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Where to Fish near Daytona Beach, Florida
Deep Sea, Offshore and Inshore Fishing Charters

An Introduction to Fishing Charters near Daytona Beach and Ponce Inlet

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The Basics You Need to Know about Fishing Near Daytona Beach
and What Daytona Beach Fishing Charters have to offer!

Daytona Beach is well known for its beaches, bike festivals and as the home of the Daytona International Speedway.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Everyone knows Daytona Beach is an ocean front town, world famous for its long beaches of hard packed sand where the first land speed records were made during the early years of the automobile. What is not as well known is the excellent, world class fishing just minutes from the crowded beaches, bars and tourist hangouts.

Daytona Beach, Florida with the Halifax River in the background.>>>

Some of the best saltwater fishing in Florida is in sight of the tourist filled beaches!
It's very easy to overlook the Atlantic Ocean itself, teeming with all kinds of sought after saltwater species. Kind of like not seeing the forest because of the trees! But great shark fishing starts just behind the breaker waves where tourists like to swim and a little further out are shipwrecks and man-made reefs, home to multitudes of groupers and snappers. Just beyond the shipwrecks and man made reefs are the natural Oculina coral reefs, where you'll find Gag and Scamp Grouper along with over seventy other fish species that inhabit these natural reefs. Still further out but easily accessible by deep sea fishing boats is the Gulf Stream where you can catch Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo and Tuna.

Daytona Beach is also a great place for inshore or backcountry fishing!
The river you pass over heading to the beaches from US Highway 1 or I-95 is the Halifax River. Only 25 miles long and parallel to the coast more like a sound or lagoon than a typical river, the Halifax River is rich in a wide variety of highly desirable fish species. Ponce Inlet, FloridaThese excellent fishing waters go unnoticed by the vast majority of visitors to Daytona Beach as they rush over the bridges towards the beaches but it is very popular with local fishermen and fishing charter captains.

Ponce Inlet at the mouth of the Halifax River >>>

Daytona Beach attracts some of the world's best, most experienced hard core fishermen.
Lovers of saltwater fishing from around the world come to Daytona Beach to test their angling skills in the productive local waters. Many often stay making Daytona Beach their new home where they can fish inshore for monster redfish in the morning and fish offshore for a trophy size sailfish in the afternoon!

Below is a breakdown of what types of fishing is available near and around Daytona Beach, Florida!

 

Deep Sea Fishing

Here is a great picture of a marlin caught while deep sea fishingThis is the ultimate fishing adventure near Daytona Beach. Just 10 miles south of Daytona Beach is Ponce Inlet where the Halifax River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Deep sea fishing charters leaving the town of Ponce Inlet can pass through the inlet into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean in a matter of minutes.

A blue marlin, the ultimate prize of any deep sea fishing trip! >>>

If big game sportfishing is your thing, you'll want to travel to Daytona Beach, book a deep sea fishing charter out of Ponce Inlet and head out to the Gulf Stream. This is not a cheap fishing trip but the ultimate experience of anything never is! These are the big boy fishing boats, like Captain Quint's boat the "Orca" in the movie "Jaws". These fishing boats, typically about 35-45 feet in length, will have an enclosed cabin, usually air-conditioned, with an on-board head (toilet), and every kind of high tech fishing electronics known to modern fishermen.

If the weather kicks up and te waves get high, they can "batten down the hatches" and ride out the storm if necessary. They will frequently have sleeping berths and a galley for overnight or multi-day trips if you should choose to go to the Bahamas or stay out for a week or two until you've bagged that trophy 1000 pound Marlin or Bluefin Tuna!

Half day fishing trips on these true deep sea fishing vessels will start around $800 and extended 10 hour day trips will hit you around $1500 and up plus tips for the captain and first mate especially if you have a really good trip. Plus you'll need at least a 3/4 day trip for around $1000 to reach the Gulf Stream, about 40 miles out, where the really big fish are and still have time to fish.

The Gulf Stream is where you need to go if you want to catch the ultimate deep sea fish, the big billfish like the giant Blue Marlin, White Marlin and Sailfish. The Gulf Stream is where you'll find Blackfin and Yellowfin Tuna and plenty of Wahoo and Mai-Mahi. Otherwise, the half day trips will be a lot of fun fishing the much closer to shore offshore wrecks and reefs for grouper and snapper.

But everything is included from bait to fishing licenses and you can usually bring up to 5 of your fishing buddies to split up the costs. It's especially great if you bring the whole family so if anyone gets overheated in the hot Florida sun or needs to "go" there is usually air conditioning and almost always a toilet on board.

 

Offshore Fishing

Offshore fishing near Daytona Beach can bring in some very big fishThis is deep sea fishing on a budget but a heck of a lot of fun! Most people such as visitors to Daytona Beach, who are not professional or experienced saltwater fishermen make no distinction when they say "offshore" or "deep sea" fishing. All they know is that it's fishing in the ocean as opposed to "inshore" or "backcountry" fishing in the bays, estuaries and lower sections of rivers where fresh water becomes brackish.

This 68 pound amberjack was caught offshore with Captain Corey Simmons of On the Hook Fishing Charters in Daytona Beach >>>

Although most fishing charters that take anglers out into the Atlantic Ocean from Daytona Beach will refer to ocean fishing as both "deep sea" and "offshore" fishing, the really big charter boats as described above always refer to their fishing charters as "deep sea" fishing or "blue water" fishing or just "sportfishing". The smaller charter boats without the enclosed cabins and usually with outboard motors will refer to their fishing trips into the Atlantic Ocean as both "deep sea" fishing charters and "offshore" fishing charters.

The real difference is in the size of the boat.
Although how deep is deep is a matter of personal judgment, only boats of a certain size and design can go out and stay out in really deep waters such as the 40 plus mile trip one way to the Gulf Stream or a week long trip to the Bahamas and back. When the weather gets rough and the waves get high, you want to be in an enclosed 45 foot "deep sea" fishing charter boat with reliable diesel engines and not in an open 25 foot "offshore" fishing charter boat with temperamental outboards.

With that being said, you can still do great "deep sea" fishing in an open boat with an outboard and over the side potty facilities. The difference is instead of stalking the monster billfish and tuna 45 miles out in the Gulf Stream, you'll typically be bottom fishing for snapper or grouper over man made reefs and shipwrecks 2 to 20 miles from shore.

Don't get me wrong, you can still go trolling "offshore" for Cobia, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi and even the occasional Sailfish or Tuna in the smaller open boats. And you'll catch plenty of King Mackeral, Barracuda, Sharks, Amberjacks and other great species on an "offshore" fishing charter.

Plus "offshore" fishing charters in the Atlantic Ocean in a smaller open boat can cost you about half of what the bigger "deep sea" fishing charters will charge you. A great half day fishing offshore in a 25 foot center console fishing boat begins at about $450 (however typically there is a $50 charge for each additional passenger over the first two). Just be aware that if money is not an issue and you want to go far out on a big boat fishing for big game fish, look for the the true "deep sea" fishing boats, trips and charters.

So, if you want to save a few bucks and still have a great time "deep sea" fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, don't shy away from the fishing charters that bill themselves as "offshore" fishing. You still might bag that trophy sailfish and you'll definitely have a good time trolling for wahoo and mahi-mahi and bottom fishing for grouper and snapper!

 

Inshore Fishing

A snook caught while fishing inshore on the Halifax River near Daytona BeachThe Halifax River is the center of Inshore and Backcountry fishing in the Daytona Beach area. Running parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, the river is more akin to a long lagoon or sound than a typical river system. It's tributaries include the Tomoka River and Bulow Creek at it's beginning north of Daytona Beach and Spruce Creek south of Daytona Beach. Almost the entire river as well as the lower portions of its tributaries contain some brackish waters that support a wide variety of saltwater species as well as many dolphins and manatees.

This snook was caught along the mangrove lined shoreline of the Halifax River just upstream from Daytona Beach >>>

Inshore Fishing is easy to reach from Daytona Beach
The 25 mile long Halifax River empties into the Atlantic Ocean below Daytona Beach at Ponce Inlet. There are several public boat ramps with adjoining public parking on the Halifax River that makes it extremely accessible for Daytona Beach visitors. Since most "inshore" fishing charters involve smaller boats typically under 26 feet, these boats are almost always trailerable to the nearest convenient boat ramp.

The nearest boat ramp to Daytona Beach is the Dunlawton Boat Ramp on the Halifax River at Port Orange just 6 miles from downtown Daytona Beach. It puts you right at the beginning of the lower Halifax River system and some of the most fertile fishing grounds on the entire river. There are several other convenient public boat ramps located at New Smyrna Beach and the town of Ponce Inlet. They are all near very productive stretches of the Halifax River below Daytona Beach with the furthest only 14 miles from Daytona Beach.
For details and maps of these boat ramps near Daytona Beach go to "On the Hook Charters"
Daytona Beach Fishing Charter Departure Locations

The Best Fishing for the Least Money
Inshore fishing trips on the Halifax River are very economical and offer a wide variety of fishing opportunities for a low cost. A great half day fishing inshore on the Halifax River goes for about $350 (however typically there is a $50 charge for each additional passenger over the first two). As with any fishing charter anywhere, if you have a really good trip, tipping would be appropriate as with tipping a good waiter after a good meal in a good restaurant (15 - 20 %).

The Best Part of Inshore Fishing near Daytona Beach is the Wide Variety of Saltwater Species!
Because the Halifax River is a low lying coastal river system, the water is brackish and supports a large number of highly desirable fish species. The Halifax River is also part of the Intracoastal Waterway. This allows for continuous movement and many points of access for many miles along the coast for species during spring and autumn migrations as well as breeding migrations. In other words, the Halifax River is a fisherman's paradise!

In the Halifax River, you will find fighting species such as Redfish, Snook and Tarpon, great eating fish such as Spotted Sea Trout, Flounder and a variety of Grouper and Snapper such as Gag Grouper and Mangrove Snapper (and Redfish). You will also find Black Drum, King and Spanish Mackeral and even Barracuda. The Halifax River is also home to large numbers of Sheephead that are abundant enough to be caught commercially.

 

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