July 2016 Update: Shrimp are running in Daytona.
There’s little doubt that the summer heat in Florida can be brutal. June – September fishing usually means waking up before daybreak so you can try and beat the heat. After about 11:00, most folks call it quits.
Volusia county has a unique summer past time that not only helps keep you cool but also provides an excellent opportunity to stock the freezer. The yearly shrimp run in the Daytona Beach area of the Halifax River is a very popular with the local residents. Unlike the night shrimping that goes on south of here in the Oak Hill area, the majority of our shrimping happens in the middle of the day.
White shrimp, heading out of the estuaries surrounding Flagler and Volusia county, make their way south down the intracoastal starting in the early spring and continuing through the late fall. Typically, we see the larger shrimp in the fall and spring. The smaller shrimp are more common in the summer. Eventually, these schools of shrimp will find their way out of Ponce Inlet and head to sea.
Many times the best part of a shrimp run is around the full moon when the water is moving faster but there are many other factors that go into it. A good amount of rain like we’ve had recently will also get them up and milling around. In my opinion, the best tide to focus on is the last part of the incoming and the first part of the outgoing.
I would encourage the use of a fish finder as well. A lot of times when the shrimping is really good, the boats will bunch up together and it’s pretty easy to find out where the shrimp are. However, when there’s fewer boats, a finder can really come in handy. Once you figure out what shrimp look like on your machine, that takes all the guess work out of blind casting, which can be exhausting.
For recreational fishermen, I would recommend using a 10-12 ft. shrimp net for the best results. Most of the serious local shrimpers get their nets custom made to their liking. Ed Shoemaker is a local net maker from Ormond Beach that provides an excellent product at a very reasonable price. He’s on the following YouTube video to help teach you how to throw a cast net…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=clsO_8D8iiU
Other items you may want to bring with you include: 5 gallon bucket (this is the daily recreational limit), ice chest (you’ll want to keep your catch real cold), mason’s tray (dump your catch in these to help sort as well as helps to keep the boat clean), rubber gloves (makes pulling the cast net rope a little easier on your hands), towel and change of clothes (self explanatory).
If you’re interested in a shrimping charter, I do those as well. Please don’t hestitate to get in touch with me if you want to book a trip or just talk fishing.
Signing off until next time, Capt. Kyle.