We started our 3 day weekend early Saturday morning after driving from Fort Lauderdale, grabbing Jerry’s boat from a storage unit in an industrial complex in the middle of nowhere, getting to Mosquito Lagoon Fish Camp, unpacking quickly, loading the boat, and launching boat! Sigh… good thing we left at 1 AM. Tired and weary we still made it out on the water at 6 AM.
We started off on a flat know to us as sunken tree basin in an area only know as the big bowl. A Rapala skitter V was the starting bait of choice and to no surprise after peppering the waters surface for a short period of time a seatrout breaches on the skitter V and fish on. After a short fight I swing him in the boat grabbing the line and bending my rod how she’s not supposed to be bent “snap” there goes the rod. Needless to say a 22″ trout in the cooler. I’m a firm believer you have to give to the lagoon to get from it hahaha. That being over we moved closer to the big bowl and around it with only one small 19″ red to show for it after a couple hours.
It’s now around 9 and I decide it’s time to move to an area we call Brian’s. A large L shaped area going toward the north end of the lagoon that has a rectangular shaped flat with tapered drop offs all around leading to 2 to 3 foot of water. After milling about for a couple hours we decided to pack it in, go have lunch at Goodrich restaurant, and go back to the camp and drink beer.
6:00 AM, the second day I decided to commit to the north end of the lagoon and sightfish. Well… it went well in terms of the sighting of fish but that’s just because I was scaring them, they would move on, I’d try to cast to them and… rejection. After several hours of this I decided it best we just soak bait around the east end of “Brian’s” on a combo of a point/drop off. After an hour or so of moving around this small area letting mullet chunks soak the line on Jerry’s open bailed diawa BG starts streaming off, he closes the bail and a nice bend is put in his 8′ 1/2″ rod as line burns off the reel. After a nice fight the tired 28″ red folds into the net and he’s caught! After releasing the redfish and feeling as though the day could get “fishy” we are excited to get our baits back in the water.
The fishy feeling spectrum narrowed to a state of being abysmal, so we called it a morning. I insinuated it might be a good idea to get some live bait and hit some deeper dropoffs around a few islands we know of on the west side of the lagoon. Jerry agreed so off to net bait it was. An exhausting 30 or so minutes of repeatedly loading and throwing a 10′ cast net was not for nothing. Locked and loaded with a plethora of pigfish, pinfish, mullet, and croakers we were now ready to take on the afternoon.
After a quick run back to the camp for a lunch of rigatoni a la vodka (homemade). We headed back out to the lagoon with high hopes for some action. Normally in the summer we only fish the morning then go back in at noon or a little earlier and eat and drink beer, but this time we were not ready to call it quits. Hungry for the bite we positioned ourselves on a drop off we had caught a decent amount of solid trout on. I put on a croaker and got jerry a mullet. Jerry’s mullet decided to wonder to the total opposite direction in which he was casted, up wind (bear in mind this is no small mullet at 8″). I tell Jerry, “Screw it, let him go, who cares. Makes it easier on us when we drift up.”
I catch a nice seatrout; he goes in the cooler. I look at Jerry and in a split second the line on his reel goes flying off, he flips the bail and sets the hook, the rod doubles over…. he said “I think I’m stuck…”
The line begins to play the reel begins to play a true symphony as it burns off the BG in outstanding fashion. Whatever it is — it’s big. It wasn’t until we had to pull the poles and chase him that we realized what and more importantly how big it actually was. Now we are a couple minutes in and we get her close enough to see her. I cry out, “It’s a red!!! A f****** pig,” as she takes another huge surge for deeper water!
After a long hard fought battle picking up power poles, running around the boat, banging shins, and making desperate attempts to outmaneuver the giant, she finally succumbed to to power of the rod and reel. There she was, a whopping 42″ redfish. We released her back to the green water and said goodbye after a long revival. After catching a couple more nice trout, we went back to camp riding high. We cleaned fish, cleaned up, had a spot of dinner, and off to bed eagerly awaiting day three.
It’s hard to top a day with a trophy like that one but we had to try! We started the morning off at Brian’s soaking mullet chunks and blue crab nuggets waiting for a hungry redfish. Line starts moving off my daiwa pluton with the crab on it. I grab the rod and set up. Redfish on! The fight was brief. I broke him off horsing him away from my other rod and line that was still out. Sigh…. rookie move. Oh well, after missing a couple more opportunities we went back to the east side of Brian’s and I was lucky to redeem myself with nice 29″ red off another blue crab morsel.
We packed it in had lunch and headed back out for the evening trip at 4PM or so. By 7:00 it was time to go. Jerry hooked up with a small tarpon as soon as we got out, it came unbuttoned and not even a dirty look until literally the final seconds of the final hour of the final day, just when I was about to reel in, call it a day and go… the lagoon wasn’t done with me… I feel a small tick at the end of the line and nothing. So I reel in to put the rods away and boom. The 7’6″ is bent hard and off goes an end of slot red taking a good amount of drag. A nice little fight later he ends up in the cooler and we immediately pack up to get back to camp and clean up before it got too dark.
A great time was had by all. Trophy fish, big trout, and a whole lot of fun. Back to Fort Lauderdale until the next trip in a couple weeks!