Vernal Equinox Orlando Fishing Report
Sunday March 20 is/was the equinox, thus the equinox Orlando fishing report. Check out this cool video!
Speaking of cool videos, nothing to do with fishing- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CroX237dzfY
News of the Week
I wish I'd found this earlier, but still lots of great festivals- https://www.allaboutbirds.org/birding-festivals/
Bagel World has "rebranded". I think this is a ten cent marketing term that means they are changing things. Why would you change Bagel World? It was awesome! They have changed their name to Bagel 13 and moved down and across the street. Maybe the new place will be better. Somehow I doubt it.
What a week!
Sunday fly fishing engineer Bill Ruland joined me for some St. Johns River fishing. We looked unsuccessfully for schooling bass, then tried shad fishing. The shad are almost done. We fished for them almost all morning. Bill hooked and lost a couple, but it was s-l-o-w. After lunch we went up the Econ hoping for bass and sunfish. Although we got a few of each, that was slow too. We ended up shad fishing again, and Bill got his first ever, finally, and then one more on his last cast.
Monday fly fishing doctor Mike Sweeney joined me for some St. Johns River fishing. We looked unsuccessfully for schooling bass, then tried shad fishing. The shad are almost done. We fished for them almost all morning. Mike hooked and broke one off almost immediately, but it was s-l-o-w. After lunch we went up the Econ hoping for bass and sunfish. That was even slower than the previous day, with no sunnies at all and only two bass being fooled in over an hour. We ended up shad fishing again. Mike hooked one and had it on for a spirited battle, but the fish jumped off before we could corral it. So ended our fishing.
Tuesday George Allen joined me for a trip out of Port Canaveral. I was finally able to get out after weeks of hard east winds. We had visions of cobia and tripletail dancing in our heads. We headed south down the beach, finding a mass of menhaden before reaching the Cocoa Beach pier. Livewell stocked, we headed out to sea.
It was a virtual biological desert.
Finally I saw a large black spot in the water. A ray! I idled close enough to cast, and the ray started to sound. A cast over the spot with a menhaden yielded nothing.
A while later I saw a large brown spot in the water and went to investigate. It was close to an acre of mongo crevalle jacks. They have a hard time saying no to a live pogie and somewhat foolishly we cast two out. Bam! Bam! double hookup!
A 30 pound crevalle is as manly a fish as you could ask for. They don't know the word quit and it was a long tough fight for both of us. While the battle raged I spotted another ray, but there was nothing we could do about that. Both fish were eventually boated and released. We saw quite a few small pods of big jacks after that but used discretion. In other words, we wanted no further part of the big jack action.
But we saw little else.
Late in the day we found an area with spinner sharks free-jumping. George hooked what I think was a lemon shark, about six feet long. I leadered the beast, which used the opportunity to cut the leader. And so ended our adventure.
Wednesday morning Shane Thomas and his friend (Sir?) Rob of York met me at Port Canaveral. I was cautiously optimistic I could find the jacks and sharks again, and knew there were bluefish around. I had seen the rays the previous day and thought we still had a shot at a cobia.
We couldn't even find the bait. All the pogies that had been along the beach were gone.
Running back north up the beach we saw good numbers of pelicans diving and one throw of the net there did the trick. Now, let's go find those jacks!
They were all gone. We looked for hours and did not see a jack, a shark, a guppy. It truly was a biological desert.
So we would not get bored, though, the bow of the Mitzi decided to plow into a wave and do an imitation of a submarine. We were a couple miles off the beach, no one else was around, and the boat was literally half full of water, as close as it could get to sinking without actually sinking. We would have been in seriously deep doo-doo had the boat gone down. But it didn't. We got the water out with the help of the bilge pump and a bucket, and continued searching.
I think it was about 230 PM when Shane finally spotted a fish. It was a small hammerhead shark, four or five feet long. We tossed a pair of pogies out and waited.
That shark took his sweet time zeroing in on one of the baits. He's swim up next to the boat, then swim away. We would think we lost him and then he'd come back. This happened several times. And then while we watched he finally took Rob's bait.
We weren't rigged with wire and I knew we might not leader the shark. As it turned out we didn't. But Rob had it on for about ten minutes, fighting a noble battle. Finally, after eight hours of looking, a fish!
We found a school of pogies in Canaveral Bight. There were a load of bluefish with them. Rob broke out his fly rod and managed a couple blues on a Clouser Minnow.
That was pretty much our fishing for the day. Just so we wouldn't get bored, the Mitzi ran out of gas near the jetty. No problem, I said, I have more gas. After pouring it into the tank we could not get the motor going. I put the trolling motor down and started to the dock.
At five PM every boat in the ocean was coming back to port. The chop and the wakes were rocking and rolling us, and it was slow going. A kind soul came over and offered to tow us back, an offer we gratefully accepted. And so ended our day, one of my more unusual charters.
The boat started right up without a problem while sitting on the trailer in my yard Thursday morning.
It also started Friday morning, at the Haulover Canal. My childhood friend Kevin Linehan was with me for a boat ride on the Mosquito Lagoon and forsooth a fish. We did not see much, a couple tailing redfish. The water is so dirty it's REAL hard to see them if you don't get some surface indicator.
In spite of that I saw a redfish, in the dirty water, when it swam right up to the boat. I don't think they can see us either, since I made about a six foot cast with a mullet chunk. The fish took it. I handed the rod to Kevin and he skillfully duked it out with the beast, a 27 inch beauty.
On Saturday Paul Dachoff and his friend Alex the Vet joined me for some Mosquito Lagoon fishing. Paul has lived in central Florida for 30 years and said he'd never seen the lagoon look so bad. We worked it hard with cut mullet and Deadly Combos for almost eight hours. One redfish and several seatrout fell for our offerings.
Paul spotted the reds tailing in the rain. There were three or four of them, pretty darned relaxed, I thought. They gave us multiple shots and finally one ate.
Paul and Alex were great on the boat and it was a good way to wrap up a busy week. Thanks to everyone who fished with me this week.
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.