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Goodbye ’19 Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report

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Goodbye ’19 Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report

Thank you for reading this Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report. And best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new decade!!!

We’ve had a lot of rain here locally. The Econlockhatchee gauge went from 2.5 feet to almost 6 feet. The St. Johns went up about the same amount. All the little minnows the fish were gorging themselves on are back in the flooded grass. The fishing went right down the tubes.

That being said, there are reports of shad being caught. I have yet to try.

Went scouting on the Indian River Lagoon last Thursday. Cloudy and rainy, it was hard to see in the high water, even though the water was what passes for clean these days. There was a lot of bait around. Fishing was not hot, but I got a few trout and one black drum of moderate size, all on plastic shad.

The trout have been more reliable than anything else.

Went scouting again Friday, different area. Did not see much bait and the water was not as clean, although the weather was the same. Started off by tossing a Deadly Combo. Got a few trout, and had two whack the float. Tossed a Chug Bug for a while, got at least a dozen strikes. I had changed the hooks to singles on this plug. They failed miserably, only hooking a single fish. At least I didn’t hurt any.

Got a black drum on a DOA Shrimp.

Got several more trout and a black drum on a gray DOA Shrimp. On the way back to the ramp I ran through a huge flock of ducks, for at least 15 minutes. Probably the most I’ve ever seen. Not a duck hunter, but still loved to see that!

Sunday’s charter was Travis and Jessica, from Fairbanks, Alaska. Travis wanted to fly fish, even though it was still cloudy with showers and windy. I tied a popper on his leader. He got bit almost immediately. I think it surprised him because he missed it. He did not miss many more, getting four or five solid trout of around 20 inches.
Jessica tossed a Deadly Combo and did some damage on the trout as well.

We spent the last hour trying to sight fish. We did not get a fish but had shots at several reds (yes I was happily surprised). For a day with shaky weather it turned out to be decent, fishing-wise.

Monday Dr. Todd from Atlanta, my longest-tenured angler, joined me and he brought his nine-year-old nephew, Ashton. Even though Todd is a fly caster I had three dozen shrimp in the cooler. Good call, with a nine year old.

I knew a spot where there had been some black drum. We went there. The fish were not there.

I knew a spot where there had been some trout. We went there. The fish were not there.

We went where I had gotten the trout the previous day. Wind and waves made it hard to fish. We did not touch one.

I was getting a little desperate. We went to where I had sight fished the previous day. By soaking some shrimp (they were anemic little things) we managed an almost respectable bag of a half-dozen hardhead cats, two black drum, and two redfish, one of which had fifteen spots.

One of the redfish had fifteen spots.

Most importantly, Ashton caught the biggest fish he’d ever gotten. So life was good!

Thanks for reading this Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report! Have a happy New Year’s Eve!

Life is great and I love my work!

Every day is a blessing. Don’t waste it- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski, author of Fishing Florida by Paddle- An Angler’s Guide

Purchase Fishing Florida by Paddle- An Angler’s Guide at

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2019. All rights are reserved.