A Day on the Water with: Mike Graves

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Volusia County Snook Carcass Collection

This week I want to feature a way to both contribute to the dinner table and a way to contribute to snook research.  Now that the season is open and anglers can harvest slot fish (28-32″), please take the time to donate the carcass for research.

If you want to donate a carcass (or multiple carcasses), simply just call me @ (352) 745-1266. I’ll be saving the ones I harvest this year and once we have a freezer full, Anderson Berry, with the FWRI, will come pick them up for their scientists to biopsy.

I found the easiest, cleanest, and most efficient way to store them was to double bag them with garbage bags and then wrap them with a layer of stretchy plastic wrap. The outside of the plastic wrap gives you a place to write the date caught, weight, and girth to help give the scientists more info.


You may wonder what the guidelines are for contributing a snook carcass.  The general guidelines are as follows:

– All regulations apply.
– Donate only legal snook during snook season.
– Donate all sizes that you harvest. (Donating only large fish will bias the data.)
– Donate as many fish and as often as you can; however, do not harvest fish for the program. Keep only those snook you would normally keep.
– Donate both tagged and untagged fish. If a snook is tagged, please report tag information to the Angler Tag Return Hotline at 800-367-4461.
– When filleting, please leave all internal organs intact.

The FWC has a dedicated web page just for this information.  You can visit it at: http://m.myfwc.com/research/saltwater/fish/snook/anglers-help/

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask…see you next week.

Signing off,
Capt. Kyle Busby



Summer Shrimp Run – Halifax River

August 2015 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.

Bank Fishing Volusia County: Part I

Lately, the fishing in Volusia County has been on fire.  This is a great time of year to catch many species of fish in the estuaries surrounding the county. Many of the locals this time of year target the big flounder, trout, and snook that are fattening up on the recent run of mullet.

If you don’t have a boat, a great place to bank fish in the northeast corner of the county is the area surrounding Bulow Creek and Highbridge. There are several places to park and walk on Highbridge Rd. that allow you to fish the roadside canals.


Your best bet is to work a topwater lure or twitchbait, throwing it as close to the reeds on the far bank as possible. Once you locate the oyster bars, it’s probably safe to throw a jig on and work the areas around the oyster bars for the flounder. I’ve always had pretty good luck using any type of white jig with a little added scent.

After you try that, you can also work the banks underneath Highbridge and the public pier area. Each of these areas may require different techniques depending on tidal flow. You may want to float a cork and shrimp, throw a jig, or crankbaits are also good lures here. I’ve caught some nice trout on topwater plugs as well.


One more small bit of advise…if you want to try fishing under the bridge on the west side, either catch the lower tide or you may want to bring some rubber boots. On a high tide, the water level won’t allow you to work this whole area very easily.

Highbridge Bait and Tackle is a small bait shop convenient to the area, located on the east side of the bridge. Typically, they have live shrimp, finger mullet, and crabs as well as a few terminal tackle supplies. As with most bait shops, I would call them before heading that way to see what’s in stock.

Until next time, signing off
Capt. KB