Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast June, 2015
Capt. Tom Van Horn
May 30, 2015
Indian River Lagoon - Saltwater Fishing Report
June's IRL Fishing Forecast
Summer has arrived and the heat and humidity are rising along with the fishing opportunities throughout the Indian River Lagoon Coast of Florida. Our hot summer days are brutal for both angler and fish alike, so the wise angler and the fish takes advantage of the cooler nights, early morning and late evenings hours to stock their prey, and then they snooze in the shade, or in the case of the fish, retrieve to deeper areas once the heat turns up. So, anglers who adjust their routine in June, July, and August, by fishing at night, during the predawn hours and in the late afternoon after work and reap the rewards of our summertime fishing bonanza.
On the flats, focus your efforts between 5am and sunrise, and in the late afternoon after the thunderstorms dissipate. Night fishing will also produce descent catches of redfish, snook, and trout. When fishing the flats at night, I prefer fishing real slow with glow in the dark s lures like the DOA Shrimp. If you can only fish during the heat of the day, target the docks with deep-water access. In the early morning look for trout and redfish up in the skinny water around concentration of bait, and toss them your favorite top water plug. If the water is dirty, cut ladyfish and mullet on the outside edges of the flat is a good option. Also look for schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) in deeper waters. These schools can be located by watching for small terns and other sea birds working, and usually are shadowed by concentrations of small trout and ladyfish. These fast moving schools produce fast and furious action for fly anglers casting small top-water popping bugs. We have also been finding some medium size tarpon in the 20 to 30 pound range as well as smaller snook last month, so that adds an additional bonus for northern IRL anglers
Near-shore, look for the tarpon and shark numbers to increase along the beach, and let's not forget about the schools of large jack crevalle and the tripletail as both of these fisheries are cranking up. Remember, snook season closes this week, so let's give them a chance to relax and get jiggie. Try not to target them, and if you do happen to catch one, please handle it gently and release it with extreme care.
When the summer doldrums set in, the waters clear, and the seas flatten out, the window of opportunity opens for smaller boats, so near-shore opportunities are typically the best you'll see all year along the beach. June is the time of year when the kingfish move in close shadowing schools of Atlantic menhaden (pogies) along the beach and in the Port Canaveral buoy line, and slow trolling live pogies can result in some outstanding catches. It's been blowing hard out of the east these past few weeks, so fishing outside is something I'm looking forward to.
Offshore, look for the dolphin bite to slow as the schools begin to spread out. The kingfish concentration will remain good along the inshore reefs and wrecks of 8A Reef and Pelican Flats, so again slow trolling with live pogies will produce the best action. Additionally, bottom fishing will remain good for snapper and grouper until the first significant summer squall (hurricane) blows in and muddies up the water.
Remember as the days heat up, long battles will kill the fish, so if you plan on targeting large fish, you may want to step up your tackle to shorten the battle. Also, dissolved oxygen levels are low, so leave them in the water as much as possible, and revive them completely before releasing them.
As always, if you have questions on need more information, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
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