Monday, December 05, 2011

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report 12-5-2011

Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report
November 30, 2011

Upcoming Seminars and Events
Saturday December 3rd, Kel's Rod and Reel 2nd Annual Parking Lot Swap Meet. Located at 430 Hwy 436 Casselberry, Florida - 9 3 p.m. Call Terri at 407-834-3008 for more details.

Thursday December 8th - 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., Free Round Table Shad and Crappie Seminar at Mosquito Creek Outdoors, 170 S. Washington Ave. Apopka Florida.  Contact Rory Roush at  407-464-2000 or

Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby Dates
Thursday December 15th, Shad and Crappie Derby Anglers Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Mosquito Creek Outdoor, 170 South Washington Avenue in Apopka.

Saturday December 17th, Shad and Crappie Derby begins at safe light.

Saturday January 14th, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Crappie Rally and Seminar at Boat Tree Marina at the Port of Sanford.

Thursday January 26th 6:30 - 9:00 PM, Free Shad and Crappie Fly Tying Event at Orlando Outfitters, 2814 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32808, phone (407) 896-8220. Visit:  Fly tying instruction and seminar by Capt. Beau Osborne. Learn what you need to catch shad and crappie on fly in the Orlando area and see how easy it is to tie effective fly patterns for both species.  These tying techniques can also be used to create your own shad and crappie jigs.

Saturday February  25th, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Shad Rally and Seminar at the Jolly Gator Fish Camp on the St. Johns River and HWY 46 east of Geneva.

Saturday March 17th, Shad and Crappie Derby ends at dusk.

February 11th and 12th, Old Florida Outdoor Festival in Apopka, Florida.

December Fishing Forecast
Cooler conditions will force anglers to dig out their winter shorts in preparation for their day on the water. Like November, December is loaded with outstanding fishing opportunities, with the only difference being the impact of cold fronts on water temperatures and fishing conditions. Currently, surf and lagoon water temperatures are in the seventies with offshore water temperatures remaining near the eighty-degree mark. As these fronts approach and pass, gusty breezes will kick up the sea shutting down most offshore and site fishing opportunities.

In and around the inlets, look for oversized redfish feeding on surface baits during periods of slack tide. At both Sebastian and Ponce De Leon inlets, target these fish outside the inlets near the end of the falling tide in areas of bird and bait activity. These fish will hit artificial swim baits, but live pinfish, pigfish, and finger mullet are the most productive baits.

Snook fishing will also remain steady as long as the water temperatures stay warm, with Sebastian Inlet proving to be the prime location. It is best to target inlet snook during periods of slack tide drift fishing live pigfish or pinfish at night in the channel under the inlet bridge. This style of angling can be quite rewarding when the bite is on, but it can also be challenging due to the number of anglers competing for the same action.

Flounder is another notable species worth mentioning when speaking of inlet fishing in December. The warmer than normal weather and water temperatures have delayed the traditional flounder migration from the lagoon to the warmer coastal waters.

Along the beaches, look for pompano to begin moving off the inshore flats to the deeper troughs along the beach in search of sand fleas (mole crabs) their favorite winter food. Also look for schools of bluefish and Spanish mackerel shadowing pods of glass minnows and other bait ii the surf. To target both blues and Spanish, watch for birds working bait pods and through small jigs and spoons with a fast retrieval to avoid cutoffs.

Near-shore when the seas permit it, look for tarpon and sharks to be cruising the beaches working remaining bait schools as they move south. Also, solid concentrations of kings will be holding on the near-shore reefs and wrecks in 60 to 100 feet of water. Several prime locations to target kings are the north end of Pelican Flats and 8A Reef. The kingfish bite should remain steady as long as the water temperature stays above 74 degrees. To target these fish, slow troll live bait if you can find it, or troll dead Spanish sardines or cigar minnows (spinning minnows) dressed with skirts. When near-shore water temperatures approach the 70-degree mark, look for tripletail and cobia to begin to show up on the Port Canaveral buoy line and the near-shore water off the beaches and the bight of the Cape. These fish normally hold on structure such as floating weeds and other debris, but they also have a tendency to free swim on the surface once the sun warms the surface water.

Inshore, both redfish and sea trout will remain in the skinny water as long as the water temperatures stay in the 70-degree range. Fish in protected areas and sunny spots, and look for fish to be holding in sand pockets (potholes) until the sun gets overhead. Now is also the time of year to begin looking for tailing black drum in the Banana River Lagoon No Motor Zone. Try fishing early in the day, and preferably with a west wind, and if you've never seen black drum tailing before, it's worth the paddle.

On the freshwater fishing side, the 3rd Annual Shad and Crappie Derby kicks off on December 17th with several free seminars available leading into the event to anglers. Last year, I caught my first American Shad on fly on December 18th, so stand by for some great light tackle action.

As always, if you need information of have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn
(407) 416-1187

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