Juvenile tarpon fishing in the canals will start to heat up in June with more rain in the afternoon. Many of the canals and ditches along the Indian River hold numerous juvenile tarpon – they are active early in the morning and at dusk, also after a heavy rain. To target juvenile tarpon, use live shrimp or live finger mullet. Hook both in the tail with a 3/0 J-hook with 30# mono leaders on 10-12# braid. Most of the time sight cast to where you see the fish rolling. Mini jigs similar to crappie jigs with a saltwater hook in it work great, no more than an inch long. Also in the canals, there should be redfish, snook and trout in the same areas. The deeper and more stagnant the canal is where you will locate the fish.
Fishing the Indian River or Mosquito Lagoon flats in the early morning is good using top water plugs and jerk baits for trout and redfish. The grass has come back, and jerk baits or gold spoons should be weedless. Fish the schools of mullet that are hanging around sand patches. Live finger mullet, croakers and pigfish work best. I use a 3/0 J hook with 20# mono leader and 10# braid. Hook the mullet in the top near the tail so it swims on the surface and stays out of the grass. Croakers and pig fish, hook just above the anal fin and try to pitch in open areas and lift occasionally, to make the fish croak.
This time of year, Haulover Canal will hold large redfish. Use ½ crabs with 40# leader tied to 20-30# braid with a 6/0 circle hook. Tarpon fishing north and south out of Port Canaveral along the beaches should be heating up. Use pogies and croakers with a 4/0 to 10/0 circle hook depending on the size of your bait. Use 60# fluorocarbon leader tied to 30-40# braid. There will be large jack crevalle and lots of sharks near the tarpon – make sure you have plenty of hooks.
Troy’s redfish tip: morning is the best bite and then around 1-3pm you will see redfish start to float on the flats – great sight fishing and not as many boats around.