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Fly Fishing for Redfish

Spawning Redfish On The Fly

Monday May 29, 2017

Probably the most popular fish sought out on fly in the Indian River Lagoon is the hard fighting redfish on the shallow water grassbeds. Popularized over the last twenty five years on television fishing shows, the Indian River produces good numbers of redfish in an environment that 's conducive for flyfishing enthusiast to target while sightfishing.

A boat is not required to fish the Indian River Lagoon as wading or kayaking can be done for the more adventurous, but a good shallow water skiff makes fishing this large body of water easier. Large open bays with small coves and tributaries along mangrove shorelines and sandbars are always good areas to look for feeding redfish.

Popular flies include streamers and crustacean intimations like shrimp and crabs. Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides uses Clousers and variations of the clouser in the shallow water grass flats. I might dress the fly up a little more than the standard Clouser Minnow, but it's a fly weighted "hook up" and with small dumbbell eyes in various sizes to get it down where the fish are feeding. I almost always have some sort of weed guard and I strip the flies in smaller, popping fashion to imitate shrimp or small minnows.

Redfish will eat almost anything... I tell my customers that reds are like bald eagles, they can be highly predacious or eat carrion on the side of the road. Reds love a fresh dead bait, but they also readily take a properly placed fly or artificial lure.

If you're used to fly fishing streams and narrow bands of water, study up on the 55-75 foot cast for redfish, because the red often demands a longer cast with a fair amount of accuracy. Getting the fly in their zone is the key for any fishery, but the red will require a little more accuracy than most in the Indian River because of it's tannic colored water that's been susceptible to algae blooms in recent years.

During late August thru mid October you can often find reds in large schools breeding in the Indian River Lagoon. It's at this time you'll land your largest redfish in excess of 25 pounds and often in the 40 pound range. Larger more prominent flies should be used like deceivers or even poppers to get their attention. Fast moving aggressive redfish hyped up in the spawn are not in the mood for tiny morsels, but want an easy meal and calories.

redfish streamer fly the redfish candy

A variation of the Clouser tied with feathers and cactus chennille make for and excellent redfish fly. These streamers are tied in chartreus, but can easily be toned down to about any color variation you desire.

Known as a fish that will not quit, redfish can be absolute brutes. And as such, they have become one of the most sought after fish in the shallows of Florida. Since their protection in the mid 1980's redfish numbers have proliferated and are especially abundant and large on the east central Florida coastline. Redfish have a coppery bronze color with a tinge of red, color will vary depending on water clarity. Normally redfish have one spot on the base of their tails but often there are several or many spots. Take a look at these spots caught by a lagooner fisherman. [LOOK]

East Central Florida boast some of the best inshore and estuary fishing for redfish in the world. Our redfish are renown for both quantity and quality. They are found in the lagoon systems all around the coast of Florida and some are even found offshore. This species is often found feeding in less than one foot of water while foraging for crustaceans, fish and small mollusk. Often they are in such shallow water that you can see their tales and backs protruding from the water, hence the term "tailing redfish".

Best Redfish Locations

Mosquito Lagoon
Sightfishing Mecca from Oakhill to Playlinda Beach. World famous fishing waters in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Northern Brevard County. Mosquito Lagoon can have crystal clear water allowing flyfisherman and light-tackle fisherman great opportunities to sight fish for tailing redfish and other species.

Northern Indian River Lagoon
Banana Creek, Titusville, Carbide Flats, Haulover Canal, Dummit Cove, Scottsmore are only some of the known redfish haunts in this area.

The Banana River has a NMZ or No Motorized Zone in the very north adjacent to Canaveral Airforce Base and NASA property. This are can be extremely productive for big schooling redfish as they are not subjected to motor boats and fishing pressure.

Remarks

Orlando Redfish
Sebastian Redfish
Mosquito Lagoon Redfish
Banana River Guide Service
Indian River Redfish Guide
Releasing Redfish
Indian River Redfish

Regulations

Not less than 18" or more than 27" and only 1 fish per harvester per day.

State Record

51 lbs., 8 ozs.

Fly Fishing For Redfish

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 08 2016 11:48:30.

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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204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL
USA

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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.

had a awesome day fishing, cap is very knowledgable and put us on the fish almost immediately, will definitely be back again.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on June 25, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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