Summer Shrimp Run – Halifax River

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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

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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.

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Snook harvest seasonal closure in Atlantic starts Dec. 15

Capt. Kyle Busby (Nobigreel.com) had a charter out last Thursday. Daytona Beach Shores' Campbell Buchanan shows off his 28-inch snook from Spruce Creek caught free-lining live jumbo shrimp. Other catches that day included reds, trout and mangrove snapper with some smaller pesky jacks mixed in.

Capt. Kyle Busby (Nobigreel.com) had a charter out last Thursday. Daytona Beach Shores’ Campbell Buchanan shows off his 28-inch snook from Spruce Creek caught free-lining live jumbo shrimp. Other catches that day included reds, trout and mangrove snapper with some smaller pesky jacks mixed in.

The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 15 in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, and will remain closed through Jan. 31, 2017, reopening to harvest Feb. 1. Anglers may continue to catch and release snook during the closed season.


Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, closed Dec. 1 and will reopen to harvest March 1, 2017.


This and other regular season closures are designed to help protect the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather.

For more information on snook, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”

Snook reopens in Atlantic state waters

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The recreational harvest season for snook reopens on Sep. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north), including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season will remain open through Dec 14th.

In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license, unless the angler is exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook.

It is illegal to buy or sell snook.

Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. As a result, the FWC encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home, even during the open season.

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. This program allows anglers to participate in the collection of data such as the size, age, maturity and sex of Florida’s premier inshore game fish, snook. For a county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Snook,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”

The harvest of snook in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state waters, including Everglades National Park and all of Monroe County, remains closed until March 1. Snook harvested from the open waters of the Atlantic may not be transported through closed water or landed in the closed area.Anglers may catch and release snook during the closed season, but the FWC encourages anglers to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure their survival upon release. Proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”

Check out this week’s local fishing report!

FISHING REPORT

Fish, fish everywhere you throw a line

Capt. Kyle Busby shows off a 13.6-pound, 34-inch snook caught on live shrimp in the Port Orange area. NOBIGREEL.COM/CAPT. KYLE BUSBY

Published: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 11:31 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 4:06 p.m.

Before Tropical Storm Colin blew in and out of Florida, fishing was pretty good in the area. Anglers can expect a good week of fishing now that the weather has cleared.

SURF, PIERS: Tom Farnham at Your Rod & Reel in Daytona Beach Shores said those casting into the surf are catching bull whiting. “And believe it or not, we still have pompano around,” he said. “The sand fleas are showing up on the beach for the first time in three years and we think that is what is keeping the pompano around.” Farnham said several of his regulars are catching redfish, black drum, sheepshead and bluefish. “Everybody is catching something,” he added. The piers are led this week by Sunglow Pier which reported catches of mangrove snapper, redfish, flounder, jacks and black drum. The Flagler Beach Pier has been in a slump in recent days with the primary catch being catfish and puppy sharks. The Daytona Beach Pier has been “kind of slow,” according to Gene Lytwyn, who owns The Fishin’ Hole in the downtown area. He said anglers are catching some flounder and a few whiting.

OFFSHORE: Lytwyn said one of his customers caught a 60-pound wahoo and a 20-pound king on a recent ocean troll, before Colin showed up. “We’re still seeing a good number of dolphin, too,” he added. On the bottom-fishing side of the offshore equation fishermen are packing their coolers with gag grouper, triggerfish, sea bass and mangrove snapper, according to Jeff Burkhead at Fishin’ Cove Bait & Tackle in New Smyrna Beach. “We had one guy come in with photos of three Goliath groupers he caught all over 200 pounds,” Burkhead said. “He jumped in the water to take photos of them before releasing them.” Goliaths are off limits to keep. “Bottom fishing has been really good lately,” Lytwyn added.

PONCE INLET, HALIFAX RIVER: Capt. Kyle Busby of nobigreel.com has been working the area between the inlet and Dunlawton Causeway in recent days. “Around Port Orange, the larger snook are getting ready to spawn on the next full moon, so they are fat,” Busby said in an email report. “Recent trips have produced more quality snook than the smaller schoolies.” Busby said he has been free-lining live shrimp in creeks during tide changes and catching trout, reds, flounder, jacks and mangrove snapper.” Lytwyn said there are black drum in the Granada Bridge area, plus a few flounder hanging around. “Up in Spruce Creek, they are catching and releasing snook and landing redfish,” Lytwyn said. In the inlet flounder are taking live mullet, mud minnows and soft plastic artificials while black drum are gobbling up live shrimp or blue crab. On the south side of the inlet, Burkhead said his regulars are catching quite a few flounder, plus oversize redfish. “Those big reds are always in there,” Burkhead said.

TOMOKA BASIN, RIVER: Lytwyn said anglers are catching redfish in the basin and black drum up the river near the U.S. 1 span. “And we are seeing snook being caught in Thompson’s Creek,” he said. “But of course, they are out of season right now.”

MOSQ. LAGOON, INDIAN RIVER: Al Huffman at Lagoon Bait & Tackle in Edgewater says there are plenty of fish around, if you can find them. “Seeing a bunch of redfish and trout,” he said. “We’re seeing most of them coming out of Tiger Shoals and Slippery Creek.” Haulover Canal is holding some big black drum. Around New Smyrna Beach, Burkhead said river anglers are catching trout and mangrove snapper. Burkhead said blue crab trappers are having a field day right now. “Crabbing has been really good,” he said.

MATANZAS INLET, RIVER: Devil’s Elbow Fish Camp, which is located north of the inlet, reports a flounder run in the inlet and river, while other anglers are hauling in redfish and black drum in the river flats using mud minnows for bait.

ST. JOHNS RIVER: Capt. Rick Rawlins can’t explain it but anglers are enjoying a run of speckled perch, which usually show up in the fall and winter months. “People are catching up to 20 of them at a time, up to 2-pounds big, by vertical jigging in the run,” Rawlins said. Bluegill are plentiful and caught by tossing crickets along the bank. Bass have slowed down, but those being caught are taking wild shiners early in the morning.