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Florida's Indian River Lagoon

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Thursday November 26, 2015

The Indian River Lagoon fringes Florida's Atlantic east coast from Ponce De Leon Inlet and southward approximately 150 miles toward Hobe Sound. It's natural and manmade inlets provide tidal movement and flushing that is crucial to the health and well being of aquatic marine and estuary life.  Three distinct interconnecting bodies of water makeup the Indian River Lagoon system, starting in the north with the Mosquito Lagoon and connecting directly west via the man made Haulover Canal is the official northern Indian River Lagoon near the cities of Scottsmore, Mims and Titusville. Traveling southward the Lagoon is split by Merritt Island where the island's eastern side host the Banana River Lagoon while it's western shore maintains the Indian River Lagoon name for the next one hundred miles or so until it reaches the town of Hobe Sound and Jupiter Inlet.

The Indian River Lagoon is part of the 3000 mile Intracoastal Waterway that borders most of the eastern seaboard of the United States and Gulf of Mexico. The Intracoastal Waterway or ICW is a mostly natural protected waterway that has been enhanced with manmade canals and dredging to promote commerce and safe, protected passage for commercial and recreational vessels without the hazards of the open ocean and rough seas. The ICW was commissioned by congress in 1919 and is loosely maintained by the United States Army Corp of Engineers.  While the USACE is responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation's water and related environmental resources many environment concerns and requirements have prevented the USACE from rigorously maintaining the ICW and it's waterways.

During the last century the IRL has become a mecca for recreational and sports fishing enthusiast. Anglers from all over the world travel to this renowned fishing destination for popular saltwater gamefish species.  Sports fishing has created a foundation for a multi billion dollar industry in Florida with boat manufacturers, outdoors and fishing tackle stores.  The Indian River Lagoon has helped groom central Florida into a true eco-tourism and outdoor destination for American and the world.

About The IRL

Indian River Fishing Trip

A lagoon is a body of comparatively shallow salt or brackish water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank, coral reef, or similar feature. In the case of the IRL, it is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a thin barrier island with narrow breaks or "openings" called inlets. Almost the entire eastern seaboard of Florida is a barrier island and Brevard County has a well known city on it's barrier island called Cocoa Beach and it also host the Canaveral National Seashore and northward to Ponce Inlet.

The Indian River Lagoon is a TRUE lagoon, there are no headwaters or freshwater springs feeding the lagoon as indicated by it's name "Indian River". The small turbulent inlets including Sebastian Inlet, New Smyrna Inlet, Fort Pierce Inlet, St. Lucie Inlet and Jupiter Inlet in the far south are just a few spigots that feed into the IRL with clean saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean.. There is very little freshwater intrusion from natural sources other than small creeks and rivers like the Sebastian River, Turkey Creek and Crane Creek. There as several man made canals coming from the center of the state that control water levels during rainy seasons, unfortunately they often contain agricultural runoff and petroleum products from roadways and developed areas. However these spillways can also be mecca's for gamefish like snook for observant anglers.

A Lagoon In Peril?

Some would argue, depending on what part of the 200 mile long lagoon they are actively involved in that the IRL is pristine. At first glance many anglers are mesmerized by the shear beauty of the our saltwater lagoon estuary.  The northern end of the IRL, known as the Mosquito Lagoon is a 20 mile stretch that borders the Kennedy Space Center and it's Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Since the mid 1980's this has become a mecca for anglers and it's sight fishing opportunities. While many of the younger generation looks at this as an unspoiled watershed, old timers like Captain Richard Bradley, beg to differ and remember when the Mosquito Lagoon was a healthier, clearer habitat.

Fortunately in 1992, the voters of the State of Florida amended the Florida Constitution to Ban inshore entanglement nets and limit commercial fishing within three miles of shore. While this has helped and possibly saved the fish populations, the next assault that needs to be confronted will be protecting our lagoon from over-development and the problems of storm water runoff.

One of the more prevalent ecological problems to the Indian River Lagoon is storm water runoff. Unlike natural runoff that occurred before human development, storm water runoff comes from our roadways, parks, golf courses and other sources. Every summer storm spills millions of gallons of runoff into the lagoons sending petroleum products from roadways and nitrates/phosphates and other chemicals from yards and manicured landscaping. While raw sewage has been greatly illuminated from the lagoon, treated sewage and waste are evasive and killing tens of thousands of acres of important sea grass each decade.

Our lagoons are still beautiful, but only thru diligence and constant conservation can we keep our lagoons healthy for fish and wildlife populations to continue.

Inshore Fishing on the Indian River Lagoon

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 19 2015 17:09:25.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

Looking for information about fishing the Indian River Lagoon or IRL in Central Florida? Call (321) 868-4953 and Ask for Captain Richard or his fishing mate Captain Gina. They'll be more than glad to talk to you in length about setting up a fishing trip while you're visiting the area.

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Request information about a fishing trip with a Lagooner Fishing Guide by filling out and submitting this form or simply calling (321) 868-4953

Fishing Reports

November 2015
Indian River Fishing Update

It's turkey month and November of 2015 is winding up to be one of the best and productive fishing Novembers in recent years when the weather cooperates between fronts. Cold fronts and windy weather wreak havoc on the fishing but they are also what cause tremendous fishing in the milder weather between the fronts. Hey! It's Florida, how bad can a cold front be anyhow? Cold fronts set fish into their fall/winter patterns and cause them to feed strongly between the fronts as winter sets in. If it turns out to be a harsh winter look for awesome fishing between the fronts and if it's a mild winter the fishing should be consistent all winter long. So there it is your winter fishing forecast in November of 2015! Now for a more detailed look at what's been going on lately in the Indian River Lagoon.

Big redfish are roaming the flats in the Indian River Lagoon with many being caught over the twenty pound mark and a few scaling past the thirty pound mark. Between the fronts we are finding black drum on many of of the fishing holes and sandbars around the IRL. Prior to or each front when the wind starts to pick up we've been getting strong bites from keep sized redfish and brilliant colored spotted seatrout with their bright yellow mouths and speckled backs. During the fronts, fishing becomes more challenging but many of our anglers are still landing fish if they are patient and work diligently at presenting artificials or particularly live baits during the waining of the fall mullet run.

November is and excellent month for fishing in the Indiand River Lagoon, but I'm also fishing many days southward toward Sebastian Inlet and Honest John's fish camp near Grant and Fellsmere. We have been doing superb snook fishing for the adventurous night anglers, landing many snook near or over the 34 inch slot limit.

Fishing Forecast

November - 2015 Fishing Forecast

Thanksgiving in Central Florida and on the Banana River Lagoon can be a great time of the year for almost all types of inshore species native to our area. Redfish, black drum and sea trout will really kick in as the month matures and will only get better as the winter deepens. Look for this fall month to produce good numbers of redfish and some spotted sea trout. If it's a very cool month, it should be better and warmer will still produce well. The nice thing about November too is that there is less fishing pressure and boaters on the lagoon. This will help with the gathering of fish in the busier parts of the lagoon and it's also a good time to have some seclusion.

Experience the Indian River Lagoon waterway During November

Indian River FishingWhether you choose to go fishing, boat riding, or swimming in the IRL it's a great experience in the Florida sunshine. Lagooner Fishing Guides are trained professionals that help you catch fish and enjoy your outdoor experience to it's fullest.

This family went for a day on the IRL and had a blast on this late March afternoon fishing with a Indian River Fishing Guide. "We saw manatees, dolphins and caught a load of big fish, it was the best day I've had with my dad!" explains one of the kids above. "We caught redfish and spotted seatrout." says another excited young angler.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide on the Banana River with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

Meeting Place for Banana River Fishing Charters

2550 North Banana River Drive
Cocoa Beach, FL

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Inshore Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

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!!!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on July 13, 2014

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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