Six Pound Spinning Tackle for Mosquito Lagoon
by Capt. Steven Holmes
The early morning twilight
- a magical period of time somewhere between light and fantasy - I refer to as
the enchanting hour, a time of awakening for all of God’s creations. Sunrise in
the backcountry makes it worth while to rise early and experience these moments
when fishing becomes a surreal experience.
Editor of the Jacksonville Fisherman
was Friday morning and, like most Friday’s, I was up early heading to launch my
boat. The reason for this morning’s expedition – like I needed a reason to fish
– was to explore the Mosquito Lagoon area. My fishing partner and fellow ISA member
Capt. Frank Bolin (phone (904) 471-3573) had been there many times before and
offered to show me around. Always looking for adventure, I could not pass
up the offer to explore the famous Lagoon with my friend.
The night before I could
hardly sleep. In my mind’s eye I could see myself fishing a top-water plug in
the early morning crispness when the tranquillity of the night has not yet departed.
I could see the mirrored surface of the water polished by the still night’s air.
The game plan was for us
to launch in at Edgewater Florida City Park and motor out into a no name flats
area of Mosquito Lagoon after Reds. As we motored our way down the 2 miles of
no wake zone, we noticed that that water was far from what we had envisioned.
It is late March and the southerly wind had blow up a nice two to three foot chop.
Being the hard cases we are we were not about to give up. So, leaving the no wake
zone we bashed our way south to the canal between Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River
Lagoon. It was here, out of the wind, that we found a glimmer of what we had envisioned.
I watched an Osprey perched
overhead carefully observing the water for the slightest movement. I was enjoying
nature’s splendor so much that I almost hated to break the silence with the first
cast. I had selected a top-water lure because it is an ideal candidate to avoid
the clutches of underwater obstruction and has been know as excellent medicine
for taking Gator Trout.
first cast shattered the glassy surface of the water with a loud ca-splash. Frank
looked at me as if to say, “are you trying to scare every fish out of this here!”
I allowed the lure to suspend motionless for about five seconds then began working
the Top Gun lure by Mirr-O-lure with a yank and wait method. I was on my third
cast when I saw a small flash in the water striking toward my lure. I stopped
the lure for a few seconds then gave it a yank. It did not take long until the
first Trout of the day felt the sting of the hook.
No matter how many Trout
I have caught, I still find it hard to believe that a little 1 ½ pound
Trout has the enthusiasm to attack a 5-inch lure. I quickly released him and continued
to cast in the same direction. After catching and releasing 3 more of his kin
– all about the same size – I used the trolling motor to move on along the canal.
I was constantly working the Mirr-O-lure into every little offshoot and bend.
For a little deeper presentation
Frank changed to a Mirr-O-lure model 52 with a red back, gold spots on the side
and yellow bottom and I changed to a Saltwater Assign grub worked unweighted under
a Cajun Thunder (new product from Equalizer). Trout, particularly Gator Trout
have been known to like top water noise. I was praying that with working both
a Mirr-O-Lure and the Cajun Thunder we would locate our quest.
We continued catching Trout
in the 1-½ to 2-lb. range but nothing worthy of being called a Gator. Frank
reflected that a year earlier he had scouted a promising area just north of the
main Lagoon that looked excellent and should be out of the wind. So we both reeled
in, fired up the Mercury and warped our way far north in search of the backcountry’s
The area looked excellent
but the wind had everything spooked and held up back in the skinny water. The
water temperature was a nice warm 75 degrees and if we could only get back in
there I was optimistic that Mr. Red would feel like playing. The water kept getting
shallower and shallower and finally Frank said bring in the trolling motor and
allowing the wind to push us even further back into the small basin.
kept pointing out Reds just out of casting range. Not use to sight fishing in
the clear water I kept looking for a V wake not the actual fish. Frank pointed
out a Red just 20 yards in front of the boat. I looked in the direction he was
pointing but my aging eyes just could not see it. Frank using a 7-ft G-Loomis
rod fired his grub just past my head out to the Red. In the crystal clear water
I saw the Red turn around and nail the grub. Frank ran to the front of the boat
raising the rod high to hold the line out of the underwater obstruction while
the Shimano spinning reel screamed like a banshee as the light 6-lbs. line quickly
After running in one direction
to no avail Mr. Red reversed course and took off again. Frank quickly reeled in
the slack while running to the back of the boat all the time holding the rod high
anticipating the second run. The water was too shallow to even use the trolling
motor to pursue the Red, so all I could do was wait with Boga grips in hand to
land the fish. We landed that fish and sighted over 50 more fish that day, many
out of reach. Needless to say, our day of fishing the Lagoon with light
6 lbs. spinning gear was non-stop action. Previously published in Jacksonville
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