Mosquito Creek Outdoors Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Report
By Captain Tom Van Horn
Central Florida Shad and Crappie Derby Dates
Saturday January 14th, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Crappie Rally and Seminar at Boat Tree Marina at the Port of Sanford. This event features free fishing seminars on both crappie and shad fishing by local pros, food, raffles sponsor booths and more. Come out and join in the fun, and learn how easy it is to catch these two species.
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: www.orlandooutfitters.com. 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.
January Fishing Forecast
It's hard for me to fathom how quickly 2011 past and all of the great fishing I experienced with clients, family and friends. 2011 was a great year for me, even with the difficult economic conditions, and I'm excited about the many opportunities ahead of us in 2012. The fishing charter business was a bit slow in 2011, but has shown considerable improvement this past month and the fishing has improved as well. In addition, the success of Coastal Angler Magazine Orlando has been off the hook. As owner and co-publisher of the Orlando franchise we have continuously expanded our reach to the angling public in Central Florida by expanding our content, distribution and community service. It's all good news, and we are moving forward with plans for expanded free clinics, classes and events, and I thank you for your continued support in 2012. As I've stated in the past, we are truly blessed by the many outdoor opportunities we have in Central Florida year round, and I hope to see on the water you soon.
God bless and happy new year.
Winter on Florida's Space Coast is not defined by any specific seasons, but by the temperature variations and winds created by passing cold fronts. These variations are subject to change from year to year, and they are impossible to predict. Average daytime temperatures usually range from the 50's in the morning to around the 70's by afternoon. Likewise, water temperatures average in the upper 60's, but they can drop as low as the 50's during extended periods of cold weather. On warm sunny days, water temperatures can increase as much as four degrees on the shallow flats and sandbars. All of these factors greatly affect species targeted and methods used.
On the lagoons, redfish and sea trout seek the warmest water they can find. Start out working the deeper edges of the flats in the morning and then move into the warmer wind protected flats around mid-day to late afternoon. An early start is not required this time of year. Additionally, both redfish and sea trout love to warm themselves in the shallow water sand pockets "potholes" within the grassy flats. On colder days, focus your attention on the deeper holes using a very slow presentation. When targeting redfish and trout in these deeper holes, I prefer using shrimp imitation baits like DOA, or GULP shrimp in the clear or nightglow colors fish extremely slow. Other species encountered in January are black drum, flounder, sheepshead, Spanish mackerel, and bluefish. Also, January is one of the best months to target tailing black drum on the flats, especially in the Banana River "No Motor Zone". Both live shrimp and blue crabs are the preferred bait for black drum, but they will eat both artificial and fly when presented properly.
Inlet fishing should be good in January weather permitting, with Sebastian proving to be the most productive. There are still some reports of flounder moving through the inlet. On the inside of the inlet, look for good numbers of pompano, ladyfish, and jacks to be present on the flats both north and south of the cut and in the area of the monument. Also, January is the month when the jumbo reds move in and feed in the mouth of the inlet during the last part of the falling tide. These monsters are brood stock, so please handle and release them with care.
Near-shore, January is the month when the tripletail become consistent on the Port Canaveral buoy line and their numbers will increase as the month progresses. The other hot ticket near-shore is king mackerel holding along the 70 to 90 foot reefs of North Pelican and 8A. Weather permitting; bottom fishing on deep structure should remain consistent. Look for snapper, cobia and sea bass in depths of 80 to 140 feet, and grouper and amberjack along the 22 fathom ridge and deeper.
In closing, make a commitment to share your your time on the water with family and friends, and be sure to sign them up for the 3rd Annual Shad and Crappie Derby.
As always, if you have any questions or need information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
For all of your outdoor needs, visit www.mosquitocreek.com, it's where your adventure begins.