The Mosquito Lagoon is known for holding consistent numbers of "Monster" "Bull" Redfish (Red Drum) and huge "Gator" Trout (Spotted Seatrout). Most locals consider this the Redfish Capitol of the World. A few things you should know when fishing here;
- The fish species you are targeting. (see Redfish and Trout below)
- The area that you will be navigating. (see Top Spot Map Below)
- Permits needed. (see Permits below)
- Places to stay. (Thats easy OAK HILL FISH CAMP see below)
The most important things are to come and enjoy yourself, pass the passion and knowledge down to the next generation, and FISH OFTEN.
Not less that 18" or more than 27".
1 per harvester per day. South Zone. With a vessel possession limit of 8 fish.
◾Chin without barbels
◾Copper-bronze body; lighter in clear waters
◾1 to many spots at the base of the tail
◾Mouth horizontal and opens downward
In winter, redfish are found in seagrass, over muddy or sand bottoms, or near oyster bars or spring fed creeks.
Juvenile redfish are an inshore species until they reach roughly 30 inches (4 years). They then migrate to the nearshore population.
52 lb 5 oz, caught near Cocoa (1996)
Fishing Tips and Facts:
Red drum are one of Florida’s most popular sport fish and the state’s most widespread estuarine fish. Floating a live shrimp under a popping cork is a good way to fish for redfish. They also chase crabs, mullet, pinfish and killifish (mud minnows). Casting soft-bodied jigs, spoons and even top-water plugs will catch the attention of these powerful estuarine musicians. Redfish make great table fare.
Redfish are prodigious spawners that produce tens of millions of eggs. Spawning season is from about August through December, in passes, inlets and lagoon estuaries around the state. During spawning season, redfish use special muscles rubbing against their air bladder to produce a "drumming" sound for which they are named.
Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles
Not less that 15" or more than 20" (statewide).
Except 1 fish over 20" per person.
4 per harvester per day. S.E. Zone.
◾Dark gray or green above, with sky-blue tinges shading to silvery and white below
◾Numerous distinct round black spots on back, extending to the dorsal fin and tail
◾No barbels and no scales on the soft dorsal fin
◾1 or 2 prominent canine teeth usually present at tip of upper jaw
Seatrout found inshore and nearshore in and around seagrass meadows, mangrove-fringed shorelines, deep holes and channels and above oyster bars.
Spawning occurs inshore from March through November. Spotted setrout move into deeper, still waters during colder months. They feed on baitfish, mullet, shrimp and crabs.
17 lb 7 oz, caught near Ft. Pierce
Free-line live shrimp or small pinfish or pigfish (grunts) near the bottom to entice trout out of grass-bed holes. Attaching a float will allow these baits to drift over the grass beds as you search for trout. Casting with soft-bodied jigs, top-water poppers and spoons can be effective. Trout are very delicate, so returning unwanted or illegal fish promptly to the water is necessary to maintain a healthy population. Spotted seatrout are a good eating fish.
Spotted seatrout reach 3 feet and 15 pounds but are common in the 4-pound range.
There are 2 licenses that a person needs to fish the Mosquito Lagoon. The first is the recreational saltwater fishing license that you can get in advance at myfwc.com. (see below) The second license is the Merritt Island rules and regulations license, which you just need to read, print out and have with you when fishing. (see below)
Resident Saltwater Fishing - 12 Month
Authorizes the holder to take or attempt to take saltwater fish, crabs, clams or other saltwater organisms (other than non-living seashells).
Non-resident Saltwater Fishing - 12 Month