New Smyrna Beach Fishing: Anglers Travel Guide
New Smyrna Beach is located on Florida’s Central Atlantic Coast. It’s a charming beach town with a vibrant local culture, great art scene, and some of the best fishing the East Coast has to offer.
Nestled right between the Atlantic Ocean to the East and the Indian River Lagoon to the West, New Smyrna Beach fishing spots offer some unique and exciting fishing opportunities. The area is most popularly known for its redfish, various other species drawing people here all throughout the year.
In this anglers travel guide, we’re focusing not only on what you catch in New Smyrna Beach but how to catch them and where!
What Can You Catch in New Smyrna Beach?
The fish population here is diverse, and it all depends on where you look. You can travel a few miles from your current location and find fish that you would never imagine seeing a couple of miles closer to shore.
Best of all, New Smyrna Beach offers great inshore as well as offshore fishing on top of that. Let’s take a look at the most popular species of this area.
They don’t call it the “Redfish Capital of the World” for nothing. While it is a self-proclaimed accolade, we understand why they call it that. The Indian River Lagoon area is the perfect habitat for these fish, and there’s a strong population of them.
They’re fighters, and you better be prepared to bring your best if you end up hooking a bull redfish. These weigh between 20-50 pounds or more, and it’s not some rare fish tale that your buddies tell you – people are catching these, daily.
Best of all, you’re not limited to what types of lures and baits to use. They’re not finicky and will bite almost anything. All the local anglers recommend using live bait or jigs and spinning tackle.
We’re not talking about the five-pound speckled trout you catch from New Jersey; we’re talking about “gator” seatrout, which are a whole different species scattered throughout Florida and the Gulf. These monsters don’t migrate so you can find them all year long.
They’re the opposite of redfish, though, because they’re pickier about what they eat, and they’re easily spooked, so you need to play the game a little smarter. Using a small outboard motor or even a kayak wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Sharks are a hot topic in New Smyrna Beach and for a good reason. These waters host one of the country’s largest shark populations, and you don’t have to go too far out from the shore to find them.
While this might intimidate many people, shark fishing is actually fun for the whole family, and the chances of endangering yourself are small.
If you’re concerned about tackling the shark population in some of the best New Smyrna Beach fishing spots, consider hopping aboard an inshore fishing charter and have professional anglers help show you the ropes.
The tarpon are all over Florida, and you can catch them all throughout the year, so don’t worry about planning your trip around a specific time. During the winter months, the only difference is you’ll find juvenile tarpon that weighs between 10-40 pounds. In the summer, these monsters can weigh as much as 100 pounds.
Fishing for tarpon in New Smyrna Beach requires patience and finesse. Sight casting is the strategy, and you’ll want to have some heavy spinning tackle and live bait if you expect to catch these guys.
One of the best things about fishing in New Smyrna Beach is the variety of fishing opportunities. Where else in the country can you travel a few miles from catching snapper and sharks and find largemouth bass?
The St. Johns River brings in a great largemouth bass population, so if this is your game, you’ll want to have the right rod and reel for bass. We’d recommend having freshwater tackle and saltwater tackle.
The truth is, nothing can compare to a freshwater fishing charter when you’re taking on new waters. Local experts will help you get the most from your experience while showing you tips and tricks. Which helps you catch more largemouth bass in New Smyrna Beach.
This wouldn’t be a guide to New Smyrna Beach without talking about the incredible deep-sea fishing opportunities. Mahi Mahi are plentiful a mere 20 miles from the shore. With underwater shipwrecks and reefs, there are more than enough unique fish to draw you here.
In addition to Mahi Mahi, you can also find Snapper, Grouper, and even Sailfish during the spring months.
New Smyrna Beach Fishing Spots
You know what to catch; now you need to know where to go. With our help, you’ll be pulling some in before you know it.
Tiger Shoals – This spot is located right in the middle of Mosquito Lagoon, and sight angling is the strategy here. Cast from a kayak to keep your footprint low, and you can find huge redfish and spotted trout.
Spruce Creek – The freshwater game is real here, and you can expect to catch largemouth bass and flounder throughout the creek. If you’re serious about catching bass, consider buying a fish finder to help you navigate these waters.
Buena Vista Park – Travel East of the North Causeway Bridge, and you’ll find the New Smyrna Beach Fishing Pier. There are two huge piers here that stick out 250 feet over the Indian River. There are few species you can’t find here. Expect to hook redfish, trout, and pompano.
Smyrna Dunes Park – If surf fishing is something you’re into, this 184-acre park offers fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway and the New Smyrna Beach Jetty.
Ways to Fish New Smyrna Beach
You’ve learned all about the best New Smyrna Beach fishing spots; next, let’s talk about the many methods you have for fishing around here.
Chartering a Boat
Chartering a boat is the best way to get the full experience. If you’re considering a deep-sea fishing charter, you’ll be able to explore an assortment of the best fishing spots, and you’ll have experienced and knowledgeable guides to help and teach you along the way.
When you charter a boat, the captain provides everything, including licenses, rods, reels, and all the gear. If you’re coming to New Smyrna Beach and you want to have unforgettable fishing experience, you need to charter a boat.
If you’re trying to save a few bucks, you could jump on a party board. You’ll still get to experience all the great New Smyrna Beach fishing spots, but you won’t get that one-on-one attention from the captain since they will have to entertain an entire boat of guests.
The upside here is that you don’t have to worry about licenses or gear because they provide everything for you as well. Party boats are a more laid-back experience for those who aren’t too serious about fishing.
One of the coolest things about New Smyrna Beach is that you can drive right onto the sand almost anywhere on the coast. This makes for a popular surf fishing scene. Be sure to follow local regulations and ensure that you’re allowed to fish from the shore where you are.
We recommend sizing up your gear to a 7+ foot rod with a heavy sinker. Expect to find redfish, sharks, and pompano.
The New Smyrna fishing piers offer great angling. Because they extend hundreds of feet into the water, and they’re usually located in amazing parks for the whole family. We suggest fishing here at dawn or dusk because that’s when the most baitfish are hanging around closer to shore.
Take a trip through Mosquito Lagoon with your kayak searching for redfish and trout. Sight fishing the shallows is most popular in the freshwater sections of New Smyrna Beach. It requires you to be quiet and stealthy.
Do You Need a Fishing License in New Smyrna Beach?
The only way you don’t need a fishing license is if you’re fishing with a licensed and insured New Smyrna Fishing Charter. Otherwise, you’ll need to purchase your own fishing license, and you’re responsible for all the gear.
If you’re fishing the St. Johns River, you’ll need to purchase a license, whether you have a fishing charter or not. Make sure you understand Florida’s licensing requirements, so you keep yourself out of trouble.
New Smyrna Beach Fishing: A Taste of the East Coast
We think we can all agree on the fact that New Smyrna Beach offers some incredible fishing. It’s the perfect marriage between saltwater and freshwater fishing mashed up together in one place for you to enjoy.
The East Coast offers some exceptional fishing. But few places can rival the New Smyrna Beach fishing spots outlined in this guide. If you’re looking for a fishing trip that allows you to escape from it all for a while. We think we’ve found the place for you.