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Gator Sea Trout

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Gator Trout On the Banana River Lagoon

Catching Big Spotted Sea Trout with a Fishing Guide in Florida

Monday August 21, 2017

Serious anglers come in different packages and flavors like the day that Captain Richard Bradley took out a young angler and his dad out on the Banana River Lagoon for large sea trout. "This kid was serious about fishing!" explains Captain Richard. "From the moment we hit the water he had those intense crazy eyes that I see in many adult anglers. He had not developed the motor skills to cast accurately so I took him and his dad live baiting for large sea trout in the shallows of the lagoon. His enthusiasm and concentration made up for any lack of skill and Zach took home a whole cooler of big trout and a whopping 7 pound trout to be mounted on the wall to boot."

Zachary Blankenship took his dad and Captain Richard out for a day on the Lagoon this windy May day and limited out in Sea Trout while catching this 7 lb. Trout for the dinner table.

World renowned for large sea trout, the Banana River Lagoon is a 20 mile stretch of saltwater between world famous Cocoa Beach and the Kennedy Space Center's Merritt Island. Sea trout change habits as they grow. Large Trout frequent the shallowest parts of the lagoon during the winter and spring before and during the spawn. Small immature trout like the drop offs on grassy 3 - 6 foot tidal areas. Look for big trout in the summer months in cooler areas near shade of possibly where tidal flow is present.

During the spring and summer and fall, trout can be found around their food source which is mainly shrimp in the grass or schools of mullet. Gator trout will eat nine inch mullet eagerly but may have difficulty chocking it down. They're fun to watch when they try and take a mullet that seems half their size, but give them a chance and they're likely to do it.

Hello Friends,

Huckleberry Finn on the Banana RiverWhat a wonderful place for a young kid to grow up as I did on the Banana River Lagoon on North Merritt Island. Waking up in the morning and sliding my jon boat out before school for snook along the mangroves during the warmer times of the year or riding my bike down to Kelly Park turning basin for spotted sea trout in the winter. I'm convinced Huckleberry Finn didn't have as much fun as my friends and I on this saltwater lagoon on Florida's east coast.

As I've grown older, I often think about those pre-teen adventure years of catching sea trout and snook while I'm poling anglers on my flats boat along the shallow grass flats. I still think back of how it was to simply pull my jon boat behind me while casting topwater lures and jigs for redfish and trout and swimming when when it got too hot to fish. Manatees, dolphins and an occasional shark encounter made the adventures more memorable and added a truly Floridian flavor to each daily adventure.

While I might not be a barefoot "spring chicken" anymore, you can still find me wading the shallow water flats with my customers and talking to them about "the good life" growing up around the Banana River Lagoon. Come join me for a day of fishing adventures and we'll play in the saltwater lagoons and ocean while looking for mermaids, sea monsters and maybe a few fish.

Huckleberry Finn
Captain Richard
Lagooner Fishing Guide

Fishing Guides, Charters, Boats and Captains in Florida

If you are traveling to Central Florida's Orlando, Cocoa Beach and East Coast you can contact me by filling our one of our online forms or calling me at the phone number listed on the top of this page. I promise you I will contact you shortly and you'll have a great experience on the water with a true full time Florida fishing guide.

Captain Gina
Florida Fishing Guide for Lagooner Fishing Guides

Learn more about Lagooner Fishing Guides by clicking on any of the links and reading about the fishing possibilities east of Orlando, Florida on the Atlantic Ocean and the vast shallow water lagoons on Florida's East Coast.

East Central Florida is home to the largest spotted seatrout in the world. After entanglement netting was constitutionally banned in Florida, seatrout have rebounded back to healthy numbers and sizes that we haven't seen since the early 1980's. Seatrout are an aggressive fish that will strike anything from topwater artificials, spoons, jigs, livebait and various fly patterns.

INSHORE and/or NEARSHORE over grass, sand and sandy bottoms. Winter time fishing in deeper waters with well defined thermoclines produce plentiful numbers of fish. We find that seatrout stage close to their winter holes on the flats between cold spells. Live bait works great for winter trout as they are usually less aggressive and want to test the baits a lot before they commit to a strike. Recent winters have produced many trout in excess of 30 inches and we are looking forward to many more successful trout seasons ahead.


Seatrout are often referred to as gator trout when they are large (over 6 pounds). Lagooner charters specialize in finding and catching large seatrout in shallow water areas. Here are some facts about these gamefish:

Matures during first or second year and spawns INSHORE from March through November; often in association with seagrass beds; lives mainly in estuaries and moves only short distances; adults feed mainly on shrimp and small fish.

Some Trout Pictures:

Sebastian Inlet Gator Trout
Girl with Stringer of Trout
Seatrout On Fly
Banana River Trout
Indian River Gator Trout
Stringer of Big Seatrout
Florida Sea Trout
Mosquito Lagoon Sea Trout
Banana River Sea Trout
Gator Trout in the Banana Lagoon


Not less than 15" or more than 20" (statewide) except one fish over 20" per person. 4 per harvester per day South Region 5 per harvester per day N.E. and N.W. Regions.
Season Closure: Nov. & Dec. S. Region / Feb. N.E. and N.W.

State Record

15lb., 6 ozs.

Lagooner Alternate Name

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: October 03 2016 19:37:01.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

August - 2017 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

August - 2017 Fishing Forecast

August is another hot month on the Banana River Lagoon for temperatures but not as good for fishing. Look to the ocean out of Port Canaveral to be more productive or try some fishing down at Sebastian are during the hottest summer months. Redfish can move into the deeper flat regions of the Banana River during the later part of August in preparation of the spawn in September, but these will be the larger redfish and not the slot size that many enjoy for a meal. Look for next month to be a better month for the Banana River and then into the early winter it will even get better. If you're really looking to fish on the Banana River set up a half day evening trip or an early morning pre-dawn trip for snook and reds.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Telephone: 321-868-4953

204 Garfield Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL

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TripAdvisor Review

Review / Trip Advisor

Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Money so well spent!! - I treated a couple of dear friends to a charter fishing trip with Lagooner. I have to say it was money so well spent! Not like any charter I had ever been on before. Richard paid personal attention to every detail. Making sure we had the absolute best time and moved us around to follow fish of every type. This allowed for some simple easy fishing along with some wild challenges. I can't think of what else would have made this trip a better experience. My guests had never been treated so well on a charter they said. Yes you can find cheaper but I would never, ever try to save a couple of dollars and not have this kind of experience and memories.!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on February 3, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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