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Fly Fishing Trips on the Banana River Lagoon

Saltwater Fishing Charters by Lagooner Fishing Guides

Fly Fishing Trips on the Banana River

Inshore Saltwater Fly Fishing Charters In Florida

Monday May 29, 2017

Fly fishing enthusiast will enjoy mild days of double haul casting for redfish and spotted sea trout on the shallow grass beds in the Banana River Lagoon. While there's plenty of backwater fishing action in canals and mangrove shorelines for snook and tarpon, the angler will have to get up early to throw streamers and poppers under the branches and around drop offs, because an hour after sunrise may be too late. Most anglers don't understand the demands of a fly fishing addict... Captain Richard Bradley does and he'll help you discover what the Banana River Lagoon between Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach on Florida's east coast has to to offer a fan of saltwater fly fishing.

A typical day on the Banana River with a fly rod in the shallow water will require an 8 or 9 weight rod of your choice with ample backing. Most anglers find a nine foot rod 8 weight with an intermediate or floating line is perfect for inshore shallow water fishing in Central Florida.  An 8 weight St. Croix Rod will be provided upon request if needed. Floating or intermediate lines are adequate and should be equally effective in the shallow water and along mangrove shorelines.

Banana River Fly Fishing AssortmentStreamers & Poppers: Most everything you fish for in the Banana River Lagoon can be caught on a streamer fly, the most popular being Clousers in various colors and shapes. "I find that red fish fall readily for a well presented clouser and depending on the water color you may present a chartreuse or various natural shrimp colored brown/black Clousers. A finicky fish may pick up a crab pattern better on certain days", explains Captain Richard Bradley.

Snook like deceivers or lightly weighted clousers, there's only one real color for a Banana River Snook fly and it's white. While tarpon will take a traditional tarpon fly, they also take various glass minnow flies and popper flies too. Tarpon fishing can be challenging on the fly in the east central part of the state as they are not the most consistent species to pursue and find. Snook on the other hand are readily available in the warmer months.

Sea trout aren't too finicky and a nice clouser or popper will do just fine. While it's not considered as sporting, many anglers have fashioned small streamer flies trailing behind a popper for warmer water trout. This method is similar to the popping cork rig that is popular in the deeper grass flats.

Mixing Fly Fishing with Sight Fishing

The ultimate achievement in fly fishing is when you combine fly fishing with sight fishing on the shallow water flats in saltwater. You've seen the fishing shows for bonefish, redfish and permit on the television and have come to expect a fishing trip to go just like one of Jose's Spanish Fly episodes or Flip Pallot's Walker's Cay Chronicles. The reality of a fly fishing trip is that the sun and moon often have to line up for a great sight fishing day on the water, but when it does, it's a great time and can be the climax of a fly fishermen's career.

"I'd come down to fish with Captain Richard for a couple of years and we found windy, choppy conditions unfit for sightfishing with a fly rod and we resorted to using spinning tackle instead. However the third year was the winner and we able to score many large schooling red fish in the Banana River and some awesome sight casting for single fish too. The fishing is awesome and I'll be back for many more years to come."
-An Extraordinary Fly Fisherman from Utah

Calm days are best and clear water makes things much easier, but one must also remember that the fish must cooperate too. During certain times of the year, it's unreasonable to look for redfish on the Banana River and one might resort to other species like snook or possibly even tarpon and sea trout.

Bring your fly fishing skills and work on your double haul, remember a 70 foot cast is not unusual for red fish and it must be placed accurately too. Practice in a large well groomed grass field and consider using a stripping basket to store waiting line. Bring polarized sun glasses and a hat with a dark underside bill for less reflection. Sight fishing on the flats will test every fly fishing skill that one possesses excepting possibly the roll cast, so be prepared.

A little More Information About Fly Fishing

Fly fishing on a small skiff is a one person endeavor and should not be shared with other anglers as it becomes difficult and often dangerous for the other passengers in the boat while the back cast is being performed. Consider that the guide is putting himself in position for your back cast and also calculating for another passenger too. Life is difficult for the fly fisherman, so make it less difficult and leave other anglers shore bound if possible.

Banana River Fly Fishing Trips

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: December 10 2015 17:57:31.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

May - 2017 Fishing Report

Captain Richard has been spending most days on the Ocean during the month of May only to retreat into the Banana River Lagoon on windier days when the Atlantic is too rough. There's been some redfish and sea trout caught in the shallow waters of the Banana, but the real action has been in the ocean.

Fishing Forecast

May - 2017 Fishing Forecast

May is one of the last month's of good fishing in the Banana River Lagoon until the summer months are over and the temperatures start to fall again in late September and October. May is awesome backwater snook time for Banana River anglers. Look for the early morning bite to produce great numbers of these hard hitting game fish. Fly fisherman only need to bring white mangrove flies in an assortment of sizes, but most snook will be in the single digit size so don't go past a 10 weight. Redfish will be plentiful and healthy sized in many areas of the Banana River and the sea trout will be staging around bait along sandbars and islands. Look for sea trout to slow down late in the month and as the summer temps rise the sea trout fishing will all but disappear excepting the smaller ones in the deeper water. Sebastian and the Mosquito Lagoon will be better sea trout areas in late May and into the summer.

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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 Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near 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.

Had a very enjoyable day today with capt Richard....
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on April 7, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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