big reds in banana river nmz
Capt. John Kumiski
March 7, 2010
Cocoa Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Orlando Area Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 3/7/10
When I checked the weather forecast for the week last Sunday it looked like Monday would be the only decent day. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday all broke with frost on the ground and had winds in the 15-20 mph range. I had no work fishing so I stayed home and took care of other things.
Monday morning the Ocean Kayak was strapped to the roof of the Sienna and I drove to KARS park, dropping the boat into the water at about 8 AM. It was about 50 degrees, sunny with a light northwest breeze. I started running over seatrout almost immediately but since I had bigger things in mind I ignored them. They didn't last for much distance, either. Lots of paddling got done. A school of uncooperative black drum spurned my offerings for a few casts and then disappeared. I thought I could come back later and find them in the same spot but that proved to not be the case.
I paddled most of the way to the NASA Causeway, finally turning around about a half mile shy of that road, still not having had a decent shot at a fish. They were scarce! It was getting to be lunchtime and the stomach was complaining. No food until we get a fish! After I passed Buck Creek on the rebound I started blowing out trout and a few reds again, and managed to get a nice enough trout of about 20 inches on a black Bunny Booger. Grateful for the bite, I stopped and ate my lunch.
After lunch I went back to where I had seen the drum. I saw five drum there, and had a couple shots that maybe could have worked but didn't. The Bunny Booger got replaced by a Merkin Crab.
It was a beautiful day and there should have been fish around. I thought I'd check the shoreline and look for slot redfish. None were there, but two tails popped up a little further out. I spent twenty minutes stalking one fish on foot, only to have it disappear. On my way back to the kayak a redfish became clearly visible in about a foot of water. It was just kind of hovering in one spot. The Merkin landed about three feet in front of it. The fish must have heard the fly hit the water because upon splashdown it immediately moved that way. The fly made one little hop and a solid "thump" telegraphed up the line. The fish was about 30 inches long and at about 2 in the afternoon it was definitely about time.
Slowly paddling south again, I passed into an area of dirty water. I humped out a few fish so again got out of the kayak. It was too dirty to see anything so I just tried blindcasting. After ten minutes that was already getting old but a few fish humped the water up again so I kept trying. All of a sudden the line came tight.
It didn't seem like much at first but next thing the back end of the fly line is whizzing through the guides so it looked like a real fish. It turned out to be pushing 40 inches, my nicest red this year so far. That's why I go to the no motor zone. That one fish made all the paddling worth it.
By now the edge of the dirty water was approaching. A flash caught my eye. I could just barely see the dark shapes of a couple fish working along the edge of the muddy area, only about 25 feet away. I dropped the faux crab in front of them and another solid thump immediately ensued. Next thing the back end of the fly line is whizzing through the guides so it again looked like a real fish. It turned out to be pushing 40 inches, my second nice red this year so far, both on the same day. That's why I go to the no motor zone! That one fish was a bonus on top of the first big one that made all the paddling worth it.
By now it was after three o'clock. An hour's plus paddle was staring at me to get back to the car, so I left the fishiest spot of the day, hoping to pick up another tailer or two on the way back. The wind, although still light, was out of the east now. I did not see a fish the entire way back. I loaded the kayak at about 5 PM and well satisfied with the day's work drove home.
Friday afternoon Susan and I went to Scott and Marie Radloff's house. Scott, a professional musician, was playing in Bradenton. We piled into their car and drove down there, then listened to the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra play a couple of lovely pieces by Brahms. What a wonderful orchestra that is! After the concert we dined at the Bonefish Grill, then drove back to O-town. I don't often stay up until 2 AM any more and the way I felt for much of Saturday (with no alcohol involved, either) makes me remember why. It was well worth it though and I would do it again.
Remember- life is short- GO FISHING!
And life is great and I really love my work!
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