Since moving to New Smyrna Beach, my wife and I have enjoyed getting to explore all the great locally owned and operated food options it has to offer.
Our home is a short two block walk away from the center of Downtown.
We recently had the opportunity to check out one of the newest additions to Canal Street, The Local Pearl.
Chef Henry Salgado is a neighbor and we were excited to see what he had created.
We started with an order of calamari while the final preparations were being made to open the raw bar. (oysters arrive fresh daily)
Lightly fried along with jalapeño slices, it was delicious.
We started with a dozen Texas oysters that were being featured for happy hour ($1 /oyster). They were followed with another TX order and a third that were a combination of oysters sourced from the Florida panhandle.
Kyle was on the oyster knife behind the bar & he was very efficient and a pleasure to talk with about our selections. It’s clear he enjoys his ambassadorial role and is well suited for it.
If you have fresh oysters on your mind in New Smyrna Beach, head down to Canal Street and visit, you won’t be disappointed.
There are local oysters you can have on the menu as well. The are raised just a few miles away in the backwaters of Mosquito Lagoon by the Indian River Oyster Company.
Actually filmed during 2019 MLB Spring Training , Orvis just released a short vignette profiling Rick Porcello and his love for fly fishing.
Rick and I have been sharing the water together in Mosquito Lagoon and SW Florida for around eight years, so when he asked me to come down to help by running my skiff in support of the effort, it was an easy yes.
Working around his daily workout at Fenway South, we managed to spend a fair amount of time in the afternoons and evenings on the water.
My skiff makes a cameo appearance in the back half of the video.
Here is the result of David Mangum & Cavin Brothers work behind the lens.
Thanks to Simon & Tucker from Orvis for taking good care of me while I was there!
Have you ever had the pleasure of poling a remote shoreline in Mosquito Lagoon early in the morning while being serenaded by the buzzing of thousands of wings?
No, not the insects for which the area earns its well deserved name; honey bees and bumble bees are omnipresent when mangroves are blooming. So much so, their collective buzzing nearly drowns out all other sounds in the area.
The next time it happens, slow down and poke your nose into the shoreline and watch them work. It’s a fascinating service they perform as they glean nectar from blossoms and collect pollen.
The lagoon is an amazing place, down to its smallest detail. Just like these little overachievers, we all need to do our part to make sure we’re acting in a manner that contributes to its sustainability.
Our responsibilities lie in how we treat it today and how we leave it for tomorrow.
For decades Mosquito Lagoon has been know to some as “The Redfish Capital of The World”. The area earned the title due to the presence of redfish of all sizes that roamed lush grass flats, shoals and oyster strewn bays. The highlight being the presence of schools of breeder size “bull” redfish in many areas that sustained the local population by remaining in the estuary to spawn.
Over the years, water quality has suffered and what was once an estuary known for its gin clear water has become a place where often times you will face limited visibility due to algal blooms and turbidity caused by a devastating reduction of seagrass.
Now more than ever, the guides that work in Mosquito Lagoon must be committed to loving the imperiled estuary.
Loving the estuary starts with how and where they fish, how they handle and release the fish and what they teach anglers about efforts to restore Mosquito Lagoon.
There are approximately 80 guides who may legally operate charters on Mosquito Lagoon. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is responsible for the permitting process and enforcement of commercial operations across a vast area. The Law Enforcement Officers tasked with doing so are understaffed and underfunded.
Due to the wholesale lack of a law enforcement presence, guide operations are not unlike the wild west frontier. Routinely you will see behavior that is unprofessional and unethical in the name of putting fish in the boat.
A large number of the permitted guides are merely part-time operators who merely see their trips as extra cash in their pocket, not a lifestyle or profession. Their behavior in exploiting the resource is shameful.
The small number of working guides who are out there nearly everyday are working hard to highlight these problems and have taken on a leadership role in advocating for policies and practices amongst guides that will aid in sustaining Mosquito Lagoon.
If you’re looking forward to booking a fly fishing guide in Mosquito Lagoon, please make sure you’re supporting the resource by choosing a guide who has demonstrated a commitment to preserving and protecting it.
Not sure who that is? Contact me and I’ll make sure you get the names of guides that I would trust. I’ve spent a long time fishing alongside them and know who is worthy of your hard earned money.