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

Feb. 22, 2012 – Has Spring Sprung?

Has spring sprung or is it still winter? Over the past four weeks we have had, for the most part,  temperatures soaring during the day into the 70s and low 80s – temperatures more common to April than February – with the lone exception occurring a week ago when a severe cold front pushed through the area and sent the temperatures during night into the low 40s. And our fish population has begun staging in early spring patterns – large, gator trout spawning in the shallow sandy regions, redfish moving into skinny water in search of recently migrated finger mullet, schools of black drum flooding the flats, and snook appearing around the spoil islands near Sebastian Inlet. As a result, we’ve have a number of spectacular charters to post on the website and we’ll start this report with those from yesterday.

 With the start of spring fast approaching, big redfish, black drum, and seatrout are schooling up on the shallow flats in some areas of the Lagoon.  Carl, a Melbourne native, chartered Capt. Peter for a day of sighfishing the schools of black drum and redfish.  With an early start, Carl was greeted with schools of 20 – 30 pound drum and redfish as the sun broke over the horizon.  The calm conditions made peter’s job easy as he polled the boat within range for Carl to make a cast to the dozens of tails sticking out of the water.  Standing on the bow of the boat, Carl fished three schools of black drum, two very large schools of redfish, and a school of trout.  Accurate casts landed Carl multiple black drum up to 30 pounds, redfish (all between 35 and 40 inches), and a dozen sea trout….all in a half day of fishing.

Success in fishing is mainly due to preparation, knowledge and skill. However, it is also dependent upon a bit of luck. When seasoned anglers Fred and Earl Rafferty booked their charter with Capt. Rocky, the long-term weather forecast was less than promising but when the actual day arrived, the skies were blue, the winds calm and the temperature balmy … and the fishing was outstanding. The two brothers from Michigan were treated to one fine day on the water and caught six reds – four well over slot size – fifteen trout – all but three well over twenty inches – and a big, bad, black drum weighing around twenty pounds. Pictured below are Fred and Earl with a rare pair of double hook-ups and catches – both doubles involved different species – black drum and red the first time and trout and red the second time.


 Sky and his son Dalton, visiting from California, spent a day experiencing Florida’s trout and red-fishing.  Capt. Peter guided the anglers to both trout and redfish by  livebait fishing with mullet and sightcasting to schools of redfish on the flats.  There’s nothing more exciting than watching 30 big redfish swim over your line in 18inches of crystal clear water and fighting over your bait. Sky and Dalton pose with a double header

It was a truly remarkable fishing feat accomplished by Mitch and Shawn from Las Vegas, Nevada. Taking a break from a recent real estate convention in Orlando, the twosome rolled the dice and chartered Capt. Rocky for a day of chasing redfish and gator trout on the Indian River near Titusville, Florida. And man-oh-man did they ever hit the jackpot! Coming off four days of cold hard weather, the fish were super aggressive and hit every form of food offered. When the live well had been completely emptied, Mitch and Shawn had hooked, fought, landed, photographed and live released 49 fish – 30 large trout, 19 solid reds and one very determined arctic tern. The fights were non-stop and featured four double-hook-ups and one triple hook-up – all within a four hour time frame. And brother, that is some flat awesome fishing!

Capt. Peter spent a morning with his lovely girlfriend, Monica, on the Banana River Lagoon.  The calm conditions made it very easy to sightfish the big redfish sunning in the clear water.  Long, accurate casts helped Monica land a handful of great fish – including a 35 and a 45 inch redfish.

The two Herris boys from Miami, Bob and Jeff, his son, had waited for months for the black drum schools to make their annual appearance on the shallow flats. When they read our last fishing report (see January 28th) and saw the pictures, they made plans to return to our waters to do battle with the brutes. However, when their weekend arrived, Mother Nature had just paid us a visit with the advent of our coldest, windiest fronts of the year and the drum had vacated the flats for deeper and warmer waters. Fortunately for the Herris boys, the redfish and big trout weathered the cold fronts on the flats and they had a great time battling these staple species in the Indian River near Titusville and Banana River near Cocoa Beach. Pictured below are Bob and Jeff holding fish from their charters.

The Oliver boys spent a half day of fishing with Capt. Peter in the Banana River.  The morning started off with the anglers fishing the edges of mangroves sightfishing seatrout and sheepshead.  Once the water on the shallow flats warmed, they switched gears and targeted redfish and black drum.  Dr. Oliver holds up a nice black drum that was sighfished in two feet of water using light tackle.

Our good friend, recent returned winter visitor George Littrell of Maryland, joined Capt. Roland and Capt. Rocky for a day of hunting monster snook in the Grant/Sebastian area of the Indian River. These big bruisers have begun their spring patterns early this year and started to gather around the islands near the inlet in crystal clear water – sight-fishing for them is fodder for major memory-making adventures. And there is one particularly large snook that none of us will soon forget. Pictured below is George holding one of a dozen breeder-sized trout caught near the end of our adventure.

John, Joe, and Steve enjoyed the warm weather and sunshine with Capt. Peter in the Titusville area. Fishing schools of trout and redfish along the shallow grassflats, the anglers caught 10 trout up to 25 inches and six redfish up to 35 inches.

Dave and Tammy Davidson chartered Capt. Peter for a trip to experience the Space Coast’s flats fishing.  Fishing a warming trend after a cold front, the fishing technique was to target the gamefish as they moved up shallow to warm.  Capt. Peter positioned the boat on schools of redfish and trout that were sunning on white sand bars in clear water.  Casting live mullet, Dave and Tammy pulled on hard fighting redfish and trout throughout the trip. Dave is pictured holding up one of his reds

The hardest part of winter-time fishing is trying to plan trips around the passing coldfronts.  About once a week an unavoidable low pressure system sweeps through the area and you have to make the best of it.  Mr. and Mrs. Fox were unable to schedule around one of these fronts and decided to fish on the only free day they had.  Capt. Peter kept the boat in calm waters and fished the leeward sides of islands and shorelines where the fish were schooled up trying to get out of the rough water.  The anglers were rewarded for their efforts with 5 beautiful redfish and big trout.

Capt. Peter recently fished with his brother Jon (for his birthday) in the Lagoon for gator trout on topwaters.  Pictured is Jon with one of his nice seatrout.

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