It’s been a great start to the fall fishing for redfish at Ponce Inlet, around New Smyrna Beach and the upper half of Mosquito Lagoon. There are also a bunch of tarpon around Ponce Inlet and scattered throughout the ICW, channels, and creeks. Spotted sea trout are fattening up on the fall bait run following schools of mullet moving through the area. Snook have been stacked up at Ponce Inlet and around the nearby docks getting ready to move towards deep holes for the approaching colder weather. There’s no slow time for fishing in Florida and the fall season provides opportunities to catch a bunch of fish before winter sets in.
Had a great time in Jacksonville a few weeks ago fishing with my son in the IFA Redfish Tour event. I've had quite a bit of success fishing there over the past 6-7 years, including winning a Florida Pro Redfish tournament the last time we fished up there. We definitely had some challenges capitalizing on the bites we were getting, but still managed another top 10 finish, taking 7th place.
It’s been all about redfish at Ponce Inlet and in the ICW around New Smyrna Beach. Big bull reds have been schooled up for their annual spawn time which means it’s one of the best times to catch a trophy redfish between 20-40 pounds. Live baits like blue crabs, mullet, pinfish, etc all will work drifting around the bridges, docks, channels, and jetties. We’re down to the last few weeks of bull redfish before they scatter and get tough to target over the next few months. Smaller redfish in Mosquito Lagoon meanwhile have been chasing down schools of mullet moving over the flats. The backwaters in the Lagoon have been filled with millions of mullet migrating south. Topwater plugs, spoons, soft plastic jerk baits, etc will cover water and find hungry redfish in the 4-10 pound range.
There’s a motherhood of tarpon around the area during the past couple weeks. How long they stick around depends on the arrival of our first cold fronts. Once water temps start to drop they will quickly start moving south. Tarpon at Ponce Inlet and in the ICW can range greatly in size, from 10-20 pounders all the way to 125-150 pounders. Live mullet, pinfish, plugs and jigs all work really well around here for tarpon.
We’re still catching a bunch of speckled trout each day in the Mosquito Lagoon area. There’s so much mullet in the region, it’s unreal they even want to eat one of our baits! That’s the magic of using the right baits though. It’s more of a numbers game though instead of size. Most speckled trout are ranging from 15-24 inches, with a big one every now and then. Live baits work best, but topwater plugs and soft plastics will produce as well.
Haven’t spent much time lately fishing for snook, although they are piled up at Ponce Inlet and nearby docks and creeks. Things are going to drastically change though when they move to deeper places where they will spend the rest of winter. They form massive schools when they do and that’s when I have my best luck. By mid to late November we will start getting 20-30+ snook a day. So I typically wait till then unless we are looking for something different to do or trying to complete a slam.
Have dates open each week through the rest of October. But November and December are starting to fill up with people coming back to Florida for the winter and holidays. They will be busy months so don’t wait to schedule something. I take last second scheduling if I have open days. Call me at 386-212-4931 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…