The Mudfish Orlando Fishing Report
One of the features of fly fishing in the midwest is the farm pond. One of the features of fly fishing here in Florida is the lowly retention pond, a mostly ignored resource. Lawn and street yuck drain into a hole that was dug in some neighborhood so the dirty water has a chance to clean up before moving into the local watershed. In spite of the yuck fish live in them. Fish are pretty adaptable creatures. Because not many folks fish them, the fish that live in them tend to be unsophisticated and aggressive. I like my fish that way!
Sunday evening after dinner I went to a retention pond in Oviedo for maybe an hour's casting. On a black matuka I got five strikes and unhooked and released four chunky bass, all of which were about a foot long.
Monday morning after visits to the bank and post office I went to a different retention pond and cast a new fly I needed to test. There was a strike on the second cast, and another shortly afterwards. I tried five flies in that pond and the new one was the only one that worked. Five chunky bass fell for it, decent if not exceptional for a couple hours of casting.
Monday evening after supper I tried still another pond. I did not see anything or get a bite. Click here to read more about fishing in retention ponds...
Tuesday morning found Scott Radloff and I searching the mighty Atlantic for denizens of the deep. We could not find any bait. But we did (after significant searching) find some breaking fish- Spanish mackerel, with an occasional bluefish mixed in. The fishies were thick enough that I broke out a six-weight and caught a bunch of fish, as well as lost several flies. White bucktail jigs and Sting Silvers were effective with the spin rod.
We ran into macks and blues intermittently all day, only seeing a few leaping spinner sharks for variety. The weather was outstanding, a gorgeous day.
With a fly trip coming up on Friday, I went scouting on the Mosquito Lagoon Wednesday. The water level is about the same, and its color is exactly the same. A dozen or so real shots came my way and I converted three of them, landing and releasing two slot redfish. One fell for an olive Bouncer minnow, the other two for a root beer sparkle crab. The weather was really nice and the day was extremely enjoyable.
Thursday found me sitting in my kayak on the St. Johns River. The morning started foggy, spooky, mist enveloping me and limiting visibility to maybe 100 yards. Bullfrogs croaked an impromptu chorus. I wish I could say the fish were on fire, but that was not at all the case. The first fish was a small chain pickerel that released such a flood of memories I had to write about it (read the piece HERE).
I worked it hard, getting a dozen bass. The largest maybe hit 12 inches. Or I might be being generous. A couple bluegills fell for my fakes, too. But from a size perspective the fish of the day came on an almost terrifyingly violent strike on the popping bug. The fish jumped four or five times, putting up quite a respectable battle.
It was a mudfish, two or three pounds. They're not very pretty. But I certainly enjoyed our encounter.
Friday found my fly charter, Bob Wikan and his friend Mike (just Mike!) and I out on Mosquito Lagoon. Oi vey, what a day! Cloudy, cool, and windy, with dirty water, the perfect combination for sight fishing with a fly rod.
Sometimes I wonder why I scout. Of course the fish were not where I found them Wednesday. A search mission ensued, largely unsuccessful. By lunchtime we had seen a total of three fish and had not gotten a shot at any. It was looking pretty bleak.
The afternoon continued that trend, until I looked someplace I seldom look. Holy cow, there's a tailer! Wow, there's another one! Since I could not control the boat in the gale, we abandoned it and went at the problem on foot. Bob got one of the most extended shots at a tailer I've ever seen, following and casting to the same fish for 10 or 15 minutes. In spite of the effort he did not convert. The fish simply disappeared to end the drama.
Mike got a nice slot fish by blind casting the root beer sparkle crab, the only bite and fish we would get.
As I loaded the boat on the trailer the rain hit with a vengeance. It was so nice of it to wait until then! Thank you gentlemen, it was a blast fishing with you!
And that is this week's Mudfish Orlando fishing report from the Spotted Tail.
Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short- Go Fishing!
All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.
About The Author: John Kumiski
Company: Spotted Tail Charter Service
Area Reporting: Florida's Space Coast
Bio: Guiding fly and light tackle anglers on Florida\'s Space Coast for over 20 years.