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Shallow Water Conquistadors

Monday May 29, 2017

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

May - 2017 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

May - 2017 Fishing Forecast

May in Central Florida is the beginning of great things for people looking toward an ocean fishing trip looking for fast action. King Mackerel, Cobia and even a few tarpon start to make a showing as May develops into a more summer like pattern. Inshore the fishing can be productive for early morning and evening anglers as the sun warms the gin clear waters of the Mosquito Lagoon and the Banana Rivers. Both Redfish and Spotted Sea Trout will be a popular gamefish that even the youngest anglers will appreciate and enjoy. Bring plenty of sunscreen, some polarized sunglasses and broadbill hat as the Florida sunshine will penetrate the most protected boating endeavors. May is the beginning of the summer in Florida as far as the temperatures are concerned, but there's often an afternoon shower, so be prepared to fish early and get off the water before the afternoon storms roll in. So remember, inshore fishing and offshore fishing are an equal opportunity in May in Central Florida.

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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.
Telephone: 321-868-4953
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Cocoa Beach, FL
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Inshore Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near 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.

Capt Richard and Capt Gina are awesome...! Very accommodating and they surely will guarantee anyone that goes out in the water with a great time!
It's been awhile since I've gone charter fishing with them but I still remember every single moment I was out with them. Thank you Capt Richard and Capt Gina. Keep up the great work and more success to you guys. Fish ON....!!!

about Lagooner Fishing Charters on June 26, 2015

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