Indian River Lagoon Fishing Forecast – May 2023


Fishing the flats has improved the last few months in the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River. A lot of sea grass is growing to the surface, and you can start to see sandy areas to target fish laid up in them. Instead of using jig heads, use weed less hooks with jerk baits and gulp shrimp. Also, gold weed less spoons and top water plugs work well. In areas with grass growth, fish the sand spots and edges that drop off a foot or two. You should also find finger mullet and large mullet on those edges. If the water is a little dirty, there is a possibility of black drum in that area. Setup and fish where the large mullet congregate because that’s where the black drum, sea trout, snook and redfish also like to hang out. When using live bait like finger mullet, try using a 3/0 J hook and hook them in the tail so they swim on the surface over the grassy areas. When using live shrimp, also hook them in the tail for better casting distance. Target the sand holes when using live shrimp. On windy days use cut bait like mullet, ladyfish or pinfish on a 2/0 circle hook and throw at land points where the wind is blowing onto them. After catching a snook, always check your leader for frays and change if needed.

The bridges in the Indian River, Haulover canal and intercoastal waterways hold the large red drum and a side scan is a must to find them. Anchor up in the area where they are on the screen and use a half or whole crab, croakers or pinfish on a 3/0 circle hook and step up the leader to 30# mono attached to 20-30# braid with a small split shot.

Tarpon are starting to show up on the beaches outside of Port Canaveral. To catch tarpon, freeline live croakers or menhaden on a 7/0 circle hook with 60# fluorocarbon leader. Have lots of extra bait and hooks to deal with the sharks.