January 2020 Fishing Report for the Indian River Lagoon
Black Drum and Redfish have Been Very Consistent on the IRL
Every year it seems they label the frosty cold fronts something new. This year the meteorologist are falling back on the old standby of an “Arctic Blast” rather than the “Arctic Vortex.” For the sake of simplicity, we are going to call them “Cold Fronts,” which frequently happen every winter in Florida. This week is offering some of the coldest weather of the winter so far, and as we head into February, it’s going to stay cold for a few more days at least. Well, on to the fishing report on the Indian River Lagoon: The cold fronts have driven the fish into stable, deeper waters and troughs. If you’re lucky and the fish are cooperating as it has for many customers this week, you may catch over fifty fish per morning on artificial lures.
With cold fronts and warming trends happening in the same week, the Indian River Lagoon has been a consistent fishery for redfish and spotted sea trout.
We’ve been using artificial lures including jigs and subsurface diving plugs to capture good amounts of shallow water gamefish. Look for tailing redfish and black drum on the shallow water sandbars and islands
The lagoon depth has dropped this week, so only the shallowest drafting boats are getting to the fish where they feed and spend time. My Flatsmaster Action Craft has been busy pushing the limits taking anglers to the best fishing spots on the Indian River Lagoon.
One of the evolving species on the Indian River Lagoon has been Black Drum over the decades. There’s an emerging fishery primarily ignored as more prominent and prestigious fish have overshadowed other gamefish.
We’re known for world-class sea-trout and sight-fishing for redfish, and we’ve had a well-known snook fishery in the southern portions of our county near Sebastian Inlet. As of recently Black Drum in the Indian River Lagoon have been gathering popularity and become a species in the forefront as the decline of seagrass and water quality has led to less habitat for other game fish.
Redfish are Still A Target
On the Indian River Lagoon black drum love crustaceans and don’t like to work too hard for a meal. While redfish have the predatory feeding habits of a bald eagle and want to pursue lively baits, blacks tend to be less active and depend on shrimp, crabs and other less active baits. Don’t think that you must have a live shrimp or crab as drum love a dead meal almost as much if not more than live bait (stinky baits attract the bite), black drum seem to be the buzzards and love carrion but will also take an easy meal.
During the cold fronts, I took many of my clients out for a morning fishing for reds, trout and black drum in the deeper depressions on the Mosquito Lagoon and IRL. When the water gets cold many days will have fish counts exceeding 50 fish and frequently exceeding one hundred.