Monday, January 21, 2008

Capt. John Kumiski: Florida Fishing Report

Capt. John Kumiski is a Florida fishing guide and the author of several books on fly fishing in Salt Water. He sends us regular fishing reports from his home waters on Florida's Space Coast.
Space Coast Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 1/20/08
Upcoming Events:
-On January 22nd I’ll be giving a presentation to the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers in Sarasota, Florida. Contact John Freeman at 941.228.5938 for information.
-From January 25 through 27 I’ll be a featured fly tyer at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, New Jersey. I always enjoy that freezing weather they have there.
-On February 2 I will be holding a Show and Tell Seminar at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Visit for more information.
-On February 12 I’ll be speaking to the Backcountry Flyfishing Association in Orlando. Contact Paul Norton at 407.620.7639 for more information.
-On March 30 I’ll be giving a program at the FFF Flyfishing Expo in Lakeland, Florida.
Well! It has been quite the miserable week weather-wise. As a result I got out only two days. Sunday last (1/13) Chris Pederson and his six year old grandson Sebastian joined me in Karl Dienst’s Hewes (Many thanks to Karl for letting me borrow his skiff!). We fished the Mosquito Lagoon. The weather was overcast and threatening rain all day, wind about 12 out of the west. We found pretty much the same thing wherever we looked, which is to say very little. When you have a youngster in the boat you especially want some action, but it just wasn’t happening. We got two slot trout all day. We did find a few tailers late in the day but couldn’t buy a strike. On top of that we got caught in a thunderstorm at the end of the day and got very wet, and of course scared to death by the frequent and nearby lightning bolts. At least that part of the day was eventful! And, we didn’t get fried, always a good thing. Hey, I had fun!
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I watched the trees rock back and forth while I worked on putting up the stock photo images into That process is not completed, but many of the pages are up and working. I am very excited by this site! Cheryl Kumiski, official sister of John Kumiski and therefore not necessarily an unbiased observer, wrote, “nicely impressive. i am in love with the skyscape page. you need more animals. good job and well done. i enjoyed a few hours there.” I am proud to say that Cheryl is an artist working in glass. Her website can be visited at
Thursday evening, the weather forecast for Friday was for overcast skies and northwest winds at 5-10, with a high of 70 degrees. Sick to death of looking at a computer screen I loaded a kayak on the roof. Friday morning found me paddling in the no motor zone.
It never got close to 70 degrees, and it was overcast with occasional drizzle. The wind was as predicted. Not ideal conditions, but I had to look. I started just after 7 and was out for almost two hours when I spotted my first fish, a single tail sticking out of the water. It was weird because it wasn’t moving, it was just sticking up out of the water. However, nearby another tail would appear sporadically. I staked out the yak and waded over.
I tossed the redfish worm a dozen times, didn’t get a sniff, and the tail disappeared. While I waited, hoping it would reappear, I changed flies to a Merkin. The tail reappeared a few yards away, and I tossed the fly several more times. I couldn’t see the fish because of the clouds, but you just know when you’re dragging it right by their nose. No response, and the tail disappeared again.
By this time there had been enough water movement that I figured there were a few other fish around. I took a blind cast away from my target fish and started crawling the Merkin along the bottom. Suddenly, “thump.” Real solid. I set the hook, and the tractor pull was joined.
I battled that fish hard for about fifteen minutes. I tried to keep him from taking any line, and although he got close, he never reached the backing. On the other hand, he wouldn’t let me move him either, and I never did get a look at him. Then the hook disengaged. I pulled in the fly, expecting to see a bent hook. It was, but only a little bit. It just came unbuttoned. Based on the time I spent connected via the five weight I would guess that it was the biggest fish I’d hooked in a year or more (yes I had a crappy tarpon season least year, one that lasted less than a week and that was plagued by terrible weather). Anyway I can safely guess that because I lost the fish!
I was out until after 1 PM and never got another shot. I hardly saw anything else, just a couple mud puffs and wakes as I ran over an unseen inhabitant of Neptune’s kingdom. Yesterday I picked up the now-rigged Mitzi. Today the forecast high is 57 degrees with 20 mph winds. And, there are two championship football games starting in less than an hour! The Mitzi’s maiden voyage will have to wait until tomorrow.
Life is short- GO FISHING!!!
Life is great and I love my work!
John Kumiskiwww.spottedtail.commember Florida Outdoor Writers Association (, Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (, Indian River Guides association (

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