Light Tackle, Fly Fishing and Sight Fishing Saltwater Inshore Charters
Some of the worlds best saltwater fishing is located an enjoyable, scenic 1 hour drive from Orlando, Florida. Anyone coming to Florida on a cruise in Port Canaveral will be an easy 5 minute drive from this amazing fishery. We target Redfish, Tarpon, Snook and Sea Trout on our saltwater fishing charters. You will be fishing on the Banana River or Indian River Lagoon system. These are both brackish inshore fisheries which connect to the ocean, allowing your favorite gamefish to swim from the ocean into these river systems. Your guide, Captain Austin Keaton spent his time learning these inshore saltwater fisheries, specifically using a fly rod and light tackle. There's almost nothing that beats sight fishing a tailing Redfish or a Tarpon rolling. Snook frequent the docks and mangrove shore lines, and when they bite your lure or fly you will know it! Sea Trout frequent the flats and will be found around grass flats with sandy pot holes on them.
The Indian River Lagoon System is a 156 mile long brackish estuary along Florida's east coast, who's watershed is 2,284 square miles with a surface water area of 352 square miles. Indian River is fed by the Atlantic Ocean through ports Starting at Ponce Inlet in New Smyrna Beach, which is just south of Daytona Beach, Port Canaveral in Cocoa Beach, Sebastian Inlet Past Satellite Beach in Melbourne, Florida, Fort Pierce inlet, Port St. Lucie and Finally past Stuart, Florida's Jupiter Inlet. Indian River is also fed by freshwater shed from the mainland starting in Brevard County. There are 685 different species of fish, 370 bird species, 2,100 plant species and 2,200 animal species in the Indian River Lagoon Basin. This is more species of wildlife than any other estuary in North America, which is why it's so important that we respect and protect our lagoon, utilizing catch and release on all major gamefish we catch. Where we will fish is near the city of Titusville which is the more Northern end of the Indian River near Port Canaveral and the world famous Kennedy Space Center. While we stalk the flats for that big Sea Trout or Redfish, Tarpon and Snook you will have an amazing view of the Vehicle Assembly Building. This is the giant rectangle building where they actually built the space shuttles, and this is why Northern Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Playalinda in Canaveral National Sea Shore and Port Canaveral and are known as the space coast. Northern Indian River connects to Mosquito Lagoon by Haulover Canal. Haulover Canal allows big Redfish, Tarpon, Sea Trout and Snook to feed into the Indian River. There are great flats fishing opportunities for Sea Trout and Redfish which love to hit topwater plugs, DOA lures, and gulp shrimp early in the morning. The Snook and Tarpon will be here during our warmer months from June through October, taking refuge along mangrove shorelines, residential docks and canals. During Winter the river becomes very clean. This is when we have great sight fishing opportunities on light tackle and fly fishing gear for Redfish and Sea Trout.
There are two main ramps we use on the Indian River Lagoon. The first boat ramp is called Parrish Park, which is located on state road 402 in Titusville, just before the Merrit Island Wildlife Refuge begins in Mosquito Lagoon along Florida's east coast. This ramp is a 55 minute drive traveling East on the 528 east highway coming from Universal Studios, Disney World or the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive in Orlando, Florida. As you make your way to this ramp you will cross over the 402 bridge, also known as A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, which will give you an incredible view of the Indian River. Indian River and The Merrit Island Wildlife Refuge are also great destinations for anyone who enjoys bird watching since they are located along the Atlantic Flyway, a biological highway for many migrating bird species. Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge attracts thousands of different waterfowl species, American coots in winter, as well as large flocks of migrant and wintering shorebirds, gulls and terns, herons, egrets. You could even see reddish egrets, spoonbills and American White Pelicans as we flats fish along the beautiful Indian River Lagoon Shorelines.
The second boat ramp we may use is called Port St. John Boat Ramp, located in Brevard County. This boat ramp is 15 minutes south of Parrish Park, heading south on the US-1. This ramp is also a 55 minute drive traveling east on the 528 east highway coming from Universal Studios, Disney World or the Orange County Convention Center. We Us this ramp very frequently during both the summer and winter months. Resident Tarpon can be found in this part of the Indian River, but summer from June through September is our best time to fish for Tarpon here in residential canals. Snook will frequently be found with the Tarpon, as well as the occasional Redfish and Black Drum. Early morning in this area is also great for Sea Trout fishing using topwater plugs. We frequently see a huge diversity of wildlife when fishing this part of the Indian River Lagoon. We frequently spot Manatees, Dolphins, Alligators, Spoon Bills, Sea Turtles, Crabs, and many other species of marine life.
Banana River Lagoon
The Banana River stretches from Port Canaveral then down south to Merrit Island in Brevard County, Florida. Banana River is connected to the Indian River through the Barge Canal and flows naturally into the Indian River south in Merrit Island. We spend most of our time fishing the in the Banda River Preserve which is an area that spans 30,000 acres and extends from the 528 down to the southern tip of Merrit Island, Florida. Sykes Creek, a very popular fishing destination due to its backwater bays surrounded my mangrove mazes, is a part of the Preserve. Banana River is paralleled by the cities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa beach, Satellite Beach and Indian Harbour Beach. Patrick Air Force base also borders Banana River which is really cool when we're stalking the flats for Sea Trout and we see F-16s and F-16s fighter jets and apache helicopters flying over head. The Banana River is Brackish, just like the Indian River, so species like Redfish, Sea Trout, Tarpon, Snook, Ladyfish and many more species of fish and wildlife will be found here. We commonly see Manatees and Dolphins here. Banana River connects to the Atlantic Ocean through a Loch. This Loch allows boaters, fish and saltwater to flow into the Banana River from Port Canaveral, the very popular cruise terminal on the east coast of central Florida. Because Port Canaveral is connected to the Banana River, large numbers of Tarpon will make their way through the loch and take residence amongst the residential docks and canals that surround the Banana River. Most time of the year we will find resident juvenile Tarpon in these residential canals. The best time to target Tarpon on the Banana River is the summer months early in the morning. We also have shots at Sea Trout commonly measuring over 20 inches and nice Snook during the summer. Winter months bring about cooler temperatures which in turn clears up the water clears. Winter is when sight fishing is at it peak on the Banana River and we get lot's of nice Sea Trout and Black Drum cruising the flats.
Banana River's Kelly Park Boat Ramp is a quick and easy 50 minute drive from Central, Florida's Universal Studios, Disney World or the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. You will most likely pass over the St. John's River, the longest river in Florida which flows north. The St. John marshlands looks like a scene out of a movie as you pass over them. This boat ramp is just off the main highway A1A. Since Kelly Park is so close to Port Canaveral, we frequently see the Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines as we set off to target your favorite saltwater gamefish.
Pineda Causeway boat ramp is primitive boat ramp. It is located directly off of the Pineda Causeway in between the city of Palm Shores and Patrick Air force Base. This ramp is a 1 hour and 5 minute drive from Central, Florida's Universal Studios, Disney World or the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. You will travel west down the 528 then get onto I-95 south and finally get off on the 404 Pineda Causeway in Palm Shores, Florida. You will meet Captain Austin at CVS5590 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940 where he will escort you the remaining 5 minute drive to the boat ramp. This are of the Banana river offers amazing sight fishing opportunities in the winter. There are mangrove islands and backwater bays which will be home to Sea Trout, Redfish and Tarpon.