Post Hurricane Irma Orlando Area and Mosquito Lagoon Coastal Fishing Report, September 17, 2017
As many of you know or have seen on the news, Hurricane Irma thumped Central Florida pretty good. Although she reached my east Central Florida home as a strong category 2 storm and dumped over 20 inches of rain in a twenty-four hour period, we still only experienced tree damage and a day and a half without power. It certainly could have been much worse for us, as it was for those in the islands and the Florida Keys, so I am very grateful. On the up side, all of my family and friends are safe and my boat, home and vehicles undamaged. On the down side, my back is sore from three days of yard clean-up and I gained ten pounds from safe disposal of hurricane groceries and beer. I’m not complaining because I love living in Florida, just trying to reason with hurricane season.
The other challenging part of Irma week was a number of canceled fishing charters and the lack of fishing altogether, so it’s time to get back on the water and stretch some line.
On the freshwater side of things, all of the freshwater creeks and the St Johns River are at or above flood stage, and there are no St Johns River boat ramps open. The St Johns River is just short of record levels, so let’s hope the new storms brewing off the coast of Africa do as the weather folks are predicting and stay out in the Atlantic. That is what they were saying about Irma, and you see how well she listened.
On the north Indian River Lagoon and the Mosquito Lagoon, water levels are high and there are only a few launch facilities open (check list below). There is also a lot of floating hurricane debris, so keep a sharp eye and operate your boat with caution. Although the water levels are high and access is limited, higher water levels on the lagoon often equate to excellent fishing if you know where to look. Increased water levels expose new feeding territory for shoreline feeding gamefish, and storm water outflows concentrate feeding opportunities for the same, so focus your attention in these areas.
I’m not sure if the Port Canaveral ramps are open, but judging by the current sea conditions, it is too snotty for my blood.
Hopefully the approaching summer squalls stay out to sea and we can settle back in to some quality catching and enjoy some time on the water and the mullet run.
Over this past few days I’ve done some scouting and some research, and listed below is the current status of boat launching facilities to date:
Hurricane Irma Ramp Status as of September 17, 2017
North Indian River Lagoon Area Ramps
Titusville Marina Park is open:
501 Marina Road, Titusville
Port St Johns Ramp is closed with heavy damage:
South of Titusville
6650 N Cocoa Blvd, (US Hwy 1)
Kennedy Point Park, Titusville is closed closed with heavy damage:
4915 S Washington Ave
Titusville, FL 32780
Parrish Park, Titusville sustained damage, but has two ramps open:
1 A Max Brewer Memorial Pkwy
Titusville, FL 32796
North Mosquito Lagoon Ramps
Riverbreeze Park, Oak Hill is Open:
250 H H Burch Rd
Oak Hill, FL 32759
Mosquito Lagoon and Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge
Bairs Cove Ramp is closed:
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge
GPS N 28 43.980 W 80 45.421
Bio Lab Ramp is open:
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge
State Road 3 and Marguerite Road, 32796
GPS N 28° 42.357 W 80° 43.2198
St Johns River, Seminole County Ramps Freshwater
All St Johns River Ramps are closed due to Flooding
Cameron Wight Boat Ramp Closed
5502 Old Geneva Road (State Road 46}
Sanford, Fl 32771
C.S. Lee Boat Ramp Closed
4600 E State Road 46
Geneva, FL 32732
Mullet Lake Park Closed
2368 Mullet Lake Park Road
Geneva, Florida 32732
State Road 50 Boat Ramp Closed
28500 E Colonial Drive
Christmas, FL 32709