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Patrick Air Force Base, PAFB

Patrick Air Force on the Banana River

Inshore and Nearshore Fishing Near A U.S. Military Base

Friday June 22, 2018

The American Military has a couple of bases located on the Banana River Lagoon near Cocoa Beach, Florida and to their credit the fishing can be fabulous near these facilities. Patrick Air Force Base is located in the central part of Brevard County directly between the sleepy community of Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach on the eastern seaboard. Anglers fishing directly west of PAFB are often treated to aircraft shows from training airmen and their crews. It's not uncommon to witness paratroopers dropping off into the shallow lagoon to be quickly snatched up by black inflatables during training excersises while you are tugging on breeding redfish stocks on the far shores near Merritt Island and it's shallow water grassflats.

Banana River Fly Fishing AssortmentPatrick host the 45th Space Wing (I don't know where the other 44 are) that delivers military launches out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station a few miles to the north of Cocoa Beach and Port Canaveral. During the day you will see several transport aircraft several helicopters and possibly a handful of fighter jets buzzing overhead while you are fishing the adjacent waterways to this military outpost. According to their website, Patrick is involved with the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, Known as EELV, that's designed to improve our nation's access to space by making space launch vehicles more affordable and reliable by reducing launch costs by at least 25 percent over heritage Atlas, Delta and Titan space launch systems. All of these launches can be witnessed from the waterways and beaches near Patrick and Cocoa Beach and we often see them while we are on fishing trips in all of the major lagoon areas.

If you're visiting our area and considering a fishing trip on the Banana River Lagoon or any of it's adjacent areas, it's best to familiarize yourself with the restricted areas around PAFB, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center. At almost every public boat ramp are diagrams and maps indicating these areas and boaters must learn and understand where they are when traversing these waterways. In addition to military restricted areas are large swaths of lagoon that are use restricted for manatees and navigation. Be aware of these areas as they will not be forgiving if you are caught using these areas inappropriately by speeding or entering them without observing guidelines. According to Federal, State and Local agencies, ignorance is not an excuse and they will fine or possibly imprison you and your passengers for not following protocol.

"Every-time I visit Patrick Air Force Base, I take a fishing trip with Captain Richard and spend a day of either backwater fishing for large Banana River reds or possibly tarpon. It's a great way to get away from it all and makes my business trip more bearable..."
-Serviceman From California

During almost any time of the year you may find redish, ladyfish, spotted sea trout and black drum in the Banana River near PAFB. Anglers that follow the seasons, migration and behavior of these fish can target them at different areas using assorted techniques when cooler temps, spawning and summer heats prevail. I'm often asked how to find certain fish during different times of the year and respond by telling people look for when and where fish spawn, bait (food source) and comfortable conditions and if you manage to understand those patterns you will find the fish you are looking for.

Military veterans and active duty will find many recreational opportunities on Patrick Air Force Base. Boat rentals, kayaks, surfboards and many other water accessories are available for qualified military personnel. If you venture into the Banana River or decide to go into the ocean fishing around PAFB, you might just consider taking a day of fishing with Lagooner Fishing Guides and broadening your fishing experience while your are utilizing their facilities.

Fishing Charters and destinations near Patrick Air Force Base on Florida's east coast on the Banana River Lagoon.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

Author Captain Richard Bradley

Captain Richard Bradley is the author and contributor for many of the articles written on the Lagooner website. Richard is a professional fishing guide, taking anglers in his native waters near the Banana and Mosquito Lagoons on Florida's central east coast almost three hundred trips seasonally. When not charter fishing, Captain Richard enjoys time with his family surfing, fishing, camping and various other outdoor activities.

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