look for some sheephead, black drum and snapper around the bridges, docks and channel edges.  The surf will be alive with jacks, snook, bluefish and other predators, which will all be chasing the bait schools along the beach.

    Snook season has been in full swing for the past month and anglers are always looking for that slot fish to take home. Beaches, jetties, bridges and mangroves are all popular areas to seek snook. Top water lures, DOA Bait Busters, CAL Airheads and live baits are all great ways to target snook in October. Have fun this month!

    It's another great month to fish along the Treasure Coast!  Have fun and get out fishing soon!

    As always, remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!!

    Good Fishing and Be Safe,

    Captain Charlie Conner 

  • 10/01/2016 2:34 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Migrating mullet will trigger hungry predators
    By Tom Van Horn

    Believe it or not, fall has arrived on Florida’s Space coast. As I sit down to write this forecast, Hurricane Matthew is turning hard just south of Jamaica and it’s looking like he may have Florida in his sights. Mathew is a late blooming summer squall warranting our attention, so over the next few days, please stay focused on this storm and be safe.

    The fall bait migration is in full swing on Florida's Space Coast with good concentrations of migrating baitfish working south down the beach and through the lagoon exciting both gamefish and angler alike. Triggered by shorter days, cooling water temperatures, and approaching cold fronts, pockets of mullet stream down the beach harassed by hungry predators. 

    As the bait works its way south in the troughs of the surf, bluefish, ladyfish, jacks, Spanish mackerel, redfish and snook keep them hemmed up close along the surfs edge, with tarpon, blacktip and spinner sharks lurking in the waves eager to fulfill their position at the top of the food chain. As the baitfish feed out the inlets on the falling tide, breeder redfish, tarpon and snook, take advantage of the easy meal as the fleeing mullet are forced away from the shelter of the shoreline. Additionally, October and November are the best months to target snook at Sebastian Inlet as long as water temperatures stay above 70 degrees.

    Once the water temperatures near the 68 degree mark southern and gulf flounder moving through the inlets usually follow the first major cold front. It's difficult to predict the precise moment of the run, but serious flounder pounders know when the moment is right, and they're often rewarded with doormats from 8 to 14 pounds.

    In the deeper water, both tripletail and cobia move into the depths of 40 to 60 feet of water shadowing pods of threadfin herring (greenies) and Spanish sardines (cigar minnows) pushing south along the Canaveral shoals, often hanging just below the abundant flotsam carried inshore by the easterly breezes. Once you locate weeds and other debris, look for tripletail to be hanging just below the floating structure. Live shrimp and small jigs tipped with shrimp work well when targeting these brim on steroids. 

    It helps to fish later in the day keeping the afternoon sun to your back to improve your range of sight, and always keep a medium heavy rod rigged with a one ounce chartreuse or white buck tail jig ready to throw to any cruising cobia. Also, look for the fall kingfish run to commence as well as an occasional sailfish or black fin tuna on the near-shore reefs and wrecks like 8A and Pelican Flats.

    In the lagoons, breeder schools of redfish are abundant in deeper water through the north IRL. These schools of oversized redfish are our brood stock, so if you target them please step up your tackle size ( 20-pound test) and handle and release them with extreme care. In addition, schools of pompano will begin forming up and moving thought the inlets invading the beach in search of mole crabs (sand fleas) their favorite winter food.

    As always, if you have any questions or need information please contact me.
    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    407-416-1187 Cell

  • 08/31/2016 10:09 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Look for the bait schools
    By Capt. Tom Van Horn

    Before sitting down to write my September fishing forecast, I took a short stroll outside. As I walked quietly through the woods in the early morning darkness I could hear all of God’s creatures waking up to the new day. Taking a short break to just stop and listen quietly I could feel a brisk warm breeze in my face.

    Hurricane season is upon us and as we welcome the arrival of September with hot and humid days, we will say goodbye to the summer as September exits on the shoulders of a prevailing northeast wind. Shorter days, longer nights and the prevailing shift is the winds and swells all signal the end of summer, and the beginning of the mullet run.

    Along the beach, schools of bait move out of the inlets and south down the beach in pulses rather than a continuous flow, so as always, locating bait is the key to success. Bait pods are easily located by watching for diving birds and fish working them on the surface just inside the breakers. Look for snook, tarpon, redfish, bluefish, jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, and sharks crushing and shadowing bait pods all along the beach. Once you've located the bait concentration, simply determine its direction of movement, usually south, and set up in front of it and let them come to you. This is also my preferred time of year to target tarpon and snook in the surf.

    The beach snook run has already started with a few fish being reported, and it will pick up substantially, just in time for the opening of snook season on September 1st. When fishing from the beach, I prefer using live finger mullet as bait, matching the run. Fish the very edge of the beach, just beyond the whitewater, and walk along the beach letting your bait drift along in the direction of tidal flow.

    My rig consists of a #3 Daiichi Bleeding Bait circle hook, a one ounce barrel sinker, and a 24" section of 40-pound test fluorocarbon leader. I also prefer to use 20-pound test braided high-vis Courtland line to improve sensitivity and avoid line twist. First, slide the barrel sinker onto the terminal end of your braided line, and then splice in the leader, the knot will allow the sinker to slide freely up the braided line, keeping it off of the leader and the hook. This technique will allow bait to cover more ground and help keep your bait in the strike zone longer. Make sure your reel has the strength and line capacity to handle a large fish, so you don't get spooled.

    Nearshore, good numbers of kingfish and tarpon will continue to work the beaches, Port Canaveral buoy line, and the inshore reefs and wrecks in 70 to 120 feet of water. When targeting kingfish my preferred method is slow trolling live pogies (Atlantic menhaden) on stainless steel stinger rigs. Also as the water temperatures cools, look for the large manta rays to move into shallower water bringing cobia with them. In Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet look for flounder, mangrove snapper, large redfish and snook around the jetties and other structures, and tripletail, barracuda, and cobia under the Canaveral buoy cans.

    Inshore, breeder redfish schools have started forming up in their traditional locations and will hold together through September. Remember, these schools are breeders so try not to work them too hard which is easer said that done in most cases. Also watch for the larger redfish to begin forming up just outside Sebastian and Ponce De Leon Inlets to spawn, and feeding on small baitfish, mullet, and small blue crabs washing out with the tide.

    In addition, the sea trout bite on top water plugs will increase along the deeper edges of the grass flats with the best bite happening at first light and sunset. Also look for ladyfish, tarpon, and jacks to be mixed in. When targeting these fish, work top water plugs for explosive action, or try working ¼ ounce DOA CAL jigs or DOA Shrimp. Near the end of the month, start looking for the pompano and flounder to begin moving out of the lagoon through the inlets into the near shore waters along the beach.

    As always, if you need more information or have questions please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,

    Captain Tom Van Horn
    Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
    407-416-1187 Cell

  • 08/30/2016 5:43 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Expecting cooler weather
    By Greg Stamper

    September fishing means the beginning of changes not just in Southwest Florida, but throughout the state. Here in Fort Myers rarely do we feel the weather shift from summertime to fall this early, but certainly by mid-month it can start happening. What occurs during the mid to late September thru mid-November transition period can be just awesome.

    As cooler conditions slowly begin to touch North Florida, and the rivers and streams dumping into the North Gulf begin cooling off, something fishy takes place. This change in water temperature gets fish moving around, and looking to fatten up for the holidays. There will be migrations of fish, such as tarpon, that have been hanging out around the panhandle etc... that begin moving down the west coast of Florida following the bait. Taking a look at fishing reports and pictures being posted, you can see the push of fish moving south.

    Traditionally somewhere during mid-September this will trigger our local quarry to get giddy just the same. Redfish begin to school up in places and continue this pattern through October. This is the time of the year when you’ll catch really silver redfish telling you there coming in from their offshore haunts ready to pack on the pounds.

    When looking for redfish pay attention for pushes of water and, if you’re lucky, tails flagging you down on the flats! Often when you locate these schools you’ll have the opportunity to fish them for days at a time. Anglers that are good casters will have loads of fun walking the dog, throwing twitchbaits, and tossing flies in the direction of the school. Likewise, putting out spreads for reds will be very effective with all types of cut baits, thrown around the boat as if a sprinkler put them out.

    Trout fishing gets good this time of the year, and we will continue to see them often in 3-5 feet of water over the grassy areas that run next to flats. Trout can be targeted a number of ways with the old school popping cork and live shrimp almost a guarantee for action.

    For anglers playing the snook game, this is probably the last month or two you’ll see them on the beaches and in the passes as by November they’ll be back in their winter haunts. There’s plenty of bait available during this time of the year so free lined pilchards, threadfin, or pinfish will be the easiest choice to target them. Other options for snook will be small swim baits and topwater plugs thrown as tight to the mangroves as possible. The local passes will continue to be great areas to catch pompano, snappers, baby sharks, mackerels, trout, and all kinds of odd balls, but having moving water will be the key there. 

  • 08/30/2016 5:32 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Stick close to outside edge and bar systems
    By Michael Manis

    High water temperatures, high 80’s and low 90’s, and lots of rain have combined putting numbers of redfish and snook on bar systems and outside edges at the harbors perimeter. In particular, areas adjacent to creek mouths have been most productive. In addition, it’s not unusual to see baby tarpon, five to ten pounds, in the same areas.

    Even on the higher tides, the warm water and the lower salinity are keeping these fish on the outside. Out of Punta Gorda, the bar that runs from Ponce Park all the way around to Alligator creek is a good bet. Early morning at first light is best and if possible a low tide is preferable. 

    Across the harbor, along the west wall just about any one of these confluences where creeks meet open water can be good. Because of the deeper cut with its resulting current flow, the lower end where the wall adjoins Cape Haze Point has been a good snook spot.

     A bit further west, the Catfish Creek area includes quite a number of drainages that flow into Gasparilla Sound. Here, the bar system that also borders the intracoastal waterway with it’s clean oxygenated Gulf water provide the habitat to hold redfish and snook with this combination of heat and salinity. At times, I’ve seen baby tarpon rolling here.

    Just like last month, there are tarpon scattered throughout the upper harbor. The bigger fish are in the deeper holes and around the U.S. 41 bridges. Smaller fish can be found outside the perimeter canals of Punta Gorda Isles around to Colony Point and down towards Ponce Park. Particularly with the smaller fish, early is better as they tend to disappear when the sun gets too high at about 9.00 a.m. Too, schools of Black drum have been bouncing back and forth between the U.S. 41 bridges and these canal seawalls.

    Keep in mind; redfish are grouping up as their spawn, which runs from August to Mid-November, peaks this month. As well, snook are at the end their spawn and should be looking to put on weight. With lower salinity brackish water, I like to keep an eye out for glass minnows. Snook shouldn’t be too far away.

    Lastly, we have two new and one full moon this month. The first and the 30th are new; and the 16 is full. No matter what the species, the three days on either side of these dates should be good.

    Until next month, good tides.

    Captain Michael Manis
    Punta Gorda Fly Charters
    (941) 628-7895

  • 08/30/2016 5:11 PM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Suspending lures work fantastic in September
    By Capt. Charlie Conner

                September is always an exciting month to fish along the Treasure Coast. August was another hot month for us. Anglers eagerly await the arrival of the annual fall mullet run. The beaches and rivers will be filled with mullet and you can find lots of predators following the bait this month.
                 Look for tarpon, snook, jacks, bluefish and many other species feeding on the mullet this month. Top water and suspending lures work fantastic in September. Try a DOA Baitbuster or Big Fish lure while fishing around the large schools of mullet. It's a great time of year to fish early mornings along the beach. The fish will be cornering the bait along the surf and action can be fun and exciting.
               Snook season opens again on September 1st. Anglers have been patiently awaiting the chance at keeping a slot fish for dinner. A few things to keep in mind while you are anxiously getting ready for the start of the season are making sure your license and snook permit are not outdated.
                 Know the slot size, which is 28” – 32” and a one fish per day limit. Check your rods, reels and fishing line. Don’t lose that keeper fish because of something that you could have avoided by a little preparation. Remember that there will be lots of anglers heading out the first several days of the season. Have fun and be safe!
                 You will be able to find some redfish schools this month as they gather up to head out to the ocean. Look around the shallow sandy flats for them to be feeding. DOA shrimp or CAL jerk baits can coax them into biting.
                 Trout will continue to bite around the usual flats like, Bear Point, Harbor Branch and Round Island. Deadly Combos fished on the edges of the bait schools will find some action with trout and other species.
                 Snapper can be found along channel edges and around structure. Sheephead, drum and snapper can be caught on the catwalks of the bridges. Live or dead shrimp will find these fish.

    September Tip:
              Fish the bait schools! It's easy to spot the bait this time of year. If you don't find bait around your favorite fishing spot, you will most likely not find many fish there. Move around if you need to in order to find active bait. Fish love this time of year and they are out there gorging themselves on the bait in anticipation of the coming winter months. Try a CAL Airhead or DOA Bait Buster around the mullet schools.
                 Early mornings can be exciting on the flats. You can find big fish in shallow water around the bait pods. It has been a long hot summer and finally temperatures will begin to mellow out and water temps will get back to normal. It's a great time of year to be fishing!

    Remember, fishing is not just another's an ADVENTURE!

    Good Fishing and be Safe
    Captain Charlie Conner

  • 07/30/2016 7:37 AM | Ron Presley (Administrator)

    Tarpon on the beach
    by Capt. Tom Van Horn

    The heat is on, as fishing opportunities kick in along the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. So far, the summer squalls have stayed away, and as long as they do, fishing along the beaches and in the inlets will remain equally as hot.

    Along the beach, look for the silver kings (tarpon), smoker kings, blacktip sharks, jumbo jack crevalle, and redfish to be shadowing pods of Atlantic menhaden (pogies), threadfin herring (greenies), Spanish sardines, and bay anchovy (glass minnows) in close to the beach. Also look for snook fishing in the surf to improve, as we get closer to the commencement of the fall bait run.

    Remember snook are out of season until September 1st , so if you target them, please handle and release them with care. In and around the inlets, look for Spanish mackerel, tarpon, jack cervalle, and bonita to be working schools of glass minnows on the outside, and snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, and flounder in the area of jetties and other structure. If snook are of interest, Sebastian Inlet is the place to be.

    The Labrador current (cold water upwelling) as it's known is still holding off this year, but when it arrives it will cool down bottom temperatures and the bottom fishing in some areas along Florida's east coast. With average bottom water temperatures in the mid-sixties, finding warmer water is the key to locating fish. Studies have shown the phenomena is actually the effect of a prevailing south wind combined with the Coriolis effect pushing the warm surface water offshore and the cold bottom water moving up to replace displaced water, but either way it equates to some tough fishing at times.

    Look for the blue water bite to improve along the inshore reefs and wrecks of Chris Benson, 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats, with kingfish, dolphin, black fin tuna, and cobia serving as the primary species, along with an occasional wahoo or sailfish. This is also the time of year when cooler waters sometimes push the giant manta rays in close to the shoals off the Cape, bringing cobia with them. Further off shore, the Gulf Stream typically moves in closer making tuna a possibility for smaller boats, and as long as the summer squalls stay away, running to the other side of the stream isn't out of the question.

    Angling on the in-shore lagoons will continue to show improvement, with fishing in the predawn and late evening hours being most productive. Look for schools of redfish in the skinny water holding in the vicinity of bait concentration, and target them utilizing smaller top-water plugs. Once the sun starts to grow hot, the top-water bite slows down, and bait becomes your better option.

    For larger trout, fish live pigfish in close to docks and other structure adjacent to deeper water. In deeper water, look for large schools of ladyfish, small trout, and tarpon pushing schools of glass minnows near the surface. These schools are easy to locate by watching for concentrations of birds, terns and cormorants joining in on the frenzy, and they are perfect for fly anglers who are interested in the continuous fast and furious action provided by these speedsters.

    Last but not least, look for pompano schools holding in the shadows of the causeway bridges. Fish jigs tipped with shrimp or sand fleas (mole crabs) along the deeper edges and drop-offs. Lagoon water levels are extremely low, so please use caution when accessing skinny water.

    In closing, I would like to thank all of you who enjoy angling on Florida's east central coast for your courteous and respectful treatment of the resource, other anglers, and the sport, and as always, if you need information or have questions, please contact me.

    Good luck and good fishing,
    Captain Tom Van Horn

    407-416-1187 on the water

    Book a charter at  and let's go fishing.

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