Edgewater & Backcountry Fishing Report: July 2014

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]arly morning, late afternoon, and night time are usually the best times to fish the backcountry in the heat of summer. First hour in the morning, from first light until the sun is up a little bit is top water lure time, for calm summer mornings I like a quiet lure with faint or no sound makers as you “walk the dog” across the surface imitating an injured finger mullet, hard lures, unweighted jerkbaits, or DOA Airheads fit the bill for top water. After the sun is up, switch to sub surface lures such as twitch baits, Aqua Dream spoons, or weighted jerkbaits. Summer is also time or live pigfish baits targeting seatrout, fish them free lined and hooked near the tail to allow them to dive towards the bottom in deeper water, position yourself to fish them at oyster bar drop offs, mangrove shoreline drops, creek mouths, points, or any fishy looking spots. In shallower water, use a twitching technique to keep them from hiding on the bottom in grass, mud, or oysters. You can also fish them beneath a cork, as they struggle to reach the bottom they will make themselves a prime target. Also try your live baits around the many docks lining the shores of the ICW, they attract baitfish seeking the protection of structure as well as providing cooling shade this time of year. Fish older docks with more growth on the pilings, quieter docks with little use by people, & docks near oyster bars or grass beds. Docks with larger boats may have a dredged hole or channel with deeper water.

One of the best choices for summer night time fishing are dock lights, pick an area anywhere on the ICW channel from Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna, through Edgewater, to the Oak Hill area. The lights attract schooling bait fish, outgoing tide can be best some nights as this is when shrimp can be running along the channel edge, anchor your boat out from your chosen dock and cast your live shrimp or small size lure up current of the circle of light on the water and let the current move your bait through the light. This is also a great choice for fly fishermen during summer. Trout can be the main target, but nocturnal snook or ladyfish could also crash your dock party.

Summer is a great time to take the kids blue crabbing. You can crab from any dock or shoreline, with a slow current, use just a string with a chicken neck or any fish parts tied to the end, when you feel the crab biting, very slowly pull it in until close enough to scoop your crab with a dip net. If the dock is deeper or has a current, use a weighted crab trap to hold it on the bottom. Adults must have a fishing license, blue crab limit is 10 gallons per day, no egg bearing females, 5 traps maximum.

FORECAST BY: Capt. Michael Savedow Edgewater River Guide Call or text (386) 689-3781 www.EdgewaterRiverGuide.com Florida Mosquito Lagoon Flats Indian River Backcountry Saltwater inshore Fishing Charter Trips since 2003