Another warm winter week has passed, hinting at the possibility of a continued mild winter for Florida. Winters are a little different during El Niño years. We have had more cloudy and rainy days than usual but it’s also warmer than usual. This has made the weather very pleasant for fishing!
Winter fishing is generally focused on the species that are cold tolerant, namely redfish and black drum. In Mosquito Lagoon, located just to the south of Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach, flats fishing should continue to be good through winter. Migratory black drum are down from as far away as Chesapeake bay with the largest drum we. Some of these fish can be as big as 70lbs!
Mosquito Lagoon is mostly clear with good visibility for sight fishing redfish, trout and black drum on fly or light spin tackle. Good grass coverage in many areas has enhanced the fishing this winter and we have been seeing more schools of redfish than in the last couple years. This has made for some great days on the water and combined with the warmer temperatures we have gotten for most of winter, it’s made this season a lot of fun so far.
We are very lucky to have a year round fishery with multiple options to keep us on good fishing in every month of the year. Winter time fishing in Florida is some of the best fishing and is a great way to beat the dreary winter many experience in other parts of the country. While we do have occasional cool days, at least a few days each week generally approach 70 degrees, but even on the cooler days the bite is usually pretty good.
During this time of the year we are focused on fishing the Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon system. The water is nice and clear and the sight fishing is about as good as it gets in this area. Both spin and fly anglers have good opportunities for sight fishing on most days. We usually have shots at redfish, sea trout and occasionally black drum during the winter months.
The inlet area near Ponce Inlet, Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach is more fun to fish during the warmer months and the lagoon has the better winter time bite so we just don’t focus much on the tidal water during the winter season. The reason I have 3 different boats is so I can pursue the best fishing available during any month of the year with my clients whether it’s flats fishing in the winter using the skiffs or nearshore fishing for tarpon in the summer.
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