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no motor zone space coast fishing charters

No Motor Zone

Fishing the exclusive waters of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge's No-Motor Zone in my 18 ' custom rigged Indian River canoe is as close to natural Florida an angler can get. The No-Motor Zone is a 35 square mile paddle only fishing zone situated on the northern end of the Banana River Lagoon and the southeast side of the Kennedy Space Center.  The NMZ was originally set aside as a manatee refuge and is only accessible by non-motorized vessels.  The NMZ is as pristine as Florida waters get and because of the work required to fish it, the Zone is the best place in Central Florida to fine happy and stupid fish.  It’s a seven mile paddle from our lunch site to furthermost reaches of the zone, but anglers are often rewarded for their additional effort. 

My No-Motor Zone charters are limited to one angler, but additional paddle craft can be arrange to facilitate larger groups.  We target the same species of fish in the NMZ as we do on the saltwater flats listed above, with the only difference is in most cases we experience more and larger fish, especially larger redfish and black drum tailing on the flats during the winter months.  Fishing in the NMZ is a great charter for fly anglers looking for shots at happy fish simply due to the fact there are no motorized vessels disturbing their feeding and breading patterns. In addition, we will often get out of the boat and wade to tailing fish, so wading shoes are recommended along with waders during the colder months.  When fishing with me in the zone, I do most of the polling and paddling and you do all of the fishing.  Additionally, due to the amount of work requited to fish in the No-Motor Zone, full day charter  rates apply.

Lastly, the NMZ is situated in an open water with a north south orientation, so fishing there is very venerable to windy conditions and is not recommended during periods with an elevated southerly fetch.  In cases where wind conditions are not favorable, I have alternative protected backcountry locations to paddle fish or we can fish from my skiff in other locations.

Targeted Fish Species

Sea Trout
Year Round
Year Round
Black Drum
Year Round
Tarpon
April-October
Snook
April-October

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