Only a few weeks away from the Easter holiday and it looks like everything will be early this spring and early summer. Baitfish have flooded the coastal waters in the region, water temperatures are solidly in the 70-80 degree range, and bigger tarpon are being spotted along the beaches and area backwaters. Water levels have risen over the past couple weeks with several inches of rain and in turn winter fish schools are breaking up and fish are moving into typical summertime patterns. The bite for redfish and trout has been especially good most days over the past month. Numerous opportunities exist for catching redfish of all sizes (including trophy bull reds over 20lbs) and the warmer water has really ignited a bite for trophy speckled trout in the 7-12lb range. While fishing for those two we’ve also caught some flounder, black drum, and bluefish. There are tarpon to be found in a few small areas, the bite window is very short and the conditions need to be right to find them.
I’m a huge fan of fishing for Speckled Trout and sometimes would rather do that than anything else. With a very warm March and water temperatures consistently now over 70 degrees, the bite for big trophy gator trout has been good and getting better with each passing day. It’s not that they won’t bite at other times, it’s just they are more lethargic when it’s colder and the bite can be slower. Recently, however, we’ve caught several trout in the 4-5lbs, a few over 6lbs, and a couple more in the 7-8lb range during the past couple weeks. If we’ve wanted to target more numbers instead of focusing on the trophy fish, we’ve caught numerous smaller 15-20” trout casting jigs, topwater plugs, suspending plugs, and live shrimp on deeper edges and drop offs. The key to success has been finding good concentrations of mullet in the Mosquito Lagoon, North Indian River Lagoon, or the creeks from Daytona to Oak Hill and thoroughly working those bait pods until you find the right bite.
Redfish are another of our primary targets in the Mosquito Lagoon and the North Indian River Lagoon. Increasing water levels are breaking up wintertime schools of smaller redfish and scattering them over the grass flats, oyster bars, and shorelines. In other areas GIANT trophy bull redfish are forming into bigger schools as the summer spawning session isn’t too far off. Again it’s been a question of targeting quanity vs. quality. While targeting GIANT trophy bulls, we caught several fish in the 15-20lb range, and the big fish of the past month was a 40+lb’r. When we wanted to target catching numbers of smaller fish, we’ve done well throwing a variety of lures and live bait including topwater plugs, spoons, swimbaits, soft plastic jerkbaits, live shrimp, pinfish, and mullet. Some days have been better than others, we’ve caught anywhere from 5-25 redfish per day lately. Fly anglers lately have needed one of three flies to have catching success: a seaducer, a spoon fly, or a bendback pattern for tailers.
In both Lagoons there are a few schools of Black Drum and lots more that are scattered on the grass flats. Around the full-moon when they are schooled up to spawn, we’ve encountered a couple schools of 10-25lb drum. Dark jigs or flies, live shrimp or cut crabs have been the preferred choice when you come across any black drum. Around the tidal areas of Ponce Inlet, and in the ICW from New Smyrna Beach down into Mosquito Lagoon, we’re finding a lot of roaming Bluefish. Live shrimp, plugs, or spoons have produced bites from these fiesty fish in the 10-20” range. I’ve found afew 10-30lb Tarpon in the North Indian River, Mosquito Lagoon, and in New Smyrna Beach. Fishing for this size tarpon is just getting started and will really pick up steam by later this month and last through June. Around that time we’ll also start getting some bigger adult fish moving into the backwaters. I’m taking a day this week to check all of my preferred March-April tarpon spots in the area and will know more then.
For both April and May, there are only around 10 days left available each month. Give me a call now to check my availability and reserve/book 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.