I had to go to Orlando for a business trip during the week after Thanksgiving. Every time I go on a trip that extends to Thursday or Friday, I immediately evaluate the opportunity to extend that trip into a local fishing expedition. In this case, I decided to take vacation and go down a few days early for the meeting to get out on the water.
I had an advantage on this one. One of my long time friends, Eph, lives in Orlando, has a boat, and is an avid fishing addict. Perfect.
We linked up at 0730 on a mixed weather Tuesday morning and drove the hour from Orlando to the Space Coast. It had been a while since my friend had been over on this side of the world, so it took a bit to remember how to get to the boat launch, but we found it with minimal delay. What rolled out in front of me was a majestic scene of a deep, dark green bay dotted with islands all around. The boat, which Eph had built himself, rolled off the trailer no problem and we floated into the gentle swells as he kicked the motor into gear. Whoops.
The engine misfired, coughed and spit. Then it would catch. Then it would die. It ran enough to get us out into the middle of the lagoon and coughed one last time and gave up the ghost. As I evaluated the possibility of swimming to shore without getting eaten by a shark, Eph immediately took decisive action. The good news is that Eph is a mechanic; a real mechanic who masquerades as a PhD toting mathematical simulation expert for a major defense corporation. I was amazed as he rooted around in a well on the boat and pulled out a single screwdriver and one of those cheap looking wrenches that you get with a bike to undo the two sizes of nuts that hold on the bike wheels. Turns out that this was all he needed.
Within the space of 20 minutes, he had popped the carburetor off, identified which barrel was clogged and with some educated whacks and a few puffs of air, dislodged the garbage. We were back in business and cruising at 25 - 30 mph within minutes. Amazing.
We rolled over to the shallow, vegetation filled area to the east of Ginny Cove and went to work. We were using spin rods with a top water bait. The technique was to fling it out as far as you could go and then retrieve it in jerks. This agitates the redfish, mimics baitfish trying to escape and theoretically provokes a strike.
The theory was all I was able to see this day. While the mullet jumped all around us, dolphins played and we watched rays wander by, no redfish was to be had. We saw a few in the aquarium-clear water, but nada. Nuthin'
However, a day on the water beats the hell out of any day at work and I certainly did not mind the lack of action a bit. The sun would come and go, creating a magic sparkle on the smooth water during the transitions. The clouds were just enough to provide some welcome cover as it did climb up close to 90 degrees. Top this off with being able to reconnect in person with an old friend, and you could not really ask for a better day. Well..... maybe a fish or three would have improved it.
Remember to refer to my rating explanations - these are based on what I look for - so RED for Physical Fitness translates to easy physically - you do not need to be in shape to fish this section. I prefer terrain that is tough to get into and out of.
On the way back into the dock, we worked the narrow channel, throwing the top water bait up against the shore and repeating the jerks. Eph noticed a swill of action up in front of us and we maneuvered the boat to get close enough to fish it. After all, action under the surface usually indicates larger fish chasing smaller fish and we had a lure that looked like one of the small guys.
Both of us started working the disturbance and were startled after a few casts to realize it was a gator that was causing it! Geez. This must be Florida. None of those bad boys up here in the mid-Atlantic. Not wanting to bother a creature that could have been as long as our 14 foot boat, we retreated to the other side of the channel and continued to work our way back but our luck, or lack of, continued to hold.
Bottom line: This is a great spot for redfish even though I was not able to personally confirm it. The structure of the bottom is perfect. I wish I had my long rod, but it was down for maintenance and waiting for a replacement rod tip to be shipped from TFO (which was waiting for me when I got home).
Getting there: I'm not real sure as I was the passenger. You basically navigate to Titusville and enter some park. You can see the details from the map up above. It looks like you stay on Rt 3 and navigate your way to the launch site. This particular area is also marked on all the "hot spot" maps you can buy at Walmart in Florida.