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Shallow Water Conquistadors

Saturday June 23, 2018

An excursion into the briney backwaters and mangrove shorelines of the Mosquito Lagoon or other Brevard County Florida inshore waterways with a fly rod is like an passage back in time when life's demands were well defined and less complicated. Time travel is not required, only a short plane flight and a car ride will transport you to one of the nation’s most stunning seashores and saltwater lagoons where you can ponder life’s meaning and drift away while gliding along gin clear grass beds in the shadow of spacecraft venturing beyond our solar system. Your thoughts may drift to meaningless questions about fishing as we speculate: “Do fish give as much thought about us as we do of them?” We converse about vacations and contemplate destinations around the pursuit of fish and recreation. In this quest, Americans spend billions of dollars each year on tackle, clothing, travel and equipment seeking sports fishing trips to stalk an aquatic beast that’s simply foraging for it’s next morsel. Are we insane? Is this obsession with nature and her willingness to give us a good time worth the expense? These questions must be answered and our deftness to practicality drives us to solve these mysteries without regard to value or time.

Until recent years, fishing has almost exclusively been a man's obsession, modern equipment and comforts have inspired women and children to openly express their passion about the outdoors while feeling the primal call of nature to enjoy recreation outside the boundaries of the home and playgrounds. Juan Ponce de León explored this same territory hundreds of years before where Spanish Conquistadors led legions of men looking for gold and loot. Today’s families explore the same shorelines looking for bronze redfish and spotted sea trout with wisping fly rods then share lunch together at the local eatery afterward while while sending photos and stories to their loved ones far away on Facebook or Instagram.

The popularity of Shallow Water Fishing has exploded over the last several decades with anglers looking for an alternative to deep sea or offshore saltwater fishing. Sea sickness and nausea are not an inshore issue and there’s a certain amount of intimacy with the coastal marshes, bays and shorelines that make you feel connected to the habitat. I often plead with my anglers, “We all need to unwind and feel the sunshine and wind on our face periodically It’s never been so necessary to get outdoors than in the 21st century. The demands of life are more complicated, taking time to immerse ourselves in the outdoors is an important part of our health and wellbeing.”

I’m not educated in psychology nor any other form of the human mind, but I do know that we’ve sped our lives up to the point where expectations are high and time seems limited. The Spanish explorers spent lifetimes exploring the regions that are vacations for us. What takes us a few days took Ponce de Leon decades with danger and consequences while we worry about finances and if we brought enough snacks for our daily outing, Juan wondered if his ship would weather the next storm and if real danger lurked around each peninsula, the millennial is distressed about whether or not he can make it home in time for dinner...

Juan Ponce de Leon’s navigation skills allowed him to explore unknown regions and follow his instincts. Today’s Floridian explorers need only be concerned about where the next fish on their excursion can be found and whether their presentation will entice a bite. Fly fishing is not for everyone, the enthusiast finds satisfaction with connecting their skills and craft against mother nature and their quarry. It’s “one on one” with a tailing redfish or putting that perfect cast under a mangrove overhang to make that outright presentation with a handmade fly or streamer. “I remember my first big redfish on fly that our lifelong friend Ray Norman made for me”, Gina remarks. “Captain Richard teased a school of charging bull reds to the side of the boat and a eagerly presently streamer found it’s mark with a powerful thirty pound redfish. I’ve rarely had the satisfaction when I fish with traditional spinning or casting methods and I had the pleasure of telling Ray about his remarkable fly tying abilities that helped me capture my biggest fish on fly.”

I’m fond of combining shallow water, fly fishing and the craft of creating my own flies. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share time with my daughter building flies at home and then completing the endeavor with a day on the water using their creations that offer remarkable satisfaction. Some of the color combinations my younger kids fashioned have been utter failures, but others have unwittingly become family favorites with small modifications being made over the years to make our own patterns, most are simple variations of Clouser or Deceivers modified to our taste and appeal for fun. It’s my belief that a properly presented fly will most often get the strike over color or pattern selection but when color, pattern and presentation are suitably combined the prospects of having the fish take is greatly increased.

If you’re thinking about booking a fly fishing excursion to the Central Florida area, it’s generally the convention to bring your own equipment and flies, but Captain Richard always has an assortment of streamers for his customers to choose from. Fly rods are like and extension of yourself and bringing a rod that you are accustomed to is proper etiquette and makes sense as fly rods have their own feel and characteristics that may not accommodate each angler. You don’t have to be a Conquistador to experience a day of fishing on Florida’s east coast, but you might want to keep in mind that a day on the water beats any day at work, it’s the simple things in life that make the best memories.

Fly Fishing The Shallow Water

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: May 03 2017 01:35:53.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

June - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

June - 2018 Fishing Forecast

June of 2018 is looking to be a hot summer with hot fishing off of East Central Florida near Cocoa Beach. Orlando visitors should anticipate the warm weather and great fishing that coastal and offshore fishing provides in the warm Atlantic Ocean this time of year. Last year in 2017 we saw many tarpon exceeding 100 pounds caught off the Brevard County beaches along with a good amount of sharks, king mackerel and really big Jack Crevelle that kept things interesting. Looking forward to this year's forecast on the Space Coast remember that the coastal waters along the Atlantic seaboard and Ocean will probably be the most productive fishing during the month of June and as we look in to August the ocean will look to be the most inviting destination for anglers in the heat of the Central Florida Summer.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Having been fishing a number of times over the years with Captain Richard I can highly recommend Lagooner Charters. We have always had a great time and he puts you on the fish. Richard and Gina have not only been our charter captains but have become our friends. Give them a try you won't be disappointed.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on February 12, 2015

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