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

July 14, 2011 – Never Better Than Now

Fishing along the central east coast of Florida could not be any better than it has been over the past several weeks. Capt. Rocky, fishing the Indian River near Titusville and the Banana River near Cocoa Beach, has been guiding clients to huge numbers of huge redfish, including a three day charter sequence last week that tallied 44 redfish, averaging better than 20 pounds, 12 gator trout, and numerous black drum. Meanwhile, Capt. Peter has been concentrating on the Banana River near Merritt Island and the Indian River between Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce with great success. Indeed, let’s start our individual reports with Peter in Ft. Pierce.

 The snook and trout fishing in Ft. Pierce is on fire right now.  Capt. Peter has split his time over the last two weeks between the Banana River near Cocoa Beach and the Indian River in Ft. Pierce.  The water in Vero Beach and Ft. Pierce is very clear and is providing great sightfishing.  The early mornings are spent casting to tailing trout in redfish along the shallows or rolling tarpon in along the channel.  Once it’s bright enough to see through the water its game on for sightfishing snook and trout!  The big snook and trout are holding along sandbars and grassflats, and are eating baits well.   Ten trout over 20 inches were caught in one morning in less than two hours with four of them going 27’’, 28’’, 29’’, and 30’’.   Some of the snook caught have even gone over the 40’’ mark.  There has also been good numbers of mangrove snapper and flounder near the Ft. Pierce Inlet.  These fish have been providing quick action and good dinners. 

Recently married, Chad and Janel Smith of Redding, Pennsylvania were spending their honeymoon week in Orlando which included a custom fishing charter on the Indian River Lagoon with Capt. Rocky. Now Chad was the experienced angler of the pair as he had fished many times with his father and his skill was obvious over the course of the outing. However, Janel was the lucky one on this particular day as she landed the first redfish and the biggest redfish (weighed 23 pounds). And she may well have landed the most reds too if she hadn’t decided to give fishing a rest in order to catch a few sunrays and read a book. This allowed Chad to pull ahead and finish ahead in the fish count. The pair caught 12 reds, all fish well over slot-size, and two fine trout. It was a great day of fishing as well as a great way to start a marriage. Congratulations and best wishes to Chad and Janel.


Big redfish and a front row seat to the last shuttle launch made for a great day.  Michael Kirkpatrick and Diane were guided by Capt. Peter to a unique day in the Banana River.  Starting the morning off fishing a group of large redfish holding on a sandbar produced six large reds with most of them close to or over 40 inches.  To get to the best location to view the shuttle launch, the anglers left the redfish biting and made a run north the southern border of NASA security zone.  Being closer than everyone but the VIP’s, Michael and Diane had a spectacular view of the Atlantis.  The rest of the afternoon was spent fishing spoil islands and grassflats for more hard fighting redfish. Michael and Diane were able to boat another five big redfish before the storms rolled in.  It was definitely a day to remember for all!

Charles Coleman from Isle of Man, Great Britain was in town to visit his mom and chartered Capt. Rocky to chase some reds and enjoy some rays. Charles brought along his good friend James who had only been fishing once before. The two fished the stretch of the Indian River Lagoon near Titusville on a beautiful summer day with blue skies and calm winds. They caught 12 reds, all over ten pounds, and one trout. James had the hot rod for the day catching 9 of the reds while Charles got the trophy red measuring 39 inches and weighing 18 to 22 pounds. Needless to say, James is now thoroughly hooked on fishing.


Dr. Z treated his son, Bryce, and son’s friend, Dre, to a fun time tugging on fish before moving out of the area.  It was a beautiful day on the river with clear skies and a light breeze.  Capt. Peter poled the boat up on the flats where the anglers could cast to groups of redfish sitting in potholes and sandbars.  Accurate casts awarded the anglers with hard fighting redfish and beautiful gator sized trout.  These guys were great anglers and a ton of fun to fish with!  The final tally for the day was 11 redfish and a handful of gator trout. 

Edgar Luna and his two sons Andre and Tony, Chicagoans now living in Austin, Texas, chartered Capt. Rocky recently for a day of redfishing on the Indian River Lagoon. It was one of those magical days on the river where the redfish flooded the flats in search of food, fame and fortune … and they found gold in the abundance of bait served by the Lunas. But when the day was done, the fame belonged to Andre, Tony and their dad because they caught 20 redfish along with a confused gator trout. One redfish measured in the slot and every other fished went at least 36 inches and weighed a minimum of 20 pounds. The two biggest reds were 30 pound monsters. What a glorious day on the river! 


A family fun day quickly turned into a big fish day for the Deeks family.  After fishing all morning, Capt. Peter invited his family out on the boat to spend a couple of hours playing on the sandbars in the Banana River.  But before they made it to the islands, Peter poled up to a nearby flat that had produced 10 or so big reds and some trout for him earlier that day.  In an hour and a half, Pete, Marilyn, and Christa brought in red after red.  The two schools of redfish were heavily feeding all day and were busting mullet into the air and taking the bait as soon as you could get one near them.  Most of the fish were in the 32-35 inch range with the exception of one slot fish and one massive red that Pete brought in for a quick photo and release. 


Dave Reinbold splits his time between his residence in the Pennsylvania and West Melbourne. He is an active, accomplished angler who loves to pursue big fish in the shallow waters on the Indian River Lagoon. The last time he chartered Capt. Rocky, Dave and his wife fished the Sebastian Inlet area and caught snook, redfish, trout and giant Jack Carville. This past week he was guided to the grass flats of the Banana River is search of big redfish. Over the course of his half day charter he caught eight big reds (most were in the 15 to 20 pound range) and eight gator trout (the largest measuring 31 inches and weighing close to 10 pounds). He also had the strange experiences of lassoing a ladyfish and landing a sheephead which tried to eat a mullet. Indeed it turned out to be both a wonderful and weird day for Dave. Pictured below is Dave holding one of his better reds, his monster trout and his tiny sheephead with a giant appetite.

“Gator” was given an early Father’s Day present, a half day of red-fishing with Capt. Peter, by his loving wife, Tianne, and son, Boog.  It was a half day trip in the afternoon in the Banana River.  Most of the time was spent casting to groups of redfish holding in “holes” along the flats.  Gator got most of the attention – due to the nature of the trip… but Tianne’s luck and Boog’s skill kept showing up dad on his very special day…HaHa.  They were a great family and their positive sense of humor is always welcomed on the boat.  The trio caught 10 redfish, and a nice trout.  The biggest fish award goes to Tianne for her 42’’ bull redfish – It was all she could do to refuse Boog’s money offers’ to hand the rod off during the fight. 

Tony and Maria were invited on a fishing trip by CR Hall while visiting beautiful Florida.  Little did they know it would be a trip that will be talked about for a lifetime!  The morning started off fishing for the big “over-slot” bull redfish.  Capt. Peter positioned the boat up on the grassflats where schools of redfish were feeding on the edge of sandbars.  Casting big baits to big fish in shallow water never gets old – especially when they are as aggressive as they were on this trip.  Sore muscles, full cameras, and CR’s passion for grilled redfish helped make the decision the finish off the day targeting keeper sized redfish and trout.  After boating 14 redfish, some gator trout, and a nice mess of fish in the cooler they called it a day – and this is where the trip went from fun to memorable. . .

About two miles from Kiwanis Island Park, driving back to the boat ramp, everyone was watching as a seaplane took off across the rough water and eventually headed into the sky.  As soon as it became airborne, all eyes came off the place except for CR – who gave a quick elbow to Peter after about 20 seconds after liftoff.  Just then Peter looked to see the plane falling nose-first into the water which became a massive explosion of water and plane parts.  Everyone emptied their pockets of cell phones and belongings as the boat raced to the crash site, visualizing a very bad scene and hoping for the best.  Arriving on the scene, there were pieces of the plane floating about and a wrecked plane slowly sinking…just then a person popped up out of the water (the pilot – no passengers) and asked for a ride!   With only a banged up knee, and some bruises he was plucked from the water and carried to shore where paramedics, firemen, and police officers were already there waiting.  It was an amazing relief that the pilot was in such good shape!

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