FAQ's: Answers about your Flats Fishing Charter Here In Cocoa Beach Florida

What is the Mosquito Lagoon? The Mosquito Lagoon is a estuary body of brackish saltwater that is located in east central Florida and is part of the north Indian River Lagoon system. It is roughly a 23,000 acre shallow inshore estuary that runs from Ponce Inlet to the north and then to Titusville in the south. It is located inside the Canaveral National Seashore and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge which is in federal waters. Towards the west is where it meets with the Indian River by going through the Haulover Canal. (On a side note: The mosquitoes are not that bad here despite its ominous name. It is like any other place where these pesky bugs live.) The Mosquito Lagoon is renown to be the redfish capital of the world.

It has an average depth of 2 feet and is known world round for its saltwater backcountry flats fishing and sight fishing. This depth makes it a destination for flats fishers that are wanting to sight fish due to the extreme shallow waters along with the great water clarity, allowing you to cast at redfish and sea trout, drum and tarpon that you can see. Prized sport fish right in sight of you. An amazing experience. Especially known for red drum, black drum and spotted seatrout the Mosquito Lagoon holds numerous world records on both saltwater fly fishing and saltwater spin fishing. Bull redfish here reach in excess of 40 plus pounds along with the seatrout that get up to 10 plus pounds here.

Where is the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River located? Located just east of Orlando, Kissimmee and Walt Disney World by one hour. Minutes from New Smyrna Beach, Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Palm Coast, Sebastian Inlet, Palm Bay, Deland, Edgewater and Titusville. This is the closest inland saltwater light tackle fishing in central Florida.

Where is the Banana River Lagoon System? Located in the Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Satellite Beach and Port Canaveral area, just south of NASA, near the Cape Canaveral Air Force station. It is part of the Indian River Lagoon System and is roughly 27 miles long and a mile or two wide at times. On the north end by the cruise line sis the no motor zone, which offers an area for the kayak and canoe charter. The Banana River is a great place for year round inshore backcountry bull redfish, spotted seatrout and black drum along with snook and tarpon. The Banana River offers some outstanding flats fishing while you are in the Cocoa Beach or Port Canaveral area. On top of the fishing you will see numerous wildlife and marine mammals, including manatee, dolphin, birds and the American alligator.

When is the best time of year to go flats fishing in Central Florida? The nice thing about living in Florida is the weather all year long. So the fishing here is a year round event, it never gets bad, always stays at a steady pace. The red drum, black drum, small juvenile tarpon, dock snook and spotted seatrout are here all of the time and live their whole lives on the lagoon and in the Banana River. The bigger(over 50 pounds) tarpon and Atlantic snook fishing are seasonal along with the warmer days of spring, summer and fall. Tarpon fishing is at its prime in the months of May through October.

What is supplied on a fishing charter? All licenses, tackle, ice, cooler and bottled water is supplied. A brand new fully equipped 2016 Hewes Redfisher flats boat. Along with professional grade Canon camera's and photos of your fishing trip, I also am an accomplished videographer and wildlife photographer. I am happy to email you any pictures and videos we take of your trip and NO additional cost to you. You can also check out my photography website here, at Drew Cavanaugh Photography. On here you will have an option of purchasing upgraded pictures of your charter trip that have been edited to a professional standard.

What do you need to bring? You will want to have a hat and polarized sunglasses with a copper, brown or amber lens color in them. I personally use Costa Del Mar but there are numerous brands out there to choose from. Any snacks you may want or food for the day. Along with proper clothing for the time of year and rain gear if needed. Also sunscreen is suggested as well. I do supply new bottled water.

What kind of fishing are we doing? Captain Drew of Mosquito Lagoon Sight Fishing Charters specializes in backcountry flats fishing, using sight fishing tactics among the flats. However there are times we will use different ways of fishing the "flats". Sight fishing is just one of the many ways to do this. We will typically either use fly or spin light tackle. Also you can sight fish with artificial or live bait, depending upon the situation and weather. At times we use both artificial and live bait. You can tell me also if you have any preferences on tackle and tactics.

What are the sport fish we will be catching? We target year round on the Indian River, Banana River and Mosquito Lagoon redfish, also known as channel bass, spotted tail bass, red drum and bull reds. Along with spotted Florida seatrout, also known as gator trout(when they reach over 6 pounds). There are also black drum that roam these flats too, they are not a game fish but are part of the drum family and do put up an outstanding fight on light tackle. On the Banana River we will be targeting all mentioned above, plus tarpon and snook.

The seasonal Atlantic beach tarpon and snook will be on the warmer summer and fall months list to catch as well, these are over 50 plus pounds. Mixed in on the these charters you will also catch at times, lady fish, jacks, shark, snapper, cobia, kings, triple tail, pompano and flounder. At times this can be done along the near coastal waters of the Atlantic ocean and our local beaches.

Can we keep fish to eat? Some species are kept at the captains discretion only on near coastal charters, however all of the charters inside the national park and wildlife refuge are all catch and release only. These prized and protected game fish must be released. These are quality over quantity fish. I like to say "fish that dreams are made of".

Are kids welcomed? I welcome all ages and experience levels. Kids are most definitely welcomed. This is great family fun and can be adjusted for everyone on board to have a good time and a successful day on the water. Professional or beginners always have a great time while fishing this area and as your guide I will work hard to ensure that you have the best fishing trip ever.

What is the tackle we use? I use all light tackle, high end professional grade saltwater series. Including the spinning fishing gear and the fly fishing gear. I use exclusively Shimano spinning reels, Ross fly reels and St. Croix fishing rods, along with DOA Fishing Lures and custom hand tied saltwater flies.

How many people can the boat carry at a time? One to three anglers at any given time is optimal on board. So four total including me, the captain, under special conditions. However at times a fourth angler can go along for a small additional fee. Please contact me on the details of adding that third or fourth individual.

What happens if I have a large family or group wanting to go fishing? I will be able to arrange a multi boat charter trip with other guides whom I work closely with and can trust. Again please email me or call me for the details on setting this up.

Booking Information

Please feel free to contact me at • (386)210-4189 • email • captaindrewc@gmail.com for booking information and inquiries.

Thank You,
Captain Drew