The Struggle Skiff: Our first time fishing Mosquito Lagoon

09/14/2016

Mosquito Lagoon. It’s the place of Red fishing legend. We had long heard the stories of this place and the guides that fish its waters; stories that could only be pushed to the back of our minds for so long before requiring that we fish it ourselves. We did a fair amount of research beforehand, but as it would turn out, we were about to learn that the lagoon is a tricky place. We loaded up the skiff and pointed the truck south.

The first and perhaps most remarkable thing we experienced at Mosquito Lagoon are the sunrises. The ocean air just over the Atlantic side of A1A slams into the coast line and creates an incredible cloud bank every morning that glows a deep red. Those clouds filter the early morning rays, spilling a paint bucket of light atop your head and canvas the sky in a regal purple. It really was something to take in as we pulled away from our dockside quarters each morning.

Mosquito Lagoon is a labyrinth of small islands, flats, and oyster beds. We quickly found that even running to different areas within the lagoon was a task that we were ill prepared to execute. With our skiff being so new, we had yet to install the GPS unit; that would become more problematic than we anticipated. The local guides, their skiffs equipped with tunnel hulls and jack plates, would buzz across the flats at speed making navigation seem effortless. Our skiff, sans jack plate, required us to find the rare snaking channel through the flats, or pole everywhere in six inches of water. It was frustrating. We were literally handicapped by our lack of knowledge of the area and how to navigate it.

After a few days, we did begin to find some success. We explored new areas and found some flats that were more accessible. We caught a few Reds and even a bonus Snook, a treat that we weren’t expecting. Overall our first trip to Mosquito Lagoon was a humbling one, but a great learning experience. Suffice it to say that trips like this one keep us hungry to grow our knowledge and test our skills as anglers in new waters. This certainly won’t be our last trip to the fabled Indian River fishery, and next time, we’ll be better equipped having learned a great deal  from our first run at the Mosquito Lagoon. 

Cheers to the adventure.