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Fly Fishing on the Indian River Lagoon

Saltwater Flyfishing At Florida's Finest Fishing Destination

Friday February 23, 2018

Catching a fish on fly in the briny Indian River Lagoon can be one of the most rewarding experiences of an angler's lifetime. Most fly anglers visiting the eastern lagoons on central Florida's Space Coast near Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Titusville target the large redfish and world record sized spotted sea trout that are often plentiful on the shallow grass beds lining the islands, sandbars and marshes.

Most fly fishing can be accomplished with an 8 or 9 weight eight foot rod with a weight forward floating or intermediate fly line. Because redfish are less spooky than many game fish a shorter taper for sending larger fly patterns will work fine in most occasions. Yes, I'll get some criticism for suggesting that redfish are not spooky, but compared to their southern cousin the bonefish, redfish are a walk in the park for most anglers with a decent double haul and the abilities to cast accurately and consistently 55 feet or so.

If an angler is looking for a fist fight with the snook around structure a nine foot 10 weight will be the answer and some nice bright colored deceivers and seaducers, with white being this author's favorite. Look for snook during the warmer months and especially during the spring April/May and the fall from September/October as the fall mullet run fills in and the water is usually higher.

Sea trout on fly can be challenging for the larger specimens and relatively easy for smaller fish. Small trout can be caught on small poppers and streamers around deeper dropoffs and grassflats while larger trout are often considered the bonefish of our shallowest ecosystem and can be difficult to approach and make presentations to.

A Fly Fishing Excursion on the Indian River Lagoon

The northern part of the Indian River hosts crystal clear grassflats with roaming schools of redfish and spotted sea trout. During most of the cooler months you can find exceptional fishing in most of the lagoon and our most clear water. Generally speaking, the warmer months from May to August is challenging as the intense Florida heat causes many fish to turn off after the sun starts beating down and warming the lagoons into the high 80°F mark, anglers often choose to go offshore or nearshore on the Atlantic. The late summer and fall produce large spawning redfish schools for the trophy hunters with September being the peak month. During the mid winter our cleanest water make sight fishing a joy for many if the winds are cooperative.

Sunset on the Indian River Lagoon

Further south on the Indian River lagoon towards Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island's eastern shoreline you can find excellent fishing during the fall-winter and spring months for both sea trout and redfish. A Bonus fish in the fall and spring months would be a snook or possibly some jack crevalle.

To ready yourself for a fly fishing trip on the Indian River Lagoon, most anglers need to master the double haul and accurately cast at least half of their 100 foot fly lines. Accuracy on a moving target or tailing redfish is paramount. While redfish are not the spookiest species in the saltwater a quick and decisive cast will bag the fish more often than not. Redfish can have their moments when it comes to being both dumb and smart, so it's best to practice for the smart ones and you'll be prepared and pleasantly surprised when you come across one of the less intelligent ones.

Where is the Indian River Lagoon

Technically the IRL or Indian River is part of the Intracoastal waterway on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The name of this body of water changes as you traverse the waterway from Biscayne Bay in Miami and northward toward the Chesapeake Bay or Montawk New Jersey.

East Central Florida's prominent Indian River Lagoon sections are called the Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River Lagoon and of course the Indian River Lagoon as it heads south toward Sebastian Inlet and Fort Pierce with the North Boundary skirting a small town called Scottsmoore and Mims. Fishing information on the Indian River can be found at the links above.

Fly Fishing in the Saltwater Lagoon of the Indian River

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: November 19 2016 14:38:25.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

February - 2018 Fishing Report

Every February seems to be different and this one is no different.

Fishing Forecast

February - 2018 Fishing Forecast

There's not a better way to spend a Valentines day with your sweetie than out in the boat catching the winter sun and a few nice fish. If the weather this February stays nice, look for some fun and rewarding fishing into the central Florida spring break period. Fish get hungry as spring approaches and the cold winter grip releases. I KNOW... I KNOW... IT's Florida! How can Florida get cold? Well, it can often drop into the 40° mark over night and be in the 70's during the day, so plan a late morning trip on the lagoon and you should be safe in Februay and into March.

Necessities for Fly Fishing on the Indian River

Generally speaking an 8 weight 9 foot rod for redfish, sea trout, ladyfish and most other open water and shallow grassflats predators will be a fine choice. However a snook in the bushes or around a dock will require more backbone and a 10 weight is recommended. A good all around choice would be a nine weight, but small trout on the deeper flats will not be as exciting on a nine weight.

Streamers and poppers for the IRL are as varied as anywhere and generally large bonefish flies or crustacean imitations will get redfish and trout. Minnow streamers will work for the majority or the redfish, jacks, ladyfish and trout with larger white patterns for snook. Weedless flies should be considered to shed sea grass and enhance your presentation.

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

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and 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.

My wife and I have been on several trips with Captain Richard and have always had a great time and have usually caught a lot of fish, and would have had a wonderful day on the water even if we would not have been so lucky. I would recommend Lagooner to anyone wanting a fun day out fishing.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on October 31, 2013

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