Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report, November 15, 2006
Captain Tom Van Horn, Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
Have you ever heard the adage, “fishing is fishing, catching is catching, and they both are fun”? Well, that saying best sums up my fishing adventures this past week both on and off of the water.
After losing my fourth charter opportunity in a row to windy conditions, I was eager to begin a week of what I thought would be outstanding fishing. When my Wednesday charter canceled on me, I was determined to go fishing nevertheless. So I made a few calls and assembled a crew consisting of my good friends Don Schrier and Captain Chris Myers, and we were off to Ponce Inlet on a tip received from the Ponce Inlet fishing master Captain Fred Roberts. In the fall the large redfish typically school up in the inlet passes of Ponce De Leon, Port Canaveral, and Sebastian, and they feed heavily on baitfish as they wash out of the inlet on the falling tide. As reported by Captain Fred, I knew the redfish were there, and it was just a matter of hitting the tide right.
After meeting at the ramp and launching, we tied on a couple of Sabiki rigs tipped with squid, loaded the bait well with pigfish and pinfish, and we headed to the Inlet. On arrival, we still had a couple of hours of incoming tide, and our efforts went unrewarded until the tide turned around. Shortly after the tide change, the redfish started chewing, and within two hours, we had landed ten big reds ranging from 15 to 27-pounds.
The technique we were using was a simple slip sinker rig consisting of a one-ounce barrel sinker, a split shot, and a large circle hook. I like to slide the sinker onto my line first, and then tie on a short section of 40# test fluorocarbon leader. Next, I tie on a large circle hook, and then I use the split shot to keep the barrel sinker about a foot above the hook. Once the rig is complete, hook the live bait through the nose, and simply drift through the inlet bouncing the live bait off of the bottom. This technique works well in all three inlets, the only difference is in Port Canaveral where the tidal flow is limited by the locks. At the Port, fish the area just outside the inlet working the edges of the shipping channel.
On Friday, I met with Bob Wilson and his friend Jack from Orlando, and we were off to the Troll-Poll Zone in the Mosquito Lagoon where our goal was to put Jack on his first redfish using artificial. We launch around 6am, and we were on tailing fish before the sun cleared the horizon. The only problem was the redfish thumbed their noses at our offerings, and we were off of the water by 11am, with only two fish caught. By the way, Jack did manage his first redfish caught on a RipTide Gulf Chub, Space Guppy color on a Woodies Rattle Hook, so the trip was still a successful one.
On Saturday and Sunday, I manned the Coastal Anger Magazine Traveling Lagoon Booth at the Florida Sportsman Show in Orlando. I always love working that show, and this year’s event was no disappointment. The seminar speakers were great, the attendance was good, and it was great seeing all of my old friends and making new ones at the show.
Now that I’ve covered the catching part mentioned in my opening statement, I will cover the fishing portion. On Monday, I met Sam and Judy Ferlita from the Tampa area, who were celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary at the Night Swan Bed and Breakfast in New Smyrna. I knew the tide was wrong for the inlet, so we opted to try the Mosquito Lagoon. We launched around 7am, and fished in the south end of the Lagoon for about two hours with no success. Sam was hoping to tangle with one of our legendary breeder redfish. The windy conditions were a hindrance, so after a couple of hours we loaded the skiff and headed off to the Inlet. After acquiring bait, we arrived at the Inlet just as the tide started in and although the weather was gorgeous, we called it quits around 4pm without ever getting a decent bite. I dislike reporting the tough days like this one, but I feel it is important to be as honest as I can because they do happen from time to time, and although the day was tough, we fished hard and we had a great time...
In closing, the weather for tomorrow looks ominous, but the front is predicted to pass through quickly with a good stretch of favorable conditions forecasted for the weekend, just in time for my 22nd annual week long Sebastian Inlet escape. So stay tuned for my next episode, and if you are fishing in Sebastian next week, keep an eye out for the Three Quarter Time and swing by and say hello.
Also, for those of you who are interested in holiday gift certificates, I am offering a $50.00 discount for 2007 certificates paid in advance.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.
Good Luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 land line
866-790-8081 toll free