Happy New Year to everyone! I’m so looking forward to another great year of fishing, meeting and guiding new people, personal time on the water, top finishes in tournaments, and equally important great catching! 2012 was another great year. I spent just over 250 days on the water. I was host to over 160 charters with people from all over the United States and countries like Brazil, England, Denmark, South Africa, Sweden, and Canada. I captured a win on the HT Redfish Series and guided my son to a dominating grand overall win at the CCA Youth Tourney. We caught thousands of redfish and speckled trout (over 100 trout in the 5-10lb range). Our snook and tarpon fishery is poised for a strong year with numerous juvenile fish residing in the area. Despite a bad algae bloom that came and went during the summer months, our fishery is healthy and the water quality is excellent.
During the next two months we can expect great fishing for redfish, speckled trout, and black drum. We’ll also find some flounder and snook as well. It doesn’t matter your skill level or preferred style there is always great fishing anytime of the year. Sight fishing right now is as good as it gets. Crystal clear water is everywhere and with falling water levels, fish are schooling more and more by the day. Cold fronts continue to dip into the area which really just makes the fishing and catching better. It’s the best time of the year It’s the best time of the year to catch 20-30-40-50+ fish per day during the next two months. Winter is all about catching, not fishing!!!
Redfish fishing is great from New Smyrna Beach to Titusville which includes both the Mosquito Lagoon and North Indian River Lagoon. Continued cold fronts continue to drop water temperatures and water levels are falling more and more each week. Redfish have been schooling in groups of 50-100 fish, and as water levels continue to fall we’ll see schools of 200+ redfish. I always say the colder the better this time of year. If the winds are calm we’re fishing the open grass flats in the Lagoons, if it’s blowing and conditions are tough, we’ve done well in the creeks around New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet. Average trips are producing 10-20 redfish during the past few days. Although as it gets colder and water levels fall even further, we’ll have days of 30-50 fish. Redfish are eating a variety of live baits like shrimp, crabs, mud minnows, and mullet in addition to lures like DOA shrimp, spoons, crankbaits, and jigs. Fly anglers have had the best success throwing small shrimp, and slider patterns.
This is one of my favorite times of the year to fish for Speckled Trout. Why? Because chances of sight casting world class gator trout in the 7-12lb range are excellent. These big trout have moved into the shallows in big numbers to warm up and find food. They are often lethargic and take a bit of finesse to get a bite, but the reward is the trout of a lifetime. We’ll see more fish over 10lbs during the next few months than any other time of year. Smaller trout in the 10-20” range have been staged on the deep edges of flats, creeks, and sloughs. Speckled Trout are eating live baits like finger mullet, mud minnows or live shrimp, as well as lures like small crankbaits and soft plastics on jigs. Fly anglers will connect with clouser minnows, gurglers, and seaducers.
Black Drum are starting to school up in the North Indian River Lagoon and a couple areas in the Mosquito Lagoon. As we get more further into January and February we’ll find schools of 100-300 black drum on the deeper flats. These fish will range from 5-20lbs and give a good pull on light tackle and/or fly. Live shrimp and cut crabs will get you on the bite real quick. DOA shrimp and dark colored jigs also will get bites. Fly anglers do well on dark clousers, or my hand tied crab or shrimp patterns.
On days where it’s a little warmer, I’ve found piles of baby Tarpon. Most of them are under 5lbs but they are a hoot on fly or light tackle with the numerous jumps and flips. They are resident fish and never leave, and they are quite active when it’s been warm for a few days in a row. There are also decent numbers of Snook moving into the creeks around Ponce Inlet. Our snook fishery was decimated by a bad freeze a few years ago, so it’s been a long time coming for us to get back into consitent catching. We generally always catch a a few regardless of weather and there are times we’ll catch 10-20 of them.
January is one of the best catching months of the year, as well as February. Bookings for each have been steady late. March and April are the two busiest months of the year, so book ASAP if you have a desire to fish either. As always short notice trips are available if I have the date open. Call or email to secure a reservation. Read my fishing charter page to view the top reasons why you should book your trip with me today. Read my fishing report archive to review write-ups from the past several years. I look forward to fishing with you soon…386-212-4931.