Winter Fishing Trips

Wintertime Fishing in Daytona Beach with Captain Ron Hatcher

Winter can be the Best Time of Year for Fishing in Daytona Beach! Here in Daytona Beach, the average high on a January day is 70 degrees. That’s warmer than a day in May in New York City where the average high is only 68 degrees. And they don’t call Florida the Sunshine State only during the Summer months! Here in the Daytona Beach area, even in the middle of winter, cloudy balmy days are rare. If a winter day starts off gloomy and overcast, chances are the Florida sun will be out and warming your back by mid morning!

Even better than Summer Fishing!  Many experienced local anglers who fish the Daytona Beach area year round will tell you they prefer fishing during the cool days of a Daytona Beach winter (cold would be an over statement) over fishing during the hot Florida summer months. In addition, fishing in Daytona Beach during the tourist off season means we often have the best spots to ourselves.

Nearshore Reef Fishing Available Year Round in Daytona Beach!

Weather permitting, we can fish the highly productive artificial reefs just off the coast of Daytona Beach on a winter fishing charter just as successfully as we can during the height of summer. The many bottom dwelling species such as snapper and grouper that inhabit these reefs do so year round with little change in their feeding habits from season to season.

So if it’s a nearshore fishing trip along the coast you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to let Captain Ron know. As long as the seas are not too choppy and we can make a safe and comfortable fishing trip out to the reefs, near shore fishing is on all year long with Captain Ron and Tightline Fishing Charters.

Great Inshore Fishing during the Winter Months!

Changes in seasons mean changes in water temperatures and fish migrate accordingly. Inshore waters around Daytona Beach can get quite warm during the hot summer months forcing many fish species to seek deeper cooler waters offshore.

Many species we love to target such as Black Drum, Flounder, Redfish and Sheepshead actually thrive in the inshore waters around Daytona Beach during the winter months. These inshore waters cool down during the winter but are never cold. 

Ponce Inlet is a favorite destination on our inshore charters and there’s always a chance to land a monster red or black drum.

Inshore Fishing for Black Drum, Flounder and Redfish!

During the winter months, Captain Ron targets three of the best tasting and fun to catch species found in the inshore waters around Daytona Beach: Black Drum, Flounder and Redfish.

Black Drum

Winter in Daytona Beach is prime time for catching Black Drum. Not as well known as its famous cousin the Red Drum (commonly known as Redfish) Black Drum are just as much fun to catch and the slot-size (keepers) are just as tasty. An advantage of targeting Black Drum on your Daytona Beach inshore fishing charter is the catch limit is 5 per angler per day. The slot-size (keepers) is 14” to 24” with one fish over 24”.

More About Black Drum

Latest Florida fishing regulations for Black Drum


Flounder are among the most common fish caught all year on Daytona Beach inshore charters. During your winter inshore fishing trips you’re most likely to catch flounder in the 2-4 pound range and some in 5 to 6 pound range. In Florida coastal waters, the minimum size limit for a “keeper” is 12″ and the daily bag limit is a whopping 10 flounder per angler. Flounder are not particularly hard to catch, especially when you have an experienced fishing guide like Captain Ron who knows their habits and habitats.

More About Flounder

Latest Florida fishing regulations for Flounder


While the monster adult bull reds have returned to deeper waters offshore by winter, there are plenty of slot-sized reds in the inshore waters around Daytona Beach all year long. Slot-sized (keeper) redfish (18″ to 27″) are a lot of fun to catch and the best size for eating. Slot- sized redflsh are more tender than the huge adults and the best size for a classic seafood dish of “blackened redfish”. The limit is one Redfish (Red Drum) per angler per day.

More About Redfish

Latest Florida fishing regulations for Red Drum (Redfish)

A Word About Snook

Snook, a tropical species, is found as far north as Daytona Beach.  Snook Season typically ends December 15th in the Daytona Beach area. Big snook 4 to 15 pounds are common during late autumn and early winter. They stack up along the seawalls at Ponce Inlet this time of year and the large 15 pounders are there if you can handle them!

Latest Florida fishing regulations for Snook

Where We Fish on our Daytona Beach Inshore Fishing Charters

Great Inshore Fishing just minutes from Daytona Beach!  Every visitor to Daytona Beach is familiar with its world famous beaches and easy access to the ocean but few are aware of the vast coastal estuaries that parallel Central Florida’s Atlantic coast. This extensive estuary system is home to a huge number of saltwater fish species, dolphins and even manatees. It extends virtually unbroken along the entire Atlantic Coast of Florida with some of the most productive estuarine habitat just south of Daytona Beach.

Running the entire east coast of Florida from Jacksonville to Miami, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) offers easy access to coastal estuaries. Captain Ron’s favorite launch location on the ICW is just 6 miles south of Daytona Beach on the Halifax River at Port Orange.
See Where We Depart

From this launch site, we’ll be fishing up to 5 miles south along the ICW. Along the way, there are miles of mangrove lined shoreline and countless tidal creeks that lead to thousands of acres of marshes and mud flats. The creek mouths are often prime fishing spots for Redfish, Flounder and Black Drum, especially for an experienced local guide like Captain Ron who has been fishing these waters since childhood.