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

Dec. 17, 2010 – The Hot and Cold of December Fishing

It has been a while since we’ve posted a new fishing report and this has not been due to any lack of activity or success on the water. The following charters have taken place since Thanksgiving, between the arrivals and departures of our typical Florida cold fronts which cycle through the region every five or six days. The only oddity to this late fall/early winter has been the severity of low temperatures this early into our cold season. There have been some downright cold days, the likes of which we haven’t experienced in early December in a long, long time. However, when the fronts exit and the days warm the fishing has been red hot as our fish invade the flats to feed and add fat for the next cycle of cold days which lay ahead. 

The warming weather trends that follow the cold fronts have been offering some fantastic shallow water fishing.  As the shallow waters warm, large redfish, trout, and black drum swarm the flats in search of food and warmth.  Once the waters reach a certain temperature the fish become increasingly active which offers great sight-fishing.  On one of these sunny days, Jonah Compton spent the day sight-fishing with Capt. Peter in the Indian River near Titusville.  Standing on the casting platform while Capt. Peter polled the boat quietly through the grassbeds, Jonah gently casted live shrimp in front of school after school of hungry redfish and tailing black drum.  The fish were continually tailing and feeding throughout the day.  Six redfish and six black drum were successfully sight-fished and landed, with a couple very big boys getting off near the boat.  There’s nothing more fun than watching a couple dozen near fifty inch redfish tail and feed around your bait.

It was an atypical day weather-wise for Nate White from Daytona Beach and his good friend Mike Foots of Orlando along with his father Roger from New York this past weekend as they chartered Capt, Rocky on the Indian River near Titusville. What made the day so unusual was a  rare thick fog which hung over the river for most of the morning creating a surreal backdrop for the expected half-day of sight-fishing hordes of tailing redfish and black drum on the shallow grass flats. Perhaps it was the fog or maybe the chilly morning temperatures but the fish did were disinclined to stick their tails out of the water much nor venture out of the 12-18 inch shallows where they were holding while awaiting the delayed sunshine. However, the crew, on this day, adapted to the conditions and jumped out of the boat in order to wade back to the spooky fish. And they were amply rewarded for their courage as each of them caught multiple reds amidst the close encounter experience. We are not sure of the final tally but feel 12-15 reds would be a safe guess with several in the slot and most over-sized. By the way, it really is an adrenaline rush to have a 15 pound redfish blast a finger mullet some twenty feet in front of you in mere 12 inches of water. Pictured below are Nate, Roger and Mike holding one of their numerous grand memories of the day.

Nick, Jill, and their son Dylan from Michigan came to download and escape the snow by exploring central Florida. After doing the crowds of Disney World in Orlando, they were ready for some quiet time while relaxing on the water with Capt. Roland. Unfortunately for them their fishing charter was anything but quiet and relaxing. The morning started out cold but quickly warmed up.  With perfect conditions, the shallow grass flats of the north Indian River were filled with redfish tails. The captain quickly positioned them near the closest school of feeding fish and started fishing The reds were big and aggressive.. Ten redfish were landed on the half-day charter between 13 and 20 lbs.  The trio commented afterwards that this will be the highlight of their Florida trip.


Another report from Capt. Peter this week comes from a trip he had with Vitali and his friend both visiting from Canada.  Fishing the same general area in the north part of the Indian River Lagoon, the two vacationers experienced some of the Space Coast’s finest fishing.    All morning long there were schools of redfish and black drum tailing across the shallow grassflats, with many single fish scattered in between.  The day started out fantastic as the anglers had a school of monster redfish 20 feet in front of the boat and tailing heavily within minutes of coming off of a plane.  Within the first half hour of fishing both of the anglers sight-fishing redfish over 40 inches, with Vitali’s reaching 50 inches.  The rest of the day was spent casting to fish after fish.

One of our great joys during the Christmas holidays is our grown children return to east central Florida for visits. Natalie van Hoose, our eldest daughter who is teaching and attending graduate school at Purdue University, left the snow and grey skies of northern Indiana, to return home this past week. Now Natalie is an avid fisherman with considerable accomplishments on the water and yesterday added to her angling feats as she caught a number of giant redfish which were cruising the shallow flats on a glorious December morning of blue bird skies, modest temperatures and slick, calm seas. Two feats were particularly noteworthy on a day filled with noteworthy things; Natalie scored a pair of double hook-ups and catches involving 20-25 pound reds. What an all-round joyous day yesterday turned out to be!

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