Last week I had the pleasure of going out with a good friend of mine Dee. We launched up in north Mosquito Lagoon which is an area that I don't fish all that much due to the long drive from my house. BUT, the Indian and Banana rivers that I usually fish in have a terrible algae bloom at this time. The only clean water to be had is in the north Mosquito. And wow, is it CLEAN. Beautiful gin-clear flats with endless potholes, a perfect habitat for Redfish and Spotted Seatrout.
We launched and crossed the ICW channel pushing east into the maze of islands that make up the North Mosquito Lagoon. The wind was dead, and the sun was blazing. When you add those factors to clean water, you get the best sight fishing conditions possible. As soon as we got over some nice bottom we stood and poled our kayaks, scanning the bottom for laid up reds and trout. It wasn't long before Dee said, "Hey .. There's a grouper in a pothole up here."
At first I thought no it couldn't be .. But indeed, as I slowly poled up, there was a grouper sitting in a pothole. We threw lures at it for 5 minutes before I finally got the hookup and boy, when I stuck him, he woke up! He tore across that dead silent glassy flat like nobody's business, shattering the stillness of the morning. All I was armed with was my Falcon Bucoo Micro 7' rod (a light bass rod), my 2000 size Pflueger President spooled with 8lb test and a 20lb leader. This super light tackle made the fight especially epic. After several spirited runs he began to give up and come to the boat.
I landed him in a soft mesh net, quickly removed the hook, a quick photo op and then we sent him on his way. There are a few grouper to be caught in Mosquito Lagoon, but they are almost exclusively caught on the channel edges trolling deep diving plugs. To find one on the flats was a pretty exciting thing to have happen almost right off the bat. Plus I had landed my first Goliath Grouper!
Dee and I pressed on, and found plenty of fish but they were very skittish and reluctant to eat. Toward the end of the day, we poled up to a cut in the shoreline leading back into a creek and she told me she saw a few reds there about a half hour ago. As we slowly approached it we saw finger mullet being blown up tight to the shoreline by a predator fish. The water here was less than a foot deep. I slung my soft plastic lure in, expecting it to be a smaller rat redfish based on depth. It was almost an instant hookup and I was quite surprised to see a 30" red sizzle by the kayak!
He put up a great fight, and just like the grouper, a quick photo op and off he goes. I had a blast fishing this area that I normally never fish. Sometimes it pays to get out there and expand your horizons a bit and try new areas. You never know just what you might find!