Native Sons Fishing Guides, Central Florida & Indian River Lagoon Fishing Charters

Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Christmas season is such a special time of year, truly a season of joy and peace. This year, our home was filled with children and grandchildren – all wanting to spend some quality time on the river with ole St. Nick (aka Capt. Rocky). We were also blessed with a number of folks of good cheer who booked charters to experience the joy catching redfish while sugar plums danced in their heads … uh, perhaps too much hyperbole here, no doubt the lingering effects of figgy pudding, fruitcakes and eggnog … so on with the reports!

Our first report features a few old friends from Wichita, Kansas – Lee and Angie Harp along her brother Mario. Capt. Peter and I combined on the Banana River charter to chase a few redfish and trout. The fish were in a festive mood along with the manatees, dolphins and all manner of waterfowl including massive flocks of ducks and coots, pelicans – brown and white – blue and grey herons, stork, egrets, ibis, artic terns and gulls. We caught seven reds to 22 pounds, three trout to 24 inches, and several birds on which we shall not elaborate. Pictured below are the three from the Sunflower State each holding a redfish from the Sunshine State.

Another group of old friends, the Rinkus family from Colorado, are the stars of next report. This family, Mike the father along with sons Michael and Jacob and daughter Mariah, were guided on the Banana River by Capt. Peter and Capt. Roland. This was another picture post-card day weather-wise but the fish were very spooky. Many times the party drew near the schools only to have them move away. However, persistence and patience finally paid off as the following picture demonstrates.

Yet another pair of old friends are the prime suspects of our third caper, Adrian Anderson and Kenny Vitek from Orlando. These two college buddies of Capt. Peter accompanied him on a scouting expedition on the Banana River between Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach. The purpose of the trip was to get Adrian, president of the Fishing Club at Rollins College, on some redfish, and also to monitor and observe some schools of redfish and trout for the week’s upcoming trips.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous – clear water, blue skies, and calm winds. The trio fished for only a short while, as observing the wildlife and swimming fish took up the majority of the morning. They did catch a couple of redfish and trout, as the temptation to hook a couple of the fish swimming around can, and almost always does, get the best of you. Pictured below are Kenny holding a huge trout and both Kenny and Adrian holding redfish.

New friends from Palm Bay, Florida are featured in our next report. Parents John and Marjorie recently took their three daughters Amanda, Sarah and Rebecca out fishing with Capt. Roland. Since it was a very windy winter day, the crew opted to seek safe shelter in the Honest John Canals. The three daughters had never caught any fish before so they were very excited and followed instructions well. The result was a ‘canal grand slam’ consisting of black drum, sheephead, snapper, redfish, and trout. Pictured below are eldest daughter Amanda with a sheephead followed by Sarah with a drum and Rebecca with a sheephead.

Breezy conditions also made a significant impact on our charter with the Esseesses from Rockledge, Florida. Guided by Capt. Peter, this father and son duo rocked and rolled their way down the Banana River under bright sunny skies with cold blustery winds. Even with the winds and crowded waters they were able to fight a couple of fish including this nice redfish pictured below.

Speaking of wind, our next report involves a quartet from the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois. Capt. Peter was the guide for this charter and he submitted the following account of the trip:

With the ever changing conditions of late December and early /January you cannot help but fish through some unfavorable conditions. . . and this trip was one of them. A cold front had come in a day before, and brought in very windy and cold weather. The fish were less than cooperative, as the temperatures had lowered their body temps and thus their appetite. I was, however, fortunate enough to have a good group of determined anglers in the boat and we made lemonade out of lemons!

We started the morning off by putting the hurt on a large school of trout (up to 21 inches) which had grouped up in a drop off on the edge of a flat – trying to stay warm. For the trout, we “free-lined live jumbo live shrimp” into the deeper “drop-off”. After 15 or so trout, we decided to put some time into the trout’s bronze colored cousins, the redfish. The effort paid off, as some cooperative fish were found within a large school of mullet- including this beautiful 7lb bronzed brute held by Alvida.

Our final report features Steve and Chase Ryland from Melbourne, Florida. Capt. Roland guided the pair on another windy day. Once again, the shelter of the Honest John Canals was a welcomed relief. The pair had a blast catching snook, sheephead and snapper. Pictured below is Chase with a rare winter-time snook.

In conclusion, we’d like say Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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