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March 24, 2007

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishihg Report

The Top Water Sea Trout Bite is Back

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, March 24, 2007

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors

Dreams are the fuel powering our imaginations and desires; nightmares are reflections of our subconscious fears. You may wonder what heading I?m on with this leading statement. You see, last week I awoke from a restful nights slumber with a racing heart and beads of cold sweet flowing. It wasn?t demons of evil sprits provoking my panic, but a dream of my reincarnation as a silver mullet.

In my dream, I raced across the flat looking back franticly from side to side with shadows of hungry sea trout armed with flashy bucked teeth looming in every direction. Soon I was lost and leaping for my life, and around every unrecognizable corner loomed another hungry marauder eager for my demise. Shallower and shallower I swam seeking the protection of the shoreline, only to find a gaggle of ravenous great blue herons and egrets awaiting my approach, and that?s when the alarm clock sounded signaling the first day of spring, and another day of fishing. One thing about fishing is it never works out very well for the bait, and the other critters at the bottom of the food chain.

Spring has arrived on the lagoon coast of Florida, and along with the warmer water comes the arrival of the spring mullet run. Not as pronounced as the fall mullet run, the spring run occurs on a more gradual basis, and it coincides with the return of ladyfish, jack carvalle, snook, tarpon, and the first spawning cycle of the spotted sea trout. As the days grow longer and warmer, hungry predators move up on the flats pushing baitfish in closer to the shoreline, so locating areas of concentrated baitfish, will improve your chances of fooling some respectable predators into a match of tug-a-war.

My angling tactics this past week shifted from the north IRL and the Mosquito Lagoon to areas south of the 528 causeway to escape the FLW Tournament zoo, and the extreme easterly winds. Once we located baitfish along the shoreline, we located fish. The bait pattern of choice this week was top-water plugs like the Rip Roller, and the Chug Bug during periods of low light, and gold PT Spoons and the RipTide Flats Chubs in green shades with Woodies Rattle capsules inserted as the sun grew brighter. To locate areas to target, simply let the birds lead you to the bait. Egrets and herons have the advantage of seeing the bait from above, and they are simply too hungry to waste their time in non-productive waters.

Near-shore along the beach, the cobia is still around, but rough sea conditions have kept anglers in Port. Near the end of next week when the winds subside, be sure to take advantage of what remains of one of the best cobia seasons experienced in years. Before this latest blow, good catches of brown clowns were taken just outside Port Canaveral in 40 to 60 feet of water, and that is where I would start looking.

I typically head south out of the Port in the morning looking for bait pods and tripletail under flotsam, and then begin a slow return once the sun gets high overhead. If you locate a concentrated bait pod, try tossing chartreuse or pink bucktail jig into the mix; let it sink to the bottom, and then jig it up through the bait. You should also look for free swimming cobia within the bait. Once the sun grows high and you begin your ride home, look for free swimming cobia, turtles, and manta rays, and take extra care not to hook the rays. If you find fish in any of the last three situations, try throwing the bucktail first, with a selection of live finfish, blue crabs, or live eels as backup if you can get them.

Additionally, mark your calendar for the Coastal Angler Magazine Boating and Fishing Expo scheduled for April 20th, 21st, and 22nd at the Melbourne Auditorium. Look for more information to come on exhibits, seminars, and clinics.

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

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 land line
866-790-8081 toll free