Thursday, August 26, 2010

The BIG Redfish are Here!

It's that time of year again, when the redfish get frisky and spawn. The large breeder redfish can be found in several locations on the Banana River between Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach. Look for large groups of fish adjacent to deeper water and shallow water grassflats.

Have fun looking for and catching these large fish, but make sure you return them to the water quickly so as not to harm future generations of redfish.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Where There's Food... There's Fish

Anglers often ask me how to find fish and what do I look for to locate fish and my answer more than often is "find food, find fish".  All animals (including fish) need food and the fall mullet run on Florida's east coast provides plenty of food for the predator fish like snook, redfish, sharks and jack crevelle.  Just look for the food, in this case the fingerling mullet are migrating down the coastline on their annual trek and the big game fish are shadowing the schools baitfish and you'll often see them crashing in the surfline off Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

Hurry up and call us before the mullet run subsides in the next few weeks. Our regulars just need to call Capt. Gina or new customers can go to our Cocoa Beach Fishing Guide website at Lagooner.com and contact us there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Cold, But The Fishing is Great!

Oh Come On! It's Florida! How cold can it really be?  It's never too cold to go fishing, right?  Cocoa Beach and the Orlando area are fired up due to the fall mullet run along the coastline of Florida.  Come on down and join the fun as the weather is typically in the mid 70's and perfect.

Don't take my word for it. Look at some of the angler's success stories on the our Cocoa Beach or Orlando pages.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Big Reds near Cocoa Beach during the Fall

This fall we've seen many windy days in Cocoa Beach and it's been challenging for the most part, but when the conditions have been favorable my anglers have found those big "Bull Redfish" that our area is famous for.  Lately the water has been the color of chocolate milk and choppy as the 15 plus knot winds have made the Lagoon a cotton field of whitecaps. But the redfish are there and if you know where to put your baits and work, you have a good possiblity to come away with a trophy sized redfish in the Cocoa Beach area.

Don't let the weather discourage you as Florida's best weather usually comes around the corner and into the mid winter month's of January and February.  According to many of us we feel that the spawn for inshore redfish occurs in the fall and that means that the big females are around and in tight schools.  Don't get me wrong, we have schooling inshore redfish all year long, but traditionally the fall can produce the biggest if the conditions allow you to pursue them.

For many of you that have come to Cocoa Beach to fish with us you need to simply call Captain Gina to settup a fishing trip for big redfish and for those who haven't just go to the Lagooner Web Site and fill out a form on the site and she'll be prompt to call you back. If you want to talk to someone about setting up a fishing charter in Cocoa Beach, call (321) 868-4953

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Week of Windy Fishing

A guide's worse enemy can be adverse conditions for his/her anglers. Notice that I'm mentioning anglers in this opening statement and not fishing. Often the only thing that holds back a guide from catching fish on a windy, rainy miserable day is either the anglers unwillingness to plow ahead and just go fishing as long as there's no dangerous conditions that present a safety hazard. With that said... I'm not suggesting that anyone bring their wives and children out for a miserable day on the water, but for the dedicated angler, adverse conditions are just "part of the game".

This week has been blowing in excess of 25 knots with occasional rain (no lightning). I've had the opportunity to get out during some of the days and have managed to have pretty good success rates at finding and catching fish. Has it been comfortable....? No, for the most part, but it's been rewarding to come back to the dock with our limit in redfish and trout with a few nice snook sprinkled in for good measure.

Fishing in the wind can be challenging for guides and anglers alike, but for those willing to understand the frustrations and deal with them, it can be rewarding. Using a trolling motor in choppy waters is tough, noisy and sometimes necessary to position the boat. Fifty percent of the time it's not effective or accurate, but if you're willing to accept that, your labor intensive day will often reward you with a nice stringer of fish.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fall High Water Snook

Hurricanes... Not the football team but the storms bring high water and hungry snook near shorelines that are too shallow normally. We've had our share of hurricanes in East Central Florida in the last couple of years including Charley, Jeannene and Frances last year but these close calls have caused high water in the Banana River and Indian River Lagoons that bring the big snook into the flats for those using live baits.

This September and October have produced several snook in excess of 12 pounds and a couple near the 16 pound mark. It's been exciting watching anglers hookup with large snook in less than two feet of water while landing them on light ten pound tackle.

The bait we've been using is live pilchards or "greenies" as they're often referred as. The pilchards have been plentiful in Port Canaveral where we catch them and transport them thru the locks and back into the lagoons. Finger mullet are a good alternative bait and can be caught easily in the fall with a good castnet and a little luck.

Snook are receptive to live baits presented along mangrove shorelines or docks with nearby grassflats. Stay far enough away to make long cast for minimal sound and disturbance from boat noises as snook are wary of unfamiliar sounds.

Snook often hit on the surface and with pilchards it's an instant hookup! Set the hook hard and then keep the pressure on when a fish hits. If the fish goes toward the mangroves use enough pressure to keep them out of the trees and then relax the pressure once you get them away from the structure.

Remember, High waters from the rain and storms can bring large snook into places they don't normally haunt. Look for the three main ingredients to any fishing situation. Fish look for food (baitfish), comfort (water conditions/temperature) and sex (spawn), if you find one or more of each of these you'll likely find your quarry.

Good luck fishing the high water and until next time Keep your lines tight.

Captain Richard

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Winter Trout Fishing In Central Florida

Spotted sea trout go deep when the mercury falls below 40° F in east central Florida and anglers that are in-the-know will pursue them in the deep water canals and holes in the Indian and Banana River Lagoon on the coldest winter days.

Fish Deep Holes


Growing up on Florida's Space Coast I learned from long time veterans the best holes frequented by anglers for large trout often referred to as "gator trout". Most of the holes are now accessable only by boat as private land have been developed and closed to the public. Some of the best holes are located in security areas around Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Base. One productive deep hole is nestled between the shuttle recovery ships in the Banana River Lagoon's north end where up the 1980's fishermen simply pulled up next to and dropped a line for literally hundreds of spotted sea trout. I suppose that they consider the ships a terrorist target as homeland security and the federal government has made a huge perimeter around Kennedy Space Center capturing thousands of acres of public land and waters.

Find Healthy Habitat Nearby


Florida's inshore lagoons average less than five feet deep and most deep holes are man-made canals or dredged up channels. The best trout holes seem to be in canals where the water can stratisfy or thermocline and the trout can lay in the deepest and coldest depths where temperatures are stable. Many anglers believe that the trout are going deep for warm water but contrary to this misconception, cold water sinks as soon as the wind and air cool it down above. It's this cold water thermocline that the sea trout like while they lay still for a day or two until the Florida sunshine state warms the water again. When scouting for deep holes you want to look for direct access of the lagoon and close to health grass flats, this makes sense because fish need a healthy habitat to live in before the cold fronts and trout love clear grassflats with lots of food.

Use Live Finfish for Bait


I often probe wintertime trout holes with artificials (trout touts,mister twister tails,jigs, etc...) that get down deep until I find concentrations of fish, then I switch to live bait. Work artificials slow and on the bottom, trout are subtle biters when it's really cold, as the warms up they will become more agreesive feeders and feed above the thermocline. I've had days when you could catch over 100 ten inch trout on grub tails but if I had used live bait similar to mud minnows, finger mullet or mojara we would have scored much bigger fish.

TIP: Avoid using shrimp if you want big fish. Everything from pinfish, catfish and small trout will eat your bait up. While it's true you can catch large trout on shrimp you'll supersize your fish on finfish bait.

Light Tackle's the Secret


Six pound test on a sensitive rod makes for a great wintertime trout rod. A light rod can bring in any gator trout in the winter and you'll improve your success with more hookups. Use 15 pound test flourocarbon leader tied on with your favorite fishing knot (avoid swivels) and use a good sharp hook. Don't us a bobber if you can avoid it because the really big trout seem more tackle shy.

Good Luck Fishing
Stay Warm