After making the long tow down to the Turtle Mound area, I launched my 17-foot Polar at the free ramp.
Although there is a toll booth at the entrance to the Canaveral National Seashore, boaters were grandfathered in and need not pay. I was there because fishing near my home in Ormond-by-the-Sea stinks. In my last three trips I had only brought home two small fish. Time to strike out for points south.
The big Mosquito Lagoon offers endless places for me to try. After the launch, I headed south past Turtle Mound and, at Eldora, I turned west. At the southern tip of Orange Island, I dropped the trolling motor.
The water quality was pretty good and the tide was just beginning to go out. Plenty of water right then, but I knew I had better pay attention or I could be out pushing in a couple hours.
Casting with my red and white, top water MirrOlure began slowly, but soon I landed a small lady fish. That 14-inch lady changed my plans. Instead of moving along and casting, I headed for a submerged oyster bar I knew had held red drum in the past.
Ladyfish chunks are irresistible to redfish, so I cut a two-inch piece and tossed it into the drop off near the oysters. I let that bait soak and took up another rod that was baited with my chartreuse shrimp tail jig. On the third toss I felt a solid hookup and, as I played the scrappy undersized red, I saw my other rod bend. As quickly as I could, I put the 16-inch red into the boat and left it to flop on the deck. The reel on the rod with the ladyfish began to sing and, before too long, I had a nice 22-inch keeper red on board.
Having two reds on at once is sure to get your heart pumping and I knew I was lucky to get them both to the boat. I released the smaller one and put the keeper on ice. Catching that pair had pretty well spooked up that area, so I moved on.
Using the tide and the electric motor, I soon went through a narrow pass between two islands. There I landed a nice 16-inch sea trout on the jig and on my next cast had another hit. I anchored up. I was fairly certain the small hole held a school of trout. On each cast I would get a hit, but not hard enough to land one. They seemed to be just tasting the jig the way a female large mouth bass would to try and get it out of the nest.
Once they stopped biting altogether, I switched to the pink hard cider shrimp tail and on the first cast I had another trout identical to the first. Soon the same pattern was repeating. The fish seemed to be barely interested in hitting the pink jig.
That sent me to my tackle bag where I chose the brown Light Beer shrimp tail. I know that the shrimp in the southern end of Volusia County tend to be more brown colored and this bait seemed perfect. The hits began anew and pretty quickly I had another pair of 16-inch sea trout.
Now I had a red limit and a trout limit and fishing was mostly over. I did travel a bit to look for large, cruising reds but with little luck. I spooked up a pair at Leo's hole, but couldn't get them to hit. Now the water was getting skinny and I knew it was time to leave.
Folks, if you ever have the same experience with closely holding trout, remember to keep switching baits. If you use my chartreuse shrimp tail, you may need to keep a few other colors on hand. Contact Rick at Grandslam Baits in Edgewater and pick up a few other colors. You may need them.
Dan Smith has fished the waters of Volusia County for more than 40 years. Email questions and comments to email@example.com. His book, “I Swear the Snook Drowned,” is available for purchase for $10.95 at (386) 441-7793.