Fishing Forecast: N. Indian River Lagoon

August’s hotter than Hades weather signifies one thing to me; the annual red fish spawn.  is event does not actually follow a calendar date, but let’s loosely define this season as running from mid-August through October. A week or two weeks variance either way is normal. Unfortunately, as of late we are experiencing very dirty water on the spawning grounds and nearby shallows. I hope the algae bloom of last year is not repeated this year; however I fear the worst here. Keep in mind the red fish seemed to have spawned just  fine during last year’s cycle though the filthy water made seeing the groups quite difficult. A few thoughts on the topic of our spawning  fish.

1) Treat them with respect and don’t keep them out of the water any longer than necessary.

2) Fully revive them before the release. I will oŠften use my trolling motor at low speed to “swim” the red fish head  first alongside the boat until it is strong enough to free itself from my grip.

3) Hold your breath when posing a  fish for the photo-op. When you are out of air so is your trophy!

4) Although there is no state limit as to how many catch and release fish are allowed is it really necessary to catch a dozen per angler? Etiquette is another issue that has been completely lost on the  fishing grounds. All fishing grounds of the lagoon too, not just the spawning grounds. While it is certainly true none of us individually own these waters it is also true that barging in on others who have found a school is rude.

Rudeness is oŠften met with unkind words or worse. I have never met a  fisherman who wasn’t willing to share a school of any  fish with anglers who patiently waited for their chance. However, an angler who shoe-horns themselves into a mix of boats who have been working together is completely out of line and deserves the tongue lashing they will certainly receive. I will offer this advice for those who are not sure of what is considered proper behavior. Stand back from the action and watch what is really going on. Likely you’ll notice the fish are moving in a fairly predictable direction. QUIETLY position yourself ahead of the group so you can make a good presentation. When moving into position do not cut off other boats who are actively casting to the fish. Fishers who show up late wanting to join in on the action and are willing “play nice” with the anglers already there will  find helpful tips from them instead of anger and friction.

Finally, it is rare to find only one group of fish feeding at a time. Most of the time one or two large groups fragment into many smaller groups of red fish. Paying attention can easily place you on a group of Trophy’s all to yourself… at least for a while.

I’ll see you out there soon!

Forecast By Capt. Mark Wright, guide
along the north Indian River & Mosquito
Lagoon area. Reach him at 321-302-3474
or 321-264-3474 or