December's Fishing Report

OFFSHORE: Bottom fishing is off the charts, according to Jeff Burkhead at Fishin’ Cove Bait & Tackle in New Smyrna Beach. “They’re catching everything out there,” he said. “Bottom fishing has been really good. They’ve been bringing up some cobia, sea bass, triggerfish, vermilion snapper, and some sailfish and kingfish on the troll.” The kings are so abundant; the commercial fishermen are joining the party.


MOSQ. LAGOON, INDIAN RIVER: Greg Noel at Lagoon Bait & Tackle in Edgewater said the first cold front that passed through the area Tuesday scared away many fishermen, but the cooler air improved fishing. “They don’t like the wind and rain,” he said. “But I just had a friend go out in a kayak and come back with redfish and a nice-sized snook fishing in a creek.” Noel said black drum are schooling in shallow water, but they aren’t attacking bait. “They’re eating something they don’t normally get, down around Shotgun,” he said. “One captain said they’re eating some kind of little bug and they’re not interested in anything else.” The black drum are biting dead shrimp in Haulover Canal. Noel said the biggest he has weighed was 14 pounds. The sheepshead bite is strong and we’ve got some big, fat flounder. “We’re seeing people catch five to 10 a day,” Noel said, adding that reds, trout and mangrove snapper are in the mix. Burkhead said anglers are getting their fill of redfish around the New Smyrna Beach bridge areas during the day and snook at night. “They are so thick right now, snook are around any bridge they can get around,” he said. “Snook have been on fire around there.”

SURF, PIERS: Faith Henson at Fishing Shack Bait & Tackle in Daytona Beach Shores said Sunglow Pier has been blessed with a run of black drum, sheepshead and redfish. The Fishin’ Hole in Daytona Beach said anglers are snapping up all sorts of fish from the surf, including an uptick in pompano, plus whiting and bluefish.

PONCE INLET, HALIFAX RIVER: Burkhead said the inlet is a hotbed for sheepshead and black drum. “And just inside the inlet, they’ve been catching a lot of nice flounder,” Burkhead said. “They’re bringing up some big ones.” Henson reported black drum, sheepshead and redfish catch in the river and inlet areas. “Especially around the jetties,” she said. “And there seems to be a sheepshead around every dock in the river.” The Fishin’ Hole said bluefish are dominating night fishing around metro area bridges and docks. Capt. Kyle Busby said he’s been way up Spruce Creek catching reds, trout, tarpon and snook.” Spruce Creek is an offshoot of the Halifax.

MATANZAS INLET, RIVER: Redfish rule the river right now, according to Capt. Chris Herrera from “We’re catching some nice redfish right now on artificial bait,” he said. “We are working the banks of the river using soft plastics, working areas where bait fish are active and visible, plus oyster beds, too.” Herrera reports that flounder are becoming more frequent in this area. “They have been hiding in creek holes and creek beds and now they are heading toward the inlet,” he said. “You can bump the river bottom with a live mullet and that’s been working pretty good for us.” At night, the docks are holding trout. “That bite has been pretty strong,” he added.

TOMOKA BASIN, RIVER: The basin area is yielding reds, snook and trout using lures, according to Capt. Barry Englehardt.

ST. JOHNS RIVER: Capt. Bryn Rawlins, who is based at DeLand’s Highland Park Fish Camp, said the speckled perch bite is picking up but has not caught fire. “We had a catch of 16 specks in the run,” she said. “It’s kind of a mediocre speck catch. We’re not seeing anybody get a limit, but we’re seeing a good mess of fish. We think it will turn on once we get some steady, cool weather.” Rawlins said bass fishing is good and said the prime time for lunker bass is quickly approaching. “It should start turning on, at the end of this month, for big, trophy bass,” she said.


Credit to the Daytona Beach News Journal.