Red Fishing in New Smyrna After Hurricane Ian
Every once in a while mother nature has to show us who’s really the boss. Hurricane Ian hit our area hard and many of our friends and family got hit bad. Living in Florida you know never to take any hurricane lightly and I think that’s what kind of what happened. Living in this part of Florida we have never seen this amount of rain ever! The flooding was catastrophic and many people in East Central Florida are not able to live in their homes due to the flooding.
The hurricane was massive and according to the National Weather Service it stretched East – West over 500 miles. Clouds from Ian covered from Washington D.C. to Cuba, a distance of over 1,200 miles! The official rain totals in New Smyrna Beach was 21.09 inches which we believe is a record. For as bad as everything was, us Floridians are extremely resilient and industrious and we will get back on our feet in no-time. You can say we are kind of used it.
Fortunate for us we have red fishing in New Smyrna Beach to take our mind off the storm. Prior to the hurricane, the fishing was great with our charters catching redfish, snook and tarpon. On one particular trip, a day before the hurricane came through we had a very strange and incredible occurrence where a school of thousands of huge shrimp were being eaten by huge tarpon! Our charter that day jumped nearly 20 tarpon, landed one and later landed 17 big redfish. The redfishing as expected this time of the year is tremendous with most of the clients we take out getting their personal best.
With the passing of Hurricane Ian all the rain we had found its way in the intracoastal and our local waters look coffee colored. This causes the redfish we catch to be a beautiful bronze color so the fish blend in with their environment. This makes for some great pictures especially with a setting sun. Luckily for us we where able to be on the water just a few days after the hurricane came through. The fishing has been “lights out” for redfish and our charters are catching on average over 10 very large reds a trip.
The large influx of redfish in our area is attributable to spawning. In the Indian River lagoon in Florida — one of the few inshore spawning grounds — the spawn typically happens in late fall.
Many environmental factors affect not just the timing but also the size of the spawn. Factors to consider include
- Water temperature – The water must typically be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the spawn to occur.
- Sea depth – Redfish spawn in relatively deep water (20 to 100 feet). Certain conditions, such as king tides and hurricanes, can affect sea level dramatically enough to change fish behavior.
- Tide – Inshore fishermen may be used to waiting for a high outgoing tide to catch redfish. But at spawning time, redfish usually wait for an incoming tide, which carries the eggs into bays and other protective inshore waters.
- Number of cold fronts – This affects both water temperature and population movement in complicated ways. It can also affect the size of a given year-class (the fish spawned in that year). For the most accurate picture, it’s best to check with your state’s wildlife, fishing and weather bureaus about recent conditions and their likely effects.
New Redfish Regulations:Florida recently implemented a new management plan for redfish. There are now varied regulations across nine different zones. Anglers need to understand those regulations because they’re intended to protect one of our most important species of fish in the state of Florida. In our zone of the Indian River Lagoon fishing for redfish is strictly catch and release only. For complete Florida redfish regulations, go to myfwc.com.
Captain Austin of Chews Wisely Fishing Charters is booking trips into the New Year and we love to get you out and experience the best red fishing of the year. Red fishing in New Smyrna Beach is world class and now’s the time to go. Call or text Captain Austin (386) 689-9056 to book your trip and as I always say, “Quit wishin” and go fishin’.”