Florida's Mosquito Lagoon Florida Fishing 

Six Pound Spinning Tackle for Mosquito Lagoon

by Capt. Steven Holmes
Editor of the Jacksonville Fisherman 

The early morning twilight - a magical period of time somewhere between light and fantasy - I refer to as the enchanting hour, a time of awakening for all of God’s creations. Sunrise in the backcountry makes it worth while to rise early and experience these moments when fishing becomes a surreal experience.

Capt. Frank Bolin with a nice Mosquito Lagoon redfish.It was Friday morning and, like most Friday’s, I was up early heading to launch my boat. The reason for this morning’s expedition – like I needed a reason to fish – was to explore the Mosquito Lagoon area. My fishing partner and fellow ISA member Capt. Frank Bolin (phone (904) 471-3573) had been there many times before and offered to show me around.  Always looking for adventure, I could not pass up the offer to explore the famous Lagoon with my friend.

The night before I could hardly sleep. In my mind’s eye I could see myself fishing a top-water plug in the early morning crispness when the tranquillity of the night has not yet departed.  I could see the mirrored surface of the water polished by the still night’s air.

The game plan was for us to launch in at Edgewater Florida City Park and motor out into a no name flats area of Mosquito Lagoon after Reds. As we motored our way down the 2 miles of no wake zone, we noticed that that water was far from what we had envisioned. It is late March and the southerly wind had blow up a nice two to three foot chop.  Being the hard cases we are we were not about to give up. So, leaving the no wake zone we bashed our way south to the canal between Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon. It was here, out of the wind, that we found a glimmer of what we had envisioned.

I watched an Osprey perched overhead carefully observing the water for the slightest movement. I was enjoying nature’s splendor so much that I almost hated to break the silence with the first cast. I had selected a top-water lure because it is an ideal candidate to avoid the clutches of underwater obstruction and has been know as excellent medicine for taking Gator Trout.

Fishing the Lagoon always brings a smile to Capt. Frank.My first cast shattered the glassy surface of the water with a loud ca-splash. Frank looked at me as if to say, “are you trying to scare every fish out of this here!”  I allowed the lure to suspend motionless for about five seconds then began working the Top Gun lure by Mirr-O-lure with a yank and wait method. I was on my third cast when I saw a small flash in the water striking toward my lure. I stopped the lure for a few seconds then gave it a yank. It did not take long until the first Trout of the day felt the sting of the hook.

No matter how many Trout I have caught, I still find it hard to believe that a little 1 ½ pound Trout has the enthusiasm to attack a 5-inch lure. I quickly released him and continued to cast in the same direction. After catching and releasing 3 more of his kin – all about the same size – I used the trolling motor to move on along the canal.  I was constantly working the Mirr-O-lure into every little offshoot and bend.

For a little deeper presentation Frank changed to a Mirr-O-lure model 52 with a red back, gold spots on the side and yellow bottom and I changed to a Saltwater Assign grub worked unweighted under a Cajun Thunder (new product from Equalizer). Trout, particularly Gator Trout have been known to like top water noise. I was praying that with working both a Mirr-O-Lure and the Cajun Thunder we would locate our quest.

We continued catching Trout in the 1-½ to 2-lb. range but nothing worthy of being called a Gator. Frank reflected that a year earlier he had scouted a promising area just north of the main Lagoon that looked excellent and should be out of the wind. So we both reeled in, fired up the Mercury and warped our way far north in search of the backcountry’s calm water.

The area looked excellent but the wind had everything spooked and held up back in the skinny water. The water temperature was a nice warm 75 degrees and if we could only get back in there I was optimistic that Mr. Red would feel like playing. The water kept getting shallower and shallower and finally Frank said bring in the trolling motor and allowing the wind to push us even further back into the small basin. 

Author, Capt. Steven Holmes, with another Mosquito Lagoon redfish.Frank kept pointing out Reds just out of casting range. Not use to sight fishing in the clear water I kept looking for a V wake not the actual fish. Frank pointed out a Red just 20 yards in front of the boat. I looked in the direction he was pointing but my aging eyes just could not see it. Frank using a 7-ft G-Loomis rod fired his grub just past my head out to the Red. In the crystal clear water I saw the Red turn around and nail the grub. Frank ran to the front of the boat raising the rod high to hold the line out of the underwater obstruction while the Shimano spinning reel screamed like a banshee as the light 6-lbs. line quickly departed.

After running in one direction to no avail Mr. Red reversed course and took off again. Frank quickly reeled in the slack while running to the back of the boat all the time holding the rod high anticipating the second run. The water was too shallow to even use the trolling motor to pursue the Red, so all I could do was wait with Boga grips in hand to land the fish. We landed that fish and sighted over 50 more fish that day, many out of reach.  Needless to say, our day of fishing the Lagoon with light 6 lbs. spinning gear was non-stop action. Previously published in Jacksonville Fisherman Magazine.
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You can contact Capt. Steve at:

SouthWind Charters
(904) 825-1784
[email protected]
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