It’s August and for me, that means I am back home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. I’ve wrapped up my Tarpon season and now I get to fish Mosquito Lagoon, my favorite place to fish. As a saltwater fly fishing guide, I get very focused on which ever season is upon us. Whether it is prepping for the journey West to the Louisiana Marsh or heading South in Florida to chase giant Tarpon, I emerse myself in it. So while I am home and enjoying some down time in between Tarpon season and Fall and Winter in Louisiana, as Fall creeps closer and you actively begin feeling the weather starting to change, I can’t seem to stop my mind from drifting to the Marsh. Thinking about poling those marsh grass edges, my angler and I working together,
looking for that next shot… I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get me excited. On the flipside to that, it means I’m getting that much closer to having to leave home, say goodbye to my little boy and family, live in a travel trailer in the middle of the bayou for months, alone. The struggle is real.
Tarpon Season Recap –
With all that said, I had a great Tarpon season. This season was a little different for me in a few ways. I spent a lot of time exploring this year. As fly fishing for Tarpon continues to evolve, we must evolve with it. I am a believer in thinking aoutside of the box, challenging yourself, pushing your comfort zones. Sure, I can sit on Bean Point all season and see a bunch of fish but that doesn’t make you a good Tarpon guide. When I fish Tarpon, I am looking for the right fish. The fish with the right body language.
This season, Capt. Nick Sassic and I spent a little over a month living on an island only accessible by boat. We were living in a beautiful beach house and had our skiffs tied up out back. This meant we could fish long and hard. Without having to worry about trailering home, traffic, gassing up the skiff, etc. We were both able to focus on Tarpon and man we did just that!
Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report –
I came home to New Smyrna Beach in the middle of June. I kept running Tarpon trips on the West coast of Florida and exploring some new areas for Tarpon. Day tripping from New Smyrna to the West coast of Florida and then Tarpon fishing all day was exhasuting. After July 4th, I stopped day tripping over to the West and stayed local in East Central Florida and the Space Coast.
Mosquito Lagoon will always be a special place to me. A place that I love and getting to share that passion with other fly anglers is why I am a fly fishing guide. Mosquito Lagoon was once the famed Redfish Captial of the World, and while many anglers are picking other destinations to pursue Redfish, the Lagoon is still one of those destination fisheries you should experience. We have a diverse fishery here. Tarpon, Redfish, Sea Trout, Black Drum, Snook just to name a few.
July and August, the heart of the Summer, has fished exactly how you would expect. There is a plethora of finger mullet present and as the sun creeps over the hozion and begins to light the morning sky the Lagoon begins to come to life. You may see a pod of fish tailing over the grass, Sea Trout popping bait pods or rolling Tarpon. As the Sun gets higher throughout the morning and the temperatures follow, you notice less and less activity. The fish aren’t gone, they are just far less active. It’s time to change gears and go looking for them. Fish, like any other living thing, want to be as comfortable as they can possibly be. Do what you can to figure that out. What are they looking for today? Cooler water, food, sandy bottom, grass, etc.