Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kayaking Mosquito Lagoon / New Smyrna Beach

Today I kayaked the Mosquito Lagoon for the first time with Dad. We launched from my favorite restaurant in New Smyrna Beach, JB's Fish Camp. JB's Rents single & tandem sit-on-top kayaks on site. They also allow customers to launch their own kayaks at no cost. They just ask that you park on the far end of the parking lot after you unload.

kayak Mosquito Lagoon

The weather report called for 5 to 10 knot winds with a moderate chop on the intracoastal. The wind felt much stronger than that as we paddled into the wind toward Shipyard Island. The goal for today was to explore a few of the primitive island campsites for a kayak camping trip that I am planning later this summer.

I spotted a dolphin in before we crossed the channel, but as usual, I was too slow with the camera.  Here are some bird pics instead...

Mosquito Lagoon
Shipyard Island

The best part about kayaking Mosquito Lagoon is the ability to explore places that other boats can't... Just watch out for the oyster beds.  There are signs posted designating the area an oyster bed restoration area.

This must be part of the oyster restoration project... Continuing on to Shipyard Campsite #3.

Mosquito Lagoon Camping
Shipyard Campsite #3
The view of this campsite from Google Earth, and Bing Maps both showed more of a beach area. That wasn't so.  The campsite was much smaller than I had expected. Smaller than the campsites packed in side-by-side in the state parks. It did have a picnic table, and a fire ring with a grill grate on top. I was a little disappointed because this site was on the top of my list to reserve through Canaveral National Seashore for an upcoming kayak camping trip with my friends.  

Canaveral National Seashore Campingcamp cooking

Canaveral National Seashore Island Camping
(click pics to enlarge)

On to campsite #4 Headwinds... It is just a short paddle along the shoreline from campsite #3.

Canaveral National Seashore Campsite

view from campsite #4
Campsite #4 was also small, and didn't have much of a beach either.  Half of this site was flooded from all of the rain we have been getting lately. It had a picnic table, and fire ring/grill. I will have to remember to bring a heavy duty tarp to place my tent on. The ground here is hard and covered with broken shells that could tear up a tent. I did like this site a little better than #3, but I think I'll keep looking for another campsite to kayak/camp on. Back in the yak...

Checked out a few little coves where the fish were jumping. They call Mosquito Lagoon the Redfish capital of the world. I would like do some kayak fishing out here one day. Live shrimp seems to be the bait of choice according to multiple people who I talked to.

Minimum Wake

 Saw another dolphin in the channel. I tried to take some video of it, but it didn't turn out.  Neither did the picture of the stingray that I took on the way back to JB's Fish Camp.  I guess all of my readers will just have to come out with me someday. I could always use another paddling buddy.

Landed back at JB's.  Time for a beer. Then a dip in the pool at the beach condo, some hot dogs on the grill, and some more beer...

New Smyrna Beach celebrated it's 125th birthday this weekend.

Like my sunglasses?  That reminds me, I need to get a new dive mask.

They're not done until they're burnt!

more beer...

What a weekend! And to top it off, as I type this Florida State is playing in the College Baseball Super Regional against Stanford on ESPN2. If they win tonight, they go to the College World Series. Go 'Noles!

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  1. I wanted to kayak that area today but when saw the forecast, light chop, decided against it. I stopped believing the weather man. If it says smooth, it will be light, if it says light, it will be moderated, and if it says moderated, I do not even bother anyways. Hope you had a good time. Looking forward your finished post.

    1. I had a great time, and I have a sunburn to prove it! That light chop turned to moderate chop by the afternoon limiting our paddle to just a little over 3 miles. I am thinking about putting in from RiverBreeze Park in Oak Hill next time. I hear the manatees like to hang out around there.

  2. I found this website because I was trying to find pictures of the Mosquito Lagoon campsites and I saw that you are a fellow Florida State fan... and a Seminole baseball fan, as well... and I figured I had to say hi. I don't know if you have had a chance to get back out and fish the lagoon, but I can tell you what I know and point you in the right direction. GO NOLES!

    1. Yes, I have made it out to Mosquito Lagoon to fish from the kayak a few times from the New Smyrna side. I even had a little bit of luck catching a trout & a flounder on DOA shrimp last time out... As far as the campsites go, it sounds like the spoil islands on the Oak Hill side of the lagoon are your best bet if you have a boat. Try Orange Island if you're kayak / canoe camping. It's a much shorter paddle... I've got the kayak setup with a GoPro now, so I'll write up another post next time I go out. This has become one of the most popular post on my blog. Thanks for reading!


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