January 2020 Fishing Report for the World Famous Mosquito Lagoon
This winter I’ve been quacking about the weather to all my followers and today is, well, much of the same… EXCEPT I’m not complaining about my clothing malfunctions and football teams. A recent trip on February 9, 2019 with a couple of great fellas visiting from Kentucky on a business conference and to indulge in a few days of fishing. They arrived late in the morning on Friday and meeting them at the ramp just before noon was not what I considered the best opportunity to go fishing, however, the weather was stellar, and the fish were biting if you worked a little and stayed consistently casting. They used jerk baits and Rapala Subwalkers to raise the fish in shallow indentions in the flats with success. Nothing giant was caught, but plenty of action on their four-hour mid-day fishing adventure.
The next day proved to be more challenging for my anglers. With winds exceeding 30 knots and a slight drizzle, I still could not sway my anglers from giving it a try (after all they did come to Florida to fish). My plans proved futile to find the large fish I’d scouted earlier in the week as muddy waters, windy conditions seemed to combat our efforts. We started back towards the ramp and more sheltered areas when I spied a school of reds feeding into the wind. The wind was brushing the seagrass and combing shrimp toward the feeding redfish where you could watch the shrimp jumping as the gamefish devoured them. We waited in amusement for nearly twenty minutes before making a cast and hooking up. Jay’s fish was bright orange, and Mark’s cast didn’t fall within the zone.
With temperatures falling and wind soaring, we bounced home on three-foot choppy whitecaps to reward ourselves with coffee and doughnuts and some great conversation. I warned them both about bringing bad weather next time and sent them back to their conference in the rain.
Normally, I would suggest a reschedule for many people when the weather turns, but these two insisted and endured when others would opt for a day indoors. I hope to see many of you out this winter when the weather is cooperative. It’s Mother Nature whom ultimately makes a choice, but if you’re prepared and willing, she often gives you a nugget and a surprise reward.
I Always like taking kids fishing with their parents. Today on the lagoon was no exception. My competitor and friend Captain Mark Wright had a multi-boat trip that we attend every year. Last year’s trip included many of the same people but with an addition of Ethan, a well behaved, good looking young lad that was wanting to show his friends what he could catch with his dad.
Ethan started with a nice 26 inch red only to be bested by his dad with a 28 incher that dad gleefully hoisted in the boat shortly afterward. What’s odd, the day before my anglers caught over 25 sea trout and this day the trout seemed illusive.
Cold Fronts and Cold Water Bring the Numbers of Fish Up
A quick cold front brought these anglers to some quality fishing for big trout and small redfish. Throw in a couple of small black drum and some smiles. I really enjoyed taking three young men from Upstate NY to one of my favorite winter fishing holes. Funny thing is… The fish were not there the next day as the temperatures rose into the 80° range.
Don’t be scared to go out on cold days in the winter, the bite can be incredible.
Redfish are the Target Fish
When the wind is up and the temperatures are mild, look to cut bait to produce the best bite. Ethan and his dad had a blast before the afternoon gale force winds hit and blew us off the water.
Dad and I switched to fishing artificials for a short time and managed to hook and lose a couple of oversized trout before leaving and heading home. The ride back was rough and wild, but Ethan thought is was like a ride at Universal Studios and didn’t seem to mind. Dad and I on the other hand…
Berkley Gulp! Shrimp
When all else fails to produce a fish bite, I often pull out the Gulps. My favorite colors are New penny and pearl white, but don’t put too much thought into colors. A proper presentation and a hungry fish will most often get the bite.