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

March 28, 2011 – March Madness in Merritt Island

The fishing along the central east coast of Florida does not take a back seat to the NCAA basketball tourney with our own version of March Madness. The fishing this time of year is awesome with outstanding balmy weather and aggressively hungry fish. We had a number of great charters over the past several weeks including the following individual accounts.

Late morning conditions this past week have provided good sight-fishing for redfish and black drum.  Drew Lowery spent a morning sight-fishing with Capt. Peter along the flats of the Banana River Lagoon near Cocoa Beach.  Casting at schools of black drum and redfish in the clear water made for a fun day on the water.  Pictured is Drew with a hefty red.


Jack Chamblin of Merritt Island and his grandson Nick from Chicago decided at the last minute to take advantage of the outstanding spring weather and do some serious Banana River fishing. Since Jack lives on the river Capt. Rocky picked up the duo on his dock and planned to fish productive shorelines within easy wading distance of Jack’s home. An unusual early morning dense fog settled in and changed plans a bit and the charter started with fishing for trout. After several fine trout the fog lifted allowing the hunt to begin. The grandfather and grandson pair hooked up immediately on a double (pictured below). A number of other reds were added as the morning progressed capped by the big red being held by Nick in the following picture.  



David, his son Brandon, and his nephew Bo spent an afternoon with Capt. Peter on the Banana River.  The main goal of the trip was to get Bo, visiting from Kentucky, hooked up to some of Florida’s famous “bull-reds”.  Fishing the grassflats with live mullet, the anglers landed 14 redfish and one trout (not to mention a “trash-fish slam” – a pufferfish, stingray, and catfish).  The goal was achieved as Bo bested a big red at the end of the day while Brandon did the same with a great double-header.

George Littrell returned to Cocoa Beach last week from Maryland in time to do some fishing with Capt. Rocky before his next trip back. Opting to join Rocky to assist in the daily ritual of catching the bait, the charter started pre-dawn. (It was a real pleasure having someone along to help with this chore.) Pushing south of Ramp Road the charter commenced with some early trout action. After catching a half dozen it was time to wake up the late rising redfish. A number of reds were caught over the ensuing hours. The charter ended with sight-fishing redfish in the full sun and clear waters. Pictured below is George holding one his ‘concrete blocks.’


C.R. Hall celebrated his birthday out on the water this week with Gidget and his mom, Mami.   Due to the conditions, Capt. Peter opted to take the anglers out during the afternoon instead of the usual morning routine.  Capt. Peter quietly polled up to and around mangrove Islands and along grassflats while the trio fished along the edges of the flats and along the sandbars.  The trio caught six reds up to 32 inches and five trout up to 24 inches. 


Capt. Peter spent some time down in Fort Pierce last week with tournaments and a couple of guide trips.  One of those trips was spent guiding John, an avid bass angler from Okeechobee.  John wanted to fish for trout and reds with artificials.  The early morning top-water bite produced some good surface strikes.  Once the fish quit hitting off of the surface, spoons became the lure of choice.  Dragging the spoon across sandbars in the clear water had the best results.  Mike caught a bunch of trout up to 22 inches, some redfish, and bluefish during his time on the water.  Switching from bait to artificials can be fun every now and again – especially in areas like Fort Pierce where there is such a variety of fish.  There’s nothing like watching a big trout explode on a topwater lure in the golden, morning light.

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