Goodbye Summer and Hello Bull Redfish

Updated: Sep 9


Summer is wrapping up and it is time to reflect on this incredible fishing season, and reveal which species is dominating the waters as we begin a new season. Mosquito Lagoon has produced an abundance of croaker fish, gator trout (spotted seatrout), redfish and some monstrous bull redfish all summer long. Code Red Fishing Charters is fishing New Smyrna Beach and Mosquito Lagoon, where the bull reds are moving in to create an exciting fishing season to come.


Croaker and Gator Trout

Inshore fishing at New Smyrna Beach and Mosquito Lagoon created an incredible summer for catching croaker and trout. Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) is a fish species in the drum family that is closely related to the red drum and spotted seatrout. It gets its name from the loud noise produced by the vibration of muscles against its swim bladder. The croaker provided a rewarding fishing experience over the summer with constant casting and catching of a delicious catch.

Spotted seatrout or gator trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) were worthy targets of our summer fishing excursions. Never let the name fool you. This species is not a trout at all, but actually in the drum family. Their light color and feeding patterns make it a challenge to sight fish, but the summer season produced a lot of tasty gator trout. With the approaching peak season for bull redfish, expect to see less croaker and gator trout, and a lot more bull redfish.

The Season for Bull Redfish

Bull Redfish (Sciaenops ocellatus) are mature redfish that exceed 27 inches in length. By four years of age, redfish are about 30 inches long. At maturity, they can weigh 50 to 80 pounds, and have been known to snap rods. Florida’s current state redfish record tipped the scales at 52 pounds and 5 ounces. These monstrous redfish are moving in for the fall season that welcomes them into Mosquito Lagoon for spawning. The mating ritual is responsible for producing the large schools of some record breaking bulls. It increases their numbers in Mosquito Lagoon and the size of your trophy catch.


Bull redfish have made the summer season an exciting adventure and created a fall forecast of every angler’s dreams. This is where the summer fishing season ends and the adventure begins. These heavyweights lose their spots, armor themselves with scales for battle and move into Mosquito Lagoon with an aggressive demeanor and ready to feed. Be prepared for the ferocious fight these bull redfish are known to create at the other end of the line. It takes strength, skill and technique. Having the right fishing guide makes all the difference in your fishing experience.

The Redfish Capital of the World

Mosquito Lagoon was coined the title “Redfish Capital of the World” for good reason. Mature redfish move into Mosquito Lagoon to spawn from the beginning of September through late November. Most redfish remain within a six mile radius of their birthplace, keeping the estuary stocked with an abundance of redfish all year long. Some of the world's largest bull redfish are found in Mosquito Lagoon, and spawning season is the season to catch a heavyweight.

Mosquito Lagoon is a bar-built type estuary that spans the Indian River from New Smyrna Beach to Titusville, and overlaps Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It’s one of the best places to catch a trophy-sized bull redfish, and one of the few places where redfish live their entire lives. Code Red Fishing Charters has the skill, gear and technique for you to fish Mosquito Lagoon like a pro angler and conquer those massive bull redfish this season.


Catching Bull Redfish


Tackle and bait make the difference. Bait with fresh blue crabs, mullet or ladyfish chunks. Fresh cut bait provides scent and amplifies results. Shrimp and crab make the best lures to entice bottom feeders and get them striking. When using artificial bait, try soaking lures, plugs and jigs in liquid fish attractants as an alternative to live bait. Use a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook and 60 to 80 pound fluorocarbon leader line. A circle hook almost always avoids deep hooking for better catch and release outcomes. A 6,000 plus class spinning reel that’s spooled with a 50 plus pound braid on a 7-foot heavy-action rod makes the perfect bull redfish rig.

Your fishing adventure Begins Here! Call Captain Matt Lee at Code Red Fishing Charters to plan your next fishing adventure at (386) 214-3530.

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