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Live Bait fishing on the Banana River Lagoon

Saltwater Fishing Charters by Lagooner Fishing Guides

Live Bait Fishing on the Banana River

Shrimp Mullet and Pigfish are Favorite Inshore Fishing Baits

Saturday February 24, 2018

On many mornings you'll find anglers casting their nets out in search of fresh bait to start the day on the Banana River Lagoon. Live bait fishing is one of the most productive ways to find and catch fish and often, it's often the only bait that draws the strike... even over many of the high tech scented and colorful artificial's on the market today.

The Banana River lies east of Merritt Island and west of Cocoa Beach and the City of Cape Canaveral and stretches southward to Indian Harbor beach and Dragon Point where it merges with and becomes the Indian River Lagoon that runs the whole eastern seaboard of Brevard County and central Florida. You'll find plenty of fishing action in the Banana River Lagoon and live baiting is one trick that a knowledgeable fishing guide will use to help put anglers on game fish. The Banana River is an inshore Mecca for light tackle and fly fishing enthusiast that know that where the bait is... the fish ARE!

Banana River Lagoon Baits

You can divide live baits into two categories in the Banana River Lagoon, crustaceans and finfish. Crustaceans are crabs and shrimp while finfish are simply live fish bait such as mullet, pilchards, pig fish, pin fish, menhaden and mojara. All of the aforementioned can be found and harvested for bait in the Banana River Lagoon or purchased for bait in local bait & tackle stores depending on how energetic the store owner and employees are and also how readily available certain baits are during certain times of the year.

Banana River ShrimpShrimp can be found in almost all tackle stores near the water and Port Canaveral's Sunrise Marina has the freshest live shrimp for the finicky angler. They'll also carry pinfish, mud minnows and seasonal finger mullet. The only bait we consider purchasing at tackle stores are shrimp as they're usually fresh and easily transported. Depending on what type of fishing you are doing and how many anglers are aboard will dictate how many shrimp you'll need for the day. "I never go out without at least a dozen shrimp on a days charter", explains Captain Richard, "Even if I'm not planning on using them, they'll taste good in a scampi that evening."

Small blue crabs are often used for bait in many parts of Florida, but you'll have to find them yourself as the bait stores rarely carry them, fiddler crabs are more often the crab of convenience. "Honestly, I find artificial crabs to be and effective bait when sight fishing, because the small blue crabs are difficult to come by on the Space Coast", Explains Captain Richard.

"Captain Richard took us to a shallow water bank less than 18 inches deep and we caught redfish after redfish with my kids on live finger mullet in the Banana River near Merritt Island. I think they liked catching the bait as much as the fish"
-A California Dad on Vacation

A good cast net is an excellent way to capture and harvest bait for a day of fishing. Local net maker Tim Wade makes and exceptional net for many of the commercial guys in our area and will sell retail to the public. Tim's nets are more expensive, but the quality of the cast net is well worth the extra cost.

Who Does Guided Fishing Trips on the Banana River?

Live bait fishing on the Banana River Lagoon offers a great opportunity for anglers to hone their skills under the watchful eye of an experienced, seasoned fishing guide with a lifetime of knowledge to offer. Fishing guides offer the one-on-one service needed to get anglers to the next level in their fishing skills and endeavors. Captain Richard often teaches anglers how to cast a net and collect their own live baits when he's guiding on Florida's Banana River Lagoon.

Using Live Bait on the Banana River Lagoon for common Florida Gamefish.

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: December 10 2015 17:57:30.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

February - 2018 Fishing Report

Florida's weather up-and-downs will determine if February will continue on as a typical winter month or warm into March toward spring. The Banana River has been a mixed bag of fishing with good days and fair days of fishing this year and depending on water temperatures and coldfronts the banana has been good during the colder days and so-so on the warmer days where Captain Richard has leaned toward the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon for a more productive fishing day.

Fishing Forecast

February - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Valentine fishing in February is one sweetheart of a fishing trip on the Banana River as temperatures and coldfronts make fish predictable as the weather. Coldfronts will send the sea trout to the holes and the warmth between fronts will cause them to enter the shallow water in numbers. The redfish are ever-present and there may be mixed opportunities with them, but they should be consistant. If we have a mild winter, the fishing for reds will probably be better but a harsh winter will be more challenging. On the Banana River look for redfish and large spotted sea trout and a smattering of black drum for fun. Typically the snook are a no-show and the tarpon can be in a couple of backwater locations if they feel up to it.

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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.

Richard is a great guide with a lot of great stories. Worth the time & money. We have gone with numerous times over the last 5 years. The last time was 12/27/16, we caught redfish, blue fish, mangrove snapper, jack & a snook. My husband & I both caught redfish...a 7, 12, 20 & 30 lbs. another great day on the water.
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 14, 2017

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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