N. Indian River Lagoon Report: July 2015

Nelson connects with a slot red- fish on a recent trip with Capt. Mark Wright.
Nelson connects with a slot red- fish on a recent trip with Capt. Mark Wright.

Summer is in full swing and July will likely offer plenty of heat and afternoon thunderstorms. A few years ago I started offering charter durations starting at just three hours (rather than the typical four) as a means to “beat the heat” of summer’s too warm embrace. Once water temperatures rise to the realm of bathwater our fishery often becomes most active very early in the day and again very late as the sun closes in on the western horizon.

Along with summer’s heat and constant threat of thunderstorms we can expect lower than average water levels. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see redfish and even a few black drum tailing in the shallows as they work diligently to remove a tasty morsel from the lagoon’s bottom. Yes, the Indian River is chock full of mullet, pinfish, minnows of all varieties and these foodstuffs are obviously important, but do not overlook a drum’s love for critters who wear a shell on their outsides.

Straw hats and Z-Man Shad Popz proved the perfect combo for catch- ing this over-slot seatrout!
Straw hats and Z-Man Shad Popz proved the perfect combo for catch- ing this over-slot seatrout!

Back to the fin-fish; catch your own or buy them from your local bait store. Live bait is versatile, reaps great results and is easy to employ. I like rigging natural bait whether live or dead on circle hooks sized appropriately for the bait being used. Add only enough weight to hold bottom if bottom is where the fish are feeding or free-line your offering if your quarry if feeding on or near the surface.

Throughout the summer and well beyond we will be dealing with both rooted and floating grass. Also, we’ll be dealing with drift algae and the green, stringy hair like algae which grows up from the bottom in beds. All of these plants will find themselves entangled upon our leader knots, hooks and our lures themselves. Selecting a lure which can be effectively retrieved through or above this maze of entanglement is a most important decision for those of us who like to throw lures.

We’ll talk more about lure selection in the South Mosquito Lagoon section… see you there!

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