Christmas Orlando Fishing Report
This is the 2016 Christmas Orlando Fishing Report, December 24. Best wishes to all for a holiday season full of joy, and a happy and healthy new year full of fishing adventures!
We fished the Mosquito Lagoon two days, and the St. Johns River three days. Of course results were mixed.
Sunday I went paddling on the St. Johns. It was warm and sunny and fish were popping fry minnows all over the river. At the mouth of the Econ there was another paddling fly caster who steadily caught 12 inch bass on a small white streamer. I joined him (he was very gracious) and caught several myself, some on a gurgler.
At other points along the river a small streamer netted me a crappie, some bluegills, redbellies, and stumpknockers, and several more bass. Some of the largemouths were as small as I’ve caught, beautiful little mini-fish. It was a good day and I made a note to return later in the week.
Monday Tammy joined me for some Mosquito Lagoon scouting. We launched the Mitzi at River Breeze and fished around Oak Hill area. We caught quite a few trout and redfish, some decent if not large ones, even found some tailing fish. The DOA CAL shad was the lure de jour. The day was spectacular if the fishing wasn’t, and fishing with Tammy is always fun.
Wednesday was the winter solstice, historically, or perhaps more accurately prehistorically, the most important day of the year. That’s the day the time of daylight stops getting less and starts lengthening, a cause for celebration! My friend Dr. Todd Preuss joined me for some St. Johns River fly fishing. As soon as I walked out the door I knew it would be a tough day. The air temperature had dropped close to 20 degrees, the sky was low and grey, and the wind was rocking the trees. All the fish that were there on Sunday were lying on the bottom someplace where we could not find them. We got four fish all day, with the best being a big, black bluegill that Todd fooled on a popping bug. After Sunday it was disappointing fish-wise, although it’s always enjoyable fishing with Todd.
Thursday Robert and Spencer Cutts, a father-son team from Orlando, joined me for some Mosquito Lagoon fishing. The wind was honkin out of the north, the water had dropped close to a foot, and I did not know what to expect. Some pelicans were diving on a hole so I stopped to check it out. Two days of scouting, wasted!
The hole had fish in it. They weren’t stacked up in there, but we got seven or eight redfish and a couple of beautiful trout. Again, the lure de jour was the DOA CAL shad, although we also used some cut mullet to good effect.
When that hole stopped producing we went to another, from which we pulled another six or seven, including a gorgeous, 28 inch, 12 spot redfish. Other holes we tried were fishless, so we visited spot #2 again and got one more red before calling it an (excellent) day.
I enjoyed tremendously the curiosity and enthusiasm of Cutts the Younger, and Dad was pretty funny too. Thanks to both of them for a great day!
Friday afternoon was warm and sunny. I wondered if the fish were going off on the St. Johns again so I dropped the kayak in at the Jolly Gator and went a’paddling. Six bass and 12 sunfish later, all on fly, I had my answer. The only downside to an otherwise lovely afternoon was the almost astonishing amount of boat traffic on the river. Fishing was good, though.
Shannon Dunn sent me the following email, of great interest to fly fishers of Appalachian trout-
“We’ve recently published a guide to choosing trout flies, together with Bill Bernhardt of NC Fishing, that you may find useful:
I like their keep it simple approach.
And that is the 2016 Christmas Orlando Fishing Report! Have a great holiday!!
Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short- Go Fishing!