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February 27, 2010

East Central Florida Fishing Outlook, March 2010

Fishing Forecast

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian Lagoon Coast Fishing Outlook, March 2010

Up Coming Events

March 7th, Paddle Fishing the Banana River Lagoon No-Motor Zone, Central Florida Boat Show, 2 pm at the Orange County Convention Center.

March 27th, Free Cobia and Tripletail seminar from 10 am to noon at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida, 170 South Washington Avenue. For more details visit www.mosquitocreek.com/fishing.

April 24th, Free Hook Kids on Fishing seminar from 10 am to noon at the Apopka Foliage Festival. After completing the five learning stations, each child will receive a free fishing rod, reel and tackle box. To register your children, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida at 170 South Washington Avenue or contact them at (407) 464-2000.

April 25th, Free Certified Conservation Angler seminar from 10 am to noon at the Apopka Foliage Festival. Learn from the Coastal Angler Magazine Pro Tour and Anglers for Conservation how to lighten your footprint while enjoying the sport of fishing. Take the pledge to but the resource first. To register visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka Florida at 170 South Washington Avenue or contact them at (407) 464-2000.

March Fishing Outlook

Reflecting back on my past years here on the Space Coast, I can't remember a colder winter and as I sit here composing the forecast another cold front is passing through Central Florida. Although it's been a challenging winter for anglers, March is around the corner and with warmer weather comes improved fishing on all fronts along the Lagoon Coast.

As the days grow longer and the ocean begins its continuing warming phase, 68 to 72 degree range, the spring fishing bonanza on the Indian Lagoon Coast kicks in. As usual, weather will serve as the determining factor in establishing the magnitude and progression of the bite and the predator species we love to catch.

Water temperature increases will facilitate the progression of bait pods (menhaden or pogies) from the deeper water into the near-shore waters bringing the predators with them. Sea conditions will determine the number of fishable days we'll experience in March. This is especially true for those of us who target deep-water species in shallow water boats. Good reports of cobia are starting to come in from offshore of Stuart. These fish should be moving into our area shortly, and both the bait pods and cobia will be showing up soon on the near-shore wrecks and reefs outside Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet.

Other near-shore options in March consist of tripletail hanging on floating structure and weeds and large redfish and sharks shadowing bait pods along the beaches and inlets around mid month. When site fishing for cobia and tripletail, consider fishing in the latter part of the day when the sun is high as the water is warmer and visibility is better. Also, always keep a chartreuse colored buck tail in the ready position to cast at any brown clowns that wonder into range.

As the water warms up and the silver mullet returns to the inshore lagoon flats, look for redfish schools to continue to form up in the skinny water. For the slot redfish, 18 to 27 inches, focus on areas of flipping and jumping baitfish (mullet) in water depths of 12 to 18 inches. For the larger redfish, concentrate your efforts along deeper edges of the flats and sandbars in 2 to 3 feet of water. Also, sea trout will continue to hold in the skinny water potholes, and the top-water sea trout bite will improve as the warmer water draws finger mullet back onto the central IRL flats. Additionally, schools of black drum will continue to inhabit the shallow water flats of the Mosquito Lagoon, North IRL, and particularly the sandbars in the Banana River No-Motor-Zone.

Last but not least, the American shad run is developing on the upper St John's River between the areas of Lake Harney and the SR 50 Bridge, but this years run has been slow thus far. Also, March is the month to start targeting schooling large mouth bass in the deeper bends of the river at first light feeding on schools of baitfish (menhaden). The indicator I use to locate these schooling bass is to look for large numbers of white pelicans, herons, and egrets working the banks. Once you've located the schooling fish, try throwing a rattle-trap or other small subsurface swim bait. Water levels are higher this spring on the St. Johns River, so please be careful when navigating the river and creeks as the water is above the banks in some areas.

Spring is one of the best times to fish the Indian River Lagoon coast of Florida. So if you are planning to visit the area, make sure you book your hotel and fishing guide early. Also, when the bite is on, the ramps fill up quickly, so arrive early, and are polite and considerate with other anglers, because we are all on the water for the same reasons, to have fun.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn

www.irl-fishing.com

407-366-8085 office

407-416-1187 on the water


Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com/fishing for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!