Indian River Lagoon Fishing Forecast – July 2023

July is the heat of Florida’s summer – fishing on calmer, hotter days with afternoon showers makes early morning fishing the best bet. Grass flats in Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River is growing thicker and higher than it has in 5 years. The grass makes it more difficult to use jigs, so change to weedless jerk baits, weedless spoons, or top water plugs. The grass will help the future of fishing by creating a good estuary for the young fish to hide.

Try fishing the sand holes on the flats for trout and redfish, they will ambush baits going through. The water gets a little dirtier as the summer goes on, but sight fishing should still be good. Try fishing around the drop-offs or in sandy spots along the edge of the shorelines. Most land points have sandy areas and if the wind is blowing into them that is a good spot to try using cut bait or live bait. I have noticed the pinfish have been coming back which is one of my favorite baits for cut bait. With cut bait you can catch all species in the Lagoon. I still us a 3/O J hook and 25# mono leader tied to 8-10 lb. braid.

Try fishing docks down south in the Indian and Banana River for trout, redfish, black drum and snook. They love to hang out under old unused docks with shade where the grass does not grow very well. I generally use gold spoons and Mission Fishing jigs with Wyze Guys paddle tails, preferable white or grey. Cut bait and shrimp works well for black drum, sheepshead, and mangrove snapper. If there are rod holders, fishing rods and bait buckets, or a new dock, avoid fishing those docks. Nighttime fishing around the docks with lights can also be very productive and a good way to beat the heat. With more rain, tarpon fishing in the canals should start improving. I use the mini jig with a saltwater hook with a straight retrieve, no jigging. Live finger mullet works best. Try catching finger mullet in the same area as the tarpon because sometimes the finger mullet brought from saltier water and used in brackish water dies quickly. Fly fishing in another way to catch tarpon in the canals. Smaller flies and smaller jigs are always the best.