I’ve done a lot of camping in my days but never in the Mosquito Lagoon. My good Amigo Eddie Oliveras and I have been putting together a “fishing destinations” list and camping the Mosquito Lagoon was one of them. Although we both live only and hour away, we thought staying on an island in the Goon, catching our food, and being one with nature while exploring new waters in the way back country of little oyster creeks was a great idea….and a great idea it was!
Once we got our permit and reservations from the Canaveral National Seashore Ranger station for the island that we planned on taking over for a few days, Eddie and I loaded up our trucks and met up at River Breeze Park in Oak Hill. From there we loaded all of our camping supplies on his skiff and headed a couple miles north in the main channel and arrive to a small creek to the right of us. That creek led us to our home for the next 3 days and 2 nights, right in the middle of a maze lined with mangrove shorelines and oyster bars which we plan on fishing during our stay. After we set up camp and crab traps, we headed out in hopes of catching lunch and dinner. My buddy Etienne Gele who lives on the East side of the Lagoon in New Smyrna Beach joined us for Day 1. Etienne (also known as Dee) films for a few Fishing shows that you see on your television like Sport Fishing Television, he was actually filming a show right there in the Lagoon the next 2 days so he couldn’t stay on the island with me and Eddie. After picking Dee up at J.B.’s fishcamp which was a few minutes from Dee’s house, and a few miles across the Lagoon from our campsite, we ran to some flats to do some Redfishing. Conditions were tough with high winds and low visibility but we ran into a few schools of redfish and Dee ends up hooking into one right off the bat. After catching and releasing that fish(into the fishbox), we hung out for a bit to see if we could get another one but it was getting late and we had to start the fire and prepare to cook. On the way back, we checked our crab traps that we set out that morning, 8 blue crabs came to join us for dinner along with the redfish!
The two nights that we stayed, the weather forecasted for low’s in the 30’s and winds out of the N/NW about 20-30mph! Luckily our camp was surrounded by big tall trees that protected us from the wind chill. After we had dinner and some beers, it was time to drop Dee back off at JB’s fish camp so he can prepare to film for the next days fishing show. The rest of the night, Eddie and I huddled(not cuddled HUDDLED) next to the camp fire and drank the rest of the case and a half of beers that we brought. Then hit the sack shortly after.
The next morning it was FREEZING!! Waking up a little slow from all of the beers, we noticed it was a blue bird day…no clouds in the sky but windy and cold. We made some hot cocoa, ate breakfast and decided to look for fish in deeper holes. Sea Trout was our dinner mission today and redfish would be a plus. We headed north through some crazy little oyster bays and creeks and came across a nice deep cut where we would catch Sea Trout and Redfish on every cast using D.O.A shrimp and D.O.A. CALS on 1/4oz. jigheads. The redfish were on the small side but the trout were slot and they were a load of fun to catch! We easily could have stayed and caught over 100 fish in the same spot and it definitely relieves the stress of sight fishing spooky fish that have lockjaw!
On the way back, we decided to hit the same flat where Dee got his Redfsh to see if we can find them again. Of course the winds made it tough but we did find the fish and Eddie gets him one over the slot limit. At this time the sun was going down and we headed back to camp to start another fire and to have our Blackened Sea Trout and rice dinner….we also roasted some Vienna sausages for appetizers, YUM! More beers were drank until we ran out, then it was bed time.
If you would like to be one with nature and fish the Mosquito Lagoon like we did, I plan on putting together and offering a camping package in my guide services. Everything would be included, all you have to bring is all the beer that you plan on drinking! I am still calculating everything that needs to be done at the time so I don’t know what the price will be yet. Keep checking back for more info on that. Come see this for yourself…..
-Capt. Willy Le