Mosquito Lagoon, Tom Van Horn

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High Water Fishing Report, October 10, 2017


Since Erma arrived on September 11th the weather has been windy and wet. Right when things start to settle down, another squall blows in.  All this rain and wind have made fishing tough.  On the lagoons, water levels are high and the water is dirty.  This is the same for the beaches with high surf advisories and on the St Johns River where another ten inches of rain was added to the headwaters last week to an already cresting river.  Besides the high water, there is a significant amount of infrastructure damage to launch facilities and debris floating in the water. Fall is typical a great time to fish on Florida’s Indian River Lagoon coast, but not this year. Hurricane season is upon us, and Mother Nature is reminding us who is in charge.


So, what do serious anglers do when they can’t go fishing?  Well first they think a lot about fishing, and then make good use of the down time to refresh their equipment and tackling projects like in my case, upgrading my electronics on my boat from my 5-year old Hummingbird 990 side imaging to the new Hummingbird Helex 9 SI.  It’s not that my old unit was not function well, it was simply the fact my 5-year old unit was obsolete.

Like all major projects, replacing my electronics has been on my mind for some time.  I began relying on my side imaging sonar several years back when alga blooms made site fishing in our area difficult on Mosquito Lagoon.  Once I got a handle on what I was looking at I learned to locate large redfish and black drum in deeper water.  I began to find these larger fish in places I had completely overlooked for years.  I also started getting the attention of other flats guides who wondered how I was finding these fish. Over time I began to rely on this technology to locate fish in deeper water and at the same time expanded my ability to put my clients on trophy fish.


Once purchased and received, I learned my new Helex 9 SI was too big to fit in the location where the old unit was mounted. I had room on the top of the console to mount the new unit, but this created another problem, how do I fill the hole in my console were my old Hummingbird was flush mounted? Well thanks to a company called Boat Outfitters in Orlando, the solution was not only easy, but it was very affordable. is a retail division of Teak Isle Mfg. The marine industry leader for OEM fabricated plastic parts, Teak Isle supplies over 200 of the marine industry’s leading boat builders with custom fabricated accessories. They have reputation for quality products and innovative designs allowing them to grow into the largest single end user of King Starboard® in the marine industry.  If they do not have what you need in stock, they will custom build it for you. In my case they had a Starboard Glove Box to perfectly fit the hole in my console.  If you need to order any boat parts, check out Boat Outfitters first at


Water is still dirty and very high. It’s going to take a while to get cleaned up as long and the rains continue. Look for any cleaner water or where the water is moving for your best chances.  Focus your attention on areas of water outflow and in close to the shoreline for best results.  The current weather forecast is looking better, so be safe on the water and catch-um-up.


As always if you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.


Good luck and good fishing,


Captain Tom Van Horn