Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How To Fight Big Reds

Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters Capt. Chris Myers Fishing Report and Newsletter April 26, 2009 Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

Large schools of silver mullet are flooding into Mosquito Lagoon and the game fish are enjoying the new food source. Trout can be seen blasting the bait schools along the edges of many flats. The redfish are taking advantage of the mullet and pinfish as the water temperatures rise into the mid 70's. While the wind has made some days difficult, the fishing remains solid.

Last Sunday, John and his son Nick took their first trip to Mosquito Lagoon. Nick caught a couple redfish in the 15 pound range but it was John who hooked up with the big fish of the day, a 38 pound redfish.Using the DOA DEADLY COMBO they landed numerous trout as well, which were shadowing the mullet schools.

Wednesday, Jim and John joined me on a breezy morning. Neither guy had any fishing experience but Jim was soon hooked up with his first redfish.The weather quickly deteriorated as clouds moved in followed by high winds. We saw a couple schools of large redfish but could not stay with them. We spent the rest of the morning trying to stay out of the wind while targeting trout. The fishing was slow in the areas we visited.

Thursday, Mark, a fly angler from Massachusetts, started the day with shots at some large schools of redfish tailing and finning in very shallow water. We had perfect weather with no clouds and calm wind. As the sun came up, we encountered small groups and single redfish as well as a few large trout. We took a short break from sight fishing to allow Mark's daughter, who has come along for the ride, to catch a few seatrout. We ended the day with shots at some huge schools of redfish. This was Mark's first time sight fishing the flats and never quite got the fly to the fish but he had fun trying.

Jeff and John joined me on Friday for a half day trip. It was another perfect weather day on Mosquito Lagoon. We began by using a Chug Head and CAL tail combo to catch a few trout as the sun came up. We then found a school of big redfish and both guys enjoyed some drag pulling action from fish in the 20 pound range.After the big reds moved on, they used the Deadly Combo and a CAL tail on a jig to land numerous trout around the mullet schools.

Saturday, the wind was blowing again but the skies were still clear. Arizona resident, Will wanted to fly fish for reds. We found several schools of finning reds at the first stop we made but did not connect. Will had steady shots at fish throughout the day, both reds and large trout. The steadily increasing winds made fly casting tough but he stuck with it. He had several follows and had a couple giant reds try to eat the fly as he was lifting it out of the water. Unfortunately, the fly never seemed to be in the right place at the right time and Will did not hook up.Now is a good time to sight fish trophy seatrout on the flats. This is some of the most challenging fishing as these fish can be difficult to spot and are very wary. If you can get a bait into their sand hole before they become aware of your presence, they are willing to eat a variety of lures. Soft plastic jerk baits and shrimp are very effective. Use barbless hooks to make releasing these big female easier as they frequently take the baits deep in their mouth. Shallow flats with plenty of sandy holes and mullet are good places to look.

Fighting Big Redfish
Now is a prime time to hook up with a huge redfish. I often hear stories from anglers who tell of fighting one of these trophies for an hour or more. While it is fun to have a tough battle with a big fish, hour long fights can often result in the death of the fish. With 10-15 pound braided line and proper technique, even beginning anglers can bring them in in less than 15 minutes.

If the fish is not pulling line off your reel, you should be getting it back. Always pull in the opposite direction the fish is swimming. This will involve constantly having to switch the angle of the rod and the fish changes course. Line should be retrieved by pulling the rod back and reeling as the rod is lowered. Winding the line on under extreme pressure can cause the line on the spool to dig into itself. Keeping the angle of the rod low and to the side will increase the pressure on the fish and shorten the fight.
As summer approaches and the water temperature increases, the amount of oxygen in the water decreases increasing the stress on the fish. After a battle with a big fish, allow them to rest for a minute before pulling them out of the water. Have the camera ready before you bring them on board. Maintain control of the fish while placing the back in the water and make sure they are ready to swim before releasing them.

By following these few simple measures, you will ensure the trophy fish will survive to fight another day.

Mosquito Creek Angler Improvement Class
May 16 will be the second angler improvement class at Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka. Capt Tom Van Horn and I will be covering Practical Fishing Knots. Learn to tie knots with braided line, mono, and flurorcarbon that are simple and effective. There is not cost for the class and registration is not required. The class will be held from 10-12 at Mosquito Creek.

Capt. Chris Myers
Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters

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