Visited Old Spots Fishing Report

Thank you for reading this Visited Old Spots Fishing Report.

I moved to Florida in 1984. Was a fisherman when I got here. I fished and guided the Banana River Lagoon, the Indian River Lagoon, the Mosquito Lagoon, the near-coastal Atlantic from both Ponce Inlet and Port Canaveral, and the St. Johns river system as my local waters, and have travelled and fished all over the state. Since I got here, and particularly over the last five or six years, I have watched the water quality decline, and the quality fishing areas shrink, to the current pitiful state. There are many places I have fished where I’ve thought at the end of the day, “I don’t need to check here again for a long time.”

This week was dedicated to visiting some of those areas again.

Monday I visited what used to be a favorite St. Johns River system lake. It was full of vegetation- milfoil, eelgrass, dollarweed, bulrushes, others. The bass fishing was fantastic. A couple years ago, when the FWC declared herbicide war on all aquatic vegetation, I visited this lake with Tom Van Horn. The vegetation was all dead or dying. The bullfrogs were silent. There were no alligators, and no fish. I don’t need to check here again for a long time.

Best fish of the day.

Monday’s visit was nostalgic. The marsh is beautiful. Bullfrogs sang loudly, and so did the blackbirds. Tilapia chased each other around. I snuck up on a four-point buck, in velvet, that was feeding at the water’s edge. I fished hard for six hours, came up with four dink bass. There is still no vegetation, and not many fish. I still don’t need to check here again for a long time.

Wednesday I launched the Mitzi at Kelly Park and ran it down to Pineda Causeway. Was hoping to see tarpon, and the weather was perfect for it. No tarpon, though.

Used the electric motor to work my way most of the way to Georgiana Island. Found one small school of large redfish. I didn’t think they existed anymore! One slurped up my bunny leech in plain view and I caught it, the largest red I’ve gotten on fly in 10 years. That was way cool! Truly, God smiled on me. The entire episode was so unlikely.

I could not lift this fish into the boat.

Other than that, there were small scattered trout. Ran north of 528 and checked from the Barge Canal to KARS Park. Saw a few reds, a handful of five pound black drum, and two small snook. Got one dink trout, did not touch another fish. I don’t need to check here again for a long time.

One dink trout.

Back at the ramp two guys had an open fisherman on a trailer. One of them came over to me. “You got a screwdriver?” he asked. “Of course, I have a screwdriver,” I said. “He doesn’t,” the man said, pointing to his buddy. “Then why did you go out with him?” I said. Seriously, if you have a boat, you need some basic tools. It doesn’t get more basic than a screwdriver.

Friday On a perfect morning Scott Radloff and I went kayak fishing on the Indian River lagoon. Our boats hit the water at sunrise, and we were out until mid-day. Not a fish did we see. I hardly made any casts. Beautiful morning, lovely birds, I don’t need to check here again for a long time.

All other things being equal, the experiment will continue next week.

Non-exclusionary by its nature, fishing embraces all creeds and colors, all manner and kind of man and woman, gay or straight, whole or broken in body or spirit; every seeker, every pilgrim, every hopeful traveler who believes that in the art and sport of angling something purposeful, meaningful, traditional, wonderful, fun, and spiritual can be found. – Paul Quinnett

Life is great and I love my work!

Every day is a blessing. Don’t waste it- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski, author of Fishing Florida by Paddle- An Angler’s Guide
Purchase Fishing Florida by Paddle- An Angler’s Guide at http://www.spottedtail.com/fishing-florida-by-paddle/