If you have a larger boat, Captain Terry Nugent has some great tips in this video. Captain Terry also covers boater etiquette at the ramp.
How to Fish Mosquito Lagoon - Florida Fishing Spots Guide to Fishing Mosquito Lagoon
Mosquito Lagoon offers fishermen a superb Redfish and Trout habitat. Bottom contour and habitat variations in the Lagoon like Tiger Shoals in the middle of the lagoon or the Whale Tail Shoal in the southern part of the lagoon offer forage for fish. Mangrove shorelines and saltwater marshes combined with crystal clear water and grass flats are the norm. No construction or human development make the lagoon a paradise for anglers and fish. Maps are available for down load to your GPS, Android or iPhone but clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
The Mosquito Lagoon may be one of the more popular Redfish Flats areas in the nation and receives serious fishing pressure nearly all year. Weekend fishermen should understand the fragile environment of the lagoon and the no motor zones and permitting. All this info from various sources is included on this page.
Best Bet for good Mosquito Lagoon fishing is wait unti the late fall, winter and spring.
Mosquito Lagoon Fishing
Mosquito Lagoon is filled with redfish and trout throughout her waterways, islands, sandbars oyster bars, creeks, troughs and holes. Keeping things simple is most times the best way to catch fish in the Mosquito Lagoon. Many anglers caught-up in the sight fishing craze have forgotten how fun more traditional methods or modified versions that are tried and true. Methods such as live bait and casting topwaters or jigs works well in the Mosquito Lagoon.
New Smyrna Inlet feeds the Mosquito lagoon from the North end. The inlet is tidal and with the tide and current the changes are noticeable and fish react to the tide changes on the northern Mosquito lagoon. Fish react differently at different tide phases as should fishermen to adapt. That being said, these tactics apply throughout the Lagoon as a baseline fishing guide.
Incoming tides can produce good sized seatrout and schools of redfish can be seen tailing and feeding along oyster bars and drop-offs.
Falling tides send lagoon fish deeper and further away from the bars and land toward channels and holes in the lagoon. Try using jerk baits, GULPS or the like. if you fish topwater baits, try topwaters around drop-offs and holes during falling tides. (see more on baits below)
Live Bait Fishing: Many old school lagoon guides fish live bait and cut baits around holes by chumming with greenies or baiting up with finger mullet when low light conditions shut down the sight fishing. Most times, these old methods will prevail on any given day.
Early morning, try topwater plugs for big trout around schools of mullet and near deeper water (two to three feet). When the trout bites slows (about 9 a.m.), the sun is high enough to see well into the water. At that time, make your switch to soft-plastics rigged with Daiichi Butt Dragger or other weedless rig (see below about tackle) and set your target on redfish.
Look for Mosquito Lagoon Redfish to be scattered throughout the pole-and-troll zones in numerous pods. In years past, the late summer “word” was that the pods would be made up of “onesies and twosies,” because the schools had been busted up over and over again throughout the day. This year we should find bigger pods of fish, from a dozen to as many as 50 fish, now that they are not getting run over and chased all day long. Approach them cautiously and from a distance, and try to pluck fish off the edges of the school. If they hump up and move off, don’t chase them—if you do, they’ll keep running. Sit still, right where you were when you spooked them, and they will likely come back in short order.
Most Redfish pods are made up of redfish in the 25- to 28-inch (6 to 8 pounds.) However, there are a couple of pods of reds that go 20 or 30 pounds. Should you be so fortunate to locate one of these pods (likely along the edge of the zone near the deeper water), try a piece of cut mullet on a circle hook. Cast ahead of their general direction of movement and wait for them to move over the bait.
Mosquito Lagoon Fishing tackle
Fishing tackle used in Mosquito Lagoon should obviously be very light in size including rod and reel, line, leaders or other terminal fishing tackle you may use. The rigs, rods and reels described below are only a few of the dozens of possibilities and opinions.
Fishing Rod - Spinning
Lightweight, preferably Graphite or Composite. 8-12 Pound Class Rods will work great in most cases
Fuji or equivalent Guide with Ceramic inserts for casting long distances with light rigging
Fishing Reel - Spinning
2000 or 3000 Size
Smooth Drag a must
Quiet Bail action if possible
Fishing Line - Braid
Power Pro Brand or Equivalent
12-15 Pound Test, up to 20 pound test
Preferably Green or Red in color
Leader - Fluorocarbon in 10-15 pound Test
Fishing Hooks - Live Bait or Cut Bait Fishing
3/0 - 5/0 in size
Fishing Bait - Live and Dead
Finger Mullet (live or cut pieces - Catches Redfish very well fished on a 1/8 oz Jig Head in holes and hole edges)
Small Croaker (Preferred Alive - Trout mainly, Free Lined or on Jig Head in deeper holes)
Shrimp (Live or Dead/Cut - Catches Redfish and some Trout - Free Lined or on 1/8 oz Jig Head on flats, holes and edges)
Small Crabs - Circle hook free lined to edges and in holes
Fishing Lures and Artificial Baits
GULP (all colors)
Hakala Gator Spoon
Plastic Screwtail Jigs (Variety of colors or styles)
Plastic Jerk Baits rigged on Daiichi Butt-Dragger Weedless weighted Hooks
Mosquito Lagoon Boating Tips: Lighten up by eliminating excess tackle and gear you carry aboard your boat. If you are not going to use it, don’t bring it. If you have not done so, purchase a graphite pole instead of using a fiberglass pole. Make sure
trolling motor batteries are fully charged.
Consider using a canoe or kayak. They are relatively inexpensive, very light, and quite a few anglers are having a good deal of success using these small craft. Launch sites are quite close to the zones. Another tactic is to use your present boat as a mother-ship to haul a kayak or two to the vicinity of where you will be fishing. Then stake out the boat and make your final approach in the kayak.
Weather: Learn to use the wind to your advantage. With very little tidal flow in the lagoon, the wind can assist moving you in the direction you want to go. Also, be sure to bring a rain jacket. Afternoon squalls come up quickly and moving out of the zones might take longer than you have come to expect.
Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Regulations
All Florida fishing regulations apply, even though Mosquito Lagoon belongs to the U.S. government.
The following special regulations apply to anglers fishing Mosquito Lagoon:
Anglers must possess a current signed Refuge Sports Fishing Permit at all times while fishing in refuge portions of Mosquito Lagoon. (For practical purposes, if you are south of George’s Bar, you are in the refuge.) The permit is self-issuing and assures you have read and understand Merritt Island NWR fishing regulations.
You may fish at night from a boat in Mosquito Lagoon but you may not wade or fish from the bank after dark.
You may launch a boat at night from the following boat ramps within the refuge: Bairs Cove, Bio Lab and Beacon 42. All other refuge boat ramps are closed to night launching.
You may not use air thrust boats, hovercraft or personal watercraft in Mosquito Lagoon.
Anglers must attend their lines.
Commercial fishermen and fishing guides are required to obtain an annual Special Use Permit.
Camping and/or overnight parking, firearms and open fires are prohibited. Pets must remain on a leash or in your vessel.
To improve fishing and protect grass flats, two pole and troll zones have been established in Mosquito Lagoon. The zones are delineated with buoys. Within the zones, internal combustion engines must be shut off (except in posted channels) and vessels drafting more than 12 inches at rest must not enter. Vessels may be propelled by a non-motorized power source such as drifting, push poles or paddles. Electric trolling may be used through the zones. Boats may operate internal combustion engines only in the posted channels within the pole and troll zones.
Callalisa Creek is an excellent area for kayaking, canoeing, and even stand up paddle boarding (sup). The fishing is very good no matter what time of the day. Best time in the creek is during high tide. We have been out in the creek many different times and high tide seems to be the best time. Also make sure you bring a camera, there is many photo chances you wont want to miss. From dolphins playing next to you, to many different species of birds. Once you launch go left under the bridge and follow the main water. during high tide there is many different cuts and trails to scout out. 90% of them will put you back in the main water but there are those few that become a dead end!
Directions to launch:
State Road 44 East to Peninsula, turn left on Peninsula and then a quick left again to the park. When launching Kayaks go left under the bridge and follow the main waterway. A lot of fun with breathtaking cuts and turns.
Launch from the beach at Menard-May Park, paddle across the ICW and Firecracker Island, and note the large sandbar at low tide. Turn right and stay to the right as you paddle south just past the cut on the right, and paddle left around the Mangrove island on the east side of the channel. You can paddle around these Mangrove Islands and see many species of birds, Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Brown and White Pelicans, Rosette Spoonbills, and Osprey, just to name a few. You will also spot, sea turtles, dolphins, manatees and rays. There are quite a few Oyster Beds, so closed-toed water shoes are recommended.
Directions to Launch:
Use the beach area to launch at Menard-May Park, which is located at 413 So Riverside Drive Edgewater, FL 32132
Spruce Creek, an Outstanding Florida Waterway, is a natural blackwater river (tannic acid from swampy vegetation stains the water black at its inception at the upper creek). Downstream, the creek becomes navigable gradually widening as it approaches Strickland Bay. Many houses now line the creek west of I-95, and the best recreational paddling is from Spruce Creek Park to I-95 and Strickland Bay (6 miles) and within Spruce Creek Preserve. Strickland Bay converges with Turnbull Bay and accesses the Indian River/Intracoastal Waterway. Near the Atlantic is salt marsh, inland is freshwater. Watch for oyster bars at low tide.
Directions to Launch:
Spruce Creek Park (I-95 Exit 256, east one mile); Strickland Bay bridge (US 1, 5 miles north of New Smyrna Beach); Cracker Creek
The trail is marked, but bringing a GPS and a good map is recommended. Watch the tides, at low tide it will be necessary to pull your kayak or canoe in some areas. Unlike the creeks and spring runs we prefer, this is salt water and the paddling trail is lined with mangrove hammock, plus cactus. Exiting the trail, much more paddling is available on Mosquito Lagoon (watch for motor boats) and winding through the islands of the national seashore.
Wildlife includes alligators, turtles, and crabs; schools of mullet swam by (and almost jumped in) our kayaks. Good for birdwatching, we saw hawks, eagles, and osprey as well ibis and other water birds.
Directions to Launch:
The boat ramp is on the right just inside the north entrance to Canaveral National Seashore along A1A in New Smyrna Beach. The entrance to the paddling trail is directly across Mosquito Lagoon from the ramp (look for the two PVC pipes, then follow the channel markers).
Only minutes from our facility, EdgeWater builds some of finest family and fishing boats in the industry. They will tell you all about their Single Piece Infusion process that provides a solid haul and quality ride. Be sure to check out their website to see if they have a boat that fits you.
Do you want a boat that matches luxury with fishing/capability, Everglades may do it the best. These boats are made only 1.5 miles from our facility and frequently seen running our local waters. Whether you're considering a mid-size center console or their flagship 435, their website is worth a peek.
These are no longer your daddy's Dauntless. The builder that built its reputation on the "unsinkable" boat is still developing a top-quality boat. From their 110 tender to their 420 Outrage, Boston Whaler builds their boats in Edgewater, Florida. Their plant is impressive and worth a visit.
After four years adrift on a 3,500-mile transatlantic journey, this Regulator 26 was found. This story is absolutely fascinating, yet educational. Learn how this fishing venture went bad fast...thankfully with a happy ending. Read more here!