Seas have been a bit sporty the past few days in the New Smyrna area offshore, but the conditions have not scared away the typical fish we would expect to find this time of the year. The mahi bite has been strong, but pay very close attention to current direction changes, and rapidly changing sea surface temps. This all indicated areas with a higher probability of catching the trophy fish that our Gulf Stream is known for. I am working on procuring a 33ft vessel which would allow fishing at grounds that are usually undisturbed. If you would like to book a fishing charter in New Smyrna Beach, Florida please call: 504-390-0395 for more info.
New Smyrna Beach Fishing Charters
I was out of the country for a month and have been back at it hard. Inshore the bite has been off in mangroves but I have heard the lagoon has had some awesome stuff happening. The water was clear and the tide was moving but things just would not line up. Mangrove snapper were caught on live shrimp fishing docks at good tides. A few larger trout were landed on paddle tail jigs and live shrimp. Scale down your leader for more strikes. I hope to have better results inshore by the next report. Offshore, the fishing has been good when seas allow. The north winds have changed up the flow. Large warm water eddies swirl off of the gulf stream this time of year, and they make dramatic temperature breaks when the warm Bahamian water meets the cooler coastal water. If these temperature breaks form over offshore reefs, expect the bite on the troll to be active in these areas. Wahoo were landed this week in relatively shallow water, as they will follow their preferred temperature very far inshore. Wahoo are also very in tune with the moon and tides so pay attention to the time of month you plan to fish for them. Some mahi were also found trolling ballyhoo at faster than normal trolling speeds. The kingfish are extremely thick in certain areas, so use wire accordingly for kings and wahoo.
The bite on the bottom has been hot but many species are closed right now. Plenty of mangrove and red snapper were landed on live baits. Amberjack also added color to the ice box this week, but all of the almaco jacks we caught had to be thrown back. Red grouper were also in the mix, but they are closed as well. The triggerfish bite was a little slow, but the porgys were there as usual. Squid was used on chicken rigs for the smaller jacks and snappers. There is swell coming that contains an unusually large amount of energy. Seas may reach ten feet this week offshore. This is a northeast swell with northeast winds over 20 knots. There is a small craft advisory so please exercise caution. Inshore, look for wind protected areas. Hopefully we will get some calm days before Christmas. Good luck out there and feel free to call or stop me anytime to talk about fishing.
I only got offshore once this past week due to high seas, but I didn’t have any luck for the 2 hours I spent trolling in about 250-300 feet of water. I cruised back a little and found some nice reef fish in 165-190 feet of water. Big triggerfish came up one after another at one spot on the ledge. As we got dialed in, sharks heard the commotion and joined the party although they didn’t eat our catch. They did mange to shut down the bite for that area for a while. I cruised to another good bottom mark on the ledge and dropped again. Porgies came up one after another before the sharks came again. We used squid on chicken rigs. Red snapper were obviously part of the mix also. We played that game for hours before heading back with a fairly full cooler, not of red snapper.
Inshore the bite has been really good. I have fished the docks further south in the river and have had good luck on cobia style jigs (#demojigs) for the snook at night. I love any of them that have chartreuse but they all glow in the dark and look great at night. Guys have been known to get grouper on them also but I haven’t had that luck in the river yet. Trout were caught at night as well on glow in the dark lures. Run the lure through the lighted area under the dock and hold on tight. Sometimes you really need to pitch the bait way up under the dock to get it exactly in the right place. A lot of my luck with night fishing at the docks has to do with proper placement of the bait. The bridges have been producing snook well over 30 inches at night as well. During the morning I have caught snook and slot redfish in the mangroves on shrimp and paddle tail jigs. Get your shrimp way up under the mangrove with this high water so that they can come find it without coming out of the mangrove too much. The swell looks to get fairly large (5-6 feet) for the rest of the week and weekend, and remain out of the east. The wind will remain out of the east at 10-20 knots before a front on Saturday switches up the pattern, potentially. Obviously I will be watching that for a window to get offshore. Have a great weekend guys and stay safe with these windy conditions. #bvofishing
I have been fishing more than writing, so I know a fishing report is long overdue. This week I did fish inshore a few times. The water in the lagoon is high again. This also allows for more boats than normal to enter shallows that are normally limited to tiny skiffs and gheenoes. During the week I found the usual pods of redfish tailing on grass beds. Catching those fish on fly is about as much fun as you can have fishing. If you don’t fly fish, start. If you are hard headed and won’t, a finger mullet hooked through the mouth with its tail cut off should entice one for you. These fish are obviously extremely spooky, so be aware of every noise you can possibly make. Any little tic can set these fish off but if you are patient and quiet, you can usually get right on top of them. My buddy got me so close we needed to back up. If you can’t find any tailing redfish, work a paddle tail up and down the flat covering ground. You should be able to pick up a trout or redfish here and there. Later in the morning, redfish will cruise the banks. We were able to get a snook to to steal a fly from a redfish, and it was one of the coolest things I have seen back there. We came across 30-50 lb tarpon rolling in 3-4 feet of water, which is a sight I rarely see in the lagoon. It was a fun week in the shallows.
Offshore the bite was hot, but BVO had a frustrating week. Multiple good fish were lost, and one trophy fish that still burns as I type this report. We found multiple rips in all different depths. A sailfish was caught in 100 feet of water, trolling open water in between reefs. We found mahi here and there on rip lines, in anywhere from 100 feet of water, up to 1500ft. The bigger one that was lost was in about 600-700 ft, but the transducer failed on that trip, so we do not know the depth for sure. Small black bart lures saw some action, but the usual ballyhoo/chugger head combo seemed to be the most popular. Fish don’t give a damn about color while trolling, it is the action, so pick a pretty color that you like and that you can see while trolling. There is a certain iland lure that makes ballyhoo swim like a snake, but you can experiment on your own. We did a little snapper fishing, and we had good luck on cut bait. We had to chum to get them to come up to us. Sea bass were also caught on squid and smoker kings were seen busting bait balls throughout the week. Seas look to remain in the 2-3 ft range, and winds will continue out of the southwest between 5-15 knots depending upon time of day/week. The west wall of the gulf stream is 40nm east of Ponce Inlet. Be careful with summer storms in the afternoon. Good luck out there and feel free to call and ask questions anytime.
If you have not noticed, red snapper season is in full swing. We are still allowed to keep these fish for two more days, on Friday and Saturday of this week. Most of this report will be tailored to red snapper fishing. When picking a spot to fish for red snapper, try to remember that there are (or were) plenty of these fish all over the coast, so any reef can hold snapper. I have been finding the bigger ones 40 miles offshore at steeples, but I know plenty of guys finding sows in 100 feet of water or less. The difference between catching fish and not catching fish will come down to your tackle. Red snapper season opened up for commercial vessels before it did for recreational vessels, so these fish have had lines dropped on their heads all month. They have seen every leader, swivel, crimp, and hook known to man. Because of this, you will have more success with lighter leader, thinner hooks, and an overall more stealthy approach.
Squid will work for red snapper, but the live baits will usually entice the bigger ones. Try finding a pod of pogies (menhaden) or herring and cast netting them, or use a sabiki rig tipped with squid at an inshore reef to catch grunts. Make a live bait rig with a cross line or three way swivel. Use lighter test braid to connect the sinker, that way, it will breakaway if snagged on the bottom. Use 6 to 8 feet of leader. I normally use 80lb flourocarbon but because of the pressure these fish see, I have had more success on 60lb pink fluorocarbon lately. Hook the bait through the mouth, starting from the bottom, pinning the mouth shut. Be sure to hook the bait properly or else it will spin itself onto the mainline on the way to the bottom. While someone holds that rig, fish a knocker rig baited with squid and see what’s down there. If you start catching sea bass or other bottom fish, red snapper are most likely in the area. Be sure to have a venting tool onboard to assist in a clean release of snappers that are not going in the ice box. Seas look to remain calm for the week in the 1-2ft range inshore, and closer to 2-3ft for offshore waters. Winds are forecasted to be out of the south at 10-15 knots for Thursday and Friday, before coming down a notch to 5-10 knots for the weekend. Be safe out there and keep your head up, there is a lot of traffic out there right now. Best of luck!
I did not fish inshore at all the past week. This report is for offshore fishing only. Nearly everyday this week was spent trolling in 250+ feet of water. The mahi bite was slower than the previous week, but with patience we were able to find at least one gaffer for the box everyday. Mahi are aggressive opportunistic feeders, which is one reason they will eat at night during a full moon phase. With the new moon this week, I am hoping for dark nights, and angry hungry mahi during the daylight hours. A large sailfish was caught and released last week, in about 300 feet of water at about 9:30 am. I highly recommend finding a way to get at least one of your baits down deep. Ballyhoo with chugger heads was the go to, but I have been having more luck with strips rigged onto number 8 trolling hooks with sea witches and squidlies. This combination is also deadly for big kingfish on the planer rod at the inshore reefs. If using this trolling rig for big kings, rig with wire leader instead of monofilament leader. The weeds offshore were really scattered all week, making trolling a constant battle of keeping lines clear of weeds. As soon as I could get free of weeds and get everything swimming properly, the beautiful sound of drag screaming would hit my ears. I recommend having all baits rigged, brined, and ready to go the night before to save time out there so you can use it to keep your lines free.
Toward the end of the week, winds began to remain consistent out of the southeast, and weeds started to gather more. I am hoping to find a more defined weed line this week but it might be a long shot with the shifty winds. Bottom fishing went well at steeples. Scamp grouper, snowy grouper, almaco jack, and of course red snapper were all seen throughout the week, some multiple times. I have been trying new cut baits and this week the hot ticket seemed to be bonita chunks. Seas look to remain in the 2 foot range most of the week, with a small jump at 2-3 foot towards the end of the week. Winds look to come from the west/northwest on Tuesday at 5-10 knots before shifting south/southeast for the end of the week. The gulf stream is 42 nm east of Ponce Inlet. Be safe out there and bring foul weather gear for those summer storms. If you see me around stop and say hello, I always love to learn new things from other fisherman. Thanks and have a great week y’all.
Inshore the usual species are being caught at the rocks and by the docks. Many captains have been catching flounder in the river on various baits. Tarpon are being caught at the rocks, and live bait works the best for them. A freelined mullet or pogy on 5/0 circle hook tends to be candy for the silver kings. People are also catching mackerel at the rocks but usually at specific times. I have spent most of the week offshore so I have more info on that side of the ocean.
Mahi have been found with ballyhoo on chugger heads in 300-450 ft of water. A white marlin was hooked and tail walked across my spread before crashing into the birdie and daisy chain I had out. I lost tension and he spit the hook. I don’t know his weight but he was easily six feet tall without the bill as he walked across water. The billfish were found a little further out. Try any normal hex shaped trolling lure for the marlin. The ballyhoo will work also. In deep water, snowy grouper were caught with squid on a circle hook, but choose squid that is thick with ink and gunk, not the washed out stuff. Any bottom rig can work for bottom fishing these grouper. Recently they were being found in about 300 feet of water. Please note you can only keep one snowy grouper per boat. If you plan on catching a bunch of these, please purchase a seaqualizer. This device brings bottom fish back down to the depths and prevents them from dying unnecesarily. Seas look to remain in the 1-2 foot range all week. Showers should hold off until maybe Friday. Winds should remain less than 10 knots. Have fun, be safe, and good luck out there.
I apologize for not getting a report out last week but a new boat kept me busy. This year has been a little unusual (not bad) for offshore fishing and this week was no different. Although pogy pods have been showing up at the nearshore reefs, the mackerel troll was a little slow for me. I witnessed mackerel attacking baits like a torpedo out of the water this week, but only caught a handful on planers and spoons. Maybe I should have been live baiting with stinger rigs on spinning tackle. Next week I will switch it up and see how it goes. I am starting to become convinced that the bigger kings have seen too many spoons and won’t mess with it. Mangrove snapper are being caught off the bottom, but it takes technique to work these fish. I wasn’t able to get out past 20 miles because I could only fish half days. I hope to go deeper next week.
Inshore things have been mixed, but I have been finding redfish in the flats and will probably continue to all summer. I bought an artificial flats bucktail that mimics a fly, and it seems to be the best bet. Flounder gigging is also productive at the moment. Night fishing at the causeway has favored the incoming tide and slot redfish were caught as well as the occasional snook. Try a quartered crab, or a pinfish but be ready to hook into a couple rays with the pinfish rig. Storms are likely to continue the first half of the week but we should get clearer weather by the weekend. The west wall of the gulf stream is 40nm east on Ponce Inlet. Seas look to remain in the 3-4ft range offshore throughout the week and should trend smaller by the weekend, but please remember NOAA is not always able to be accurate so exercise caution in small boats. Winds look to remain 10-15 knots offshore all week out of the southwest, trending down during the weekend. Say hi if you see me out there, I will be inshore for a few days as my boat needs service already. Good luck and be safe out there.
Sunday June 2- We are already into the first week of June, and the heat is back inshore. Large redfish have been caught under the causeway at night, as well as snook. Try your luck with a live mullet or quartered crab on a #3 khale or circle hook for reds. Snook always love jigs but the pinfish have been hot also. Please take note that keeping snook is illegal June 1-Aug 31. In the lagoon, fish are abundant on flats where you can find some healthy grass, but getting them to eat is a whole different deal. These fish see way too much pressure and it shows. A fly seems to be the best bet. The first hour of daylight can produce some really nice trout, but get on it early. There are spots where I have luck for the last hour of daylight, but try and time it with the outgoing tide for better luck in the river.
I have not gotten a chance to go offshore this week, but I have been watching large eddies of warm water produced by the gulf stream, particularly off the coast of St. Aug. I will be keeping an eye on this water and hope that we get some more sent our way for this upcoming week. The gulf stream is 37 miles east of Ponce Inlet. Seas look to remain in the 2-3 ft range for most of the week, but Tuesday expect seas to jump to 3-4 feet offshore, with winds at 15-20 knots. Seas should trend smaller Wednesday and through the end of the week. We are back to getting afternoon rain storms, so please be safe when avoiding the summer doldrums. Have fun and good luck out there!
Temperatures and fish numbers both seem to be on the rise this week. Inshore, biomasses of young redfish are moving from deeper water back to the grassy flats of Mosquito Lagoon. Look for tailing reds wherever you can find healthy grass. Water clarity has been an issue in spots, so a dead finger mullet on a #3 circle hook may be your best bet, otherwise try enticing them with paddle tail lures rigged with a flats jighead, or try your luck with a fly. As the sun gets higher and things warm up, leave the flat and search leeward shorelines for cruising redfish. We are back to that pattern where things get pretty slow (and hot) after 10 or 11am, so get on it early.
Offshore, the mahi have been getting closer to shore giving more people a shot at them. My favorite lure for mahi is a ballyhoo rigged with any type of small chugger-head. Deep dropping with a chicken rig in ~300 ft of water has been producing snowy grouper, but please be aware of current restrictions on keeping them. Bottom fishing at the inshore reefs has been producing nice triggerfish caught on squid or sardines. Some guys have been finding larger amberjack in deeper water as well. Sea state looks favorable for fishing outside of Ponce Inlet, but be aware that late Monday and Tuesday, seas will jump to 3-4ft, but will go back to 2-3ft for the rest of the week. Good luck out there and most of all, have fun and be safe!
Capt. Jimmy Tiblier
New Smyrna Beach & Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Reports
Check back every week for the latest inshore and nearshore fishing reports for the New Smyrna Beach area.