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New Smyrna Beach Area - Indian River Lagoon - Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Report

December 23, 2023

A week left in 2023 and we are wrapping up one of the best years in a while! The Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon grass flats bounce back was the highlight of the year. That with other conservation efforts allowed us to see increasing numbers of every fish we target. Sight fishing on the flats for redfish, speckled trout, snook, tarpon, and black drum was superb all year. In addition to those, we caught triple tail, flounder, jack crevalle, bluefish, snapper, and sharks! I was blessed and thankful to enjoy another record year of charter bookings. I fished with clients from nearly 35 different states and all those clients managed to bring in the most fish on my boat since 2017! The great news…there should be no slow down. With this many fish around, 2024 is going to be even better!!!

Recently I have been creating videos about the past month of fishing…talking about the bite and sharing some recent photos of client catches. You can find these videos on my Youtube Channel. Be sure to check them out and if you like the video’s give them a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel.

Slow season is over and we are back into some of the busiest months of the year. Don’t wait till last minute to schedule. My calendar will again be packed full with folks here for holiday travel, winter vacations, or spring breaks. January, February, March and April are already filling so don’t wait!

The shallow water in the Mosquito Lagoon and the Ponce Inlet area backwaters continues to be the hot ticket for redfish! Water levels are still above average but should continue to drop over the next month or so. We are seeing the best numbers of redfish in several years and the catching over the past couple months has been phenomenal. Sight casting conditions remain excellent for redfish laid up in the sand or tailing in the grass. There’s so many redfish around this year that we should see some epic schools of redfish on the flats this winter. January through March tends to be the best shallow water redfish action of the year.

Recent colder weather the last couple weeks has all the snook schooled up in the deeper winter holes in Mosquito Lagoon and the New Smyrna Beach backwaters. Just recently started seeing schools of hundreds of snook and it’s quite common for me to have charters where we land 15-20+ snook a day. The larger snook can get pretty lethargic with the cold water temps but they smaller ones under 25” are pretty eager to bite.

Black drum are schooling up big time in Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon. Cold temps push them onto the flats by the hundreds December through March. I dont’ tend to spend a lot of time fishing for them, but catching is usually pretty easy when we do. Giant drum fro 25-50+ lbs are arriving to prepare for a spring time spawn. Each winter and spring we see a huge biomass of 1000+ world class black drum in the Lagoons.

Had some scattered luck with big speckled trout over the past month. Colder water temps push the big gator trout up shallow in the winter months in both the Mosquito and Indian River Lagoons. Smaller trout are piling up into the holes and sloughs in the creeks and flats. Historically I come across the biggest trout of the year during the next 3 months. They can be incredibly hard to catch when it’s cold, but when the stars align it can be the payoff of a speckled trout of a lifetime.

January has been filling quick, but I have 9 days still open. February, March and April are also booking quick as we get into the local spring events like Daytona 500, nationwide spring breaks, and business conventions. Don’t wait till the last minute! 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…

Here's the slideshow of the top 50 photos from 2023. Thanks to my clients and friends for an oustanding year!

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