How to fish Mosquito Lagoon and Ponce Inlet*

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 noticable 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 towarrd channels and holes in the lagoon. Try using jerk baits, GULPS or the like. if you fish topwater baits, try topwaters around dropoffs 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 possiblities and opinions.

Fishing Rod - Spinning

Lightweight, preferrably Graphite or Composite. 8-12 Pound Class Rods will work great in most cases
Cork Handle
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
Preferrably Green or Red in color
Leader - Flourocrabon in 10-15 pound Test

Fishing Hooks - Live Bait or Cut Bait Fishing

Circle Hook
3/0 - 5/0 in size
Non-offset

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 freelined to edges and in holes

Fishing Lures and Artificial Baits

Top Dog
She Dog
GULP (all colors)
mirro Lure
Hakala Gator Spoon
MorrOdine Lures
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 mothership 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 grassflats, 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.

​*This information is courtesy of our friends at flfishingspots.com , please visit their website for maps and more!