Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report and Photo Essay

indian river lagoon fishing report

Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report 32214

The Mitzi is still for sale! It’s just had an annual service, and at that time the hours were 984.

My contact at the Circle K store in Christmas told me last week he caught a seatrout so big its photo weighed 32 pounds.

Bumper sticker of the week-

fcat sticker

On Sunday Mr. Derek Wensky, from San Francisco, found himself riding over the surface of the Indian River Lagoon in the Mitzi. He had never fished in Florida before. I can’t claim fishing was fabulous, or even hot, but he did catch a few. First came a redfish, a modest fellow that made the error of biting Derek’s DOA CAL Shad tail. After him quite a few fish laughed at our attempts. While we were eating lunch I soaked a piece of mullet. A handsome seatrout ate it. Lastly, we found a clump of black drum. Derek switched from the shad to a clear DOA Shrimp and one of those drum was fooled. Most of the fish we saw had too much sense to bite though.

indian river lagoon fishing report

Derek had never heard of black drum before this.

 

indian river lagoon fishing report

DOA Shrimp- deadly on anything.

Monday’s trip was blown out.

Tuesday’s trip was blown out.

Wednesday found me in a room at the Orlando VAMC with Dr. Tran. She said to come back next year. Can’t say the exam was anything more than cursory.

Thursday was the first day of spring! Brasileiro Kelven Lopes, a fly fishing fisheries biologist who lives in Brasilia, found himself riding over the surface of the Indian River Lagoon in the Mitzi. He was a real good angler and got a couple reds on my redfish bitters fly right out of the gate.

indian river lagoon fishing report

They don’t have redfish in Brasil. This was Kelven’s first.

Things slowed down then. We changed spots and he got a nice trout on a big black wooly bugger.

indian river lagoon fishing report

They don’t have seatrout in Brasil, either. Kelven prepares to release this one.

We found another clump of black drum that did not take anything we tried. But he got another redfish, the best of the day, on an ugly fly with a rubber hackle tail, a brown estaz body, and a rubber hackle wing.

indian river lagoon fishing report

Best fish of the day.

We went to another spot but there was nothing there so we returned to a place we had already fished. The fish were still laughing at us as we left, although we should not forget about nor discount the four quality puffers my flies cleverly fooled!

indian river lagoon fishing report

Recording the puffer for posterity.

I hadn’t used my Portuguese in a long time but it was better than his English so that’s how we communicated. Misquecindo todos todos todos!

On Friday Scott Townsend and his friend Brandon joined me for a day on the Indian River Lagoon. We were snakebit. Brandon got a redfish right away on a DOA CAL Shad. He then missed three strikes in a row, at which point the fish in that spot shut down.

indian river lagoon fishing report

A happy Brandon. Things went downhill from here.

 

indian river lagoon fishing report

The DOA CAL Shad gets yet another redfish.

We went trout fishing for a while, getting a lot of little ones on fly and on DOA Shrimp. When that got old we went looking for redfish again. We spooked several while Scott and Brandon got the hang of sight fishing. Then a big one showed up. Brandon made a perfect cast and hooked the fish, at least 20 pounds. I gave chase with the boat. I was getting ready to grab the fish when it dove under the boat, breaking the line in the process. Damn.

indian river lagoon fishing report

Brandon has a big fish on and he’s happy. Sadly it did not last.

We looked in three other spots. No fish in one, no bites in the next, one bite and a breakoff for Scott in the last, which is how our day ended.

Tip of the week- when a fly rod and a pushpole joust the fly rod always loses.

indian river lagoon fishing report

And the winner, by a landslide, is….

And that is this week’s Indian River Lagoon fishing report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.




Orlando Area Saltwater Fishing Report 12514

This drum took a redfish worm.

Orlando Area Saltwater Fishing Report

Upcoming Events-

-Floridians for Clean Water Rally in Tallahassee, February 18
-Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, March 15. Visit this link  for more information or to register…
-Mosquito Lagoon On-the-Water Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, March 16. Visit this link  for more information or to register…

Monday Capt. Tom Van Horn and I took the Mirage out for a test drive, launching at Haulover Canal and exploring the Mosquito Lagoon. The water temperature at launch time was a brisk 54 degrees. We did not catch a fish at either of the first two spots we checked. The third, however, produced a lovely red for Tom, an out-of-the-slot fish that tried to wolf down a DOA CAL shad.

orlando area saltwater fishing report

Capt. Tom in battle.

 

orlando area saltwater fishing report

Tom was victorious, although the fish was released.

Once the water temperature started to climb fishing steadily improved, enough that we even got a double.

orlando area saltwater fishing report

Tom has his hands full…

Not everyplace we looked had fish but enough did that we ended up with about a half dozen apiece of reds and trout. The water temperature when we loaded the boat was 58 degrees. It was a good way to break in the new boat.

Speaking of which, the Mitzi is still for sale. Visit this link  for more information…

Wednesday found me at the Floridians for Clean Water Rally in Orlando. If you want to sign the Clean Water Declaration, and if you’re a fisherman you should, visit this link http://www.wewantcleanwater.com .  There will be a rally in Tallahassee on February 18. I hope to attend and hope you will too! More information to come!

Thursday found the kayak strapped to the roof of the chariot. Speed laws may have been broken as we zoomed to KARS Park on the Banana River Lagoon. It was cold when I got there and remained so all day. The forecast high was 61 (my sympathies to all living in the near-arctic zones up north)- I do not think we got there. The wind was 10-12 out of the nnw and bone-chilling. But the sun was out and I found decent numbers of fish. In spite of my shivering I even managed to get a few, some on a crab pattern, some on a redfish worm, a mix of redfish and black drum. I saw a few of the school bus-sized fish I was looking for but did not manage to connect.

This drum took a redfish worm.

This drum took a redfish worm.

This one, the best fish of the day, fell for a merkin.

This one, the best fish of the day, fell for a merkin.

Of greater concern was the lack of seagrass up there- the bottom is almost denuded of vegetation, although the Rhodophyta algae sure is plentiful.

This red algae is growing like crazy now that the grass is all gone.

This red algae is growing like crazy now that the grass is all gone.

 

And what fly caster could fail to be thrilled by a trophy puffer fish like this one???

And what fly caster could fail to be thrilled by a trophy puffer fish like this one???

My guide schedule is much too empty- if you want to get out of the frozen wasteland and do some fishing please call or email me! I need the work!!!

And that is this week’s Orlando Area Saltwater Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.



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First IRL Paddle Adventure Report

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

First IRL Paddle Adventure Report

We had too much stuff. I looked at the mountain of gear and looked at the Old Town, wondering how it could all fit. Somehow it did. Looked ugly, load felt high, but we were off and headed to Jupiter. Like the sound of that, feels like we were off on a space exploration. In a way I suppose we were.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

We had too much stuff. We made it work.

Thirteen boats launched from JB’s Fish camp that morning. Some were only with us for the day. Others were going to Titusville or beyond, or all the way to Jupiter.

We looked for redfish from JB’s to ICW Marker 13, didn’t see much. The weather was gray, misty. We couldn’t see the east shore of Mosquito Lagoon. But such breeze as there was pushed us along beautifully. It was an easy first day’s paddle, the way you’d plan it if you had control over such things as the wind speed or direction. Perfect.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

A crown conch on black mangrove roots along the way.

 

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Black mangrove seeds along a Mosquito Lagoon shoreline.

 

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

This is how hard we were looking for redfish.

The second night we camped on a spoil island west of Haulover Canal. Dee had gotten a redfish and Jay was cooking it up. One fish wouldn’t go far feeding ten. Jim Dyce was wading around the island casting a gold spoon. He said, “I have a big fish. I don’t know what it is.” It was another redfish. That fish was on people’s plates about 20 minutes later, hot and delicious.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Jim Dyce got lucky, and we got dinner.

 

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

The fillets on the fire.

Another wonderful paddle (we’ve been blessed with the weather so far) put us on the spoil island just north of Parrish Park. We had a party to go to at Dixie Crossroads, time to bathe! It’s amazing how stinky you can get in only three days.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Exploring a spoil pile along the Indian River Lagoon.

Capt. Mark Wright came out and picked us up, a very nice thing for him to do. He brought us to Parrish Park and also gave a ride to the restaurant. About 30 people were there to celebrate with us and feast on some of the seafood that Dixie Crossroads is famous for. Personally I concentrated on the oysters and shrimp, merely sampling the blue crabs and clams. After three days of paddling it was extremely delicious, and very kind of Lauralee to do for us. Thanks from all the paddlers to Dixie Crossroads for such a fantastic fete.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

People are having fun. Mike, coneening around.

The kayakers expressed surprise at how fast Rodney and I travel. we can exceed the speed of any of them. We have an Old Town Penobscot, a well-designed canoe. We have Bending Branches paddles, a bent shaft model for the bow and a straight shaft for the stern. Rodney is like internal combustion in the bow. We get a good rythym and the miles fly by.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Nick is not making the speed Rodney and I are. With weather like this that’s not important.

Wednesday morning the mayor of Titusville came out to paddle with us for a while. While it was nice chatting, we had a long way to go. We decided to hit it while the weather was with us. As it turned out it was with us all the way, God smiling on fools and paddlers, apparently.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Mr. Mayor, out for a spin.

We found a school of black drum south of the NASA Causeway. The one we had for dinner took a smoke colored DOA Shrimp.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Pasta, pasta, pasta! Dinner while camping!

While paddling Thursday a flight of white pelicans flew over us. I had a brief glimpse of God. Take Him where you find Him…

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

The white pelicans are trying to earn a living on the lagoon.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Spoonbills roosting on a spoil island, Indian River Lagoon.

 

The water has been high the entire way. We have not seen a blade of seagrass south of Rinker Canal. Fish have been scarce. While we are paddling more than fishing, we’re certainly looking for fish all along the way. We have not seen many.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Fish have been scarce, but we have gotten a few puffers.

But we are having a marvelous time, partly because the weather has been perfect, partly because everyone in the group has been awesome. Bones Benton said this is the coolest thing he’s ever done. Mr. Benton has done some way cool things, too.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

Nick paddles the stars and stripes along the Indian River Lagoon.

We haven’t needed so much as a band-aid, either.

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

A tree snail in a red mangrove tree.

We’d like to thank Vince and Jim and the Mayor and the Crabman and everyone else who has paddled with us. We’d like to also thank those folks who have said, “Hey, we read about you in the newspaper!” And of course Laurie needs a huge thank you for the incredible cookies!

Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure

This is the worst weather we’ve had to deal with- a single passing shower.

Saturday December 7 we’ll be at the Indian River Festival at Pelican Beach Park in Satellite Beach. Sunday we’ll be at Lagoon-Palooza at the Lagoon House in Melbourne. Please come out and see us.

That’s the First IRL Paddle Adventure Report. I will do the second as soon as I am able.

Life is short- go fishing.

Life is great and I love my work!

John Kumiski

http://www.spottedtail.com



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Fly Fish Banana River Black Drum

Fly Fish Banana River Black Drum

It’s getting to be that time of year!

Fly Fish Banana River Black Drum

Black drum run big. If you Fly Fish Banana River Black Drum they’ll probably be the largest tailing fish to which you’ll ever cast a fly.

When you’re in the water up to your hips and that broom-sized tail pops up, I don’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve caught. Adrenaline is going to rush. The mouth will dry right up. It’s exciting fishing.

The requisite fly selection for black drum is small. Flies need to sink like an anvil. A black, size 2 Clouser Minnow with a weedguard or a dark crab pattern such as a Merkin are the best choices.

You need a seven- or eight-weight outfit with a floating line, plenty of backing, and a 10 foot leader with a 15 pound tippet, almost impossible to break.

Paddle up into the Banana River Lagoon’s federal manatee refuge (locally called the no motor zone) searching for them. Either a canoe or a kayak will work. Use the boat to find the fish, then wade.

The best weather is a cool, sunny day with a light north or northwest wind. The best time of year runs roughly from Thanksgiving to Easter.

You won’t find them on the shoreline. Look out on the deeper part of the flat, even at or off its edge. Expect that some days you won’t see any.

While tailers are what everyone wants to see, drum don’t always tail. Many times you’ll see cruising fish. They will still take a well presented fly.

Sometimes you find the drum as scattered singles. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a herd. Anytime you find some, be happy about it. Make the best of whatever situation comes along.

How far will you have to paddle? Some days only a few miles gets the job done. Other days you might have to go all the way up to the NASA Causeway, a round trip of more than 10 miles.

To read the rest of this article, visit this link…

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Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

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Orlando Area Fishing Report

Orlando area fishing report

Orlando Area Fishing Report

Upcoming Events-

-Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, January 23-28, 2013

- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Clean-Up, February 9, 2013. Contact Nancy Corona, 321-861-0668 or nancy_corona@fws.gov

-Titusville Surf Fishing Workshop, Wednesday, March 6, 6-8 pm. There are several other surf workshops coming up along the Space Coast in the next two months. For more information please email Rodney Smith irlcoast@gmail.com

-Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, MINWR, March 2; On-the-Water Show and Tell Seminar, March 3

Bumper Sticker of the Week:

orlando area fishing report

We did some fishing this week, folks.

On Monday Tom and Joyce Moore, Green Mountain state folks, joined me for a day’s fishing on the Mosquito Lagoon. Tom got a nice redfish on a jerkbait right out of the gate. Then we had to work, as the fish seemingly disappeared. We got several trout and another redfish on DOA Shrimp.

Orlando area fishing report

Tom Moore got this fish on his second or third cast.

Fish Story of the Week:

Tom was using a DOA Deadly Combo when he had a powerful strike. The fish took off and the leader parted. We could see the bright orange float as the fish swam off with it. Inexplicably, the fish turned around and came back towards us.

Tom tried to hook the line between the fish and the float, but the DOA Shrimp was a poor choice of baits for that particular task. I climbed down off the poling tower and tied on a Sting Silver and snagged the rig on the second cast. Joyce reeled the fish in, a beautiful 26 inch seatrout. We got our Deadly Combo rig back, photographed and released the fish.

Orlando area fishing report

The star of our fish story of the week, displayed by Joyce Moore.

On Tuesday Cincinattian Steve Horgan joined me for the first of four days of fly fishing. Steve describes himself as a “multi-species fisherman”, which means he is interested in catching as many different species on fly as he possible can. So that was our goal for the week.

Tuesday found us on the Mosquito Lagoon. In the morning the weather was perfect, very few clouds, very little wind. The redfish were thick, lots of schools, but very spooky. There were quite a few boats about. We stalked schools of both tailing and cruising redfish for about five hours. We did not get one. Steve had only one bite during that time. A three or four pound black drum took the crab fly. Steve had his first specie of his trip.

orlando area fishing report

Mr. Horgan’s first ever black drum.

Early in the afternoon it got windy and cloudy. We fished in several spots trying to get a redfish and/or a seatrout. We failed to do so. It was a frustrating day, after seeing so many hundreds of fish.

Wednesday morning Steve and I drove down to Sebastian River and launched the boat. Tarpon were rolling 100 yards from the boat ramp. Like Sebastian River tarpon usually do, they laughed at everything we tried. We gave up.

I idled down to the ICW and ran through Sebastian Inlet, hoping it would be calm enough for us to look around out there. It was definitely not. We tried floating the flats inside the inlet. There was no grass, no bait, and no activity. We saw nothing and did not get any bites so we headed back into Sebastian River.

I poled while Steve banged the shoreline with a streamer. He ended up with seven snook, three mangrove snapper, and a couple of ladyfish, all new species for him. We went back to where the tarpon were and tried various things for another hour plus but did not get a bite. I was hoping we’d get a crevalle and maybe a redfish, but neither of those happened, either.

orlando area fishing report

Seven snook sounds great. At least they weren’t all quite this small, although they were all lovely.

It was nice being there, but in my opinion not worth the drive as far as catching fish went.

Thursday we went to Mosquito Lagoon. We found a school of redfish. They were not showing themselves very well. We played cat and mouse with them for a couple of hours. Steve had some good shots but the fish didn’t bite. As the wind got harder I lost the fish, so went and looked in a couple other places. I saw very little.

We pulled the boat and went to the Indian River. By now it was blowing about 20 mph. There were no groups of fish and Steve had trouble seeing the singles I found. We’d blow right past them without a shot. We ended up completely skunked, wet from the rain and wind. It was a really tough day.

Friday found us at the St. Johns River. The temperature was in the high 40s when I launched the boat, with a 15 mph wind, which increased in force as the day went on. Fishing was s-l-o-w. Steve did get a nice shad on a bucktail streamer.

orlando area fishing report

Mr. Horgan’s shad, another first.

I got a couple little ones on a wooly booger. He got a few bluegills. I got a small crappie and a small channel cat. It rained intermittently. We worked hard all week and really didn’t have a lot to show for it.

Steve did get five new species, but we failed to get either a trout or a redfish for him. Thank you for your patience, Steve- it was wonderful fishing with you.

My fisherman for Saturday postponed his trip because of the wind and clouds.

And that is this week’s exciting version of the Orlando Area Fishing Report.

 

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.



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Orlando Fishing Report

orlando area saltwater fishing report

Orlando Fishing Report

Upcoming Events-
-Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, January 23-28, 2013
-Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Clean-Up, February 9, 2013. Contact Nancy Corona, 321-861-0668 or nancy_corona@fws.gov
-Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, MINWR, March 2; Mosquito Lagoon On-the-Water Show and Tell Seminar, March 3

Blog posts this week: Seven Must Have Lures for Winter Fishing in Florida’s Lagoons

New Website Department- http://johnkumiski.com -photography and a more literary writing sampler than I typically post here, even a few poems! Please check it out and tell me what you think. Thanks!

The coffee this morning is especially delicious.

On Tuesday Dr. Ken Unger, from Calgary, did some Mosquito Lagoon fly fishing with me from the Mitzi. Although the sky was overcast for much of the day, until about 1 PM the lagoon was slick calm. There were a lot of fish around, just lying around. I would have expected tailing everywhere but no, they wouldn’t do that. We ran over a lot of fish.

Ken did get a few reds on a crab pattern. We tried for trout. They had moved from some spots and were protected by copious amounts of floating grass in others. He got a few good strikes but none were converted.

 

orlando area saltwater fishing report

Dr. Ken with a decent red.

It was a little frustrating but we had a good time and we did get some fish. Here’s what Ken said: “Wanted to thank you for the good day yesterday. Enjoyed the company. Learned a little which is something I always want to do in a new area. Caught some fish. A good start to the new year. I will be back. Thanks again.”

On Thursday morning I braved the fog, launching the kayak at KARS at about 730. I dared not get more than 150 feet from shore. There was no wind. I didn’t have a compass, or for you modern types, a GPS either. The sun hid behind the clouds. If I couldn’t see shore I would be utterly lost. It was very cool but very spooky at the same time.

Paddling steadily north I ran over the occasional trout. The object was to find big reds or black drum. Stopping at one place I cast a streamer for trout for a while but did not get bit. The quest continued.

The fog burned off around noon.

I went most of the way to the NASA causeway.

I did not find what I was looking for.

On the way back I saw a tail, as it turns out the only one found. I stalked the fish. It was a big black drum. It ignored my fly and swam off. I would not see another.

The final score was one shot, no bites, four fish seen- pretty disappointing. More searching needs to be done. It’s the right time of year.

Speaking of the right time of year, shad are being caught in the St. Johns River. I do not have any details. I wanted to go Friday but that 60 degrees and raining put me off. Too much like Alaska.

Orlando Area Saltwater Fishing Report

There are some shad in the St. Johns River!

Yesterday son Maxx and I went running along the Florida Trail, most of the way to Orlando Wetlands Park. Beautiful day, nice woods. Hamstring is kind of tight today, though.

And that is this week’s exciting version of the Orlando Area Saltwater Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.



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Orlando Area and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

mosquito lagoon fishing report

Orlando Area and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Upcoming Events- Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, January 23-28, 2013

Monday, quite a beautiful day, found me paddling the Ocean Kayak on the Banana River Lagoon in the no motor zone, hoping to find big redfish and black drum. Six hours of paddling later I had found none. There was no seagrass at all. It was hard finding the spots- without the grass there was no frame of reference.

I saw three or four redfish and maybe thirty trout in two schools. Tossing a gurgler around where the trout were seen netted two strikes, both of which were missed.

There is no reason for me to go back there for a while.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

The launch at the nmz. The “dock” is real wobbly. If you fall into that muck they’ll never find you. That’s where all the grass is- dead and stinky along the shoreline!

Thursday Tammy Wilson and I went out on the Mosquito Lagoon in the Mitzi. The weather was really nice, very little wind. Lots of clouds at first gave way to mostly sunny skies.
At the first spot there were quite a few redfish. They were quite nervous and didn’t want us near them. Tammy cast a streamer fly at some of them and got two nice fish, both seatrout. They apparently were swimming with the reds.

The fish did not hang around very long, so we went looking in some other places. As could be expected, some were barren and some were fairly fishy. We did not get another fish, though.

We were off the water by 3:00 PM.

Friday Dr. George Yarko joined me for some Mosquito Lagoon fishing. We started off boating by Braille, using the compass to find the spot in the fog, glasses all wet, unable to see. We did find it. There were fish there. We could only see them when they moved, pushing up a wake. They would not let us into casting range.

While poling out of there a redfish tailed in front of the boat. It was one of many fish that were there. Dr. George got one on a DOA CAL jerkbait, nice work on his part.

We couldn’t find any more fish at that spot so went to one other. It was good. George got four out-of-slot redfish and a 26 inch seatrout using cut bait, a solid hour of catching there.

When I went to load the pictures of the previous two days fishing into my computer I opened the camera to remove the memory card and it wasn’t in there. It was still in the card reader from the previous use. Well DUH! No photos.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

A file photo of Dr. Yarko with a nice red.

And that is this week’s exciting version of the Orlando Area and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.



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Black Drum Images- A Pictorial

black drum

Black Drum.

Thanksgiving blessings to all. The holiday lies a few hours off. To central Florida fly fishers that should mean black drum begin appearing on shallow flats of the Banana River Lagoon.

We sight fish for these brutes, using seven-weight (some folks like more rod) fly rods with such flies as black Clouser Minnows, black bunny leeches, or Merkin crabs in brown. My preference is for size two hooks. a 1/5oth ounce lead eye. Weed guards are essential.

First you search for the fish. There are no guarantees you will find them. Sometimes it’s a long day, lots of water covered, nothing to show for it.

black drum

Searching for black drum in the Banana River Lagoon.

Sometimes, though, you hit the jackpot.

black drum image

John Thompson with a big black drum.

The best days for them are warm and sunny with little or no wind.

black drum image

The first time Barry Kent fished with me he got this black drum.

The water is cold though. You need waders unless you’re tough.

black drum

Greg Ritland fights a black drum.

Many moons ago I brought one of my students, a seventh grader, fishing there. He had a brand new fly rod. This is the first fish he caught with it.

black drum image

Matt Van Pelt broke in his new fly rod with this fish. He’s in his thirties now.

No one will mistake these fish for a bonefish or a rainbow trout. But they are probably the largest tailing fish in North America, reaching sizes over 100 pounds.

black drum image

It’s a face only a fisherman could love,

My good friend Rodney Smith and I had a banner day on drum one time.

black drum

Rodney Smith, when he had time to go fishing.

Another good friend, Rick DePaiva, has had more luck there than anyone else I know.

black drum image

Ricky D with one of the many big black drum he’s taken there.

 

black drum

This was the first fish we saw this particular morning.

 

black drum

We photographed the daylights out of this fish, taking advantage of a good fish and great light.

 

black drum release

We took several more fish this day, but this was the best one.

 

Black drum should be on the flats until about Easter time. Make some time to get out there and pursue these unusual fish.

 

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.



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Orlando area and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Mosquito Lagoon fishing report

Orlando area and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Upcoming Events- Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, January 23-28, 2013

Last week I was off on a rant about pretentious marketing for beer. A forum reader responded-
“You mention the beer label being pretentious and say it would be so even if it was on a bottle of wine. Well dear sir, beer is MUCH more complicated than wine, both in production methods and in complexity of flavor. Beer takes on a much broader spectrum of flavor and craft beer is only now beginning to be appreciated like fine wine here. Look for the price of select beers to go up up up over the next several years.

“You are right in saying marketing has taken a turn for the worse, with many beers being overpriced and severely overhyped. In some cases you can go to a limited release and buy a bottle for $20, then turn around and sell it to some ebay collector for $100+, I’ve seen some local cigar city beers go for $350 per bottle. Keep in mind most wines are incredibly easy to make and materials cost is less than beer, but they sell for much more due to the stigma of being a high brow beverage.”

And there you have it. I appreciate the response, sir.

Fishing, oh yes. For a lot of folks fishing and beer go together. But on to the Mosquito Lagoon fishing report…

On a windy Sunday fly fisher JB Walker joined me for a day on Mosquito Lagoon. We had sun a good part of the day and saw reasonable numbers of redfish, including a 20 pound class fish and a school of about 50 or 60 fish. Neither hung around very long. The fish were not bitey at all, very spooky actually.

JB got one small one which we both worked very hard to get. It was a tough day.

Alex and I joined birthday girl Tammy Wilson (now 29) for some kayak fishing on Tuesday. Overcast made it tough to see, except for the rolling tarpon. I got two bites (they weren’t very bitey, either) and caught one.

Mosquito Lagoon fishing report

This tarpon fell victim to a small polar fibre minnow.

Alex fooled three, hooked one, landed none. Tammy got one (in her words) “pecker trout.” I imagine that means it was monstrous.

We watched an eagle harass a flock of hundreds of coots. They were fleeing for their lives and the volume of the sound they made flapping was remarkable. The eagle left them alone after a while. The whole thing was very cool, unless you were one of the coots.

Overcast again on Wednesday morning. I went running along the Florida Trail. There was a new sign that said “panorama parking .4 mi.” Not having seen too many panoramas along there I went to check it out. There were eleven turkeys in the field when I got to its edge. They saw me and left in a hurry, but again, very cool.

Several whitetails were also spooked by my passing.

Birthday girl Tammy (she’s birthday girl for the week) met me for a Banana River Lagoon kayak expedition on Thursday morning. It was solid overcast all day, with a wind from the northwest at 10 mph or so.

We paddled a long way without seeing anything.

One redfish actually tailed near me at one point. I tried but failed to catch it. But blind casting in that area quickly netted two other redfish (black bunny leech, #2).

Tammy bummed a leech from me and she started catching fish too. We ended up with around ten reds to about 27 inches, three snook, a half dozen trout, and a single black drum, all casting blindly with fly rods. Pretty amazing for central Florida. I can’t remember the last time that happened to me.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

One of many fish fooled by a black bunny leech.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

After catching a bunch of fish I pulled out and devoured my secret good luck charm.

On the way back we met kayak fishing guide Dee Kaminski. Quite a lovely woman, and a fishing guide to boot.

 

Friday Dr. George Yarko launched the Mitzi at River Breeze. The sun was out but the wind was honkin at about 15 out of the north. The water is too high (check the gauge here). We only saw one fish all day. George got an out of the slot red on a DOA Shrimp. I missed one strike on a Johnson Minnow. That was it for five hours of effort.

Saturday JB Walker joined me again for some fly fishing. While it was not as windy as Friday, the wind made fishing more difficult. The water is too high. We saw a marginal number of redfish but many of them weren’t spotted until we were almost on top of them. You just can’t see them in the depth of water currently there. We had a few shots but did nor get a bite.

I sure hope the water level drops soon.

Three pictures of me in one report. How scary is that? Halloween is over, John!

That is this week’s Orlando area and Mosquito Lagoon fishing report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.



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Fishing and Other Odds and Ends

fishing, black drum

Fishing and Other Random Stuff That Popped Up This Week

We postponed the fishing trip scheduled for yesterday. I went around the entire Mosquito Lagoon during Sunday’s On The Water Show and Tell and did not see a single fish. Thank goodness that’s a pretty rare event.

fishing, black drum

With the temperature dropping into the 40s, can this action be far off??

Here’s a link to a blog that found me. It’s not about fishing but it is honest. There’s lots of conservation in there, and nice photography- http://pejorativejinx.blogspot.com

I chose today to go vote. It was not a good day to go commando. I froze while waiting in line. I couldn’t believe how many people were there.

The emotional response I had to voting almost overwhelmed me. We are so very, very lucky to live here.

Please take the time to research the candidates and to vote. Democracy works best with an informed, responsible citizenry.

With our suddenly chilly weather, it seems like a good time to re-visit this article on my website- http://www.spottedtail.com/free-fishing-article-flats-fishing-after-a-cold-front/

As always, thanks for reading.

John Kumiski
http:www.spottedtail.com

Copyright © John A. Kumiski 2012. All rights reserved.