Environment Angler: Jan. 2020

I See Grass Finally!!!

By Keith Lozott, Contributing Writer

I’ve been fishing for my entire adult life and most of my childhood.  For some reason I’ve always been drawn to shallow saltwater fishing.  It’s the beauty, the tranquility, the visual nature of fishing for inshore species such as redfish, snook and my favorite the spotted seatrout (20” +).  Crawling a topwater lure on a calm early morning over a lush grass flat fills me with anticipation knowing that a hungry fish could explode on the lure at any second.  Tossing a weedless rigged soft plastic lure into grassy potholes in less than twelve inches of water at a fish posted up on the edge of the pothole is sight that never gets old.  When fishing slows down ultra-shallow and you move a little deeper into the 3-4 foot grass edges that hold trout and other species can make a day on the water amazing and something that you want to do over and over.  Anglers will find a way to spend a few extra dollars on their favorite baits, a better boat, a custom fishing rod and reel combination or anything that makes your next day on the water better.

What is the common denominator of the above paragraph?  If you thought seagrass then you were dead on!!!  Both Florida coasts have experienced major seagrass loss over the past decade and are in dire need of relief and revitalization of our estuaries. Now for a positive sign of things to come (hopefully).  I was fishing recently on the Indian River where the grass has been decimated and I witnessed with my own eyes a much needed resurgence of seagrass. We were on the eastern side of the river near Bear Point and Middle Point and the grass has started filling in the previous bare shorelines and flats.  Let me tell you for sure with almost a tear in my eye that it was a great sight to see.  I started to feel like a member of my family that had been sick for years had finally started to recover and make their way back to a health!  My mind was racing with the anticipation of seeing the fishing make a comeback on the flats to what it was in the past.

Some of my fondest memories as a fisherman have been engrained in my head in the Indian River Lagoon system.  These memories range from tailing redfish off Black Point in Titusville, topwater explosions south of Titusville north of the NASA Parkway on grass flats, sight fishing for the inshore slam  in Wabasso and Sebastian,  all the way down to the Treasure Coast catching snook and trout in the mangroves by the power plant.  No matter where I’ve fished the grass has been paramount to fishing success and the sustainability of a healthy estuary.  So, it’s imperative that we all work together to get this turned around for the preservation of our beautiful state’s estuarine coastlines. Our economy really depends on it as the numbers don’t lie!

Keith Lozott

The Fishing Realtor