Friday, January 29, 2010

East Central Florida Fishing Forecast 2-10

Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, January 28, 2010

By Captain Tom Van Horn

Up Coming Free Seminars and Events

Orlando Kayak Fishing Club Meeting
February 2, 2010, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S. Washington Ave., Apopka Florida. Seminar topic is American shad fishing and Shad Derby rules. For more details and directions to the event, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors website at

Introduction to Fly Fishing

February 11, 2010, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S. Washington Ave. in Apopka Florida. Free fly fishing class instructed by FFF Instructor Captain Chris Myers. Class will cover the basics on fly fishing in Florida. For more details and directions to the event, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors website at

Free Shad Fishing Seminar
February 20, 2010, 10 am Captains Chris Myers, Tom Van Horn will be teaching anglers how to target and catch American shad. This class will be conducted as part of the mid season shad rally at C.S. Lee Park on the banks of the St Johns River in Geneva, Florida. For more details and directions to the event, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors website at, or contact me at 407-416-1187.

February Fishing Outlook
As winters go here in Central Florida, the 10 day freeze we experienced last month was the coldest weather we've seen since 1977. The prolonged period of cold dropped lagoon water temperatures into the 40's. These extreme cold conditions killed a large number of fish both in saltwater and freshwater, but all is not lost. As the water temperatures warmed up surviving species began to return to the flats, and it appears redfish and black drum were not lost to the arctic chill. Additionally, despite notable loses, a good number of sea trout and some snook managed to find warm enough water to survive. On the freshwater side, only exotic species like tilapia and armored catfish subsided to the freeze, which doesn't hurt my feelings too much.

Inshore on the saltwater flats of the Mosquito Lagoon, good numbers of redfish and black drum have been easy to locate when conditions are calm and sunny, but getting them to eat has been challenging. On the sunny mornings, it is not uncommon to find redfish and trout holding in the sandy potholes within the shallow flats where water temperatures raise faster. Additionally, warming water temperatures combined with sunny spring days and crystal clear water make February one of the best months to site fish for redfish, sea trout, and black drum on the lagoon flats. february is also the time to target tailing black drum in the Banana River Lagoon "No Motor Zone". As we move further away from the extreme cold event, the redfish and drum should begin to feed more readily.

Offshore, kingfish are still available along the inshore reefs and wrecks, and they will remain there as long as the water temperatures are favorable. When targeting kingfish this month focus your efforts on the areas of 8A Reef, Pelican Flats and Bethel Shoals to the south for best results. Also, look for cobia and amberjack on the inshore wrecks like the Carol Lee, Dutch, and Sub Wreck out of Port Canaveral. Additionally, live bait is tough to find this time of year, so always carry a box of frozen Spanish sardines with you as backup.

Near-shore, tripletail concentrations should improve along the Port Canaveral buoy line and under floating weeds and structures, and cobia will move in shadowing manta rays if the surface water temperatures reach the upper sixties. Now is also the time for beach anglers to target pompano, bluefish, weakfish, small black drum, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel and whiting in the surf.

On those windy days, February it is a great month to check out those freshwater fishing holes on the St Johns River. Currently, the American shad run has yet to materialize with only sporadic catches being reported. The shad run has yet to kick off this year, but my best fishing last year was on the 15th of February, so it's too soon to judge the magnitude of the run this year. This past week, the best reports of shad came from the Marina Isles to Mullet Lake section of the St. Johns River, as well as a good number shad being taken north of Lake Harney. As the run progresses the shad should be moving into the shallows flats south of Hwy 46, so if you haven't signed up for the Shad Derby yet, there is still plenty of time left.

The Revival of the Saint Johns River Shad Derby
A Free Online Fun Fishing Event

Derby Rules
Derby starts at sunrise on Sunday January 24th, and ends at sunset February 28th.

There is no entry fee; anglers must register at one of the official Derby sponsor locations and pick-up the official Derby Token from Mosquito Creek Outdoors in Apopka, Florida.

Anglers must meet all of the fishing regulations requirements of the State of Florida and possess both fresh and saltwater license if it applies.

This is a catch, photograph and release (CPR) tournament only.

Anglers are permitted to fish anywhere on the Saint Johns River system.

Angles must take fish with hook and line only.

Anglers are permitted to fish in any manner desired, paddle fishing, boat, shoreline or wade.

Anglers can fish as many times as they want within the Derby time frame and contestant can submit as many photos as they want. One prize per contestant per category.

Three categories will be presented, fly division, conventional division, and junior division 15-years old and under.

Fish must be measured using the official measuring device. Official measurement will be total length from the nose to the tip of the tail, no pinched tail, longest fish wins. Two photos must be submitted, one showing size and token card from Mosquito Creek, and one photo with contestant holding fish. If caught on fly please submit photo with fly visible. Photos must be uploaded to the 321Fish website.

Angler is responsible for uploading photos to the official derby judging Internet site. Photos must include the official derby token, no exceptions.
In the event of a tie, the angler who uploads his photo first wins.

Derby judges final decision stands.

For more information on how to sign up and post your photos, visit

Fishing Florida Radio's website.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing and happy holidays,

Captain Tom Van Horn
407-416-1187 on the water
407-366-8085 land line

Visit for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

No comments: