redfish caught by nathaniel lemmon

New Smyrna Beach Area, Indian River Lagoon, Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

January 13, 2008

Happy 2008 to everyone! I wish everyone the best this year for great fishing and tight lines. Winter fishing is definitely now upon us. Water temps are averaging in the 60's and the water is low and crystal clear, prime ingredients for large schools of fish, exactly what we have right now. As you will read, there's a variety of things to target right now, as well as a variety of things we may come across during the day. If you've waited for the year's best sight fishing, it's going on now through early spring. This is your best chance of the year for double digit catches, so give me a call; 386-212-4931

Fishing for redfish in the 5-12lb range is red hot this month. Most fish are now in big winter schools. Spotting a school of 300-400 redfish on the sand is a spectacular sight and certainly gets your adrenaline moving. We are catching redfish in a variety of ways, including spoons, DOA shrimp, top water plugs, small soft plastics and live shrimp. As the water warms up throughout the day, fish are breaking into smaller groups or spreading out onto the shallow flats where they are eating and tailing hard. We have had two days during the past couple weeks where we caught over 20 redfish in a half-day trip (we've been averaging about 10 redfish a day. We are also catching a lot on fly, with favorite patterns being Borksi sliders, redfish candies, redfish blossoms, kwan's, clousers, spoon flies and my shaggy crab puff. We're using long leaders and making long casts, but we caught over 25 reds on fly during the past few weeks.

Spotted sea trout fishing is also red hot. Passing cold fronts may slow the fishing a little, but afterwards the warm up trend puts hundreds of them on the move. A lot of fish are schooling close to deeper sections within the flat, then going on the prowl at first light. We've been sight fishing laid up and feeding fish, but they are super spooky and require the stealthiest approach in order to have any success. I'm seeing a lot of fish on my daily routine over 10+lb, with two lately that went 13+lb. Those are potential world record fish on fly. If you're serious about catching a big fat trophy trout, we can always live bait them with mullet.

While there black drum on the flats, we haven't been fishing them because we're preoccupied with redfish. Reports from the recent cold freeze we had make note of a large number of snook and tarpon dying, something sure to put a crimp in population numbers in a couple years. Bluefish are everywhere inshore, at docks, and under the lights at night. The bluefish are getting bigger and bigger, with fish getting close to 10lbs a good possibility.

We had some great accomplishments worth noting in 2007: This year I spent over 225+ days on the water, guiding over 250 people from across the United States. Aboard my skiff I landed close to 75 redfish over 20lbs, including one that was over 50lbs, and on that had over 51 spots; jumped nearly 50 tarpon over 25+lbs, including 10 over 100lbs and landed one 125+lb tarpon on fly; and caught 75+ trout over 5lbs, with 2 over 30 inches. Sharks, kingfish, snook, and flounder all also found themselves joining us on my boat.

Check out all our latest catches by viewing the Photo Gallery!

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