Gator Creek Topwater Fishing

Friday, August 4, 2017

Since I've been home this past week, I have enjoyed some great Gator Creek topwater fishing opportunities in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, despite the continued closure of Peacocks Pocket Road.

Almost every afternoon, rain or shine, I have managed to nail ladyfish of various sizes, spotted sea trout, juvenile tarpon, and even a large garfish that hit a Chug Bug in one of the culverts.

The best bite has been just before or during a rainstorm, but I have been having some surprisingly good topwater action from 5:00pm till dusk in many areas when the water is like glass.

Yesterday afternoon, I hit East Gator Creek late in the afternoon when the conditions were anything but conducive to topwater fishing.  The water was dead calm in most areas, the air temperature was in the high 80s, and no fish were hitting on the surface.

Despite the conditions, I started tossing a Baby Bass colored freshwater Chug Bug smeared up with some Inshore Saltwater formula Pro-Cure in some areas where I spotted fish the previously day. 

I fished several areas in the shallow water flats along the road by mostly fan casting to the opposite bank.  The trick to getting bit was to let the topwater bait sit completely still until the ripples dissipated and then just barely popping the Chug Bug.

The fish, if there was any in the area, would usually hit the bait as soon as the twitch was made; usually with explosive action.

Most of the fish I picked up yesterday were small to medium size ladyfish up to two feet, but I hooked and released a garfish in a culvert that was over 24" in length.

The garfish was never actually hooked, it's teeth were tangled in the leader loop in the front of the bait which made it easy for me to shake off at the bank.

I hooked and lost two gator sized sea trout that were both over 24" on a banana shaped walk the dog type bait that I picked up at Bass Pro Shops in Mobile, Al. (below).
After losing the second fish, I went back to tossing the Chug Bug.  For whatever reason, I was getting better hookups with that bait.

The only problem I have with Gator Creek topwater fishing is the gators that keep following the lures when a good fish hits.

Their predatory instincts kick in, especially when they see a fish on the line, and they become so pesky that you have to move on to fish the baits.

Peacocks Pocket road is also pretty good fishing right now close to dusk if you don't mind walking a bit.

I have been picking up some nice sea trout in the marsh canal and have spotted several oversize redfish cruising the banks after baitfish close to dusk.

I have been doing a good bit more fishing in the Mobile, Al. area, but you have to rely more on the tides to catch fish.

Regardless, you just can't beat the sunsets that we have in East Central Florida.

With any luck, I'll be able to get in a few more productive afternoons before I have to get back to work.

Tight Lines and bent rods...