Low Water Levels and Clearing Water Inshore

By |2019-01-22T01:01:37+00:001.22.2019|3 Comments

There have been a lot of fish in the Indian River Lagoon. I’ve been in the North Merritt Island area because it’s what I’m familiar with. I’m sure that much of what I write can be applied further north and in the ML.

There have been black drum around 12-25 lbs tailing on the flats in 2-3 ft of water most afternoons and evenings. There has been a lot of very small redfish and a few seatrout on channel drop-offs and under some docks. There have been a few slot size reds on shallow flats, but the low water levels are certainly changing where to target them. The wind direction has been a factor too.

All these fish will hit live shrimp, but the black drum are very picky. Try big dead shrimp; I’ve had great success with that. With the water being so clear, do not use too big of a hook or too heavy of a leader. I like to use 20 lb braid with a 4ft 20 lb fluorocarbon leader for the black drum. For the redfish, it’s essential to cast something light a long distance. I use 10 lb super slick braid and a long leader of 12 lb fluorocarbon. The 2/0 size circle hook is my preference, but if you’re shrimp are small, you may need to downsize,

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About the Author:

I'm Kurt Boyken from Merritt Island. I'm 18 and I've been fishing since 2010. I used to fish inshore near my home on the Indian River Lagoon. I used to catch black and red drum, trout, tarpon, and a few small snook. When weather permits, I will fish out of Port Canaveral for the many various species caught nearshore and offshore. My very favorite is big tarpon.


  1. JC January 22, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Great report, Kurt. I fished off the Pineda on the IRL side last night — it was pretty much the only choice that offered any barrier from the wind. We were inundated with catfish. It did seem that the water level around the sea wall was especially low, probably around only 15″ deep, which seemed to limit our opportunities a good bit.

  2. Maine Wanderer January 23, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for the report! I’m visiting family in that area next week and planned on taking a kayak out around the North Merritt Island area in the river. I know theres a cold front coming through,, I’m hoping the winds aren’t too bad. Any tips for fishing that area in those conditions? Thanks!

    • 321BigFish January 23, 2019 at 12:32 pm

      If it’s cold with a strong north/north-west wind, you’re best off to stay in the canals. If you use artificial, work it extremely slow. Live shrimp is the go to bait.

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