Fishing Daytona Beach in Winter
Winter Fishing Trips
with On The Hook Charters
in Daytona Beach, Florida
Fish are biting Inshore and Offshore All Winter Long in Daytona Beach!
Offshore on the reefs the same species are feeding year round and winter is no exception! Of course, the weather does not always cooperate during the short winter months here in Central Florida. The temperature is almost never too cold to enjoy a great day of fishing but the winds offshore can be another matter. Cold fronts, which are seldom cold by the time they reach Daytona Beach, can bring some high winds that make the seas too rough for fishing.
Weather permitting, On The Hook Charters offers Offshore Fishing Trips all winter long in Daytona Beach.
When fishing offshore is not an option, Inshore fishing is always a great choice for a winter time fishing trip in Daytona Beach!
Warm Days in Winter!
A January day in Daytona Beach
(average high 70° F)
is warmer than a day in May
(average high 68° F) in New York City!
Daytona Beach Temperatures
December: Average High: 71° F – Average Low: 50° F
January: Average High: 70° F – Average Low: 47° F
February: Average High 71° F – Average Low 49° F
Offshore fishing charters are available if the winds permit!
Northeasterly winds can create large choppy waves that can be downright uncomfortable or dangerous even in a fishing boat as large as 29 feet like Captain Corey’s.
All the same offshore bottom dwelling species including snapper and grouper are there to catch in the winter months of December, January and February as they are the rest of the year. However winter northeasterly winds can kick up the waves on any given winter day and make an offshore fishing trip impossible. Consult with Captain Corey about the possibilities of offshore fishing on a specific winter day!
You never know what you’re going to catch on a Daytona Beach fishing charter during the Winter months. These 5 species represent the most commonly caught and most abundant targeted species for inshore fishing charters around Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach during December, January and February.
Redfish are the most popular and widespread game fish found in Florida estuaries. They are found in every saltwater estuary in Florida from Pensacola to Key West. Redfish are also found in nearshore and offshore waters off the coast of Florida. They are popular for two simple reasons: They put up a good fight and they taste really good.
It was this good taste that got redfish in trouble back in the 1980s. Cajun chefs in Louisiana where redfish are also popular, made the dish “Blackened Redfish” a national craze and before long redfish were endangered around the country. Strict regulations helped bring them back but the result is commercial fishing for redfish is banned in Florida waters. But lucky for recreational fishermen in Florida, fishing for redfish is still allowed year round in Florida waters. Today they are the most sought after fish in Florida estuaries for Florida inshore fishing charters. The same goes for Daytona Beach inshore fishing charters and all inshore fishing charters in the Daytona Beach area including Ponce Inlet inshore fishing charters and New Smyrna Beach inshore fishing charters.
The best part is that Redfish are found in estuaries near Daytona Beach year round, they are biting year round and Redfish season is year round. Chilly weather does not bother Redfish. They are found as far north as Massachusettes. In fact the weather in the Daytona Beach area even in December, January and Februaruy, the coldest months of the year, is downright perfect for fishing redfish near Daytona Beach.
Redfish are also known as Red Drum, Spot Tails or just Reds. They are easily recognized by the dark spot on the tail which can sometimes be several spots in a small grouping. Juvenile redfish typically inhabit the estuaries until they are about 4 years of age, typically 28 inches and about 10 pounds. After that they are considered adult redfish and usually move into nearshore or offshore waters where they can grow much larger.
The Florida State Record for a Redfish is 52 lbs 5 oz, caught near Cocoa in Brevard County, the next county south of Volusia County where Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach are located. These big bull redfish are a blast to catch and are beautiful specimens for a quick photo trophy. However these are the breeders and are strictly catch and release. But no loss, since every seafood chef in this part of the country knows that the best tasting Redfish are the smaller juveniles which are legal to keep within limits. Keeper size juveniles are typically between 18 and 27 inches long.
Juvenile Redfish can be found all around the Daytona Beach area in saltwater and brackish water estuaries. Daytona Beach fishing charter captains, including Captain Corey of On The Hook Charters, find juvenile redfish in the Halifax and Spruce River estuaries, canals, tidal creeks and around Ponce Inlet. The big bull redfish, which are a real challenge to land and a lot of fun to catch can be found in Ponce Inlet and just offshore. You can’t keep them but every fishing charter captain in the Daytona Beach area targets them as popular sport fish for their fishing guests.
Sheepshead are very plentiful around Daytona Beach during the winter months!
In December, January and February they are stewing up around docks and bridges, along the Intracoastal Waterway and the inshore side of inlets. Sheepshead can be a challenge to catch as they have an uncanny ability to clean a hook without you knowing what happened. However, with their abundance around Daytona Beach during the winter months, you’ll get plenty of chances. They are also pretty good eating.
The Florida State Record for Sheepshead is 15 lb 2 oz, caught near Homosassa in Citrus County in Central Florida.
Spotted Seatrout are another really good tasting fish and a lot of fun to catch! Spotted Seatrout, also known as Speckled Trout, are not a member of the trout family but of the drum family. They are a very popular catch on Daytona Beach fishing charters, especially inshore fishing charters during the winter months. Spotted Seatrout in the allowed length range of 15 to 20 inches for “keepers” typically weigh in at about 1.5 – 3 pounds but longer fish that weigh in at 5 pounds or more are not uncommon. Anglers may keep 4 Spotted Seatrout per day with one over 20 inches. Adult spotted seatrout can reach 19-25 inches in length and 3-17 pounds in weight.
The Florida State record for a Spotted Seatrout is 17 lbs 7 oz, caught near Fort Pierce, Florida, just down the coast from Daytona Beach.
They are typically found inshore or nearshore around seagrass, mangrove-fringed shorelines, deep holes and channels, above oyster bars and even in the surf of barrier islands near Daytona Beach. They are very abundant in the Daytona Beach area year round and the Daytona winter months of December, January and February are no exception.
Spotted Seatrout are often caught on inshore fishing charters in the Daytona Beach area including inshore charters in and around Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach. They are not bothered at all by the cooler weather found in Daytona Beach during the winter. They are common much further up the Atlantic Coast all the way to Virginia and Chesapeake Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico up to Louisiana which has considerably colder winters than the Daytona Beach area. They can be found as far north as the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. So you see, fishing for spotted sea trout in the Daytona Beach area during the winter months is not a problem at all. Plus they are extremely tasty fish. Fried, sauteed or baked, they are very good eating fish.
Flounder are another very tasty, very fun to catch inshore species found in the estuaries near Daytona Beach. Along with Redfish and Spotted Seatrout, Flounder are one of the best tasting fish anyone can catch on a Daytona Beach inshore fishing charter. There is a limit of 10 Flounder per fisherman per day throughout the State of Florida. Considering that Flounder is one of the most tender, tasty fish that you can catch anywhere, the combination of good eating and high limits makes Flounder a sought after species for any Daytona Beach fishing charter.
Flounder inhabit a wide variety of coastal inshore and nearshore habitats from brackish water rivers and tidal creeks to nearshore waters off Daytona Beach. Although they are bottom hugging fish of shallow salt and brackish waters, they are comfortable in sandy, muddy or rocky bottoms. They are often found close to shoreline structure such as stumps and dock and bridge piles. A popular method of fishing for Flounder is gigging at night with the use of a lanterns. Flounder can get quite large for a shallow water species.
The Florida State record for a Flounder is 20 lbs 9 oz, caught in Nassau County just up the coast from Daytona Beach.
Don’t underestimate Black Drum! They can grow quite large and put up one heck of a fight when hooked. Unlike Redfish, or Red Drum, Black Drum are primarily inshore fish that spend their whole lives in saltwater and brackish estuaries. They are bottom dwellers and can be found around docks, bridge pilings and other structures as well as oyster beds. During the winter months, they are a very popular catch with inshore fishing charters around Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet and New Smyrna Beach.
The Florida State record for a Black Drum is a whopping 96 lbs, caught near Fernandina Beach in Nassau County just up the coast from Daytona Beach.