November has arrived and during this time of year you can usually count on cold fronts, seasonal baitfish migration, and a transition time in our inshore fishing. Things have definitely changed around New Smyrna Beach, Ponce Inlet and into the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon. Temps recently recovered from the near freezing mark, which pushed water temps on the flats into the low 60’s. Water levels dropped and water clarity dramatically improved which started forming redfish into small pods again and bringing bit trout up from the deeper edges onto the shallow flats. Snook have all but evacuated the shallows and moved quickly back to deep water to ride out the rest of the winter. Tarpon have all but disappeared. Black drum are around in huge numbers. Sight fishing has been fantastic, with scattered fish giving numerous shots and chances. Catching numbers have varied widely depending on species we fish for or style we do it (live bait vs lures/fly). The shorty story is there’s some great fishing going on!!!
Since my last report, my teammate and I fished the last event of the year for the Florida Pro Redfish Series out of Titusville, FL. The weather was brutal with rain all day and the fishing was kind of slow. We didn’t catch many, but we got the right 2 and brought over 13lbs back to the scales which gave us 1st place, our 3rd win of 2014. Shortly there after I spent almost 2 weeks fishing in Louisiana for the IFA Redfish Tour championship. I had a couple clients come spend several days fishing with me while I was there. It was great fishing with everyone caught a lot of fish. We landed numerous redfish up to 25lbs and several GIANT black drum up to 50lbs. Some of the pictures from the days are featured below. But back to what’s happening locally…
Redfish action is where it’s at from now through end of calendar year. With the higher water levels, redfish continue to be scattered in singles and small pods. In the Mosquito Lagoon area we’re find them crawling on shorelines, laid up in potholes, or tailing on shallow grass flats. Most of these fish range from 4-10lbs. Sight fishing has been fantastic with clean water and lots of fish around. It can be one of the best times of the year for fly fishing with numerous chances and shots. Over the 6 weeks we’ll see water levels decline concentrating fish into big schools along flat edges, sloughs, and creeks around the New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet area. Some of these schools will approach 200-300 fish. Catching will continue to be great. Averages can widely vary with days ranging from 5-25 redfish depending on conditions and way we fish.
If a trophy size Speckled Trout approaching 10lbs or better is on your to do list, then we are moving into one of the best times of the year. Cold water temps bring the big gator trout up off the drop offs and onto the shallows following diminishing supplies of bait fish. We definitely see numerous big trout during November and December. In fact during the past week I’ve already seen a couple that would likely weigh in the teens! Judging by the numbers of trout we had around this spring and summer, it should be downright epic this winter. The only problem is as water clarity turns gin clear, these big trout are super spooky. Sight casting them on lures and flies is downright tough for even the most seasoned professional. We do most of our successful catching using live finger mullet. We typically aren’t spending much time the remainder of the year targeting smaller keeper size trout. It’s all about the big ones!
We’re poised for a helluva great fall and early winter for Snook fishing! There was such an abundance of young snook around this past year throughout the Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River Lagoon and around New Smyrna Beach. Many of those have now grown bigger and we’ve added thousands more younger ones. Last year we were averaging 20+ snook a day from December-March. Fingers crossed we don’t have any major freeze events this winter and that catching average will continue. A few weeks ago there were snook scattered everywhere, but the recent hard cold front that came through made all of them disappear back to deeper water to ride out the remainder of the year.
Strong numbers of Black Drum are in the Mosquito Lagoon and North Indian River Lagoon. Typically we don’t spend much time fishing for them unless everything else is slow. But cut crabs and live shrimp will produce quick catching in great numbers. Most of them range from 3-10lbs with a few going close to 20lbs. As colder weather really settles in and water temps stay low consistently we’’ll see schools of giant black drum show up in a few places in the Lagoons. Some of these will be 40+lbs.
Dates for November have been filling quick and I now have less than 10 days open. December dates are also starting to book and the holidays are always booked solid so try not to wait too long. I take short notice trips if I have the date open. Call or email to secure a date. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.