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

Dec. 28, 2010 – The Twelve Days Before Christmas

Fishing along the central east coast of Florida has been fantastic, when the weather has allowed us to venture forth. It seems that for every good day weather-wise we’ll have a bad day, a day when the temperatures are historically low and the winds are more fitting for the North Pole. In other words, out of twelve days, we’re fortunate to have six which are fishable. Nevertheless, when we have been able to fish the inshore reaches of the Indian River lagoon system, it has been very, very good. Here are reports from the six good days of fishing before Christmas.

 The Gotkowski family fished a gorgeous late December day with Capt. Roland in the north Indian River near Titusville, Florida. The native Chicagoans were here to drink in the sun and warmth while seeing the sights.  After doing some bird and dolphin watching the trio was ready for some fishing. The redfish started moving into the shallows to feed just before noon and the Gotkowskis were waiting to greet them. A double hook-up was scored by mom and dad right off the bat with both fish well over the slot limit and nearing 20 pounds. Twelve year old Michael Gotkowski, who just had hand surgery and only had the use of one hand, was the next to hook up. He worked the reel, mom worked the rod and dad keeled over laughing. It had to be one of the funniest displays of fishing I have ever seen. After a long battle the biggest fish of the day was finally landed, photographed and released. The fish weighed approximately 25 lbs. Afterwards Bob commented, “This experience was just like the fishing shows we’ve watched on TV, except our fish were bigger.”


The day started poorly for Capt. Rocky. Arriving at the ramp predawn for his routine cast netting duties, Rocky discovered his new Yamaha engine would not start. A paniced call to Capt. Peter, trying to take a much coveted day off, solved the problem as he and his boat were pressed into emergency service. Clients for the charter were Titusville residents Dave and his son Max. Since the early morning was quite chilly, the fishing began in a deep water canal connected to the Indian River Lagoon. The canal was packed with trout trying to stay warm in the unseasonably cold weather. Over the next two hours Dave and Max exhausted our two dozen large live shrimp along with another two dozen frozen shrimp which is normally kept in reserve. They pulled in well over 20 trout from 15 to 24 inches along with two rat reds and one nice black drum. By mid-morning the water on the flats had warmed to the point where larger redfish, trout and drum could forage for food. Eventually their tails could be spotted everywhere on the super slick water. Switching baits to live finger mullet, the father and son duo went on to add another half dozen solid reds to their totals – final tally was 25 trout, 8 reds and 1 black drum, not bad for a half-day charter, especially one which had started so problematically.



Fishing the tightly packed schools of redfish in the crystal clear water is always a wonderful experience.  These conditions happen regularly on the warming trends post-cold fronts.  Capt. Peter had one of these beautiful days last week was with C.R. and Gidget Hall, and Gidget’s parents,  Mike and Susan on the Indian River Lagoon.  The morning started off fishing for trout and black drum in deeper holes along mangroves.  These deeper areas are where most fish seek warmth during the colder days.  Casting live shrimp along the mangroves, the anglers caught 30 trout up to 22 inches, black drum, and redfish.  Once the sun warmed the flats, Capt. Peter moved out to the shallow flats and polled after schools of redfish.  The redfish schools were tightly packed and tailing heavily as they fed through the grass beds, with some of the schools in excess of 50 fish.  These schools of redfish provided great sight-fishing and were very cooperative.  Accurate casts by the anglers awarded them with over a 12 redfish landed with multiple double hook-ups, and some really awesome takes. 


It was the best of times and the worst of times for two good friends. Robert, who is home on leave from the Air Force, and Josh originally wanted a fun day of redfishing with Capt. Roland.  However Robert, who found out on the morning of the trip that the surf was up, changed his plans. It turned out to be a bad decision as he experienced what could have been fatal accident by getting sucked under the Sebastian Inlet jetty.  On the hand, Josh, who stuck with the plan, was happy he chose to fish. Now the fishing started very slow with a howling north wind and cold temperatures which were not rising very fast. However by one thirty in the afternoon the water had warmed and so did the fishing as redfish tails started popping up. Josh was quick to take advantage of them. Over the next hour he boated five reds from 10 to 20 lbs. And Robert? He was left just shaking his head and dressing his wounds. Literally.


The Grawel family chartered with Capt. Roland on a cool blustery day for some canal fishing. The fishing was very slow early in the morning but with constant moving they finally found the honey hole where fish had stacked-up to keep warm. For the next two hours the bites were constant with a mixed bag of species. Redfish, black drum, sheepshead, and trout all made their way boat side. They also lost a hand full of larger fish that made it back into the stumps before the Grawels could pry them out. The family left with the comments” We’ll be back”.


Regular customer Mike Rimkus and his boys from Denver spent Christmas Eve day on a half- day fishing charter with Capt. Roland. The trip had been scheduled the trip for mid morning to allow the water to warm in the shallows and by the time the Rimkuses got there it was just right. Tailing fish were spotted immediately and the game was on. However, unfortunately for them a bass boat was tearing up the area with his trolling motor scattering the fish out of the area. (This is not a good tactic if you want to actually CATCH fish.) The fortunate part of the trip was after 30 minutes Mr. Bass Boat gave up and left. This allowed the fish to settle down and after another 30 minutes, the catching started. All the boys caught reds and Josh, the oldest making his first trip here, landed the biggest of the day measuring just over 34 inches.

Comments are closed.

Native Sons Pro Fishing Team Website