Mosquito Lagoon Fishing

Join World Renowned Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Guide, Captain Richard, to Sight fish the Shallow Water on Light Tackle or Fly Fish.
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Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report, Trips and Information

 

Mosquito Lagoon on Florida’s Space Coast host a shallow, golden waterway adjacent to Canaveral National Seashore and Playalinda Beach. Its golden tint is because of the natural tannic trickling from the freshwater feeder tributaries and rain covered marshes fringing the lagoon’s shorelines. It’s also golden-red when the sunlight reflects off the backs of large schooling redfish often numbering in the hundreds and seen by anglers with our Mosquito Lagoon Guides.

Mosquito Lagoon offers many different challenges for the angler simply by the diverse topography and structure provided. Bottom variations like the famous Tiger Shoals in the middle of the lagoon or the Whale Tail Shoal in the southern part of the lagoon offer places for fish to relate and forage for food. Mangrove shorelines and saltwater marshes combined with crystal clear water and healthy seagrass void of human development make the lagoon a virtual paradise for anglers as well as fish. 

mosquito lagoon fishing bull reds

Fisherman’s Mecca may be an appropriate term for the lagoon over the last decade and a half. If there was a downside to the tremendous success when the redfish rebounded in the mid-1980’s, with the lagoon being found out and hammered by every fishing celebrity and their shows from ESPN’s Outdoor channel to videos/DVD’s mass marketed in Bass Pro, Cabelas, and the internet. Weekend warriors and overzealous part-time fishing guides are sometimes putting extreme pressure on the fish and the lagoon’s fragile environment. Anglers desiring to fish Mosquito Lagoon may want to consider trips on a weekday, staying away from Saturday and Sunday crowds. The smarter anglers will wait till the late fall, winter and spring and remain off the lagoon during the summer months. Many anglers are on the water an hour or more before dawn to be in place for the sunrise before less exuberant boaters get on the water. None-the-less Mosquito Lagoon still holds plenty of redfish for anglers wishing to sight fish with artificial, fly or live baits.

Fishing on Mosquito Lagoon North

Northern Mosquito Lagoon near Oakhill and Apollo beach consisting of winding waterways, islands, sandbars oyster bars, creeks, troughs, and holes. It’s not as bright as the southern part of the lagoon, but it can be every bit as productive. Many anglers caught-up in the sight fishing craze have forgotten how fun it is to catch fish with more traditional methods or modified versions that are tried and true. Here in the northern end, a smart angler can catch quantities of fish by merely using methods from live bait to slinging plugs such as top waters or jigs; fly fishers will like poppers and dahlberg diver type patterns that produce noise or wakes.

New Smyrna Inlet ebbs its tidal currents in and out every six hours and with it comes to a change of tide and flow over the northern lagoon. Fish react differently at tide phases and so should the angler. Incoming tides generally get big sea trout and pods of redfish feeding along oyster bars and dropoffs. Dropping flows tend to send fish deeper and further away from the bars and land. Try using jerk baits or subtle top waters around dropoffs and holes during falling tides. Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Guide, Captain Richard Bradley likes to live bait around holes by chumming with greenies or hooking on finger mullet when the conditions are not optimum for sight fishing. It may not be as glorious but more often than not these old methods out produce the newfangled sight fishing that’s popularized by the camera and southern Mosquito Lagoon.

Mosquito Lagoon Middles

By far the most famous part of the lagoon is the middle section. Tiger Shoals marks the middle of the bay with an old plane wreck protruding from its southern end. East of Tiger shoals is marl of islands and saltwater marshes adjacent to Playlinda and Apollo Beach, both meccas for the naturalist, sun worshippers, and surfers.  There are so many nooks and crannies on the eastern shoreline where fiddler crabs are abundant, and raccoons wade the mudflats. You’ll find places like twin palms where traditionally redfish schools and skittish trout lurk in the grass and marl bottom. Sight fishers can get buck fever by casting with pinpoint accuracy at the tailing redfish lazily wallowing in the shallow waters and sandbars. West of Tiger Shoals is a series of islands often referred to as the clinkers.  If you are looking for shelter from the wind, use these islands as a refuge. Keeper-sized redfish and trout stay comfortable with crab, shrimp and baitfish nearby in these warm shallow backwaters.

Mosquito lagoon fishing redfish

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report November 2018

Autumn Lagoon
It's official, the autumn winds are here, and the Mosquito Lagoon is starting to look toward its winter patterns. The water temperatures are dropping slightly, and the fish are still relating to the shallow flats where finger mullet were abundant weeks ago. Looking for food before the temperatures change, redfish and sea trout are feeding on everything from live bait, cut bait and a variety of lures.

If the weather and seas are calm, I've been treating my customers to some nearshore beach fishing for monster reds feeding on menhaden pods. It's easy, fun and exciting fishing when the reds of November show up in the Canaveral bite.

I'm also starting to see some schools of black drum showing up on the dropoffs and sandbars in both Indian and Mosquito Lagoons. Use shrimp, crabs or Berkley Gulps to catch black drum.

Mosquito Lagoon South

I’ve saved the southern part for last because that’s often the most talked about. The water is crystal clear and when it’s calm you can see redfish schools, singles and pods from great distances with a trained eye.

Shortly after the redfish moratorium in the mid 1980’s we started seeing for the first time in many decades and certainly my lifetime… schooling redfish!  Commercial netter’s might argue this fact but everyone that was involved in flats fishing prior to 1986 saw a transformation in the fishing industry centered around redfish. Flats fishing was off to a racing start and everyone was on the bandwagon to purchase a shallow water boat with a poling platform.  Jon boats were no longer in vogue and gave way to sleeker, faster, quieter boats. Now it’s not uncommon to see $40k or even $50k put into a small flats boat from a prominent manufacturer.

In the last few years flats boats have evolved again as anglers have foreseen the ability to go shallower and lighter with “ultra-high quality” boats made of carbon kevlar and graphite. Don’t think these boats are less expensive as a couple of boat makers have small skiffs exceeding $50,000.00 retail. These boats are seen in numbers on the south end of the lagoon lurking for the presence of fish on the flats.

Sight and Fly Fishing

Look for fish around potholes in the grass, dropoffs, and shoals on the south end of Mosquito Lagoon. Sightfishing can be challenging and very rewarding for those who have the patience and build the confidence to locate and spot fish. The skills involved after marking the fish can be as tedious and challenging as finding them. An accurate cast is a must for each angler, as the poorly placed cast can cause a redfish to spook and disappear as quickly.  Practice precision casting in your yard with a hula hoop as a target and you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration out on the water.

Fly fishermen will want to perfect a 60-foot cast with an eight weight rod. I like to use redfish candies & clousers for redfish streamers, crab and shrimp patterns work awesome too.

Anglers are often seen sight fishing on the lagoon when the water is calm enough to stalk and pursue wary fish feeding in shallow water. Redfish have a weakness of giving themselves away to anglers by showing their tails above the waterline while feeding or traversing the grass flats. Aided with keen eyesight and a pair of polarized sunglasses a willing partner will to push the skiff along with a long fiberglass push-pole most anglers acquire a sense of sight fishing within a couple of trips.  “It’s all a matter of building confidence and having fun while you get the hang of things,” explains Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Guide Captain Richard Bradley.

Captain Richard Bradley

The Mosquito Lagoon was my backyard growing up on Merritt Island.  When I became old enough to venture out on my own, dad allowed me to explore all the lagoons and I’ve kept that tradition for almost six decades and done the same with my family.  Come to explore the World Famous Mosquito Lagoon with me and catch a few fish for fun.

Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Forecast December 2018

Open Your Christmas Fishing Early
Pre-Holiday fishing will be a treat for anglers willing to take the time on the Mosquito Lagoon. But during the holidays the lagoon will be packed with vacationing locals and tourist looking for an outdoor experience. If you're thinking of fishing in December, go early or wait for January to head out to the Lagoon. Gina and I take off the week of Christmas till the New Year.

Black drum and redfish will be your best bet during December. Windier days will get numbers of reds in the shallow lagoons. We believe the more blustery days are sometimes the best fishing. Saftey will be the factor on whether-or-not we cancel trips.

My son and I had a lovely time on the ocean today with Captain Richard. The fishing was great, took home two large King fish and a Spainish Mackerel. Had them for dinner tonight, was so yummy. We saw many dolphins, some huge sea turtles, a manatee and a shark. Was not only a fishing trip but also a great nature adventure. Loved feeding the leftover bait fish to the pelicans and woodstorks. I HIGHLY recommend taking this trip. Worth every penny.read more
Kathy Klasek Sayre
Kathy Klasek Sayre
2018-06-20T01:47:02+0000
My son and his friend had the best time of their life...quoted by Graham and Nick...Capt Richard was fantastic Caught some amazing fish
Shelly Lynne Shapiro-Swan
Shelly Lynne Shapiro-Swan
2018-02-14T13:26:59+0000
We had a slow start but Captain Richard made sure we got on the fish. it was a great time with great people
Tony Lowe
Tony Lowe
2017-07-22T21:47:12+0000
We had an absolutely amazing experience. Couldn't have asked for a better fishing trip. Thanks Captain Richard.
Kris Wickens
Kris Wickens
2017-07-07T23:52:22+0000
My wife and I loved our time on the water with Captain Richard! Thanks for a great trip!
Jerod Ochsendorf
Jerod Ochsendorf
2017-05-06T13:28:21+0000
After 10 straight years of fishing with Capt. Richard we are looking forward to number 11 this year. We always have a great time and catch a lot of fish. We always look forward to visiting with Capt. Richard, Gina and their girls.Dana & Sheilafrom Ohioread more
Sheila Brisker Smith
Sheila Brisker Smith
2017-01-27T01:35:52+0000
Richard is a great guide with a lot of great stories. Worth the time & money.We have gone with numerous times over the last 5 years. The last time was 12/27/16, we caught redfish, blue fish, mangrove snapper, jack & a snook.My husband & I both caught redfish...a 7, 12, 20 & 30 lbs. another great day on the water.read more
Johanna Jensen
Johanna Jensen
2017-01-15T04:31:08+0000
I will definitely go back again. Captain Richard was great. Had a blast and he was good with my 10 year old. Don't hesitate to book a trip with Him. You won't be disappointed.read more
Stanton Jacobs
Stanton Jacobs
2016-12-31T15:30:13+0000
Great Experience, we've al ways wanted to go, just didn't know who to select? We fished for 1/2 day, and Cptn Richard made sure we had a Good Time. We would go again, and recommend it for others! Fish On!!read more
James Gibson
James Gibson
2016-12-13T14:13:27+0000
I enjoyed Captain Richard, he was a lot of fun! He's very knowledgeable and funny�! The Haneys will definitely be booking another experience soon!
T Renea Haney
T Renea Haney
2016-11-24T02:25:43+0000
This was the best, we would go again in a second. He treated my 13 year old like a young man. Caught very nice fish in a beautiful area. Felt safe at all times. Cpt. Richard made quite the impression on my son. We will be going again, and I would recommend this trip to anyone.read more
Angie Coyne Hale
Angie Coyne Hale
2016-08-22T21:50:50+0000
We had a great time with Captain Richard.It was great to catch Kings, Spanish Mackerel and Bonitas.We also saw a huge Hammerhead Shark and Barracuda.We will definitely go again!read more
Michael D. Allen
Michael D. Allen
2016-08-04T10:36:10+0000
Great Captain, great trip.Local/Native to the area, knows these waters.You wont find better.
Jimmy Ryder
Jimmy Ryder
2016-08-01T17:25:17+0000
Best fishing experience EVER! Capt Richard knows all the hot spots and is an expert guide and angler!
Rick Donnelly
Rick Donnelly
2016-05-15T00:41:49+0000
Was awesome. Captain Richard was absolutely great with my nephews.
Mark Shute
Mark Shute
2016-04-27T09:10:53+0000
Experienced, knowledgeable, diligent and a very pleasant captain with whom to share the day. His hard work payed off under trying conditions.
David Fass
David Fass
2016-03-09T04:30:39+0000
Capt Richard and Capt Gina are awesome...! Very accommodating and they surely will guarantee anyone that goes out in the water with a great time! It's been awhile since I've gone charter fishing with them but I still remember every single moment I was out with them. Thank you Capt Richard and Capt Gina. Keep up the great work and more success to you guys. Fish ON....!!!read more
Allan Martin
Allan Martin
2015-06-26T12:33:37+0000
Had the best day fishing off Cocoa Beach with Capt. Richard while we were docked in Port Canaveral for the day from the Norwegian Gem. Capt. Gina was so helpful in planning our trip months ahead and even came right to the boat and picked us up when we pulled into Port! We caught some beautiful King Mackerel and had many laughs. I would recommend Lagooner to EVERYONE. If we ever get back down there, we'll definitely go again.read more
Shanee Thomas Taylor
Shanee Thomas Taylor
2015-03-02T02:15:01+0000
Having been fishing a number of times over the years with Captain Richard I can highly recommend Lagooner Charters. We have always had a great time and he puts you on the fish. Richard and Gina have not only been our charter captains but have become our friends. Give them a try you won't be disappointed.read more
Dan Roach
Dan Roach
2015-02-12T21:42:28+0000
I have been honored to share a boat with Captain Richard more than once. He and Captain Gina are fantastic people, kind, courteous, and extremely knowledgeable. I have been blessed to fish from Canada to Florida and I can give Lagooner Fishing Charters the highest of praise and I look forward to fishing with them multiple times in the future!read more
Shane Roberts Walton
Shane Roberts Walton
2015-01-29T18:21:54+0000
Captain Richard was great company on the boat. He's a blast to hang out with and will glady joke around with everyone. When it came to the fishing it was a tough day to start but we were able to find a school of drummer fish. He was able to spot a school of fish from his boat which was pretty cool. We caught a good 20-25 lb black drumfish which made the whole trip worth it. For sure recommend captain Richard.read more
Sam Teitelbaum
Sam Teitelbaum
2015-01-22T05:41:54+0000
Had a blast with Captain Richard too bad weather didn't cooperate he still put us on some fish
April Schomaker
April Schomaker
2015-01-21T22:54:34+0000
A very knowledgeable guide and knows the area waters well. We were on big reds and trout within minutes of the leaving the dock and ventured about the lagoon to catch different species. The scenery in the Lagoon is remarkable! Richard’s boat was well equipped with good equipment, he was well prepared to adapt to the different types of fishing through out the day. My primary focus was sight fishing for big reds on fly - the flies that Capt. Richard provided were right on! Booking the charter was a breeze, his wife Capt. Gina was very accommodating to work me in (thank you Capt. Gina).Capt. Richard seemed to know who was hungry at the right times – and we had some impressive catches! Well done Capt. Richard, and thanks for a great day on the water!read more
Ray Norman
Ray Norman
2015-01-21T17:48:40+0000
We had an awesome day of fishing with Captain Richard! Regardless of your fishing ability....Richard will get you on fish and make sure that everyone has a great day! He is professional, courteous and funny! We caught fish even though boats around us were struggling and we had a fantastic time! I would highly recommend fishing with Richard!read more
Troy McQuagge
Troy McQuagge
2015-01-20T23:00:43+0000
We had an outstanding experience with Lagooner! To start, Captain Gina made the booking quick and easy. All follow-up and communication was just like she promised. Once we were on the water, Captain Richard made the day fun for everyone and put us on fish at every stop. I would recommend Lagooner to anyone looking for a charter in Cocoa Beach.read more
Todd Brewer
Todd Brewer
2015-01-15T04:41:43+0000
Gave a fishing trip to my husband for his birthday after recommendation from my cousin Kristin Kessel Asinger. He is still talking about it as the best fishing trip ever! Don't hesitate to book a fishing trip with Captain Richard!read more
Anna Svensson
Anna Svensson
2015-01-14T17:30:13+0000
Captain Richard worked hard to put fish in the boat. We were able to bring in a few big Reds and some trout, and a couple keepers to take home for dinner. It's always the hope to be able to catch lots of fish, but fishing is fishing and there are no guarantees; the time of the year we travel to Florida also has an impact on our fshing success. This last trip out with Captain Richard my wife came along and thorougly enjoyed the experience and catching the big Reds. She is looking forward to our next trip to Florida and another fishing trip with Captain Richard.read more
Roger Voigt
Roger Voigt
2015-01-13T03:16:25+0000
I'm a local and all my friends fish with Captain Richard at Lagooner Fishing Guides. He's a fantastic guy and knows all the best spots to fish.....
Sandy Goins Kornegay
Sandy Goins Kornegay
2015-01-09T22:52:15+0000
We had a great time with Captian Richard!! 1/2 day trip,good weather and fish in the box:)) We stdpped off cruise ship and onto his boat within 10 minutes. Great trip for novice to experianced angler. Thanks Capt. & will see you again!!!read more
Chris Beane
Chris Beane
2014-07-14T00:49:49+0000

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