What's Biting on Daytona Beach Inshore Fishing Charters?
To the right is a very happy client with the scamp grouper he caught inshore on the Halifax River with fishing guide Captain Corey Simmons.
Plenty! The Halifax River is a very special place for inshore and backcountry fishing. The river contains brackish water, naturally saltier towards the ocean and fresher near it's tributaries, but this allows for a wide variety of fish species including those normally found in the Atlantic Ocean.
Inshore and backcountry fishing charters on the Halifax River out of Daytona Beach, such as fishing guide Captain Corey's On The Hook Charters, regularly target Redfish (Red Drum), Spotted Sea Trout (Speckled Trout), Flounder and Black Drum all year round. These species just get hungrier in the winter months and are a favorite target of Daytona Beach fishing charters even in January. (By the way, the average high in Daytona Beach is 70 degrees in January). Also found year round in the Halifax River are Sharks, Barracudas, King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead and a variety of Snapper, especially Mangrove Snapper. Scamp Grouper, the best tasting of all Grouper species, can be found inshore as well as offshore. Fishing guides also find Snook and Tarpon in the inshore waters around Daytona Beach especially in the Halifax River and at Ponce Inlet.
More about inshore fishing for Snook
To the right is a picture of fishing guide Captain Corey Simmons showing off a big snook he caught on his day off along the mangrove lined shoreline of the Halifax River.
Snook are a favorite target of fishing charters on the Halifax River near Daytona Beach. They are very tasty and put up a great fight when hooked. Mangrove lined shorelines along the Halifax River near Daytona Beach are a good habitat for snook. Snook are at home along Florida's coastal estuaries about as far north as mangrove lined shorelines can be found. Both snook and mangroves have about the same tolerance to cold and share about the same range.
Although redfish can be found throughout coastal Florida inshore waters from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys, snook are true sub-tropical fish and the Halifax River around Daytona Beach is at the extreme northern edge of the snook's range. They are most common in Central America. Snook cannot tolerate water temperatures much below 60 degrees. Plus When temperatures drop, snook become sluggish. As long as winters around Daytona Beach are mild without severe cold snaps, there will be plenty of snook to catch during the long warmer months.
The good news is you don't have to go on a fishing charter all the way down to South Florida to catch snook. You can catch them here on a Daytona Beach fishing charter as long as winters are mild and cold weather does not deplete the snook fishing stock.
More about inshore fishing for Tarpon
To the right is a hooked tarpon on the Halifax River near Ponce Inlet just south of Daytona Beach.
As every Florida fishing guide knows, tarpon are the grand prize for any Florida inshore or nearshore fishing charter. During the summer months, tarpon can be found throughout Florida’s coastal waters. In the Gulf of Mexico, big tarpon can be found as far north as the Florida Panhandle during the summer. (Even Louisiana has a "Tarpon Rodeo" fishing tournament every summer!) Along the Atlantic Coast, tarpon can be found during the summer months all along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. They are plentiful during the summer all the way north to Virginia.
However, during the winter months, tarpon head down the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts to stay warm in Central and South Florida. The big boys concentrate in South Florida during the winter months but juvenile tarpon in the five to forty pound range can be found in the waters around Daytona Beach year round.
Spring and Autumn are great times to catch tarpon all around Daytona Beach from the Halifax River, to Ponce Inlet to the nearshore waters just beyond the beaches and breaker waves. In the autumn and spring, tarpon are on the move around Daytona Beach, heading south to escape the cold fronts in the autumn or heading north during the spring to follow the warming waters and migrating bait fish they feed on.
During the late summer, especially September and October (this is Florida where Summer sticks around) Daytona Beach area fishing guides target the big boys! Ponce Inlet, at the mouth of the Halifax River, becomes the center of tarpon fishing in the Daytona Beach area. Big tarpon, 60 - 100 pounds and more, push through Ponce Inlet into the backwaters around Daytona Beach. They move into the Halifax River and tidal creeks to feed on bait fish, shrimp and crabs.
More about the Halifax River
To the right is the Halifax River where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Ponce Inlet. That’s the famous Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and that green patch on the right is a mangrove island in the river.
Although it is called a river, the Halifax River might be better described as a sound, a lagoon or even a bayou. Like a sound, the Halifax River separates the mainland from the barrier islands where the beaches are located. Like a lagoon, it is a brackish, semi-saltwater body of water with a mix of fresh water and saltwater fish species. And like a bayou, the river flows so slowly towards the ocean on this flat landscape that water movement is imperceivably slow.
The Halifax River begins in northeast Volusia County, the county where Daytona Beach is located. It originates at Tomoka Bay, adjoining Tomoka State Park, at the confluence of Halifax Creek, the Tomoka River and Bulow Creek. The Halifax River is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, roughly beginning where the Intracoastal Waterway enters the northeast edge of Volusia County and flowing south along the coast until it empties at Ponce Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean in central Volusia County. The Halifax River is 25 miles long and Daytona Beach is located right in the middle of its length as it flows to the Atlantic Ocean. The Halifax River actually splits the city of Daytona Beach in two, separating the barrier island where the beaches are located from the mainland.
You crossed the Halifax River to get to the beaches in Daytona Beach. You had to cross either the Granada Bridge (Hwy 40) at Ormond Beach to the north of Daytona Beach, the Port Orange Causeway (SR A1A) to the south in Port Orange, or one of four Halifax River Bridges in Daytona Beach itself. Either that or you came a long way down A1A from maybe as far as Saint Augustine. The A1A is a great ride, isn't it? Florida's version of California's Pacific Coast Highway without the cliffs but with much better beaches and warmer water!
When you cross these bridges, remember that bridges are always built at the most populated spots on rivers with the most development (unless some unscrupulous politician gets his way like the "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska or the "Sunshine Bridge" over the Mississippi River in Louisiana). Keep in mind that vast areas of the Halifax shoreline are undeveloped and contribute to the fish breeding shoreline estuaries that make fishing in the Halifax River so good! By the way, fishing under the bridges is actually some of the favorite destinations for Daytona Beach fishing guides. Bridge pilings make great man made reefs even in a river like the Halifax.
Fishing guide Captain Corey Simmons of On The Hook Charters actually lives in Daytona Beach Shores, a community just 3 miles south of Daytona Beach between the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean. The Halifax River is his backyard and his home is literally just blocks from the river. He has been a professional fishing guide and commercial fisherman in the Daytona Beach area for nearly 30 years. No fishing guide knows inshore fishing on the Halifax River better than Captain Corey!
For prices on Captain Corey’s Inshore Fishing Charters please see his Fishing Charter Rates page.