Well certainly some interesting times going on in everyday life, huh?
Let me start the report by saying, yes…I am still running charters every week. Those that hold an appropriate USCG Captain's License fall under federal rules of a maritime transportation workers. Florida’s Governor has also deemed fishing an allowable essential activity. Say no more! The boat and equipment are sanitized every day and we're outside in the open air and sun, it's the perfect place to social distance. We all have plenty of time on our hands over the past few weeks and weeks to come, so why not take a break from it and enjoy a morning on the water with you family or close friends?
This pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for visitors and residents to enjoy some of the best fishing of the year around New Smyrna Beach, Ponce Inlet and Mosquito Lagoon. During the month of March we were fishing for giant bull redfish on the flats in the Indian River Lagoon. In addition to redfish over 20lbs, we were having great days targeting speckled trout in the shallows and schooled up black drum. During the past two weeks of April, we have been catching great numbers of snook, speckled trout, and some redfish in the creeks and channels around New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet. We are starting to see our baitfish numbers increase exponentially, so by the end of this month and throughout May we will see the best speckled trout fishing of the year with numerous trophy size fish in the 6-10 pound range. Go back now and read the first paragraph…time on your hands, fishing essential activity, i’m open for business…well, what are you waiting for?
The snook bite has been phenomenal the first two weeks of April. Great shrimp runs on the moon cycles have triggered an insanely good bite. Snook population numbers are the best I’ve seen around New Smyrna Beach and the northern sections of Mosquito Lagoon. Where we once saw schools of redfish, we are now seeing schools of snook. Most days recently have yielded 10 or more snook caught, with a couple outings producing 25-30. Sizes have ranged from little rats up to 32 inches. We are having success using live bait, soft plastics, and flies. Snook fishing will remain good from now through November.
Fishing for speckled trout is seriously starting to heat up in the Mosquito Lagoon. We’ve been catching decent numbers while targeting snook, but baitfish numbers are starting to sky rocket and that triggers the best speckled trout bite of the year during May and June. Want a chance at a 10 pound speckled tout, those are the two months to do it. Want to just catch a pile of fish every day, those are the two months to do it. We usually average 20-30 speckled trout per day in Mosquito Lagoon during May and June.
Fishing for redfish is slowing down a bit in Mosquito Lagoon and the Indian River Lagoon. Water levels have come up a bit and winter time schools have widely scattered. So we’ve been targeting big bull redfish over 20 pounds that are just beginning to school up on the deeper flats and channels. Schools will grow in numbers over the next couple months as they prepare to spawn later in the summer. We usually target the big 20-40 pound redfish on live bait. We’ll be targeting these big ones all summer and into early fall. We’ll also catch smaller redfish mixed in with speckled trout and snook when we are targeting those in different areas.
Starting to see a fair amount of small and medium size tarpon getting more active in the past week. Right on schedule…they will really start to move around later this month and fishing for them will be pretty good in May and June in the deeper creeks and channels. We tend to use live bait, soft plastics and jigs depending on where they are at and what they are doing. The giant schools of 500+ black drum that were on the flats during the winter months are starting to widely disperse after their spring spawning. We’ll catch black drum here and there over the next few months but it’s not something I typically target now. Lot of big bluefish are coming in through Ponce Inlet and we’ll find a lot of fun catching those while targeting snook. In the Mosquito Lagoon we are starting to see good numbers of sharks cruising again. Last year there were sharks everywhere, looks like we could be in for another repeat.
Hope this report clears up confusion on whether I’m open and still running charters. A big YES and the fishing has been excellent. The lockdown on states and tourism now limited the number of people that would be filling my calendar. But we’re still fishing and those that go are seeing some outstanding catching this time of year. Got days open in April. Have about 10 days still scheduled for May and will likely be filling more as we ease up on quarantine restrictions so start thinking about scheduling now. Text me or call me at 386-212-4931 or even send me an 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…