The water is slowly warming up around Daytona Beach but there are still plenty of blue fish to ravage your tackle. Sometimes you don’t even get your hook back, meaning if you do reel it in don’t get your fingers too close to his mouth. This fish will grab a finger or whatever he can get, it won’t look the same if you get it back.
There are also lots of sheepshead around the rocks and pylons. These fish have been in the 1 – 3lb range with some larger ones occasionally around the bridges or jetty. Fiddler crabs when you can get them is their favorite but smaller shrimp work well too. A smaller hook 1o or 2o works best for these with a 15 to 20lb leader, I prefer a shorter leader 8 to 10” and as small a weight to get to the bottom. By the time you feel this bite it is most times over. You will want to get your bait to the bottom a lift slightly and feel for a pull or resistance. I you let it sit and wait for the bite expect some frustration because these fish are the masters of leaving an empty hook.
Black drum are biting around the jetties and seem to like their bait a little on the stickier side. Dead shrimp peeled works great for these but they will take a live shrimp. A 1/2oz weight with a 12 or 15” leader works great for these, in a strong current you may need a little more lead.
Redfish are still being caught at the inlet around the tide change, live shrimp and finger mullet should do the trick. Try and keep you bait closer to the bottom. I like a sliding sinker rig for these.
Offshore in Daytona Beach, the unicorn of the sea “the endangered Red Snapper” are everywhere and eating baits before they get to the bottom for the fish you “can” keep. Not going to get into that rant but if you are into catch & release, that’s a good plan. There have been good numbers in king mackerel and barracuda around the offshore sites with triggerfish, lane snapper, vermillion, mangrove snapper and porgies as well.
Go get ’em!
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