Fishing action has continued red hot this May as large redfish and tasty trout have been aggressively assaulting the shallows grassflats of the Indian River Lagoon system. Tarpon, snook and bull sharks have also begun to appear in recent weeks in our creeks and tributaries. Thus we’ve had a number of great charters over the past few weeks as the following summaries and photo bear witness.
Doug and Ginna Edwards from Raleigh, North Carolina came to Orlando for a business conference and decided to do some fishing while in the area. We are not sure if anything memorial happened at the conference but it sure did on the Indian River near Titusville as Capt. Rocky guided them to a school of huge redfish that had taken up temporary residence in the shallows. Pictured below is Ginna with a monstrous red measuring 48 inches and weighing an estimated 40 lbs.
The tarpon and snook fishing has really started to heat up! Schools of 15 – 40 pound tarpon and big snook hanging around mangroves and are readily taking baits. Capt. Peter spent a day fishing for these guys with Jason Stumphauser. Jason sightfished snook, tarpon, and a bunch of bullsharks. Sightfishing the schools of very aggressive bullsharks was the highlight of the day, as they were very aggressive and some were pretty large and in charge.
Todd from Nebraska and Chris, his brother-in-law from north Georgia, braved the strong southern winds rushing to greet an oncoming cold front on Wednesday. Guided by Capt. Rocky, these hardy anglers had a fishing trip of a lifetime battling redfish after redfish intent on packing away enough protein to survive several days of gale force winds. At the end of the day Todd and Chris had boated over 15 reds and 8 gator trout. All but one of the reds weighed 10 pounds or better with the largest one weighing between 25 and 30 pounds.
Matt and Jason, the boys of Capt. Mullet’s Bait and Tackle, fished with Peter recently. They fished a half day in the Banana River near Cocoa Beach under blue skies and calm winds. Schools of redfish were actively feeding up on the grassflats throughout the afternoon, which provided great opportunities throughout the entire trip. Matt and Jason landed over 15 redfish up to 18 pounds, and three trout up to 24 inches.
Fishing the day following the arrival of a cold front can present some special challenges. With much lower air and water temperatures, a strong north wind, and a thoroughly churned river, most fish will opt to wait for a warmer, calmer time to feed. Last Saturday was such a day. Mike from Orlando, Nate from Daytona Beach and Dick from North Carolina were up to the challenge as they joined Capt. Rocky on the Banana River for a cool, blustery day of fishing. The trio were able to boat seven reluctant reds, the largest caught by Mike which weighed about 25 pounds. They also added six trout, the largest caught by Nate, and sting ray.
Capt. Peter spent a day chasing giant redfish with his good buddy, Anthony Vargas. Fishing a schools of bull reds in the Banana River provided a super fun morning. Around ten redfish were caught, with most of them between 20 and 30 pounds. Pictured is Anthony with a beautiful specimen.
Fish can be like small children at times in that they occasionally will refuse to eat. These times can be frustrating for seasoned anglers but, fortunately, these times typically do not last long. Rick Johnston of Cocoa Beach and Bruce Roberts of Jacksonville weathered such a time this past Monday with Capt. Rocky Van Hoose. Fishing the Banana River where the action had been red-hot in recent weeks, the fish simply refused our best offerings all morning. The afternoon portion of the charter was a better for the long-time friends as they landed three reds and four big, gator trout. All in all, despite the slow morning, a great time was had by all.
The tarpon have just shown up inside the Indian River Lagoon. Capt. Peter and Justin Stumpfhauser spent an afternoon sightfishing schools of them this past week. They were able to get five to eat, with Justin landing his first – Congrats Justin! The fish were not rolling much, but were holding near the surface in tightly packed schools. Most of these tarpon have been laying-up on the surface, and readily responding to a well placed bait. Fishing for these smaller fish (up to 50 pounds) is a ton of fun, and is done on calm waters in a peaceful atmosphere – unlike fishing in passes or off of the beaches.
C Malcolm Smith, III from Redding, Pennsylvania, vacationing in Orlando was theme-park out and anxious to get out and do some serious fishing. Joining Capt. Rocky on the Banana River last Friday, Malcolm had a banner day catching eight big reds and several large trout despite a big wind and constant threat of thunderstorms.
Prof. Kenneth McClure of Merritt Island and David, his son from Melbourne Beach, fished with Capt. Rocky on Saturday on the Banana River. Fishing started strong while there was NW wind, went slack during slick condition in late morning, and finished very strong when the eastern sea breeze finally kicked in during the early afternoon. The father and son duo caught a number of big reds and several large trout, including a monster, caught by Kenneth, weighing close to ten pounds. However, David caught the biggest redfish weighing about 20 pounds. At the conclusion of the day, David mused that he’d had caught more fish weigh-wise during than he’d caught over the entire span of his previous fishing trips. Indeed, it was a gorgeous day weather-wise and a wonderful day fish-wise.
Ken and Wiegle and his two sons Garret and Greg from Pennsylvania took a break from the theme parks of Orlando to do some backwater fishing with Capt. Rocky. Fishing the Indian River near Titusville the trio of skilled anglers caught 15 reds – two slot fish and the rest 12 to 20 pounds. Garret had the hot rod on the day with eight redfish while Greg caught the biggest. Dad had the biggest adrenaline rush as he got absolutely smoked by a monster red. It was a gorgeous day with half of the charter spent wade fishing on the lush grass flats.
An old fishing buddy from Maryland, Ray Duvall, joined Capt. Rocky for a half-day on the Banana River last Monday. Ray came along to assist the captain in pre-fishing for several upcoming charters scheduled for later in the week. He caught seven reds and several trout during the excursion and was trilled to return home with a solid bag of fresh fillets.