Florida East Coast Fishing Adventures CaptMarkWright@earthlink.net
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A Visitor’s Guide to Fishing Out of Orlando

Orlando is home to a variety of attractions, but don’t forget to escape the region’s popular destinations for a hidden gem, the Mosquito Lagoon. The Mosquito Lagoon is one of Florida’s most understated fishing getaways. Surprisingly, it’s located a mere hour away from Orlando’s attractions.

Orlando is known for theme parks, water parks, sports arenas, and golf. The city is one of the few places where you may catch a Jai Alai match, tour a geodesic dome and ride a flume in the same week, but the crowds can become cumbersome and long lines become wearisome – there aren’t long lines to catch a fish! Tacit but essential elements of fishing are the vistas: it’s the trek into natural and quiet surroundings that make a fishing trip memorable. There’s an escape from Orlando’s crowded destinations, Mosquito Lagoon.

The Mosquito Lagoon is 21,000 square acres of pristine primeval waters. Orlando’s luxurious spas are not to be found here, but try catching a Redfish in a spa. These waters are home to a variety of fish, but they’re famed for Redfish. They’re said to be the “Redfish Capital of the World.” A Redfish angler, at Saltwatersportsman.com, stated that “conditions were perfect [along Mosquito Lagoon]. A flat, calm surface blanketed the mangrove-rimmed cove, the water [was] clear enough to reveal the bottom. Only mullet splashes and the occasional squawk of a heron interrupted the stillness.” World record Redfish have been pulled from these waters. In addition to Redfish, Seatrout are known to be easily caught along the lagoon. The Mosquito Lagoon’s New Smyrna Inlet is a tidal pool. Water, like clockwork, ebbs into the pool every 6 hours. The incoming water brings large pods of Redfish and Seatrout to feed along the Oyster bars.

A female fisherman showing a redfish

Mosquito Lagoon’s shallow topography is renowned for shellfish trapping. Oysters are abundant along the Lagoon’s North shore, near Oakhill and may be caught by the barrel. Additionally, Stone Crab and Blue Crab are easily trapped along one of the lagoon’s many sandbars. The angler may also trap shrimp. 

The lagoon’s waters’, referred to by many as “unchanged in 10,000 years”, are an estuary and home to a variety of fish. These Redfish laden waters are unique, salt and fresh water mingle, creating a shallow brackish lagoon. Although these waters are close to Orlando’s attractions, they’re antithetical to Orlando’s plastic pop-culture. Moreover, Mosquito Lagoon’s waters are home to Bottlenose Dolphins. These dolphins, considered good luck by early mariners, play and fish in these enchanted waters alongside the angler.