Happy Sunday Spacefish Family,
Turkey Creek – I feel bad, like I have neglected you these last 3 years. I love kayak fishing the Eau Gallie River, and Crane Creek and over the last few years of living here have put in my time on both. I went out to Turkey Creek in August but had a horrible day – I spent more time ducking thunder storms than fishing. Then I moved on to fishing other places, but I have been wanting to get down there and put my time in and start a break down for Space Fish, and that’s what I did this weekend.
Where to Launch: So the cool thing about Turkey Creek from a Kayak Angler’s perspective is there are 4 places to launch from! This is a bigger river than Crane Creek or the Eau Gallie, and one of these launch points is a kayak launch way back there, in the Turkey Creek Sanctuary. But this past weekend I focused on the upper part of Turkey Creek, where the tributary meets the Indian River Lagoon, back to the area around the railroad track bridge. So I launched from two places this weekend; Castaway Point Park located directly off of US Highway 1 on the northwest tip of Turkey Creek – where the creek meets the IRL, and Goode Park located off of Bianca Drive NE. Both of these parks have restrooms available, and fishing piers. There is ample parking available at both. Goode Park also has a boat ramp. Across the creek from Goode Park is another place to launch from, a public boat ramp called Pollak Park – there is very little parking here, I actually pulled in there the day I launched from Goode, but I did not want to take up one of the few truck & trailer spots just to launch a kayak so I went back down to Goode and launched there.
Breaking Down Turkey Creek: So I am not sure if the big, round mouth of Turkey Creek is the actual “Palm Bay” or not, but I like to think it is. So for all intents and purposes I’d like to break down Turkey Creek into 3 sections: The Palm Bay, The Middle Section (Florida East Coast Railroad Bridge down to Port Malabar Blvd Bridge), and the Sanctuary. This past weekend I fished the Palm Bay, and the upper part of the middle section. I plan on continuing to explore this area throughout the year and will probably do a report on fishing the sanctuary and spillway later on, this winter.
Fishing Report: So the fishing was pretty good for me this weekend. I ended up catching 3 slot Snook, about a dozen or so smaller Snook, 3 decent Redfish, and 2 Mayan Cichlids (under-rated fish in my opinion – they are really cool looking and put up a great fight on micro tackle). I casted to about a dozen rolling Juvenile Tarpon, had one hook up, but did not land any. The cichlids came as by-catch when I was casting a micro swim bait at Tarpon. I caught all of the Reds and 9 Snook under docks in the bay, I was fishing two lures – the Salt Strong Power Prawn on a ¼ oz Ned Rig jighead, and the Slam Shady 3.5 inch paddle tail on a ⅛ oz Owner Twistlock hook. I caught more fish over the weekend on the paddle tail, but the shrimp lure was effective with 2 of the Reds, and one of the Slot Snook. The ned rig shrimp rig has been very effective over the past 3 weekends for me, throwing it right up to dock pilings and slowly hopping it through and out of the dock is a great way to pick up bites, and you just never know what may be lurking under a dock, especially when the sun gets up in the sky! When fishing the mangroves closer to the Hwy 1 bridge, and south of the RR bridge I fished the paddle tail on the weedless hook exclusively, this was where I picked up my biggest two Snook. The largest came fishing the mangroves SSE of the RR track bridge, and the other slot Snook was caught after I skipped the bait between the mangroves and a dock just north of the Hwy 1 bridge. The further I got back into the creek the bites got less frequent and the few Snook I did catch west of Goode Park were small, but this is where I caught the two cichlids. The rolling Tarpon I encountered were in stagnant wind protected waters west of Goode Park, going back to Port Malabar Blvd.
Conclusion: As a kayak angler, I really like fishing the tributaries of the Indian River Lagoon, it is more protected from the wind. The big 3 that we have to fish here on the Space Coast are the Eau Gallie River, Crane Creek and Turkey Creek. There are definite similarities between all 3, they fish pretty similarly, they all have marina’s towards their mouths and offer the angler several ways to attack. The key to inshore fishing is structure, with seagrass all but vanquished in the lagoon system the structures to key in on are: Mangroves, Docks and Bridges. All of these tributaries offer all 3 on any given trip which is what makes them fun, and effective fisheries. The nice thing about these tributaries for the paddler is the water is usually calmer here than in the IRL due to wind protection. When I fish the lagoon I prefer to be in an area where there are multiple mangrove islands to work in and out of. The scenery on these tributaries is gorgeous, and all 3 are great places to enjoy a day on the water, with paddle and rod in hand.
I hope everyone has a great week – make sure to thank a Veteran for their service this week! We are blessed to live in a country where we have the privilege, freedom and economic good fortune to chase fish in our free time. God Bless America, and tight lines!
Until next time!