Happy Fourth of July to everyone! It won’t be long till summer is a faded memory as August is right around the corner. July fishing means any and everything is a potential opportunity. Speckled trout, redfish and flounder provide the most consistent fishing on a daily basis. There are also tarpon, jack crevalle, and small sharks around too. The only downside to fishing this time of year is daytime temperatures...it doesn’t affect the fishing that much, just wears on you being in the sunlight all day. My charters fishing with live bait are catching the majority of the fish. We’ve been averageing 15-20 speckled trout, 4-7 redfish, and a flounder or two each day. The best fishing for me has been in the tidal waters around New Smyrna Beach and Ponce Inlet where water temperatures are a lot cooler and it get multiple tide changes during the day. Things have also been good on sight fishing charters where we’ve gone down to Mosquito Lagoon and the North Indian River Lagoon.
The Speckled Trout bite continues to put the most fish in the boat on a daily basis in the Mosquito Lagoon and the North Indian River Lagoon. That will continue right on through the summer. We are primarily fishing with live bait like pigfish, croakers and live shrimp to average 15-25+ trout per day. We could catch more, but if I don’t catch a trout over 3-4lbs within a few minutes at each stop I tend to move on to keep looking for a trophy fish. It was a great bite for big trout...we caught numerous trout in the 4-8lb range during the past month. When Tropical Storm Debby passed through recently it dropped water temperatures into the low 70’s and I saw hundreds of giant trout in the 7-12lb range up in the shallows. There has been a good plug and jig bite for those who like to throw lures, provided you can get away from the floating grass. We’re either fishing shallows early in the morning or deeper water once the sun gets high up over head.
The Redfish bite has been fair to good. Water levels have been high which has kept redfish scattered. In tidal areas around Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna we’ve been catching our redfish around flooded oyster bars and mangroves. In the Mosquito Lagoon we’ve been catching 4-10lb redfish pitching lures and live baits into sand spots and the edges of sand sloughs. This is the time of year when big trophy bull redfish in the 20-40lb range school in the deeper portion of the North Indian River Lagoon for their annual spawn. When the conditions are right, sight casting is phenomenal and they’ll eat about anything you throw at them, including flies, plugs, spoons, soft plastics and live bait.
Tarpon numbers thinned a bit as of late around the full moon, but there had been good numbers of them in both Lagoons, the ICW, and around Ponce Inlet. I’ve been seeing bigger fish in the 50-80lb range in the area recently in addition to some resident smaller 20-30lb fish. These tarpon will be around from now through the end of September and action typically peaks towards the last half of August and early part of September. Mullet and pinfish are preferred live baits and swimbaits, plugs, and DOA jigs are preferred lures. I also have a few areas where I find laid up and slow rolling tarpon we can sight cast with a fly rod.
The Flounder bite for me seems to have stalled during the past week or two in the inshore backwaters. I was averaging one or two each day at least, but haven’t caught any since the tropical storm passed. Hopefully when water temperatures and conditions stabilize the bite will pick up again. Around the tidal creeks and channels around Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, and Edgewater we’re finding a lot of Jack Crevalle and some Bluefish. Most of these fish are under 5lbs. They are more by catch when we are fishing for other species than anything else, but they still provide some rod bending action.
July will be extremely busy, I only have a few dates left open. August dates are also starting to fill up so don’t wait till last minute if you can. I do also run afternoon charters as well fishing with live pigfish and croakers. 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.