This saltwater flats fishing report covers the Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, Banana River, and nearshore Atlantic coast beaches. This is the closest saltwater fishing to Orlando, Kissimmee and Walt Disney World. Between Cocoa Beach to the south and New Smyrna and Daytona Beach to the north, There is easy access to great fishing. Central Florida Sight Fishing Charters offers fly fishing and light tackle guided fishing charters year round for redfish, seatrout, drum, and tarpon.
2016 was an excellent year for tailing redfish. Check out this video composite of tailing redfish near Orlando.
October 3, 2017 Just prior to the hurricane arriving, we had some great fishing for bull redfish. A stong hurricane at the beginning of September dumped a ton of rain on the Lagoon system raising the water level over a foot. Areas that had been almost dry all summer now have water deep enough for large fish to feed. This gives the fish a lot more room to spread out but they are feeding well if you can find them. The storm also pushed millions of finger mullet into the inlets and I am seeing more bait than I have in several years. With the first cold fronts of the season arriving in a few weeks, the fish are feeding on this bait before it heads south to escape the cold. Redfish, seatrout, drum, snook, and tarpon are all still in the Mosquito Lagoon and will be until the temperatures drop. October, however, brings a lot more wind than we typically have during the summer leaving fewer days for the best sight fishing conditions. I only have a few days available in October so book you flats fishing trip soon. If you are planning your trip for later this winter, the tarpon will be gone but we will have great fising for redfish (red drum), seatrout, and black drum. These fish are plentiful all year round in Mosquito Lagoon.
September 1, 2017We have had some fantastic fishing for a variety of species here in Central Florida. September is one of my favorite months of the year and it is the last one beofre changes start to take place in the weather, water levels, and types of fish available. We will have generally calm winds and excellent flats fishing all month. The tarpon tops my list of favorites with fish from 2 to 100+ pounds both inshore and along the beaches. The 5-15 pound fish are great fun on the same light tackle rods we use for redfish and trout. Bump up the leader to 30 pounds and get ready for some aerial acrobatics. Good numbers of 20-80 pound fish can be found in the northern Mosquito Lagoon as well. Full grown poons will be following the baitfish migration south along the beaches. Inshore tarpon are generally best early in the day. When they slow down, we turn to redfish, trout, and drum. This is the time of year to catch a Lagoon super slam.
July 22, 2017 Both inshore and nearshore trips have been producing fish this summer. The variety that can be found during these months is much greater than in the winter. Tarpon top the list of my favorite fish. They can be caught in the lagoons and along the beaches. Redfish, drum, trout, snook, sharks, barracuda, kingfish, jacks, false albacore and more. Fishing in Mosquito Lagoon has been consistent and the water is still clear enough for sight fihsing in most places. Some of the best and easiest fishing takes place at the beginning of the day. It is a good idea to select your most desired species and pursue them at first light. Along the beaches, there is no need to start in the dark as the fish will bite throughout the day. Snook are a possibility both inshore and nearshore but have not been consistent enough to make them the sole target of a trip.
June 6, 2017 Now that summer has arrived, the baitfish schools are plentiful and are the main source of food for the redfish and trout. Fishing with surface lures can attract some explosive strikes from a both species. In addition to the redfish, some nice schools of black drum are roaming the flats and a few tarpon have been showing up as well. Unlike the past few years, our water has remained relatively clear allowing for excellent sight fishing when the sun is out. Clients have been catching some quality fish lately. Book your trip today for a shot at some trophy reds.
May 2, 2017Fishing for redfish and seatrout has been outstanding. Black drum have been steady as well and anglers have been able to catch all three species in one day completing the Mosquito Lagoon Slam. The topwater bite is excellent, especially in the morning. Both redfish and large trout have been hammering the DOA Baitbuster on the surface as well as the new floating soft plastic PT-7 lure from DOA. Great weather and awesome fishing and lots of wildlife. The manatee are everywhere, dolphins, gatros, sea turtles, and more. Book your Mosquito Lagoon fishing trip now by calling 321-229-2848.
March 17, 2017 Mosquito Lagoon is on fire. The fishing the past few days has been as good as it gets. Schools of redfish and balc drum along with big seatrout have been our targets. It just does not get any better. I still have some days available next month if you are going to be here on spring break or vacation. Call soon to get one reserved before they are gone. For those that may not have the casting skills needed to sight fish for redfish and trout on the flats, the cuts and channels closer to Ponce Inlet have been on fire as well. This is a great option for kids or those who want steady catching action.
March 17, 2017 Despite some typical March winds, the fishing has remained excellent for redfish, seatrout, and drum. Clear water has allowed anglers to experience some excellent sight fishing on the flats of the Mosquito Lagoon. This means the snglers can see fish in the shallow water and cast to them. This fishing style of fishing will get your adreniline pumping.
February 1, 2017Even though the water and weather have changed, the fishing is still going strong here in Mosquito Lagoon. Recent cold fronts and strong north winds have brought the water levels down to their typical low winter levels. Cooler nights have dropped the water temperature into the upper 50's the last few days. When the winds are calm, there is plenty of clean water available for sight fishing redfish, drum, and trout. Anglers using both fly fishing and spinning tackle have been landing redfish. Some days there are schools of tailing fish, other times the fish are singles or schooled up in slightly deeper depressions and drop-offs. If you will be visiting the Orlando, Disney, Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, or New Smyrna Beach area, be sure to book your flat sfishing charter today.
December 24, 2016 The great sight fishing continues this month and it is not too late to get in one more trip in 2016. Tailing redfish and black drum have been the primary targets with a few nice seatrout as well. On his first ever fishing trip, Wayne caught his first redfish on his second cast with a DOA shrimp.
Susan landed several nice black drum on a recent trip to Mosquito Lagoon
Julie caught several redfish and seatrout using DOA shrimp and CAL lures
Tom had an incredible day on his Mosquito Lagoon fly fishing charter. He caught double digit redfish, a big trout, and a few tarpon.
This pattern should continue for a while. Only one hour from Orlando and Disney. Book your trip today!!
December 2, 2016We have had excellent tailing redfish action in the Mosquito Lagoon over the past couple weeks. Fish were caught using both light tackle and spinning tackle. Most of the fish have been in pods of 5-50 fish. Sometimes this tails are breaking the surface, other times the fish are deep enough that they are not. Either way, tailing redfish are happy fish that are willing to eat almost anything they see. A warm-up over the holiday week pushed the big seatrout off the flats but cooler weather is arriving in the next few days and they will return to their shallow hangouts. Whether you are an experienced sight fishing angler or this is your first time trying saltwater flats fishing, you will find this type of fishing both exciting and challenging. This is the best fishing near Orlando in December. Book your fishing charter today.
November 18, 2016 The fishing for redfish and seatrout has remained consistent in the Mosquito Lagoon. With the cool mornings, we have not even had any mosquitoes as the ramp. On days with clear skies, schools of redfish can be seen tailing and huge seatrout can be seen lying in shallow sand spots, We have been using primarily the DOA 3 inch CAL shad on a jighead and the DOA 5.5 inch jerkbait rigged weedless. Blaine used the latter to fool this 44 inch monster redfish in less than two feet of water.
As the water continues to cool off and clear up, the sight fishing will get better and better. Sight fishing with light spinning tackle and fly fishing gear will be excellent throughout the winter. Book your Orlando Fishing Charter today
November 1, 2016 The hurricane that passed by the Space Coast and Cocoa Beach at the beginning of October brought some changes to Mosquito Lagoon. A combination of rain and water pushing in Ponce Inlet caused water levels to rise two feet. It has since receded some but is still much higher than it was before the storm. We now have some areas that are much cleaner than they have been in a long time. This allows for better sight fishing for the redfish and seatrout. On yesterday's trip, we encountered numerous large schools of redfish tailing happily. Every cast that made it to the school was rewarded with an instant hookup.
With cooler weather coming the next few month, the fish will be feeding aggressively and hopefully more of the water will continue to clear up. Throughout the winter, we will be targeting redfish, seatrout, and black drum. Some of the biggest trout of the year can be found on the shallow flats during the winter. They can be caught on both spinning and fly fishing tackle. Plan your vacation away from the freezing temps and book a trip in Sunny Florida this winter.
August 22, 2016 The sight fishing for redfish and big seatrout has been incredible. The tailing redfish action the past month is as good as I have seen it. Tightly packed schools of redfish are foraging in less than 18 inches of water and will bite nearly anything you show them. Big trout have been shadowing the redfish schools and will often bite your lure the second it hits the water. We have also bee seeing giant trout cruising and finning on the shallow flats.
The trout will eat the same flies and lures as the redfish. This 28 inch plus fish ate a redfish worm fly.
Eleven year old Victoria caught this nice redfish on her first fishing trip.
Tanner and his father had an outstanding Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Charter catching a bunch of redfish, including several double hookups.
In addition to the tailing redfish, there are also plenty of cruising fish you can see on sunny days with polarized glasses. Since our water is stained, many of these fish are hooked less than fifteen feet from the boat. Short quick casts with DOA shrimp or CAL lures have been resulting in lots of fish over ten pounds being hooked.
August 6, 2016 The excellent sight fishing for tailing redfish has continued in the Mosquito Lagoon. Redfish ranging from 4 pounds to over 40 pounds have been showing us their tails when the winds have been calm. This allows anglers to see exactly where the fish are and know they are casting to a fish that is eating at that exact moment. For those using spinning tackle. a small lure like the DOA shrimp or the 3 inch DOA shad tail on a light jighead will work every time. For the fly fishing anglers, I have been using a rattle bendback fly or a redfish worm fly. 5 and 7wt rods will work for the average fish and an 8 or 9wt if you are targeting the big boys.
Big seatrout have been on the same flats as the redfish. Occasionally, they can be seen tailing in the shallow grass as well. They will eat the same lures and flies that the redfish do or you can blind cast for them using a larger lure like a 5.5 inch CAL or Baitbuster. Black drum in the 5 to 15 pound range have been showing up some days as well. The are caught most consistently using pieces of shrimp, crab, or clam. Get the bait on the bottom in front of the school and do not move it.
My fishing charters including everything you need except food and drink. Don't wait! Book you trip today.
July 15, 2016 The sight fishing has been outstanding on the Mosquito Lagoon recently. Redfish, black drum, and big trout have all been caught on the shallow flats. Calm weather has made it easy to spot redfish tailing and cruising from long distances. The DOA Baitbuster, the DOA Shrimp, and the 5.5" CAL jerkbaits have been producing well. This pattern should continue for the foreseeable future so book your fishing charter today!! I offer light tackle and fly fishing charters only one hour from Orlando and Disney targeting saltwater fish on the flats on Mosquito Lagoon all year round.
July 6, 2016 The weather is heating up but so is the fishing. The toxic green/blue algae bloom widely discussed on national news is over 100 miles south of us and has no effect on the fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon, the northern Indian River Lagoon, and the Atlantic beaches in Central Florida. Seatrout have been active at first light around schools of mullet. Big redfish have been both on the flats and along the sandbars. The outside edge of George's Bar has been holding giant redfish. Use big chunks of baitfish on the bottom. On the shallow flats, the redfish and drum have been tailing and cruising. Short accurate casts have been needed to get the bite. The DOA shrimp, and the CAL jerkbait are good lures for presenting to these wary fish. I use a 20lb fluorocarbon leader and tie my lures on with the best fishing loop knot, the canoeman loop. This pattern should continue for the next 4-8 weeks.
June 17, 2016 After enjoying a couple weeks of vacation for myself, it is back to fishing the flats and beaches here in central Florida. Despite the high temperatures, the fish are still happy and feeding. On the inshore side, redfish have been tailing in Mosquito Lagoon providing good targets for both spin and fly fishermen. Mosquito Lagoon Fly Fishing has been outstanding. Nearly any fly you can get in front of them will get eaten when they are tailing. Quick accurate casts are much more important than fly or lure selection. In the other lagoons, small tarpon can be found rolling in shallow water offering great light tackle and fly fishing action. When seas allow, the fishing has been hot along the Atlantic Coast beaches, especially out of Port Canaveral near Cocoa Beach. Tarpon, jack crevalle, little tunny, king mackerel, sharks, and more are shadowing the bait pods. This time of year offers the biggest variety of fishing options here. Book your fishing trip today!
May 13, 2016 Fishing was good both inshore in the Mosquito Lagoon and nearshore along the beaches out of Port Canaveral. Both of the locations are excellent for fishing near Cocoa Beach. Now that we are entering a more stable weather pattern, the seas are generally more calm allowing for some nearshore fishing in the flats boat. Cruising just a couple hundred yards or less off the beach, you can encounter tarpon, sharks, jack crevalle, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and more. This week we had nonstop action with bluefish on both fly and light spinning tackle. Check out my video on fly fishing for bluefish. We saw a few cobia and got into a huge school of hard fighting jack crevalle. Kingfish were a mile or two out in 40-60 feet around the bait schools.
On the Mosquito Lagoon, both redfish and black drum were tailing on the flats. Seatrout could be found hanging around the spoil islands and under schools of finger mullet. Calm conditions made for some excellent sight fishing for the reds and drum. Trout were caught blind casting jerkbaits on the flats and using the DOA Deadly Combo around the spoil islands.
Both the inshore and nearshore fishing will remain productive during the next few months. As you can see there is something for everyone, not to mention all the great wildlife we encounter while on fishing trips. Anglers wanting to fish multiple days can add some variety to their trip by doing a day of each type of fishing.
April 25, 2016 Mosquito Lagoon has been excellent for tailing redfish and giant seatrout over the past couple weeks. Despite the improper media reports of a fish kill, there have been no dead fish here. There was a fish kill in an area of the Banana River which is nowhere near the fishing in Mosquito Lagoon. While the water clarity levels have been less than desirable. the fish are here, healthy, and eating. The fish are feeding aggressively now that we are in the more stable weather pattern of spring. Our main targets have been redfish and seatrout. Baitfish are returning to the lagoon system and the fish are eating nearly everything that moves. This is a great time for anglers wanting to target the classic tailing Mosquito Lagoon redfish with flyrods or light spinning gear. The trophy sized seatrout have been coming while blind casting DOA CAL lures or the DOA shallow running Baitbuster lure in likely areas. Book your saltwater flats fishing trip in Mosquito Lagoon today. The weather is great and the fishing is too!
March 14, 2016 Lighter winds this past week helped create some of the cleanest water conditions we have seen in a while. While more sun would have made the sight fishing better, tailing and waking fish on the shallow flats could be spotted each day. Redfish and trout have been the primary species. The first few waves of finger mullet have began making their way back into the area. As more baitfish return, the topwater bite will begin to improve. Soon it will be time to break out the DOA Baitbuster lure. Right now, we have been using the 5.5" CAL for most of the casting.
The widely reported mysterious fish kill has fortunately not affected the Mosquito Lagoon or northern end of the Indian River Lagoon where I have been fishing. I was out every day this week and did not see a single dead fish in any of the places I traveled. That issue has been further south and much of it in the Banana River near Cocoa Beach.
March 14, 2016 The breezy conditions common in March have certainly been prevalent the past couple weeks. The redfish, however, have not seemed to mind and have been tailing aggressively on the shallow flats. These pods of tailing fish have made for some of the easiest fishing the Lagoon has to offer especially for the fly fishing anglers. The smaller pods, however, require accurate casts as the fish are all looking down in the grass and mud digging for shrimp. Casts that miss the mark my a foot or two may go unseen. Casts that hit the mark will get a bite every time. Double hookups are a cinch when targeting these pods of fish. Some days the black drum make an appearance. On others, they remain in the deep water hidden from view. A few seatrout have been in the mix as well along the edges of the flats. The DOA 2.75 and 3" shrimp have been working well for the tailing redfish. The DOA 5.5 CAL with a rattle inserted in the tail has been an excellent bait this month as well. While these fish will eat live and frozen shrimp, there is no need for them as they will readily eat plastic and flies which can be cast more effectively and stay on the hook better.
February 7, 2016 This month often brings the coldest weather of the year which will help to clear up the water allowing for some good sight fishing. The redfish and seatrout action in the Mosquito Lagoon the past few weeks has been very good. When the water temperature remains cool, the large seatrout have been lying in shallow sand spots. We have been catching them on both bendback flies and DOA CAL lures. Redfish have been in the same places. In addition, there have been some excellent pods of tailing redfish making for some easy fly fishing opportunities. These fish are so busy digging in the grass for shrimp they allow us to get within 30 feet without even noticing. Nearly anything brought into their zone is instantly eaten. Black drum have also been tailing on calm days. These fish are much less aggressive than redfish but will take flies drug along the bottom as well as crabs and shrimp. If you are going to be visiting for the Daytona 500, give me a call. This is the best fishing near Daytona Beach.
January 5, 2016 A strong winter cold front has finally pushed through the region, the first one of the winter season. The accompanying high winds and cool temperatures should have a positive effect on the lagoons. The cooler water temps should kill off some of the algae that has been clouding the water. The strong north winds have already pushed out a lot of water bringing the water levels closer to normal. Winter in Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River is know for clear low water with excellent sight fishing for redfish, trout, and drum. The past couple weeks have brought some phenomenal tailing redfish action. Anglers casting both flyrods and soft plastics have been catching multiple redfish on the flats. When the winds calm down, the fish should be feeding aggressively. Book your winter/spring flats fishing trip now.
December 12, 2015 We have still not experienced a significant cold front yet this year but there has been plenty of wind and clouds. The waters temperatures in Mosquito Lagoon are hovering around 68-70 degrees. This has not been cold enough to kill off all the summer algae but there are some pockets of clear water to be found. The redfish and trout have been aggressive this week and have been rushing to eat a well placed DOA shrimp or CAL lure. Along th spoil islands, a DOA Deadly Combo has been catching large numbers of seatrout in 2-4 feet of water. Tailing redfish have been seen on some flats but in many of the places the water is too deep to see the tail all the way out of the water. Look for this great bite to continue throughout the month.
November 5, 2015 The high water has persisted as there has not been enough northwest winds to blow it out of the Lagoons. In Mosquito Lagoon, all of the water south of Oak Hill is dirty and sight fishing is nearly impossible. Blind casting a DLOA CAL with a Woodies rattle has been effective for redfish. Shorelines, points, and sandbars have been holding fish. Some clean water can be found in parts of the Indian River. Redfish, seatrout, snook, tarpon, and jack crevalle have been cruising the shorelines. This week, both the 3" CAL lure on a jighead as well as a small shrimp fly was working well. Water temperatures are still in the 80's and the finger mullet are plentiful. Until we get a significant cold front, this same patter should continue.
October 23, 2015 Jack's Grandfather wanted him to experience catching some redfish. Before this trip, his biggest fish was a 13" catfish. While we didn't catch and monsters, jack's first few redfish have him hooked on saltwater fishing.
October 10, 2015I thought the water was high last month but now it is even a foot higher. Our water is
higher than it has been in over five years. The influx of new water has cleared out some of the algae, however, making the water much cleaner than it has been most of the summer. Lots of clouds have been plaguing us lately making sight fishing difficult. Blind casting or fishing with baits has been the best bet. Redfish are the main target with trout and black drum in the mix as well.
September 18, 2015. Almost a week of rain has cause the Mosquito Lagoon to rise at least ten inches. Water temperatures, which had been in the mid 80's at daybreak and 90 by afternoon, were down in the upper 70's. Heavy clouds and high water combined with the algae made for some tough sight fishing conditions today. The redfish were few and far between after the passing of the front. Fortunately, the seatrout were feeding aggressively. The DOA Deadly Combo was working the best. My clients caught numerous trout along the outside edge of the sandbars in 2-4 feet of water. The key to getting the bite was not to work the setup too fast. This is a noisemaker cork with a plastic shrimp below it. If the cork is not allowed to rest, the shrimp does not sink down and you do not get as many bites. Quick short pops with a couple second pause was most effective. For next week, I will be returning to the Indian River and Banana River where the water is much cleaner. It will most likely take a sustained period of water temperatures below 65 to clean up Mosquito Lagoon.
September 10, 2015. Redfish, seatrout, and tarpon are the main targets this month. The tarpon in the lagoons have been from 5-25 pounds and have been happy to eat a variety of flies as well as soft plastics. In the morning, we have been using topwater flies such as gurglers and poppers on #2 hooks with a weed guard. Midday, the fish can be found laid up in shallow water and will eat unweighted bunny strips, shrimp patterns, or small minnow imitations. For the spinning tackle anglers, a 3" DOA CAL tail with a chughead in the morning has been getting blasted. later one we remove the chughead and reel the lure steadily just below the surface.
Redfish have been tailing throughout the day in all three lagoons. The Mosquito Lagoon has extremely poor visibility due to an algae bloom. In order to sight fish there, you will need to have tailing fish or see them pushing water. Much of the fishing I have been doing this month has been in the Indian River and Banana River Lagoon where this is still plenty of clean water for great sight fishing. Redfish and tarpon have been the main targets on the flats. For those that want some fast action on light tackle, huge schools of ladyfish can often be found in the deeper waters in a feeding frenzy. These hard fighting fish will bite anything that moves and put on a great aerial display. With the fall bait run getting started, mullet imitations such as a shallow running DOA Baitbuster reeled along the surface will draw some spectacular bites. This is the time of year when even the commonly finicky giant bull redfish will fight over a lure.
July 2015 This is one of the hottest months of the year but the fish do not mind. Our fish are accustomed to high water temperatures and still need to eat. This month brings an increase in the tarpon, both juvenile and full grown. They can bee seen rolling on calm mornings. I prefer to throw DOA Baitbuster lures are the big fish and 1/4 ounce shrimp or 3" CAL tails at the smaller ones. If you have never fished for them, they can sometimes be extremely frustrating but once you hook one you will quickly know why many people are obsessed with catching them. Many of the redfish we have been encountering are single fish, often tailing during calm conditions. Soft accurate presentations with a DOA shrimp is an excellent way to target these fish. Mosquito Lagoon has poor visibility but there are many areas of the Indian and Banana River which are crystal clear. On sunny days, tarpon and redfish can be sight fished on the same flats. Fly fishing anglers have been using rabbit strip flies or small shrimp patterns for both. If you expect to encounter tarpon, use at least a 30lb bite tippet.
June 26, 2015Big redfish have been cruising in very shallow water in the Mosquito Lagoon. On calm days, you can spot the backs and tails of these fish breaking the surface. many of these fish are from 20-40 pounds and are in less than two feet of water. Extreme stealth is required when trying to get close enough to them to make a cast. The DOA shrimp or the 3" DOA CAL lure have been the preferred lure. This redfish was caught at 1pm in 90 degree water.
June 1, 2015 Black drum have continued to dominate in Mosquito Lagoon. Nearly every morning, big schools of black drum can be found tailing on the shallow flats. As most mornings are slick calm, these fish are easily spooked by noises on the deck of the boat. Whatever you are using as bait must land well beyond the schools to avoid blowing them up. Shrimp have been the most reliable bait but these fish make excellent targets for fly anglers as well.
April 24, 2015 Black drum and redfish have been keeping anglers occupied lately in the Mosquito Lagoon. Schools of drum with over 500 fish are a common sight each morning. As long as too many boats do not move in and scare them off, it is easy to get double hookups from these massive schools. Shrimp has been working best for the spinning tackle anglers but black weighted flies will catch fish as well. In addition to the drum, schools of redfish as well as single redfish, can be found in the same area. These fish will eat both soft plastic baits and flies. Sight fishing is most effective, i.e., casting to fish you can see close to the boat. This redfish grabbed a Capt. Mike's mullet spoon.
April 3, 2015 Great fishing continues in Mosquito Lagoon. The spring schools of redfish and black drum have not disappointed. Some days, there is a school of fish in every direction. The fish below were caught on the same flat with the same tackle. The darker fish is a black drum and the other is its cousin, the redfish, or red drum. To find these fish, one must be able to access shallow water as most of them are being caught in less than two feet of water. We are using light tackle spinning rods with 10 pound braided line.
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