Indian River Lagoon
The two most sought after gamefish in the Titusville area of the Indian River Lagoon are the redfish and sea trout. Sometimes snook and tarpon are caught as well. If you're new to fishing the Titusville area, A guide will likely put you on more fish in one day than you will probably find in several weeks of fishing on your own. However, some people (myself included) enjoy the challenge and excitement of fishing new waters for themselves.The Indian River Lagoon is a series of lagoons and inlets making up a portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in the U.S. state of Florida. Its full length extends from Ponce de León Inlet in Volusia County, Florida to Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach County, Florida, and includes Cape Canaveral.
The Indian River Lagoon is North Americas most diverse estuary with more than 2,200 different species of animals and 2,100 species of plants. The Lagoon varies in width from ½ mile to 5 miles and averages only 3 feet in depth. It serves as a spawning and nursery ground for many different species of oceanic and lagoon fish and shellfish. The lagoon also has one of the most diverse bird populations anywhere in America. Nearly 1/3 of the nations manatee population lives here or migrates through the Lagoon seasonally. In addition, its ocean beaches provide one of the densest sea turtle nesting areas found in the Western Hemisphere.Portions of the Lagoon, from north to south:
Mosquito Lagoon, from Ponce de Leon Inlet to the north end of Merritt Island, connected to Indian River by Haulover Canal.
Indian River, the main body of water, from the north border between Volusia and Brevard Counties along the western shore of Merritt Island, southward to St. Lucie Inlet.
Banana River, an offshoot of the Indian River, northward making up the eastern shore of Merritt Island.
Hobe Sound, the portion of the lagoon from St. Lucie Inlet to Jupiter Inlet.
Flats and canals.
Gold spoons. The principal habitat used by reds and trout for feeding in this area are the expansive shallow seagrass flats that cover the shallows of the Indian River Lagoon. These grass beds form the basis of the ecological food chain in the Lagoon. The algae that forms on these grasses provide food for young fish, shrimp, crabs, and other invertebrates that gamefish feed on.
In addition, the grasses also provide cover for these creatures to hide in as they try to avoid being eaten, therefore it is on these grassflats that the drama of life in the lagoon takes place and also the best fishing. The principle forage species for reds and trout are shrimp and mullet, a vegetarian fish that feeds on the algae mentioned before as well as the grasses themselves. These are also the two most widely used baits used for reds and trout. Live shrimp are readily available in most local bait and tackle shops while the "finger mullet", (young mullet 3-6' long) are sometimes available but usually caught by the angler using a cast net. If you're new to the area, live shrimp are the best bet.
This portion of the lagoon system is pretty much isolated from oceanic tidal influences due to the fact that the nearest inlet is over 40 miles away. Therefore the fishing here is not influenced by tides as it is in other estuaries. It is more governed by temperature. During the heat of the summer the fishing slows down a bit and the best chances for success are early mornings and late afternoons, with the early mornings better in my opinion. The summertime here is also the rainy season where afternoon thundershowers occurr almost daily in normal years. I've had very good success going out in the early evenings after the storms have come through and cooled things down a bit.
In the spring and fall, I still like to be fishing at first light because it's when the fish are more active, however the fishing does last later into the day and action can be found all day.
In the winter when we have an occasional cold spell I like to find deeper holes and canals as the fish tend to congregate in these deeper areas seeking warmth. The fishing can be great at this time for seatrout. Again, early and late are the better times.