As winter finally knocks on our door this coming Christmas weekend in Florida, winter fishing patterns will be locked in place for the next couple months. We shift away from the warm water species of summer to the fish that give us our best winter opportunities.
In the New Smyrna Beach area, big reds and black drum aren’t harmed by the cooler water temperatures of winter and will be our primary target. The snook have done quite well for the last few years and we can only hope they will make it through this winter as well.
In Mosquito Lagoon a few miles south of New Smyrna Beach, winter brings the clearest water of the year and some good fishing as well. Redfish will group up in small schools in several areas and big schools of migratory black drum will occupy the deeper basins of the lagoon. Winter and spring bring some of the best fishing conditions to the lagoon and we will be taking advantage of that for the next few months.
Other than a few cool days in November, we are off to what seems like a pretty warm winter so far here around New Smyrna Beach in central Florida. Compared to most parts of the country, it’s almost always nice in Florida this time of year. Whether it stays warm or cools down as we head towards January, the fishing should be good either way.
Back country fishing in Mosquito Lagoon which is a few miles to the south of New Smyrna Beach starts to enter it’s prime season as cooler temperatures bring clearing water that gives us the visibility we need to have fun days sight fishing with both fly and spin tackle. Big black drum are arriving on their year migration here to spawn and also make a fun target for days on the lagoon.
Around the New Smyrna Beach area itself, our winter season is mainly focused on big bull redfish and big black drum on their way to the lagoon. These fish aren’t impacted by cooler water temperatures the way our summer species like snook and tarpon are so we have good chances at them even when we enter the coolest parts of winter.
Winter in Florida just isn’t the same as the rest of the country, it’s a great time to escape the snow and come catch some fish!
Capt. Billy Rotne
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