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Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, Fishing Forecast
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captain Tom Van Horn
Posted: Feb 28 2006, 06:24 AM


Indian Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, March 2006

Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters
For number of reasons, I always look forward to the glorious bloom of my lavender Formosa azaleas. Their brilliant colors are not only pleasing to the eye, but they also signal the end of winter and the beginning of the spring bait migration. As the days grow longer and the ocean begins itís gradual warming phase, 68 to 72 degree range, the spring fishing bonanza on the Indian Lagoon Coast kicks in. As usual, weather will serve as the determining factor in establishing the magnitude and progression of the bite, and forecasting Florida weather is left only to fools and Yankees. Also, like the bloom of the delicate azaleas, the bite will sometimes pass quickly before you have a chance to really experience it.
Water temperature increases will facilitate the progression of bait pods (menhaden or pogies) from the deeper water into the near-shore waters bringing the predators with them. Sea conditions will determine the number of fishable days weíll experience in March. This is especially true for those of us who target deep-water species in shallow water boats. Good reports of cobia are starting to come in from offshore of Stuart. These fish should be moving into our area soon, and both the bait pods and cobia have begun to show up on the near-shore wrecks and reefs outside Port Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet.

Other near-shore options consist of tripletail hanging on floating structure and weeds and large redfish and sharks shadowing bait pods near the beaches and inlets. When site fishing for cobia, keep the sun to your back and consider fishing in the latter part of the day when the sun is high. Also, always keep a chartreuse colored buck tail in the ready position to cast.
As the water warms up and the mullet returns to the inshore lagoon flats, look for redfish schools to continue to form up in the skinny water. For the slot redfish, 18 to 27 inches, focus on areas of flipping and jumping baitfish (mullet) in water depths of 12 to 18 inches. For the larger redfish, concentrate your efforts along deeper edges of the flats and sandbars in 2 to 3 feet of water. Also, larger sea trout will continue to hold in the skinny water potholes, and the top-water sea trout bite will improve as the warmer water draws finger mullet back onto the central IRL flats. Additionally, schools of black drum will continue to inhabit the shallow water flats of the Mosquito Lagoon, North IRL, and particularly the sandbars in the Banana River No-Motor-Zone.
Last but not least, the American shad run is developing on the upper St Johnís River between the areas of Lake Harney and the SR 50 Bridge, but this years run has been slow thus far. Also, March is the month to start targeting schooling large mouth bass in the deeper bends of the river at first light feeding on schools of baitfish (menhaden). The indicator I use to locate these schooling bass, is to look for large numbers of white pelicans, herons, and egrets working the banks. Once youíve located the schooling fish, try throwing a rattle-trap or other small subsurface swim bait.
Spring is one of the best times of year to fish the Indian River Lagoon coast of Florida. So if you are planning to visit the area for a fishing adventure, make sure you book your hotel and fishing guide early. Also, when the bite is on, the ramps fill up quickly, so arrive early, and be courteous and considerate with other anglers, because we are all on the water for the same reasons.
As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
407-366-8085 office
407-416-1187 on the water
866-790- 8081 toll free

If you would like to be added to my mailing list, please contact me at [email protected].
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