This is the east central Florida fishing report. The report is written by an expert fishing guide with years of fishing experience. Some of the reports in this section cover Daytona Beach, Melbourne, Vero Beach, and Port St. Lucie areas. The information below will help you plan your next fishing trip or fishing charter.


East Central Florida Fishing Report

Captain Tod Hagan
Date: 2/13/2005

Florida's Indian River Lagoon - America's most diverse estuary

Cold fronts have dictated fishing opportunities and catches on the Indian River Lagoon in recent weeks. The water temperature is currently in the 60s with some areas even colder. With the cooler temps comes very clear water and great opportunities for sight fishing the flats. Stalking reds and trout in areas that are too dirty at other times of the year. The better areas are south facing shorelines that are exposed to more sunlight and areas with dark soft bottom, which hold heat better.

The trout will be laid up in small groups and will lay nearly motionless until startled by noise from the boat. This past week very large fish, in the 30+ category were common. Catching these fish in clear shallow water is extremely challenging. This is really where time on the water pays off. The best method to catch this fish is stake out in areas that are known to hold these fish and work the area with live shrimp or small artificials. The Power Pole (shallow water anchor) is a tremendous tool for this type of fishing. A red lead head with clear pink split tail grub is a great choice. Lead head jigs with the eye forward are a must to avoid picking up grass. The best time to target these fish is in the afternoon between 1pm and 4pm when the water is at its warmest.

March will bring warmer temperatures to the area and more wind. Warmer water is definitely a good and the stronger winds can also be a good thing. There is very little tidal influence in most parts of the lagoon. Most of the lagoons water movement is from wind driven current. A small pass between islands with wind driven current is a good place to investigate.

If March is anything like last year, well also see good numbers of tarpon in the ocean. Unlike summer time tarpon, which are very close to the beach, these fish are typically in 40-60 foot of water. These deeper fish will also come into the inlets during nighttime outgoing tides. The tarpon in deeper water will eat very well as compared to the fish closer to the beach. A great lure choice for these deep fish is a 2-oz. flair jig rigged with a circle hook. To make this rig, cut the hook off the jig off and tie the bend of a circle hook to the eye of the jig with 30-40 mono. If we have a warm month, look for cobia to show off the beaches also; a nice added bonus when looking for deep tarpon.

Thanks, Capt. Tod Hagan

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