The Mid-October Saltwater Orlando Fishing Report

The Mid-October Saltwater Orlando Fishing Report

First, upcoming events-

-October 25, Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar. Learn more at http://www.spottedtail.com/mosquito-lagoon-show-and-tell-fishing-seminar/

-October 26 Mosquito Lagoon On-the-Water Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, learn more at http://www.spottedtail.com/mosquito-lagoon-on-the-water-show-and-tell-fishing-seminar/

The mullet are not in anywhere near as great numbers as I thought last week. Sadly.

The season’s first cold front came in over the weekend.

On Monday Rodney Smith and I went fishing out of Port Canaveral. I had a jacket on, since it was about 60 degrees when I launched the boat. The wind was about 10, NE. Our first order of business was to run north along the beach, looking for the schools of mullet I knew would be there. They weren’t. Off the cape we looked for the menhaden schools that had been there. They were gone.

Rodney started off fly fishing, using a small Clouser Minnow. He took a fish on each of his first seven casts. When that slowed we tossed jigs up into the surf line, steadily catching ladyfish, bluefish, small jacks, and a few Spanish mackerel.

After a while the smaller sized fish ceased being entertaining, so we went looking for bigger fare. Off Cocoa Beach there were some menhaden schools. They were thick, and I wanted to net some. It was too deep. My net doesn’t sink fast, and in deep water the pogies just swim out from under it when they see it coming.

We each put a finger mullet on and tossed them by the menhaden. It didn’t take long for my line to come tight. A Monster tarpon tailwalked past the boat, shaking its head, rattling its gills. The 80 pound leader, apparently damaged by a bluefish, broke.

We hooked several 50-100 pound class sharks, but had no more tarpon bites.

We checked for mullet along the beach again before we went in, but they were still not along the beach. Waaagh!

My first ebook, How to Catch Fish with the 3 Inch DOA Shrimp, is now available. Check it out at this link!  Please support your local author!

DOAShrimpCover copy

Wednesday I went to Playalinda and got my Golden Age pass , the best thing about aging. It gives you free access to all national parks and monuments for the rest of your life. I hope I live long enough to get my money’s worth from it!

I stopped at the beach and talked to some gentlemen who were fishing there. One, a fly caster from the Seattle area, had gone through lots of flies and had a blast with jacks, ladyfish, and Spanish mackerel, right from the beach.

I launched the boat at the south end of Mosquito Lagoon and explored it pretty thoroughly. In spite of the glowing reports I had been getting I saw very little and did not get a bite.

After pulling the boat I drove to Port St. John and launched in the Indian River Lagoon to check it out down there. The result was identical. In both places the water was high and dirty. If you prefer to sight fish you’re pretty much out of luck. Most years at this time the power plant is killing it but I did not see a fish or get a bite there, either.

Friday I met angler Steve Gibson and we launched the boat at Kennedy Point, intending to fish the Indian River Lagoon. We worked it hard for six hours, and Steve did get some kind of slam, getting a redfish and a snook on a Zara Spook and a seatrout on a streamer fly. We won’t go into their size, but we did not take any pictures. Suffice to say all three together would not have made much of a meal.

So although I didn’t exactly kill it this week, that is the Mid-October Saltwater Orlando 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.




The Mullet Run Kick-Off Port Canaveral Fishing Report

The Mullet Run Kick-Off Port Canaveral Fishing Report

swimming mullet2

All Hail the Mighty Mullet!

First, upcoming events-

-October 11th-18th Third Annual SPACE COAST SURF FISHING TOURNAMENT. Learn more by going to: www.scisft.AnglersForConservation.org.

-October 25, Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar. Learn more at http://www.spottedtail.com/mosquito-lagoon-show-and-tell-fishing-seminar/

-October 26 Mosquito Lagoon On-the-Water Show and Tell Fishing Seminar, learn more at http://www.spottedtail.com/mosquito-lagoon-on-the-water-show-and-tell-fishing-seminar/

Although they are coming in fits and starts, the mullet appeared along Brevard County beaches this week. There are two mullet flavors-

-The silver mullet (“finger” mullet) are the smaller species, rarely reaching 12 inches long. These fishies are cold intolerant and migrate south, like snowbirds from New York, along the beach and through the lagoons every year at this time. These are the mullet that we who use such things use for bait.

-The black or striped mullet are the larger species, reaching weights in excess of five pounds. I have used these for bait but you need a LARGE hook, and it’s real hard casting a bait that weighs over a pound. These fish can be filleted and fried, or broiled, or smoked, and are quite good if eaten when very fresh. They are more tolerant of cold water than the silvers, but are aggregating to spawn now.

port canaveral fishing report

You can imagine a mullet like this might be hard to cast.

Predators love both types, and both types are easily caught with a cast net when they are in the giant schools we find at this time of year.

To have maximum mullet run success, find a school of mullet that has an obvious escort of large predatory fish. You’ll be able to see the evidence, believe me! Cast the lure of your choice or your live baits into the mullet school, either live-lined or on an egg-sinker rig.

port canaveral fishing report

This is an example of a large predatory fish.

Things change real fast from day to day along the beach at this time of year, depending on air and water temperature, wind speed and direction, and bait movement.

On Monday Joe Bak and I did some scouting out of Port Canaveral for my Tuesday charter. The charter wanted tarpon and redfish so that’s what I was looking for. We found a few tarpon down by Patrick AFB, hanging around the menhaden schools that were there. I managed to catch one about 80 pounds using a live menhaden for bait.

There were lots of sharks there and after losing a half-dozen hooks we decided to try something else. There was Sargassum in the water so we went looking for tripletail. We found lots of weeds, but no fish at all.

We ended up in Canaveral Bight. Silver mullet were working down the shoreline and were being mightily harassed. We got ladyfish, bluefish, crevalle jacks, and Spanish mackerel of DOA CAL jigs and Chug Bugs. No redfish were seen.

port canaveral fishing report

A modest sized ladyfish, one of the rod-benders along the beach right now.

Approaching weather chased us off the water at about 1 PM.

Tuesday at 7 AM I launched the Mitzi at the Port, joined by Sherman Harris and his brother-in-law Brent. A toss of the cast net at the boat ramp yielded a day’s supply of mullet for bait. Then we went fishing.

A 45 minute stop at the north jetty yielded jacks, bluefish, and ladyfish, although nothing of any size. We then headed south.

port canaveral fishing report

There are LOTS of bluefish around.

Before we reached the pier we found a school of hundreds of seven and eight pound crevalle. Chug Bugs, jigs, and of course live mullet all worked, with Chug Bugs being the most fun.

South of the pier fish were breaking all along the beach, mostly small jacks with bluefish and ladyfish mixed in. Chug Bugs and DOA CAL jigs accounted for many fish.

We finally got to where the tarpon had been the previous day. Although the menhaden were still there, the tarpon were gone. Keeping an eye on the building clouds we went further south.

Schools of big mullet were working down the beach at Patrick AFB. Tarpon and sharks were exploding on them. We hooked a few sharks and one big tarpon, landing none of them.

A shrimp boat was working about a mile off the beach. We went out to investigate. No pelicans, no dolphins, and no fish, very disappointing.

Rain showers were now appearing all around us. I headed back north up the beach.

We ended up in Canaveral Bight. Silver mullet were working down the shoreline and were being mightily harassed. We got ladyfish, bluefish, crevalle jacks, and Spanish mackerel of DOA CAL jigs and Chug Bugs. No redfish were seen.

port canaveral fishing report

The Spanish mackerel is a personal favorite. They are delicious broiled or grilled.

Back at the boat ramp we ran into Capt. Rick Banks, who I had not seen in years. Rick makes a unique line of high quality lures. See them at this link…

Thursday son Alex and John Napolitano joined me for some beach fishing. After netting some mullet we headed south, and found what were probably the same school of eight pound jacks I’d found on Tuesday. They were not quite as cooperative, but we did get a couple, one on a mullet and one on a Chug Bug.

Again there were some breaking fish along the beach- jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel, but not as many or as widespread as on Tuesday.

We got to south Cocoa Beach and the menhaden were all gone. Sorry boys, no one is home.

We went further south, hoping to find them. We did not. We did find a massive school of black mullet, which was being harassed by sharks and tarpon. We hooked one of each, losing both.

The mullets were big and thick.

The mullets were big and thick.

We went down along Satellite Beach, finding nothing. There was a lot of Sargassum, so we went out looking for tripletail.

The weeds were thick in places. The only tripletail we found were on things other than the weeds- a board, a plastic jug, a couple crab trap buoys. All the fish were very small. We caught one about a foot long on a chartreuse DOA Shrimp. We let the fish go of course.

We ran north again, ending up in Canaveral Bight. There were no mullet along the beach. There were some menhaden and we got some bluefish around them on jigs and Chug Bugs.

The mullet will be along the beach for a few more weeks, after which the run will be over until next year. Get out there and take advantage of this long, live chum line!

And that is the Mullet Run Kick-Off Port Canaveral 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.

  • Feeding frenzy for large tarpon off Lake Worth

The Ode to Little Tunny Port Canaveral Fishing Report

The Ode to Little Tunny Port Canaveral Fishing Report

That’s right, you heard right. The secret word for tonight is mudshark little tunny! This is the Ode to Little Tunny Port Canaveral Fishing Report!

First though, the bumper sticker of the week

DSCN0817

Next, upcoming events-

-October 11th-18th Third Annual SPACE COAST SURF FISHING TOURNAMENT. Learn more by going to this link… 

-October 25, Mosquito Lagoon Show and Tell Fishing Seminar. Learn more or register at this link…

-October 26 Mosquito Lagoon On-the-Water Show and Tell Fishing Seminar. Learn more or register at this link… 

I got out on the Atlantic out of Port Canaveral three times this week and two of those days the tunny were going off like I’ve never seen anywhere- not off Jupiter, not off Cape Lookout, just insane numbers of tunny going off on little anchovy-looking fishies. The birds loved it.

port canaveral fishing report

Tunny going of outside of Port Canaveral.

 

port canaveral fishing report

There were LOTS of them!

 

port canaveral fishing report

This is such exciting fishing!

OK, so what are tunny?

Properly called Euthynnus alletteratus, tunny are the most common tuna in the Atlantic Ocean. Occurring in large schools and weighing up to 36 pounds (the current IGFA all-tackle record), it is the smallest member of the tuna family, and is one of the finest small game-fish in the Atlantic.

It’s commonly called a false albacore or, here in Florida, bonito. It is sought-after as a sport fish due to its line-stripping 20+ mph runs and hard fighting ability when hooked.

They are absolutely fantastic on a light fly rod and tons of fun with a light spin rod. There were lots of them off Brevard County beaches this week.

On Tuesday son Alex and I put in a half day, launching at the wonderful new boat ramp at Port Canaveral. The wind was light out of the west. The tunny were going CRAZY, diving birds everywhere over large schools of breaking fish. We got a bunch on craft fur minnows and DOA CAL jigs, doubling up several times. Even got a selfie of us fighting fish.

port canaveral fishing report

Alex and I doubled up, he on fly, me on spin.

We finally tore ourselves away to look for other targets. We found a large school of Spanish mackerel doing their best little tunny imitation and got several of those. They weren’t too exciting after the tunny.

Then we found some tarpon rolling. We doubled up, using live menhaden. When Alex’s fish made its first jump, at least 15 sharks came flying out of the water, all through the school of menhaden, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen while on the water.

We could not get a bait through the sharks to the tarpon after that.

We hit a couple more tunny on the way back, and had the boat on the trailer at 1 PM.

On Wednesday my good friend Tom Van Horn joined me on the Spotted Tail, again launching at the Port. Tom had never caught a tunny on fly and wanted to get one. The fish were just as crazy as the previous day. The wind was still west but blowing with more gusto, waves slopping over the gunwales as we chased fish around. We hooked a bunch of tunny. Although we lost a bunch of flies (craft fur minnows, some tied like Clousers), the mission was accomplished.

port canaveral fishing report

Tom hooked up to a tunny. His fly rod had never had such a workout.

 

port canaveral fishing report

I made him boat his own fish so I could get this photo.

 

port canaveral fishing report

The first of several fish Tom got.

We went to where the tarpon had been the previous day. They were still there. I hooked and broke off two, then the sharks ate everything we threw out there.

We both had errands to run in the afternoon, so again were off the water at 1 PM.

Thursday morning I had my annual physical, and was not intending to fish. When I got home though, Mr. Damien Kostick had called and wanted an afternoon half-day charter. Hey, the fish are off the Port, why not?

At 11:30 we launched the Mitzi. The wind was out of the east. It was light at first but it kept increasing in velocity. It got real sloppy out there.

The tunny had apparently vacated the premises. Crap.

We went to where all the tarpon and sharks had been the past couple days. Gone. Double crap.

We ran south all the way to Satellite Beach. We saw a single tarpon free-jump. We spotted a free-swimming tripletail. Damien got one cast at it. Then it spooked and dove. Other than that and the menhaden there were no signs of fish of any kind.

Heading north again, we spotted birds working to the east. We headed out to sea. The tunny were working out there, although nothing like the previous two days.

There were enough that by being patient and working it hard we got a half dozen or so. By now it was rough enough that the waves were washing over the deck pretty freely.

port canaveral fishing report

Damien with one of his tunny.

We went back towards the beach, still hoping to see some tarpon roll. We looked well up into Canaveral Bight and saw nothing at all. The boat was on the trailer at about 530 PM.

And that is this week’s Ode to Little Tunny Port Canaveral 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.




Shark Fishing for Dummies

Shark Fishing for Dummies: or the secrets of easy fishing

A Guest Blog by Capt. Craig Eubank

shark fishing

Part One

Just the title of “Shark Fishing” conjures great expectations of money-shot photos of big toothy creatures laid out on the back deck of macho fishing vessels or on the concrete docks of any-coast USA covered in blood and license plates. Obviously, we have seen way too many movies and made for TV dramas. It has become a part of our urban folklore. Most of us can quote the key lines from the movie “Jaws” and have seen “Shark Week” every year for, well as long as we can remember. Between choosing to watch “Air Jaws” or “Swamp People” it has become a tossup.

Sadly, it really is that easy. Not that I am saying that you can visit your local tackle shop, hit the fuel dock with your 21 foot Aqua Squirt, and head out with high expectation of catching a Great or even Medium White Shark; that scenario isn’t exactly realistic. But, for most of us that live on a coast with saltwater, shark fishing is pretty easy.

Now, I am speaking from fishing experience here in the fabulous Florida Keys. That’s all I have done for a living over the last three decades. I am not trying to over simplify things, but if you follow the few steps outlined here, you will find success and maybe establish yourself as a “Shark Guide” among your friends in short order.

First, you don’t need to run great distances and fish deep water. No need to tempt fate, dance with danger, or burn a lot of $6-a-gallon fuel! Start off staying closer to shore. Pick an area where the tide runs into a closed body of water. A channel or “choked off” area of water where at high tide bait, shrimp, fish will congregate until the next falling tide. Sharks are opportunists and can be lured into shallows as well as deep water. They feed constantly and have no fear. They don’t anticipate geographical constrictions or “choke points.”

Bring plenty of bait. Whether it’s blocks of commercial chum, homemade ground up fish by product (guts!) whole baitfish, or fish oil, if it smells, it’s what you want. The one thing movies portray that is accurate, is the need for smelly bait to attract predators. As far as technique, don’t over think it. Typical bottom fishing rigs will work well. Remember, sharks are generally opportunists. It could be dead bait lying on the bottom like a bottom feeder might pick up, or live bait floundering on the surface that attracts them. Sharks take advantage of the weak and easy. They are eating machines with no fear. Take advantage of this trait!

Once anchored, start spreading the news. In other words, put some stink in the water. Ladle in some fish goo, hang a chum block or three, cut up a bloody carcass (here in the Florida Keys we use Barracuda or Bonita) and hang it over the side. This is where you want to have a roll of green line or fairly heavy string in order to hang various baits. You just want the scent; you don’t want to feed them anything without a hook in it. Bluefish, cod, snapper, menhaden oil, even oats and vegetable oil will work. You just want to give them a taste of something, not actually feed them. It is the same as walking into a pizza shop and smelling the garlic. Your mouth waters, but they don’t actually give you something to satisfy your hunger until you pay J

Next, patience. It takes time to attract the right predator. Remember all the time you have put into the plan and implementation now is not the time to rush things. Let the stink do its work. Too many anglers and guides and so excited that the first thing they do is put a bait with a hook in it out in the slick before there has been ample time to build up an interest. Sort of like buying drinks for a lady and waiting all of 5 minutes before making a proposition. Not good form. Relax. Get a drink, tell a story, and tune in the radio. WAIT. They aren’t going away. Did you leave the pizza parlor without your order?

As your chum does its job, plan how you are going to cover the water column. You will need at least two lines, one on the bottom and one on the top. If the water is particularly deep, you may need up to 5 lines at various depths. Certain sharks feed at certain depths. There is quite a bit of overlap, but you want to maximize your spread. Bottom baits are easy using lead weights to hold them down. An old guide’s trick is to use your downrigger, put the bait back a hundred feet, wind it up in the clip and put it down just as you would off-shore. Right on the bottom. It will break away when struck and you won’t have the lead weight to deal with while fighting the fish.

Surface baits can be supported by balloons, bobbers, chunks of Styrofoam, or one of my favorites; a fishing kite! Yep, just like you would use off-shore for Sailfish. In a current, the kite will keep the bait, dead or alive, right on the surface and you will have the control to wind it up or let it out without messing with the kite. Try it, you will be tickled.

Mid-water baits require more attention. They are just free-floating and will need to be monitored, let out steadily or wound in and re-started on a regular basis. Without good action, you will tire of these baits and usually they just sit at a pre-determined interval and hope for the best. Not a waste of time since we never know what a shark will want from day to day.

So, you have you chum working for you, your lines are in place covering the entire water column, and all there is to do now is wait. Unfortunately, that is the one virtue of shark fishing that is the hardest to teach. Patience. There is always the feeling that you could be doing more. And having an enthusiastic angler will only increase this feeling. But, at some point you need to decide that you are doing enough but not too much. And then entertaining the client is your priority. Of course most anglers can be distracted by doing a bit of bottom fishing for other species. Smaller fish. Get out a spinner, put on some cut bait and entertain the angler with some basic bottom fishing. This is not only distracting until you get the big strike but you are also catching bait that can be used for shark fishing. Keep your live well running if you have one. If you catch a small bait size fish, put him in the well and use him for the kite bait or butterfly him and put him on a down line.

shark fishing

Relax and realize that if you wait long enough, tend your lines, you will more than likely get a shot at what you came for. There are still a lot of sharks out there, they aren’t smart, and you only need one to move you from zero to hero. Have confidence.   There are no guarantees, but the odds are definitely in your favor.

Next time we will discuss what you should do when you finally get that shark on your line!

This is part one in a series on shark fishing by Captain Craig Eubank, Owner/Operator of the charterboat “Absolut” in Key West, Florida

www.absolutfishingkeywest.com



  • Aug., Sept. prime months for shark attacks in FL

See How Easily You Can Lighten Up For Black Bass

Lighten Up For Black Bass

A short time researching “fly rods for black bass” on the internet will find recommendations for bass rods between six-weight and eight-weight. And for beginners these are good recommendations. However, if you’ve been fly fishing a while, if you’re a good caster, and if you understand how to use your rod to fight bigger fish efficiently, you can use smaller, lighter rods than this quite effectively in many situations. Let us discuss the places little rods are appropriate.

I live in central Florida, and fish rivers and shallow areas on lakes with the fly. These places are made-to-order for a little rod. My own favorite is an eight foot three-weight equipped with a weight-forward number four floating line. With this outfit unweighted streamers, small poppers, and gurglers up to size 2 are tossed at likely targets when the wind is less than about 12 knots. When the wind comes up, or if I want to throw a larger or a weighted fly, then I go up to a nine foot five-weight. Either way, the leader is nine or ten feet long, tapered to a 10 pound nylon tippet.

Lighten Up for Black bass

Flies like these can be thrown with a small rod.

Why should you Lighten Up For Black Bass? Several reasons present themselves.
– It forces you to become a better caster. At first casting your typical bass fly* with the little rod will be difficult. If you stick with it will get easier because you will get better.
– You will present your flies with less commotion. The words “delicacy” and “black bass” don’t often appear in the same sentence, but bass can be spooked just like any other fish. A five-weight line makes considerably less splash than an eight-weight line does.
– You can fish longer. That little rod causes less fatigue than a bigger one.
– Those little bass became more fun. A ten- or twelve-inch bass on an eight-weight isn’t very challenging. Put him on a four-weight though, and Boom!- he’s a real fish.
– Those bigger bass are suddenly angling trophies. The five-pounder on the eight-weight was a nice fish. On the four-weight though, you have some serious bragging rights.

orlando area fishing report

If you fish in thick weeds or timber you will lose a few fish. I submit you will catch more overall though, because you will spook fewer. You will enjoy the ones you catch a lot more, too.

Try to lighten up for black bass. If you don’t take to it you can always go back to using your more conventional fly gear.

*You may want to down-size your typical bass fly by a hook size or two.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com



St. Johns River and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

St. Johns River and Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Blog Posts This Week-

-Saturday on the ‘Goon

-The Continuing Saga of the Bang-O-Craft

-Casting for Recovery and Typhoon Tackle Join Forces to Fight Breast Cancer

This week we feature a joint St. Johns River and Mosquito Lagoon fishing report. It’s pretty rare to hook a seatrout and have it go on a hot run that peels line off the reel. That happened this week. But I get ahead of myself…

Monday I went back to the chiropractor. When I left he still had not fixed my back. I don’t think I will be visiting that particular chiropractor again.

After I left the doctor’s office I went to the St. Johns River system to do a little bass fishing. When I got there it was slow. No bites on a couple different surface flies. Did not see any activity. I switched to a streamer. It wasn’t hot fishing, but I got two decent fish.

St. Johns River fishing report

Two bass were caught on this fly.

I saw a couple fish pop something on top, so I switched to a white gurgler. You know, gurglers are kind of stupid-looking flies, real easy to make. They work like crazy for everything. I got about a dozen bass to three pounds and three bluegills on this one before it was time to leave. Turned out to be a real nice day, even with the back problem.

st. johns river fishing report

I got more fish on the gurgler, and it’s more fun to use.

Tuesday a number of things happened, none of which directly involved wetting a line. I put a new axle on the trailer of the Bang-O-Craft. I wanted to get the wheels on too, but nowhere I looked had the parts I needed.

I found those parts Wednesday at Tractor Supply, and got the wheels on. Then I took the boat to the car wash and blasted it. Although a huge improvement it will need another major cleaning before it’s ready to use. The new fuel tank came on Wednesday, too. Now all I need is a motor and the Bang-O-Craft will be back in business. I am so looking forward to using that boat again.

Thursday son Alex and I went to Mosquito Lagoon to do a little scouting, getting somewhat of a late start, almost 9 AM. There were lots of clouds and quite a bit of wind, AND the water is already at summer levels, 1.3 on the gauge .

mosquito lagoon fishing report

Alex was hot, getting eight or ten trout like this one.

What does all that mean? It means sight fishing was real difficult. However, fish were biting. We got about a dozen trout. While none were big, only one was short. They were running about 18-20 inches, decent fish. We got them on DOA CAL jigs and also on 5.5 inch jerkbaits. I also got two reds on a RipTide weedless jighead with a four inch DOA CAL jerkbait affixed to the hook.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

The jig-and-jerkbait combo works well.

Tammy was supposed to join me for Friday’s scouting but couldn’t make it, something about her windshield having Montezuma’s revenge? So I went by myself.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

Cloudy, windy, high water. Tough to see, so I blindcast a 5.5 inch DOA CAL jerkbait. The first bite was the trout that ripped the line off the reel, a fat, beautiful fish that was every bit of seven pounds. I selfied us and let it go.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

This is by far my best trout this year.

The second one was a bit smaller, but the hook tore one of the gill arches loose and the fish was dead when I brought it into the boat, which made me sad. I did not want to kill it, but that’s what happened.

mosquito lagoon fishing report

Aye, ’tis a handsome fish!

I checked a spot that had the occasional tailing redfish so I broke out the fly rod. After using the eight foot three-weight for bass fishing that seven-weight was like a rocket launcher. I had three shots and blew all three by casting too far. I cast blindly for about 20 minutes while I watched the weather coming, hoping to get a trout before I had to leave. Didn’t happen. Rain and lightning drove me back to the dock, where the boat was trailered at noon.

And that is this week’s St. Johns River 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 2014. All rights are reserved.



Port Canaveral’s Giant Jack Crevalle

Port Canaveral’s Giant Jack Crevalle

MaxxBigJackLR

It was one of my most memorable fishing charters. The surface of the Mosquito Lagoon was slick. We’d been on a school of redfish for two hours and gotten one bite, which was missed. I said, “We should go to Port Canaveral.” So we left the reds, pulled the boat out, and drove to Port Canaveral.

The wind had come up by the time we got there, but by the grace of God we found a long string of jack crevalle only a half mile from the south jetty. These weren’t little hockey puck jack crevalle, or even nice, healthy 10 and 12 pounders. These were the big, mean, break-your-back, take-no-prisoners 30 and 35 pound jack crevalle.

We had four ten pound spinning outfits on board. As I tied a one ounce jig onto the line of one I told my angler, “This is like hunting elephants with a spitball shooter.” I threaded a five inch chartreuse jerkbait onto the hook of the jig and handed him the rod.

We idled around briefly until we found the fish again. Mike started casting. In short order he made a good cast and a cooperative jack nailed the jig.

By this time the sea breeze had kicked in. We had to chase the fish into the waves, which were pouring over the bow. I had serious concerns that Mike would be going swimming, so I had him get behind me and use the poling tower as a lean bar. This had the advantage of slowing down the flood coming over the bow. I told him, “If you catch this fish it will be a miracle.”

The guy was a solid angler, and before too long the fish was beneath us. Mike would pull him in close, and the fish would take off again. Mike had to work around the poling tower, and the pushpole, and the motor. The Mitzi was rocking and rolling, waves were still coming in, and the bilge pump was running non-stop. It was true combat fishing, an awesome battle between two equally determined antagonists.

Read the rest of this story here…

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

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



Another Orlando Area Fishing Report

Another Orlando Area Fishing Report

Blog Posts This Week- The Peruke Fly

orlando area fishing report

Last Saturday I accompanied my bride to the Home and Garden Show. It was not very good, BUT, there was a booth (the proprietor was not there) that had fish art made from stainless steel, very cool stuff. The artist’s name is Armando Hevia, his website is metalfish66.com. Check it out.

Didn’t fish Monday. Went for a walk on the Florida Trail. it was lovely. However I got about 15 chigger bites and a single tick, not lovely at all. Pulled the tick off on Friday, when I found it. Think I’ll stay out of the woods until October or so.

Tammy Tuesday got rained out. It poured.

Wednesday I went bass fishing on the Econ, something I’d never really done before. I was such a dumass. It was good, once I figured it out.

I had this demented idea I was going to catch the biggest bass of my life so I brought a five-weight and threw a big bunny eelworm for two hours. I got exactly one bite from a twelve inch bass. I finally lost the fly on some submerged lumber.

orlando area fishing report

The eelworm bass.

I switched to a hideously ugly foam frog I tied, and the bites just kept coming. I don’t know what a redbelly is thinking when it hits a three inch long frog but I got a couple that managed to impale themselves on the stinger hook. And I got about ten bass to three pounds or so, not great but definitely entertaining. The strikes are just awesome!

orlando area fishing report

If anyone out there knows what this guy was thinking I would love to hear from you.

orlando area fishing report

This is more like what I wanted.

Thursday son Alex was supposed to go fishing with me but he wouldn’t get up (after 9 am, I wasn’t trying to smoke him or anything) so I went back to the Econ. I got 20 or so fish, a few redbellies and the rest bass. The biggest was maybe three pounds, but again, quite fun with surface flies, which was all I tried.

orlando area fishing report

These fish will smack some ugly flies…

Friday Dr. George Yarko joined me for some R&R on the Indian River Lagoon. He hadn’t been out for months! We found a school of redfish almost immediately, and got five on DOA CAL shad before they gave us the shake, nice fish, 24 inches or so.

orlando area fishing report

Then a few trout fell to the Deadly Combo. Then we went back to the place where the reds had been caught hoping to find them again. George got five blind casting the CAL Shad, unbelievable. As the east wind pushed us toward the edge of the manatee zone I tossed a Chug Bug, got a couple strikes, and got a nice trout of three pounds or so.

orlando area fishing report

So ended our day, and my week.

A couple weeks ago I showed a photo of the result of jousting against a pushpole with a fly rod. I got the new rod today- sixty bucks! Ouch.

And check out the link below between fly fishing and sex. Great stuff!

And that is this week’s 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 2014. All rights are reserved.



Poppers for Seatrout

Poppers for Seatrout

poppers for seatrout

Lovely when alive, tasty on the table, spotted seatrout are one of Florida’s favorite saltwater fish. The problem is, unless you find a really big one (not easy to do) trout are weaklings at the end of your line. They just don’t get the adrenaline going. But you can make trout fishing more fun by using poppers for seatrout.

There’s the visual aspect of using the plug. You can see the lure, and you can see the fish hit it. There’s the very satisfying “Smack!” sound when a good fish takes it. Believe it or not, the missed strikes are fun, and sometimes a fish will hit it four or five times in a row until the hook finally sticks, or doesn’t.

As in all things in fishing there are a variety of plugs on the market that will work. For most of this type of work I like a popping plug, and the Chug Bug (made by Storm Lures) is probably my favorite. Not only does the “pop” of this lure attract the fish, but it has rattles inside for extra attraction power. It calls the fish to it from quite a distance and there’s something almost magical about its appeal to seatrout. Of course, redfish, snook, tarpon, and crevalle will whack it too. I’ve even caught snapper with them.

poppers for seatrout

Storm’s Chug Bug comes in three sizes. All are effective lures for seatrout.

Another excellent surface lure for seatrout is the DOA Shallow Running Bait Buster. This soft plastic mullet imitation features a single hook, great for when floating grass or other debris makes using a lure with gang hooks impractical. While you don’t get the “bloop!” of a Chug Bug you fish it much the same way.

Seatrout on DOA Bait Buster

The Bait Buster is a great lure for any mullet-eating fish.

During the summertime (coming right up!) your best strategy is to get out early (before sunrise) and find a flat that’s about two feet deep with a bottom that has a mixture of sand and grass. Lots of mullet in the vicinity are a definite plus. Working around the edges of bars or docks is also a very good idea. If you’re in a boat you can drift, use a trolling motor on slow speed, or push the boat with a pushpole. Waders can have good success too, though.

Cast the lure as far as you can, and work it back to you. How fast should you retrieve? How hard should you pop it?

Only the fish can answer this question, and experimentation with your retrieve is the best course of action. When you find what they like best, keep doing it until it stops working.

One time when I had Michael Grant out in my boat we were both tossing Chug Bugs. I was using small, steady pops, reeling at a moderate rate, and was getting the occasional bite. Michael was using great, loud pops, reeling slowly. He was getting bites every second or third cast. Of course I changed my retrieve to imitate was he was doing and my success rate went right up.

So if you want to make trout fishing more entertaining, try to using poppers for seatrout.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

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



What to DO When the Big Fish Swims Under the Boat

What to DO When the Big Fish Swims Under the Boat

tarpon boatside

OK, today’s lesson deals with what to do when a big fish swims under the boat. For some reason most fishermen want to lift the rod when the big fish makes its dive. I’ve watched too many guys do this. The result is always the same. The line rubs against the hull of the boat, increasing friction and virtually assuring a break-off. Since big fish don’t come along all the time, when the line breaks so does your heart. OOOhhh that hurts.

So, what is the correct response when the big fish makes its dive? You simply thrust the tip end of the rod down into the water. How far down? Far enough down to ensure that the line does not touch the hull or motor of the boat. If the fish is beefy enough to extend its run away from the “wrong” side of the boat, you simply walk the rod around the bow of the boat. As soon as the line clears the hull you can lift the rod out of the water and continue the battle in a more conventional fashion. On a particularly big, nasty fish you may have to perform this maneuver more than once.

We’re assuming here that the boat is small enough to allow you to do this. Honestly, although I would certainly like to I’ve never had the problem occur while on a Hatteras 48 or similar vessel. If any readers can expound on this I would love to hear from you.

So, to sum up what to do when the big fish swims under the boat- rod lift bad, rod thrust into water good. Keep this straight and catch more of those big fish.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

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

Thanks to Ricky Dee for use of the photo!