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Inshore Channel Bass or Red Drum Fishing in Shallow Water

Thursday April 19, 2018

The rage is here to stay as the redfish population has grown in Florida and the anglers are traveling in flocks to see the Orlando attractions and spend a few days in the Florida sunshine catching a few fish. "If it wasn't for this popular fishing in Florida I'd be out of business", explains Captain Richard of Lagooner Fishing Charters. "I love to go offshore and catch many of the great fish we have in our area, but in the winter when the ocean is often rough and unpredictable I can fish for redfish all year around as well as the blustery winter days that often challenge the offshore anglers".

Inshore fishing for redfish in our protected Lagoons including the world famous Indian River and Banana River Lagoons, the Mosquito Lagoon and our shorelines produce world class fishing for this species. The redfish is named for it's colorful hue that changes in it's habitat. Ocean run redfish are often lighter and the darker lagoon redfish can be a coppery red with a bronze cast, but they're all the same even though their named by several different aliases. In the Carolina's they call them "channel bass" and all over they are called the "red drum" or "puppy drum" as smaller sized ones are called. In many areas the biggest breeder fish are referred to as "bulls" and in the south we simply call them redfish or "reds", but one things for sure... this lowly drum is a popular species for anglers to come and have fun with in the sparkling Florida waters all year around.

There are always Redfish Biting somewhere in Florida

Captain Richard BradleyI went fishing in the middle of a category one hurricane several years ago with a friend of mine just to say "I've been fishing in a hurricane". This foolish act was before the famous hurricane Andrew that hit Miami and during the time when hurricane parties were popular and almost encouraged if the storm was a low grade storm or tropical depression. But the point of this story was to tell anglers that we did manage to catch a fish (yes one fish) during the 70 mph winds that blew our Florida coastline for several hours. The fish however was a quality fish, a redfish non-the-less and it's a testament that although the winds of change blow for Florida residents, the lowly redfish keeps plodding along.

I recently touched bases with a good friend and minister, Reverend Poly Rouse that lived here during those earlier years and we had the privilege of catching a few oversized reds in the Banana River Lagoon on Florida's east coast. We often waded the Lagoon and some of it's alligator infested tributaries and caught our share of reds, snook and sea trout. By the way, I've never seen someone as scared of alligators as that man, he practically jumped on my shoulders and started crying. Sorry Poly, but you did and we caught reds right out from under the alligator.

Florida's redfish boom came in the 1980's during the blackened redfish craze. A moratorium was placed on the red drum and then as populations exploded an awesome sports fishery materialized and it's gotten better with management from the FWC and federal authorities. Now why anyone would want to blacken a redfish is beyond me as redfish are wonderful tasting and barely need seasoning. I'm supposing that the restaurants used heavy seasoning to cover any fishy taste on unfresh frozen fish, but anglers in Florida are restricted to one fish per person between 18" and 27" and it's simply not acceptable to freeze a portion of redfish when you can eat the flesh immediately. We eat redfish grilled and lightly marinated and seasoned on low heat and we often eat it panned fried or backed in a casserole. Anyway you slice it a redfish is a great eating fish and when you get a chance to come to Florida you can have your fresh catch grilled at many of the local restaurants.

God Bless,

Captain Richard Bradley
Lagooner Fishing Guide

Where is Florida's Best Redfish Fishing?

No doubt about it, Florida's east coast from Daytona to Sebastian Inlet is Florida's finest redfish territory. The clear waters of the Mosquito Lagoon and the North Banana's No Motor Zone are simply the best sightfishing, but don't discount the Indian River and many other locations on Florida's east coast. Simply call Captain Gina and set up a Florida redfishing trip and we'll show you why East Central Florida is the best redfishing that Florida has to offer.

Known as a fish that will not quit, redfish can be absolute brutes. And as such, they have become one of the most sought after fish in the shallows of Florida. Since their protection in the mid 1980's redfish numbers have proliferated and are especially abundant and large on the east central Florida coastline. Redfish have a coppery bronze color with a tinge of red, color will vary depending on water clarity. Normally redfish have one spot on the base of their tails but often there are several or many spots. Take a look at these spots caught by a lagooner fisherman. [LOOK]

East Central Florida boast some of the best inshore and estuary fishing for redfish in the world. Our redfish are renown for both quantity and quality. They are found in the lagoon systems all around the coast of Florida and some are even found offshore. This species is often found feeding in less than one foot of water while foraging for crustaceans, fish and small mollusk. Often they are in such shallow water that you can see their tales and backs protruding from the water, hence the term "tailing redfish".

Best Redfish Locations

Mosquito Lagoon
Sightfishing Mecca from Oakhill to Playlinda Beach. World famous fishing waters in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge in Northern Brevard County. Mosquito Lagoon can have crystal clear water allowing flyfisherman and light-tackle fisherman great opportunities to sight fish for tailing redfish and other species.

Northern Indian River Lagoon
Banana Creek, Titusville, Carbide Flats, Haulover Canal, Dummit Cove, Scottsmore are only some of the known redfish haunts in this area.

The Banana River has a NMZ or No Motorized Zone in the very north adjacent to Canaveral Airforce Base and NASA property. This are can be extremely productive for big schooling redfish as they are not subjected to motor boats and fishing pressure.


Orlando Redfish
Sebastian Redfish
Mosquito Lagoon Redfish
Banana River Guide Service
Indian River Redfish Guide
Releasing Redfish
Indian River Redfish


Not less than 18" or more than 27" and only 1 fish per harvester per day.

State Record

51 lbs., 8 ozs.

Florida Redfish

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: October 20 2016 15:58:48.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

April - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

April - 2018 Fishing Forecast

April of 2018 should be a great spring for fishing in both inshore and offshore coastal waters of Central Florida. Look to the Mosquito Lagoon and Banana Rivers to produce redfish and sea trout consistently and then look toward the ocean and depending on the water temps, clear skies and wind the cobia will be on their way north and migrating past Canaveral towards their northern grounds on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Central Florida's weather during the spring is usually no less than spectacular as the college spring breakers are winding up the end of their vacation and heading back to campus to finish up before summer break. Daytona Beach host several spring events from NASCAR Races, Bike Week and Spring Break activities while Cocoa Beach and it's Space Coast offer a much less crowded alternative for vacationers to seek a more secluded and restful Holiday. The temperatures are rising and the fishing should be heating up too in East Central Florida's Cocoa Beach.

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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 loved our time on the water with Captain Richard! Thanks for a great trip!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on May 6, 2017

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